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Ask Anyone

he said

I’ve had a cold for a week. I know a lot of people who’ve been sick, right? Big deal. Well, I have this friend who’s always recommending or giving me all kinds of homeopathic remedies to try. Doesn’t matter what’s wrong. Sprained ankle? Try this. Headache? Try that. Achy joints? This balm will fix you up.

Well, she gave me some herbal tea the other day. I tried it. Results were about the same as if I’d drank a regular cup of tea. Still felt sick. She asked me the next day how it worked. I was feeling lousy and grouchy so I told her it didn’t do much. She was crestfallen. A little while later she calls back and recommends a bunch of other stuff she got from a health food store.

I told her I didn’t believe in all that stuff, and to lay off. I was pretty curt. But like I say, I felt crummy. I could hear in her voice that she was hurt by my response. She said she was only trying to help. I told her the best thing she could do was leave me alone. She said “All right” and hung up.

Now I feel bad for snapping at her, on top of this nagging cold that won’t go away. I know that soon enough my symptoms will subside. But how do I go about healing our friendship?

Mr. Sniffles

The Omniscient One says: You know, I once knew a girl from Nantucket. She kept herbs and teas in a bucket. She’d gobble them down, roll on the ground, punch a hole in a grapefruit and suck it. Crazy chick. Take a tip from the Cream song “Strange Brew”: “She’s some kind of demon messing in the flu, if you don’t watch out it’ll stick to you. What kind of fool are you?”

Smart Money says: Lighten the eff up and stop whining all the time. Problem solved. I’m an effing genius.

The Practical Cogitator says: Are you over 80? Is your friend also your employer, or co-worker, who may be affected by your absence from work? Is the answer to any of those questions is yes, then you are free to discuss your health issues. Otherwise, no one wants to hear about your medical issues, at all.

If you feel the need to tell your friends about your health issues then you are opening the door, and wide, for them to offer suggestions, medications, herbs, homeopathic remedies, exorcisims, incantations and any other damn thing they can think up. Your friends care about you, and that’s nice. Clearly, they want to help you feel better, and that’s nice too. If you don’t want to hear all their wacky remedies, then keep your ailments to yourself.

In the meantime, to mend your friendship, I suggest a visit to the health food store to buy the stuff she recommended, and then tell her how much better you feel. She will feel better too. And in the future, remember to zip it.

The Gay Perspective: Are you asking how to heal a friendship? Apologize, dummy.

she said

I have this friend I like a lot but he’s always complaining about various maladies. He’s whining about everything from colds to sprains to headaches. I’m not a doctor, but I’ve had good luck with natural remedies for a lot of things.

Last week he was complaining about a cold, so I gave him some echinacea tea. The next day I asked him if he was feeling any better and he just about bit my head off. I was only trying to help, but he took the opportunity to lay into me about my advice. People tell me to never mind him, but it bugs me. He didn’t have to be so nasty. It’s not my problem that he was sick and cranky, but do I let it slide or tell him he didn’t have to be such a jerk?

—Mrs. Sniffles

The Omniscient One says: It sounds like more than the echinacea was bugging your friend. I suspect you give advice frequently, maybe too frequently. I recommend you meditate on the value of being humble.

Smart Money says: Ask him if he got his period yet. That’ll heal the breach. It always works. Just don’t say it to a chick. She’ll slit your throat.

The Practical Cogitator says: He was sick! And cranky! Forgive him! And everyone knows, echinacea is really just a placebo. What your friend really needs is Matzoh Ball Soup!

The Gay Perspective: Give him the cold shoulder until he apologizes. I suspect he knows full well that he snapped at you. And remember, when he finally says he’s sorry, forgive him. After all, he wasn’t feeling well when he snapped, and friends forgive each other. You might also consider being a little less forthcoming with the home remedies.

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