Life Advice



Ask Amy: Pandemic porch-drinking pal needs push

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: Prior to the pandemic, I met up with an old friend of nearly 20 years three or four nights a week at a local watering hole. We would also watch football together on Sundays at my house.

When the pandemic hit, we all self-quarantined: Me with my college-aged daughter and him by himself. We kept in touch, and when I would order groceries, I would get him food, and deliver it to his back door.

Restrictions were loosened, and we have both tested negative (so has my daughter) for the coronavirus. But now he takes an Uber to my house every night for “porch drinking,” which consists of him drinking large amounts of whiskey (which he brings) and retelling the same stories.

This has been going on for six weeks, every night. One night he came over while I was sleeping, and started drinking and smoking on my back porch.

He arrives with no invitation, and when I have questioned him, he has said he will “never grace me with his presence again.” But the next day, lo and behold, there he is again, with no memory of the previous conversation.

One time I sent him away, and he then claimed he was visiting relatives in another state the next day. Instead, he showed up at my house.


I liked the previous arrangement, at a neutral location. I could go to the bar if I wanted to, when I wanted to, and leave when I wanted. Now I feel trapped in my own home.

What should I do?


Dear Trapped: Your friend seems to have passed through the neighborly sloppy porch-drinker phase and is now parked at the belligerent/blackout drunk stage. In the course of coaxing him off of your porch, you can tell him the truth about his drinking and urge him to seek help.


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