I know it’s her business, but a friend continues to test herself for COVID, weekly. Now she’s planning her annual holiday party — like usual, except that she’s asking everybody to bring their vaccination cards when they show up.  I know everybody on her guest list and I’m sure we’re all up to date on our shots. So I find her even asking for this requirement an insult. Am I right? — Anonymous, Hillwood

At least, let’s hope, latex gloves aren’t required. If everybody at her party has to show their COVID credentials, there’s no reason for you to take the check-in requirement personally. She’s been giving herself the test for a while, so she’s unlikely to stop now, but this may be her little step back to normal-style partying. If you’re confident that everybody on her guest list is up-to-date on their shots, what’s to worry? If you feel insulted by the difficulty of going to the party, just stay home. If you want to go, hang the card around your neck on a ribbon. Show the shot-up hostess how to party down. Add a jingle bell or two.

Weighing In

A dear friend, whom I love like a mother, has been watching over me for years. She watches everything, especially my weight. But she’s paying more attention than ever this year. With the holidays under way, she’s asking me repeatedly how much I plan to eat, how much weight I’ve gained. (I’ve told her that I’ve actually dropped a few pounds over the recent months. She doesn’t believe it.) She’s told me that I can lose weight “if I want to.” Why now? How do I get her to stop, and keep her as a friend? — Anonymous, Forest Hills

Why now? That may be a question for you to ask yourself, just now. It seems that you’ve been putting up with her wise, albeit intrusive, advice for decades. 

Maybe sometimes you’ve taken it; sometimes not. Maybe she’s noticed; maybe not. She’s been your friend forever, so that friendship isn’t likely to go away because you have — or haven’t — gone up a size or two. It sounds like it’s time for you to have a face-to-face conversation with your loving, over-involved dear friend. There comes a time when mothers, even make-believe mothers, need to get out of the way. Whatever her age, she can learn to love every ounce of you.  She already does, I bet. It won’t be a tough lesson to learn.

Out of Line

At the grocery store, every time I go through the express line, the cashier always says “God bless you.”  I’m not a religious person, so it drives me crazy. I know I could go through another line, but I feel the need to say something. Should I? — Anonymous, 12South

Let’s assume that the store doesn’t have a “No-God-Bless-You” policy. (You might want to check with the management, just to make sure.) A simple, non-confrontational “Thank you” will suffice. If you want to get to the parking lot as quickly as possible, use it for “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Hanukkah” and “Happy Kwanzaa,” too. “Thank you” works, no matter what you believe.