My friend is an incredible cook and is always hosting dinner parties. She invites me all the time, and I really enjoy the evenings. I’ve met some wonderful people and had many interesting conversations.
Unfortunately, I have some food allergies that aren’t life threatening but cause me severe discomfort. My friend always asks if her potential guests have any dietary issues – vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, gluten-free, kosher, etc. I’ve given her my list several times.
Two of the things I really can’t tolerate are butter and heavy cream sauces. For some reason, my friend can’t accept my butter intolerance and cooks everything in butter. I can’t not eat because the food is central to the conversation and the evening. It’s usually part of a themed evening.
How do I explain to my host the severity of my intolerance without being rude?
Bloated and gassy
I don’t mean to state the obvious, but could you just attend the evening, and only eat the foods that you can tolerate? She can’t possibly put butter in absolutely everything.
I have a similar issue as I don’t eat meat. One of my friends also loves to cook big festive meals. She knows I don’t eat meat, but forgets that includes bacon bits in the Caesar salad dressing, prosciutto on the brussels sprouts and chicken broth in the stuffing. She’s not trying to be mean, she just forgets.
I’ve taken to bringing something to eat, just in case. We all laugh, and no one is offended. Why don’t you either eat something beforehand so you’re not that hungry or bring something that you can eat without feeling ill afterwards?
If the food is that special, just take a bite for the taste and the conversation. But please, make your own health your priority.
FEEDBACK Regarding the comment by someone who guesses the columnist (Oct. 4):
Reader – “I was interested in the comment "I'd love to see a question that is then answered by both." I read your great column each week day before seeing which one of you wrote. To date, I have been batting 100 per cent. You are both excellent.
“Thanks for what you do.”
Lisi – And thank YOU for your support and readership.
My wife and I are best friends. We love each other immensely and make a great team. But she’s stopped being intimate with me. I have no idea why.
For about a year, I made first advances, but she rejected me. She always did it with love and kindness and never made me feel awkward or uncomfortable. At first, I didn’t think much of it. After being married for almost a decade, we don’t need to have sex every day. And then it hit me: it’s been a year since we made love.
How do I broach the topic without hurting her feelings?
Your question speaks volumes about what type of person you are: kind, thoughtful, caring and very loving. How do I know? Because others would have asked something more on the lines of ‘how do I get her to do what I want?’
And you’re more concerned with her feelings than your own. I have no doubt you two talk a lot, but perhaps you don’t talk about what matters relative to this part of your marriage. I suggest you start talking, and probably with the help of a professional, to dig deep and see what’s going on.
It may be health related, something medical or not. But you need to figure it out together so you can move forward in your marriage.
FEEDBACK Regarding the young woman whose friend is afraid of everything (Oct. 7):
Reader – “I would add that the young friend has a serious anxiety disorder that needs treatment. That girl is suffering. Reassurance will not help her in all likelihood. A competent therapist would want to be ruling out a delusional or paranoid disorder as well. The writer could offer to go with her to Student Health as a start.”
Lisi – I can’t say whether this young woman has an anxiety disorder or not as I’m not a mental health professional. But I appreciate that you could very well be correct in your diagnosis. I didn’t think about a service on campus such as Student health or Student Services, but you’re right – that would be a great place for the letter writer to suggest to her friend and accompany her for support.
Thank you for your suggestion.