DEAR ABBY: I retired after a 40-year career. A friend from work, "Bernie," is the same age I am (62) but is still working.
Six years ago, I had a serious health crisis. Three years ago, Bernie survived a heart attack. Since then, Bernie worries incessantly about dying. He exercises rigorously and eats a strictly vegan diet. I like to spend time with him, but I'm more casual about diet and exercise.
Neither of us is going to be a GQ model, regardless of how much we diet or exercise. I say life should be enjoyed, but Bernie is too busy obsessing, compulsively taking medicine and working out.
Today he invited me out to supper. Instead of going to a restaurant, he said he was cooking another of his (not-too-tasty) vegan meals. I don't want to offend or discourage Bernie, but I hate his cooking. What should I do? Would a steak and a baked potato kill him? -- PAUNCHY BUT HAPPY IN KENTUCKY
DEAR PAUNCHY: Because you enjoy Bernie's company, call him and tell him you would love to come to supper, but because you are a carnivore you will be bringing your own steak and potato with you, so fire up the broiler.