DEAR AMY: My husband of 20 years smokes pot every day, and I hate it. I've always hated the idea of smoking anything — cigarettes or pot. Lately, (because of the pandemic) his pot use has ramped up and now the house smells like weed. I've told him that I don't like being surrounded by the smell of marijuana inside our house. He says I'm hung up on the stigma of it. Maybe so, but he's always known I am not OK with this. For a long time, he hid his pot use from me and was not doing it at home, but now he works from home because of the pandemic, and so I'm bombarded with it. We have children, and I don't want them to be OK with the idea of daily drug use. Am I overreacting and being judgmental? I don't think so. What do you think?
DEAR SMOKED OUT: According to the CDC, secondhand smoke from marijuana carries some of the same risks as cigarette smoke. You have the right to live in a smoke-free environment, and to maintain one for your children.
If your husband has been using pot for decades, the changing legal status of marijuana may have brought him out of the closet and into the living room.
Yes, pot does still convey a stigma for many people, no doubt influenced by the fact that it has been (mis)classified — and still is — as a "Schedule 1" drug, along with heroin and LSD.
However, even if you are personally able to categorize marijuana with a legal drug such as alcohol (though the effects of each drug are quite different), having a partner who is using it daily (possibly during work hours) would make you wonder about the level of his impairment. If he smokes every day, vestiges of the drug are always in his system and he may always be more-or-less baked.
Pandemic or not, your husband should not smoke inside the house or around the children, and you have the right to insist on that. That should be your nonnegotiable.
Otherwise, your husband knows you hate his smoking, and he chooses to do it. You don't need to continue to remind him — he already knows. Once you can achieve a level of detachment regarding his behavior, you will be liberated from some of your anxiety about it, understanding that the only behavior you can control is your own.
DEAR AMY: I work in a popular restaurant, preparing takeout food. We are strict in terms of taking precautions about COVID. But while preparing the food, the chef tastes food with his fingers and then licks his fingers in rapid succession. Even without worrying about the virus, this irks me. What can I do, since it looks like obsessive compulsive behavior, and I need the job.
DEAR TURNED OFF: On the first episode of the first TV cooking competition show I ever watched, the very first contestant was eliminated on the spot for using the same spoon to taste different dishes. I've never forgotten that.
The reasons behind your chef's behavior are less important than the impact of his behavior.
Here's a quote from Bobby Flay: "I always tell my cooks, 'If you're not chewing in the kitchen, you're not cooking. You've got to taste the food as you go."
It is also important that they use a clean implement to do so.
You could try to interrupt this compulsive behavior by saying, "Chef, let me get you some spoons."
I've read that commercial kitchens have a container at each station filled with spoons. When one is used, it is then discarded to be washed or thrown away (many use plastic spoons).
Given heightened awareness of the spread of disease during the pandemic, as well as the important service you and your co-workers provide, it is vital that the owner protect the business by insisting on safe food practices in the kitchen. One visit from the health department could result in shutting down the restaurant.
It would be worthwhile to notify the manager/owner of your concerns.
DEAR AMY: "A Friend" was tired of listening to her friend and co-worker complain about her troubled teenage son. She wanted to wade in and share her opinions about what her friend was doing wrong. Thank you for your response. If this person wants to live in my house and manage my 14-year-old, then she's welcome to it.
DEAR PARENT: I've been there. Remember: this, too, shall pass.