Originally Published: July 19, 2016 5:55 a.m.
Dear Annie: I’m a self-proclaimed meatatarian. I suppose I eat vegetables from time to time, such as the lettuce and tomato on a hamburger. But for the most part, if it didn’t have a central nervous system, I’m not interested.
You can’t fault me for it; I grew up in the Midwest, where we treated sausage like a food group. I feel manly when I eat chicken wings, ripping flesh off the carcass of an animal with my teeth. Beef, chicken, duck, lamb, rabbit, bison, fish – love ‘em all. However, I also love my new vegan (gasp) girlfriend.
Vegan Girlfriend is the best, and I’ve never felt this way before. She seems to really accept and love all of my personality. She’s even fine with the meatatarian thing, never making any comments about it and saying it doesn’t bother her.
My family really likes her, although it’s always a process trying to explain her diet to Grandma, God bless her. (“No steak for her, Grandma. ... No, ‘those people’ don’t eat chicken, either.”)
I’m really starting to believe that Vegan Girlfriend is the one. But it keeps nagging at my mind that she’s a vegan for a reason. Part of me thinks that underneath all her I-don’t-minds, she is saying to herself, “How could you stuff another defenseless animal down your gullet when there is perfectly good kale in the fridge?”
I love this woman, but I also love meat. Am I doomed to a life of guilty animal consumption? – Meaty Mike
Dear Meaty: What’s eating you? Your girlfriend doesn’t care that you’re an omnivore. She has said – and I quote – “I don’t mind.” You’re projecting. On some level, you must feel bad about eating meat. Maybe that’s your conscience nagging at you, or maybe it’s just your cholesterol. Either way, figure it out and get right with it. And it wouldn’t kill you to eat some of that perfectly good kale in the fridge.
Dear Annie: My younger sister is a 59-year-old woman who has never been married. She’s fun, creative and full of life, and she still has her looks. I also know she’s really lonely. After a string of bad boyfriends in her 20s and 30s, she gave up on dating and has since devoted almost all her energy to her work and her pets.
She’s gone on a few dates here and there over the years, but she refuses to do any kind of online dating because she thinks that it’s “desperate” and that “only freaks are out online.” She refuses to hear me when I say otherwise. Every time I try to approach the subject of dating, she tells me that I have no idea what I’m talking about and that we’re too different to understand each other.
And that’s true. We were never close growing up. She was the “wild child” who dropped out of high school, and I was the “good daughter” who got a college degree. And there’s a 10-year age difference. Also, I have been married for more than 30 years and have two great kids. I feel guilty and like a braggart every time I talk about my family. And her resentment has only grown after the recent death of her pet. How do I help my sister find someone when she doesn’t want to hear it? Maybe she’ll listen to you. – Elder Sister in Omaha
Dear Elder Sis: A white picket fence and 2 1/2 kids are not for everyone. Plenty of people live amazingly fulfilled lives without getting married and having children.
I don’t think your sister would be “full of life,” “creative” and attractive if she were lonely and miserable. Once you stop forcing your idea of happiness on her, that guilt you mentioned may magically disappear.
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