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Dear Urban Diplomat: I was excluded from my best friend’s wedding shower for having Covid

I had to stay home alone while all my friends partied in an undisclosed location

Dear Urban Diplomat: I was excluded from my best friend's wedding shower for having Covid

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Dear Urban Diplomat: My wife keeps stealing berries from our neighbour’s tree

Dear Urban Diplomat, Recently, I promised to host a wedding shower for one of my best friends. A week before the party, I caught Covid, but I was still up for hosting. The day of, after I had spent tons on fancy cheese and drinks, she told me over the phone that I sounded too sick to host. I ended up home alone, imagining all of my friends partying in some undisclosed location. It’s been weeks, and quite honestly, I’m still seething. What should I do? —Cry If I Want To, Rathnelly

In the absence of a masking edict from Queen’s Park, people are left to devise their own Covid policies. Even if you were honest about your illness well before the day of the event, it’s not unreasonable for your friend to change her mind. No one wants to be responsible for a superspreader. If you’re upset about missing out, remember: this is her moment, not yours. If you’re upset about the money, there’s a silver lining—you have enough cheese to see you through to spring.


Dear Urban Diplomat, There’s a mom in my neighbourhood who’s itching to be my friend. I think she’s estranged from her husband and lonely. While I sympathize, I’m not down for the role of void filler. The other day, she asked me to be her son’s second emergency contact at school. (He has some health problems.) I feel bad saying no, but at the same time…no! How do I decline without seeming like a total jerk? —Right of Refusal, The Kingsway

Sometimes the blunt way is the right way. Tell her no, and then tell her why. Is your plate too full? Say so. Are you anxious about taking on the responsibility of someone else’s child? Then tell her that instead. The truth may kill your relationship, but it should also exempt you from any guilt.


Dear Urban Diplomat, A close friend of mine, a gorgeous, successful artist, has shacked up with a man 15 years her senior whom I find insufferable. They’ve been together for less than a year, and he now lives in her condo for free, won’t allow her (a meat lover) to cook meat in her own kitchen and maintains that he doesn’t believe in the traditional framework of a relationship. Somehow, my friend, who very much believes in monogamy, is smitten. I know I don’t have to like the guy, but am I allowed to suggest that she’s getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop? —Labour of Love, Bloorcourt Village

We can, indeed, choose our friends but not their mates. From the portrait you paint, your friend sounds rational and self-assured. She must be happy with his outlook on life even if it doesn’t include meat-eating. Maybe, for whatever reason, she wants the fuzzy end of the lollipop. Or, more likely, she sees something in him that you don’t. Keep an open mind, but also keep an eye on her to make sure she’s okay. If you’re genuinely worried that she’s being exploited, telling her is the right thing to do—even if it doesn’t do wonders for your friendship.


Dear Urban Diplomat, My friend and I have had tickets to Dave Chappelle’s show at Scotiabank Arena for ages. But, since his SNL monologue, wherein he joked about Jewish people—not to mention his prior comments about trans people—I’m no longer sure I should go. I really like Chappelle and don’t think he’s a bigot. But I understand why he can come off as such, and I’m not sure I’d enjoy being in a crowd that supports him for the wrong reasons. I also don’t want to disappoint my buddy. Any advice? —Comedy Drama, Old Toronto

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First, don’t worry about disappointing your buddy. If he is a good friend, he will respect your choice. As for your ethics, the good news is that you have them—but grappling with moral quandaries is the price. Comedians like Chappelle walk a very fine line, and I too struggle to determine when they’ve crossed it. What I can suggest is to weigh out your feelings. If you’re conflicted, err on the side of caution and don’t go. If you regret it later, you can always catch his next Netflix special, at home, sans any rabble.


Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at urbandiplomat@torontolife.com

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