Ask Amy: As her life's focus shifts, a woman stumbles over friendship

Ask Amy: As her life's focus shifts, a woman stumbles over friendship ...

Dear Amy, Caroline has been a dear friend since we were 15 years old. Both of us came from very religious and conservative families, and have always shared the same beliefs till now.

My way of life has changed a lot in the last five years. I no longer attend church or believe in her religion. I advocate equality rights she considers as sinful, and I even cuss and have a beer on occasion. It's been a long and liberating journey for me.

Caroline has no right to say that I've changed. I only see her once a year. I realize that I am not what she believes I am.

I'm a demon, but I just want to talk with her. I know she will be dissatisfied, judgmental, and try to evangelize to me. She is smart and compassionate in debating, and has a clear answer for everything. Unfortunately, I get it, even when I feel very strongly that I am.

Is it necessary to have a conversation with her? If so, do you have any advice on how to have this conversation?

Losing My Religion

Dear Losing: Adults get to change because one of the many benefits of adulthood.

Another advantage is that you don't have to discuss anything you don't want to discuss. It isn't "necessary" to have a particular conversation.

Keep in mind that your previous friend has the same benefits (toward change or stasis) as you. She may also have areas of her life that she would prefer to keep off-limits.

If you two spend time together and you find that you want to discuss the change in your faith-status, you should keep it simple. The more detail you overlay on your point, the more points "Caroline" will find to debate.

Her distress in your life-change is her burden to bear. You should not assume responsibility for her reactions.

If she feels the need to evangelize to you, please ask her to stop and say, "I'm completely at peace with my point of view, so this is truly not up for discussion," and change the subject.

If both sides are permitted to express themselves and each other, there is no need for you to participate in a hearty debate, by the way.

Amy, my wife and I send out Christmas cards during the holiday season, all of which we list.

Some individuals who have other household members (age 21 and above) who have lived with them have asked us to send a separate card to each of their adult children in the household.

These are still single adults who are living in their childhood bedroom rather than a family living in separate quarters on the property.

We believe that everyone under the same roof is covered by "and family." By the way, those extra adults do not send out their own cards.

In what we believe to be regular Christmas list maintenance, we update addresses and add or drop people. Is there any change in etiquette?

Getting Carded

Dear Carded: I understand that there are occasions in which an adult child may have a special need and will be cohabiting with parents for the duration of their lifetime. In such cases, it would be helpful to send the adult child a separate card.

A new theory that these parents would want their babies to receive separate Christmas cards sent to their home address tells me that these parents will enjoy the care of their adult children for many Christmases to come.

Tell them, "When the kids have their own mailing addresses, we'll be pleased to include them on our mailing list."

Amy, I am an adjunct professor of pharmacy science at an university. I got some help from "Wondering," with a recent question on whether or not CBD works.

Anyone using any form of cannabidiol (CBD) should discuss their medications and side effects.

Pharmacists are the drug specialists. Every day, we respond to questions about drugs and dietary supplements. We are able to provide up up to date and scientifically sound information about any medication a patient may use, including cannabidiol.

Thank you for all you do to improve people's lives, and for your ability to advocate the safe use of medications, especially those that may be purchased without a prescription.

Ally is

My local pharmacist, Dear Ally, is a source of information, and he is a lifesaver.

(You may email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You may also follow her on Twitter or.)

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