Dear Annie: Last weekend, I got a text from my dad that said: “I’m going vegan LOL.” (Yes, he says “LOL.” He’s hip like that.) I laughed and brushed it aside, but during dinner last night, he and my stepmom told me they are serious about it. It definitely took me by surprise, but I was supportive and excited about the idea, so much so that I even went with him to Barnes & Noble to pick out an awesome vegan cookbook. But since then, I’ve been having a strangely emotional reaction to his decision.
We love to eat. That’s our “thing.” We go out to dinner, try new, unusual cuisines and eat our way through new cities when traveling. He even seriously considered taking a leave from work to audition for a Food Network show. Some of my best memories involve meals we’ve shared. And now what? I’ll order sashimi, and he’ll have ... seaweed? I have no issue with the decision itself; I’ve done every juice cleanse and 30-day challenge under the sun -- and I love me some seaweed. I actually find the choice quite admirable.
What I realized is that the child in me is afraid that a piece of our relationship will be lost. Through my parents’ (nasty) divorce, no matter how things were between them or between us — no matter when new people came into the picture and old people left — whenever we sat down at the table, all of the yuckiness melted away. This feels like one more thread of consistency and connection being cut.
Are there any actions you suggest I take to move forward? — Herbivore Dilemma
Dear Herbivore Dilemma: You are clearly a thoughtful person to have such insight into your emotions and their roots. Perhaps this is the opportunity you’ve needed to express some long-held feelings. Talking through these concerns will bring you closer than ever. And with time, you’ll find out that it was never about the food; it was about sitting down together.
Dear Annie: I have a weird question for you. I live in a Midwestern community that has expensive water and sewer costs. I also exercise every day, and as a result, I drink a lot of water — and I mean a lot of water. So when my wife is not home, I urinate in the bathroom sink. Then I wash my hands, which rinses the sink basin at the same time. This uses a fraction of the water that flushing the toilet would use. Multiply that by dozens of times a day and the savings are significant. Urine is sterile; the sink gets washed out afterward; and my hands are clean. What are your thoughts on my actions? — Sink Secret
Dear Sink Secret: I think you ought to knock it off. For one, urine isn’t sterile; that’s just a myth. For another, if you’re really bent on saving water, there are plenty of ways to do so — such as installing a low-flush toilet — that don’t require lying to your wife.
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