DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have a friend, "Jonah," whom we love dearly, but he has no filter. He's college-educated, has a white-collar job and is over 50. The problem is, anytime we invite him for dinner or take food items to his house, he makes horrible remarks about my wife's cooking, particularly when it's a holiday party based on my wife's Slavic heritage.
My wife is a really good cook. No one else makes fun of these foods, many of which are common in the U.S., but Jonah makes negative comments every time. I have told him that it's rude, and so has my wife.
We would hate not inviting him to future parties with our usual crowd, but it gets me upset when he does this. My wife has actually prepared an alternative meal for him so he won't have to eat the "heritage-style" food. He even makes snide comments when I bring foods popular in other parts of the U.S.
Abby, do we continue inviting him or not? It is straining our friendship. -- IN A FOOD FIGHT IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
DEAR IN A FOOD FIGHT: Because Jonah has indicated that he doesn't like the food at your parties, stop inviting him. And because he doesn't appreciate the effort when you bring regional food to his home, stop doing that, too. If he asks why he wasn't included, feel free to give him an "unfiltered" answer. If you visit him, bring a generic house gift, such as nuts, a box of candy, a bottle of wine. If he doesn't accept it graciously, stop doing that, too.
With a "friend" like Jonah, it would be better to socialize at a restaurant that serves food he does like, or at an activity that doesn't revolve around food. I am amazed that you have tolerated his behavior this long.