20 December 2009


(Photograph copyright 2009, all rights reserved.)

Oh, the holidays! A time for rejoicing! Presents! Getting together with family! Presents! Stress! Angst! Presents! Fussing and fuming and fretting! Ah, to heck with all that. I've got a Christmas poll going over at One Messy Lady, if anyone's interested in venting.

All right. I'm late. The most devoted of us (I'm looking at you, Smag), read the letters, come up with terribly clever answers and witty bon mots to delight the heart of anyone who finds smarmy seriousness tedious. Then they post them on Thursday, seemingly within mere minutes of reading them. Now THAT'S devoted. I, however, seem to lack the facility and time to do this on the spur of the moment. I need time to digest, to research, to get my shit together...

But oh, look! While I was doing all that, some wit over at Slate decided it would be nifty to change the order of the letters and write a new headline! Why could that be, I wonder? Could they.....could they.....be hoping that they'd get more hits if people thought there were NEW letters? Have people stopped reading the actual letters and just skip right on to the Fray? Could it be that since we all moved here, fewer people are going to the DP Fray at all?

Inquiring minds and all that. In the meantime, I'll be answering the letters as they appear today at Dear Prudie

1. You know I try to be at least somewhat fair here. If there are serious questions being asked, I at least TRY to look at both sides and all that. But...but...what was it you wanted to know again? Oh yeah..... Your buddy asked you to lie to his wife, you said you wouldn't, now you're wondering what to say if she asks about the alibi you're supposed to provide so your so-called "friend" is off boffing whoever's available...is that pretty much it?


What is your major malfunction? Why are you asking the internet lady about this in the first place?

You told your friend you wouldn't lie. You told your wife about your "friend" asking you to lie. And NOW you're wondering if that was a good idea in the first place?

You CLAIM to be a friend to both of these people. Don't you think your friend deserves to at least have an inkling that the guy she married is screwing around and possibly becoming a walking disease vector or knocking up some bimbo? Don't you think SHE deserves a chance to try and either salvage the marriage or make a clean break BEFORE she spends years thinking that all is well, only to be abandoned after wasting decades of her life on Mr. Easy-Sleazy-Diseasey?

Clearly the whole "keeping your word" thing is beyond you. Your friend is banking on that. He's betting that you were all talk when you said you wouldn't lie for him and that he can count on you to be a coward. He's USING you, idiot! Why not just give up now and change your name to Patsy? Get it over with!

Here's what you need to do. Tell your "friend" to get lost. Friends like this you don't need - nobody does. THEN tell his wife the whole story. ALL OF IT. She may choose not to believe you, she may hate you for telling her, she may already know what's going on. That's not your call to make. Your obligation is to tell his wife (or, if you're a total chicken-baby coward and the fact that you wrote the letter in the first place would tend to support that hypothesis) or get YOUR wife to tell HIS wife.

She needs to know what's going on. Man up and help the friend that HASN'T betrayed your friendship and trust by asking you to lie.

2. HAHAHAHAHA! No diapers on TWINS?! Oh, stop it! Seriously, I gotta pee! It's ok, I'M trained! Hahaha! No, no really, I can't take it any more! *sniffle* *snert*........gigglegigglegiggle..... Ahem. Right. *snort*

Ok. But that's not the question. You want to dictate to your friends what presents they're allowed to buy your twins for shower gifts at the shower you're throwing for...yourself!


I have to address the diaper thing. I assume your intent is to follow the Elimination Communication fad? Hmm. I read some of the stuff on that web site. Then I had to take a break because I was laughing so hard....again. In fact, if you just Google "Elimination Communication" you'll find all KINDS of sites, blogs, "learned" dissertations, in fact, everything you ever wanted to know about letting your child shit at will while you try and "sense" when he/she "wants" to go.

It's the testimonials that kill me. All these (sorry guys) women rabbiting on about how "close" they feel to their babies and how "meaningful" their interactions are and how happy the babies are to be dangled over a toilet like a newly hooked fish over the hole in the ice. Whatever. It seems to me that anyone who's hunting that hard for a reason not to interact with other adults has issues that are WAY beyond anything I can deal with here.

There are a LOT of reasons why this is a bad idea. Yes, it's true that most kids around the world don't use diapers. As a physician that posts to the Fray said, most of the kids in the world have a better than even chance of getting cholera, typhoid, e coli poisoning, salmonella and all of the other nasties that come from being surrounded by shit. A whole lot of those kids die because of it, too. Basic sanitation has saved more lives in the past 150 years has saved an incalculable number of lives.

But wait, you say! MY house is clean! Kids are washable! Sure. Of course. For now. This is where you enter the realm of fantasy, my friend. I'm getting the distinct impression that you have no idea of the sheer tonnage of shit ONE baby can generate, let alone two! And baby poo is probably one of the nastiest substances known to the universe, too. For one thing....it's GREEN, it's stickier than superglue and smells worse than the world's worst Superfund sites. Plus, and you're going to LOVE this one... the ability of a baby to smear shit on every surface in a single room has NOTHING to do with the level of their mobility. That's right, even a completely helpless newborn can liberally beshit furniture, doorknobs, parents, pets, clean laundry, and cars with no apparent effort. And that's when they're ALREADY wearing a diaper!

In any event...you're in for some surprises. All parents are, even those that have done the baby thing before. It's ok. And when you spend that first night getting up to feed the twins only to find that you're up to your elbows in excrement, which means stripping off the kids, the cribs, doing all that laundry, and scrubbing down all the hard surfaces with bleach (babies DO have gut bacteria, and it doesn't matter where it comes from, e coli makes everyone sick) while your partner wields the formula bottles and tries to get them back to sleep. Just as you put them down, you will be showered in pee and barf and have to do the whole thing all over again.

No one will want to see you on their doorstep because no one wants their furniture to look and smell like yours...barnlike with a faint pong of sour vomit and organic poo. I predict that within twelve hours of your joyous arrival home, the local 7-11 will run out of Pampers and you'll be on the phone to a cloth diaper service, BEGGING them to make an exception and deliver before morning.

It's ok, though. Kids are tough. Probably yours will survive even YOU.

Now, as to the question you asked. Well, it's tacky to throw your own shower in the first place. You probably know that, and if you didn't, then your mother severely neglected your etiquette education, so it's not your fault. If you want to make people do what you want as far as presents go, then get someone else (NOT you and NOT your partner) phone around with registry information. Be warned, though. Not everyone will obey. People are funny that way. No matter how ridiculous YOU think the present is, you do not get to sneer at it, throw it in the trash (The landfill? For shame!) in front of them.

Wow. All that unsolicited advice. I'm REALLY GLAD that I have no children, because I'd probably start smacking people who tried to tell me how to raise my kids...

3. I'm sorry about your mother. It must have been very difficult for you to go through that by yourself. Why are you wondering what to do about your thieving aunt, though?


.. and think for a second. Are you ever going to be able to look at this woman again without wanting to smack her? Like Prudie said, there's no chance for any kind of relationship there again. So put that out of your mind. You don't care if you offend her in the least, and you don't want the sort of person in your life that would take advantage of her own sister's death to make a few bucks.

Your aunt is an evil, conniving, miserable waste of skin. If she'd been drowned at birth, the world would have been a sunnier place. You're right. Stop feeling guilty about thinking that's what she is, because you're right.

What can you do? That's the problem, isn't it? I'm guessing that your financial situation, while not dire (you would have mentioned that) is not exactly terrific, either. The medical expenses alone have to be pretty bad, and I know what a funeral can cost. It's outrageous. That had to be a real hit to your pocketbook, you're going to take awhile to catch up, and the whole idea of your aunt keeping that money must make you furious. I get that, too.

You need to tell someone, someone who has more clout with the family than you do. Is there another aunt or uncle that you would feel comfortable trusting with this? How about your mother's friends? A grandparent? A lot of people just don't understand just how expensive things are and how much is left over to pay even with insurance. When you find someone you can talk to about it, show them the invoices. Let them know just how much money you're out. Tell them everything, then sit back and wait for the fallout.

I know there were people on the Fray telling you that you should just "live and let live" and "go along to get along". Some were telling you that you "have" to keep peace in the family, that you shouldn't rock the boat and so on. A few even told you to get over it because you'll make that money back in the end anyway. They're wrong. If families can't be frank with each other, they have no business calling themselves "family" in the first place.

Your aunt does not deserve to get away with this. Your mother did not deserve to be used that way. Neither did you. You need that money. If you can't actually get the cash, then the entire family deserves to know just what kind of person your aunt is. No doubt she's playing the angel right now, basking in the glow of her "charitable" act while planning the purchase of her new waterbed, large screen TV and Corvette.

4. You're spending Christmas Eve with your parents, who you KNOW always go to church that night. You invited your boyfriend to spend Christmas Eve with your family, KNOWING that going to church is part of the deal. You TOLD your boyfriend that when he spends Christmas Eve with your family that going to church is expected.


I was inclined to cut you some slack, knowing that you're barely out of teenagerhood and not yet versed in all of the ways that adults behave. I really was. But you started out telling us that you plan to marry this guy one day, so I decided to treat you the way you're acting. Like a childish and clueless adult. So there. No one's asking you to like it.

A lot has been made on the Fray about this whole atheist vs. christian thing and how you two should break up now because it will never work between you. I cry bullshit. In fact, anyone who tells you is suffering from a severe case of cranial-rectal inversion. If anyone ever tells you this to your face, ask them to substitute "white" and "black" for "atheist" and "christian", then tell them to


If they don't get it, then to heck with them. They don't deserve your time.

Whew. Now. This is not a religious problem. This is not (really) a dating problem. This is a simple matter of etiquette. Ready?

Right. See, you told your boyfriend what the activities will be for the evening. If he were REALLY uncomfortable with the whole "going to church" thing, then he SHOULD have declined the invitation and offered to meet your parents another time. He didn't do that, therefore he has to participate in the evening, sit through a church service (no one has ever actually DIED of boredom) and get over himself.

See? How easy was that?

Now you go on, and here is where you show your age. First you say that he'll go if you ask him to. THEN you go on to say "I don't think it's my place to force him."

You aren't "forcing" him to do anything. You didn't "force" him to agree to the invitation. He CHOSE to attend. Part of that is going to church for a couple of hours. Tell the boy to suck it up and deal. A couple of hours out of his life for the potentially lifelong good will with your parents? No contest.

Oh, and give your parents a little credit, why don't you? They aren't stupid, and I'm betting that even if your light'o'love decides on the rude and churlish action of staying home in front of the TV while everyone else is at church, they won't pitch a fit or yell at him. They MAY say something to you, but that's when you have to make a decision. Whose opinion is more important to you - the guy that you're planning to spend your life with, or the parents that you don't even live with any more?

04 December 2009


(Photograph copyright 2009, all rights reserved)

Oh my, these are some terrible letters this week - this could end up being very short.... However, the originals can be found as always at Dear Prudence .

1. You're doing well, your friends not so much. So far this seems not to have been much of a problem, and at your age a lot of this is time-related. Some of those friends will eventually do well, perhaps even better than you are. Some won't. You know it, they know it and all will be well. But that's not the issue, is it? Money is coming into a couple of these friendships because your boyfriend...well, he screwed up. Tell him to


about the whole thing. The damage from his unthinking offer to turn friends into employees can be mitigated, but only he can do it and he has to do it NOW. It was actually pretty thoughtful for him to try and replace a bad cleaning lady for you. It's just that his alternative wasn't the wisest. Prudie was right. The only way out of this is for your BF to tell your friends that he made a mistake, that you hired someone else to clean house when he wasn't looking. Yes, it will be a lie and you'll have to clean yourself until you find someone, but it will be a kind and sensible lie, won't it?

As some wise person on Slate pointed out, if your friends do a lousy job, how are you going to fire them without hard feelings? The answer to that is you can't. Also consider that these people are your friends and point out to your boyfriend that cleaning people know EVERYTHING about your house. Do you REALLY want people you socialize with to know that your bedroom floor is covered with underwear or the hi-jinks that go on elsewhere in the house? There's no point in hiring anyone if you're just going to run around tidying up before they come over. Yes, they probably could use the money. But you are perfectly within your rights to say that you'd rather have friends stay friends instead of well, employees.

You've been taking a kicking on Slate because some people who don't earn the kind of money you and your boyfriend do can't resist trying to "take you down a peg". It's pure envy and spite from people who don't have the energy and drive to do what you do. You have my permission to ignore that crap. The two of you worked hard through school and got the jobs that everyone wanted. People who have no drive or ambition love to whine about how "snobbish" it is to hire a cleaner. If you talk about your life, they'll accuse you of bragging. If you go on a vacation, they'll call you a snob. They seem to think that you've been sitting on your ass for your whole life. You know that truth. No one is handing you money to do nothing. You earned it, it's yours, and you have nothing to apologize for.

As for finding a new cleaner... I don't have a lot of advice for you, but I think your best bet is to ask around and try to get names from people who love their cleaners and see if that person can get you in the schedule. Once you find someone who's really good, you'll half kill yourself to keep them happy.

2. How many lunch thieves are there, anyway? Millions, I bet. Zillions, too. How do I know this? I'll tell you. It's because every person who has ever worked in any kind of office (even me) will happily regale you with tales of some sticky-fingered individual who carries out sneaky commando raids on the office fridge. I'm sure that many people are dancing with glee at the very thought that someone in your office actually caught a culprit! I seems a rare and beauteous thing, doesn't it? But is it, really?


for a moment and consider. Offices are closed spaces and the tiniest things (stapler anyone?) can come to seem like monumental disasters. Tiny slights are magnified into huge offenses. Something as simple as a snort or giggle can lead to murderous thoughts. In some peoples' minds, the way a pencil is sharpened, the tuneless hum of someone at the copier, or the loudness of a keyboard stroke can become firing offenses.

So stop and consider..... Yes, the lunch thing is irritating. When this started happening where I worked, I invested in an insulated lunch box with it's own cold pack which I stashed under my desk. Easy. I wish more people would do that, life would be simpler. It's a solution.

But your lunch thief has been busted. Not only is she your friend, but she's also a financial guru for your firm. Dangerous ground. Very dangerous. How close a friend is this woman? Can you tell her she's been busted? If you think you can, talk to her about it AWAY from the office. Mention that someone saw her going through the fridge, ask if she was looking for something and mention that some people think she's a lunch-jacker. Then LEAVE IT ALONE.

A lot of people are yapping about going to HR, some think she should be fired on the spot because I guess touching a baloney sandwich is not only a hanging offense, but guarantees that she's raiding company coffers and stashing millions in her Swiss bank account and probably has her own personal pirate ship that robs unwitting Carnival Cruise people of their booze tickets.... but none of that matters. If you aren't close enough to her to talk about it outside of work, then stay out of it. SAY NOTHING AT WORK. It's none of your business.

3. "I am not a germophobe." Give me a break here, lady! Do you really think that H1N1, the plague, the seasonal flu and the common cold are going to just vanish off the face of the planet because YOU can force others to wash their hands when they leave the loo?


And that's what you should do. Not because, as many people explained to you in detail, there are germs everywhere. Not because there's any real hope of eradicating all communicable diseases if people obey you. No, you need to keep your mouth shut because you sound like a nut case! Who are you kidding when you claim you aren't a germophobe? Seriously.

I can see you now, a silent, lurking presence in the washroom, just waiting for someone to hit the door instead of the sink after they leave a stall. What were you planning on doing? Leaping out of the stall with a clang in your pink tights and bubble cape and beat them over the head with a large bar of Ivory? Pushing the button on an air horn and following them around yelling "Dirty, poopy hands! Don't let this person touch anything!" as if anyone but you cares?

You're going to have to find something else to obsess about before someone either drowns you in a bathroom sink or has you hauled off to the booby hatch. I hear there's a lunch-jacker in your office. Best get a few surveillance cameras and a Taser to take care of that one.

4. Schizophrenic brother, check. Hitchhiker that vanished with the sun, check. Long-held suspicion that your brother is a murderer, check. Boring life as toilet supervisor/lunch room surveillance officer, check. No drama in your life, check. ....


No really. I have no advice here. Just ...just.... SHADDAP! already. Either you're a phony or a nut, but either way no one is interested in hearing this crap.

Ok ok ok. I'll give you some advice. I recommend that you buy your old family home and quit your job so you can dismantle it piece by piece looking for blood or body parts or some kind of evidence that the hitchhiker was killed in the house. By the time you're done, I expect to see nothing more than a pile of sticks and another pile of gravel because you'll also have to take apart the foundation and dig under it, too.

I recommend also renting a backhoe and digging up the yard looking for bodies, too. You never know who else your brother killed, right? While you still have the backhoe and under cover of night, you need to go to that park that your brother "dropped" the guy off at and dig that up, too. If you manage to do THAT and not get caught, then you're going to have to dig up every ditch and yard along the way to the park and inspect all of that dirt, too!

Eventually you'll be caught of course - the police are death on people who tear up parkland and destroy entire roadways. No one would convict you of an actual crime, you understand, because you'll be so overwrought by then. You won't get away with it, though. So when you're alone in said booby hatch and your now-healthy brother comes to visit you and asks if you killed that hitchhiker so many years ago... you can babble and drool into your straightjacket and hope to get into a halfway house some day.

22 November 2009


(Photograph copyright 2009, all rights reserved)

I made it before Monday! Woo hoo! I'm still posting late, but not AS late as usual. Doesn't that count for something?

Oh all right. I'll admit it. The Boy has H1N1, so we're stuck in the house for a week. Neither of us are terribly ill - he's on Tamiflu and I think I've already had swine flu this spring - but the fact remains that we can't be in contact with the rest of the world until next weekend. So far we've managed to get along all right, but I wouldn't guarantee that's going to last. Two highly opinionated people locked in a house together? Yeesh.

So here I am on this freakishly beautiful fall day (Temps in the 50s, sun shining, etc.) trapped indoors and thinking that this is the perfect time to discuss the letters at Dear Prudence .

And what do I see in these letters? ALL of them were written by women who embarrass us all with their seemingly slavish adherence to nasty stereotypes that most of us try to stay as far away from as we can.

1. The Hyper-Feminist Who Sees Everything as a Threat and Hits Back First.

You don't want to be in your fiance's family portrait. Right. A lot of people have called you on the carpet over this. They've called you immature, bratty, childish, controlling, a bitch, and a whole lot of other nasty words. As far as that goes, they're right, it IS a childish and stupid thing to do at this point, so


...for a second and pay attention.

Have you given any thought to what you're actually doing here? Is this really the line you want to draw even BEFORE you marry this man? Seriously? See, love is a funny thing. It leads us to do things that we otherwise would never consider, like making snow angels or spending money on quirky gifts and expensive meals. That's all right. It's the way it should be.

But loving someone and making a life with that person means a whole lot more than that. When you love someone, really love them, compromise is what will keep you together. It's a lot easier when it comes to trivial things - he likes depressing movies, you like musicals, for example - but there are some things that are deeply engrained that you will have no choice to accept because they could be deal breakers.

This is where the family portrait comes in. This is something that your fiance has been participating in probably since before he was even born. His family is important to him, the photo is important to them, and that's the way it has always been. If you want to marry this man, then you have no choice but to accept that he will ALWAYS be attached to his family because they love each other. That's it. You don't have the right to interfere with that, and you will never be able to stop him from loving his family. Sorry, kid, but thems the breaks.

So what's the big deal? Did you have a crappy family, is that why you're so terrified to belong to his? Has anyone in his family done anything to harm you or make you feel as if you're intruding? I doubt they have, by the way. It sounds like they've been kind to you and they're excited about the wedding. What's so wrong with that?

This hostility you have is really strange. Why so emotional about not taking your fiance's family name? Has anyone demanded that you do? It's bog ordinary for women not to change their names when they marry, you know. The fact that you're so hostile to the idea rings false to me. It looks like you're hunting for an excuse to be angry.

This business of "cutting the umbilical cord" is frankly bizarre. Who said that you can't have your own family traditions? Did someone in his family take you aside and tell you that you and their son would be chained in the basement during holidays, so you couldn't do your own thing? Why are you so threatened by the idea of being included in their family activities? Yes, they're HIS family, not yours. If you want to marry this man, again, his family will play a part in your life whether you like it or not.

I know you say that being in the picture is "...making me sick and filling me with anger." That's not the problem, though, is it? No, you're terrified at the idea. It scares the bejesus out of you that getting married is NOT just about you and your fiance, it's about ALL of the members of both of your families. I don't think you quite comprehend that being married means being accepting, compromising and understanding that you aren't going to spend the rest of your lives staring into each other's eyes.

In fact, I would posit that what you're REALLY scared of is getting married in the first place. You are clinging so hard to what you think of as your independence that you can't bring yourself to understand that independence doesn't mean isolating yourself from the rest of the world. That is YOUR problem, not your fiance's and not his family's. Until YOU deal with your issues, don't marry this man. You can't love him and be so terrified of life at the same time. He deserves better.

I think you're sabotaging your engagement because at some level, you don't think you can handle being married. Of course, I could also be wrong. Look at it this way. If you continue to try and drive a wedge between your fiance and his family, you are not going to come out the winner. Eventually, he'll get tired of your isolation tactics and find someone who is accepting and kind and respects that he has a right not to be ordered around and manipulated.

2. The Desperate Divorcee - Anything for a Man.

You can't see it, but I'm shaking my head right now. It's a combination of disbelief and despair at the way some women manage to convince themselves that being married to someone, ANYONE, is better than being on their own. No matter how rotten a guy is, no matter what dangerous, illegal or downright creepy things he's into, there's always some woman who manages to convince herself that "deep down", he's a "good person", or "it's just a front" and he's a kind and gentle guy. I get it, I do. I think it's an exercise in futility and a stupid thing to do, but I understand where it comes from.


You raised your kids alone. Great. I'm sure they're lovely human beings. I also know darn well that being a single parent is a lonely, lonely thing and that it's hard to be the only one in authority, the only one who is responsible. Many single parents would do anything to connect with someone just so they can come home and talk to an adult after work.

What are you doing with this guy, then? You say he's "Mr. Right", but you know that no one's perfect. You claim he's your everything and you want to spend your life with him...but something bothered you practically from the start, didn't it? That squiggly feeling in your gut just wouldn't go away, would it? There was always something just a little bit off.....and you convinced yourself that it was nothing because you were (I gotta say it) desperate not to spend the rest of your life alone. You were willing to put up with whatever weird, creepy thing this guy was into for the sake of a warm bed at night.

What was it? Was he a little too nice? Did his sincerity strike you as somehow false? Did he spend just a little too long hugging your daughters? What about your sex life? Not quite what you expected? Maybe he was just didn't seem into it all that often? I'm sure it was all very subtle - maybe cell phone calls that he left the room to answer or just a little too much time on the Internet after you were in bed at night. Whatever it was, you felt it, and you felt the need to check his computer to either confirm your suspicions or make them go away.....

You know that snooping is wrong, but there was some little niggling doubt in the back of your mind.....

So you found out you were right. "Mr. Right" is actually "Mr. Creepy". There is nothing "normal" or even vaguely acceptable about him having nude photos of his stepdaughter on his computer. Your instincts are right on the money. His excuses strike you as nonsense, too, especially that twaddle about how he photoshopped the clothing out of the picture out of curiosity. Eew. Just the fact that he wanted to see this young lady in the nude is creepy and the reason he gave - creepy again. What sane person wants lingerie shots of herself taken on her wedding day by her stepfather? Yuck and double yuck on that one!

I don't think you need to worry about your granddaughter. Your "Mr. Right" isn't interested in children. If I were you, I WOULD be worried about your daughters, though. "Mr. Right" seems to have a thing for very young ladies. Younger than you. In fact now that I think about it.... why do you think he married you in the first place? Could it be that it was the fastest, easiest way to get access to your daughters?

You aren't being paranoid here. There is nothing wrong with you. There's a lot wrong with HIM, though. If you stay with this guy, if you let him convince you that you were hallucinating just because you have convinced yourself that any guy is better than none, then you are a fool, madam. Your gut is telling you to jettison this loser. SO LISTEN TO IT.

3. The Florence (I've Got You in my Clutches) Nightingale.

Patients fall for doctors, doctors fall for nurses, nurses fall for..... terminal patients? Um. Ok. I guess. Sort of. You say (and I'm quoting you directly so I don't get this wrong), "But I want to be happy with someone, and he has every right to want the same, too."


Ooh. Twit. Yet another woman who's managed to convince herself that a guy is absolutely THE ONE, even though in this case....he doesn't even know your NAME.

You know this is a crush, though. This guy doesn't know or notice you, or he would have said something, anything to get your attention. Still, after seeing that he's on a dating site, you've decided that he HAS to be the love of your life. Mind you - the only conversation you've ever had consisted of you asking him if Tuesday was all right for the next appointment...

So you want to contact him? Knock yourself out. A whole lot of people (including Prudie) have speculated that you're into the whole idea of being with a guy that's dying, then spending the rest of your life sighing and moaning about your lost love (which you knew about ahead of time). Are you hoping it will make you interesting in the future, so that you have an actual excuse to spend the rest of your life whining and not have to do anything about it because you had True Love and lost it so tragically (but predictably)?

Maybe it's even appealing to you that if you succeed, you'll have complete control over every aspect of his life and better yet....there's nothing he can do about it! Ooh, that would be keen, right? You'd be in total control over everything - from his pain meds to his bowel movements. Is that what you're into?

So I say go for it. Contact him on that dating site. Chances are that once he realizes who you are and that you've been staring at him for YEARS, he'll be so creeped out that he'll change doctors just to get away from you. I'm guessing that a guy who's trolling dating web sites who KNOWS that he hasn't got long to live is just looking to get laid as often as possible before the end. If he DOES buy into your fantasies, so much the better, right?

4. The Freaked Out Little Girl Who's Afraid of Behaving Like an Adult.

I said it last week, and I'll say it again. Thanksgiving as a holiday seems to have rooted in the collective mind of this country as the absolute most CRUCIAL DAY of the year. People kill themselves in driving in snowstorms to get to Grandma's house for a dried out turkey and sauce out of a can KNOWING that they're going to be re-living every single scrap of sibling rivalry, every creepy moment of of the time that pervert of an older cousin felt them up under the table, every story that Gran has to tell about the potty training and bed wetting of her adult kids and so on and so on...

But you have a different goal, and it's a good one. So why the angst?


Having the parents meet over a festive meal? Good idea. At least they'll all be on their best behavior, right? And they'll have to meet sometime. Ok, I know it's the creepy uncle thing that's got you going, so here's my advice on that.

I know this scary dude got invited to your home without you knowing about it. I'm guessing that your boyfriend's father asked HIM if it was all right to invite Uncle Scary Dude and your boyfriend said yes, then forgot about it. That was it, right? Thought so. The gun thing would bother the heck out of me, too. Judging by all the comments people have made about it you and I are NOT in the minority on that one.

You can't disinvite the guy. It's your boyfriend's house as well as yours and he said it was all right. So you're stuck. What you CAN and SHOULD do is have a chat with the man who okayed that invitation. Tell him that it's no big deal that you have to feed an extra person. You know you're going to make too much food anyway. What you have to let him know is that you just won't tolerate a gun in your house.

This is not an unreasonable request, and if you don't have hysterics when you bring it up with your boyfriend, you will get your wish, or at least a reasonable facsimile of it. Either Uncle Scary Dude will refuse to show up if he's not armed (breathe a sigh of relief), or his brother will talk to him and he'll leave his gun in the car. This is only a big deal if you allow it to become one. If you let everyone know that those are your rules in a calm and quiet manner, then people will respect that.

Now, as for the "meeting of the parents"...I think you've blown that WAY out of proportion. Both sets of parents are adults and they do know how to be polite. You can trust them to behave with no help from you. If they can't bring themselves to behave, THEY'RE the ones who are going to look like morons, not you. I'm assuming that this dinner is being held in contemplation that you may marry your boyfriend one day (expecting a ring for Christmas, maybe?) and you want the whole group of parents to at least partly know each other. A noble, if wrong headed goal.

Why wrong headed? Well, you and your boyfriend are potentially marrying EACH OTHER and NOT living with your families. Each of you will have to get along with the other's family - even if you don't take his name and want to avoid the family photo - for the long term. Your respective parents are not necessarily going to become buddies because of this. In fact they may not like each other at all, and it doesn't matter. After all, when the wedding's over with, they never have to be in the same room again. It's true. You'll never have to worry about them getting along because it's just not that important that they do!

16 November 2009


(Photograph copyright 2009, all rights reserved)

Disclaimer: I am not a counselor, doctor, therapist or otherwise qualified to give people any real advice. I've been around the block a time or two and I hope I have a little common sense, but I don't make any guarantees, even in the advice I give myself. This whole exercise is strictly for entertainment (and if no one reads it, just for MY entertainment) and should never be taken seriously by anyone, ever. I'm just your average smart-aleck writing a weekly parody.

The letters are from Dear Prudie .

(By the way, the critter in this week's photo is Sarah. In the past two minutes, she has toasted her brains under the halogen desk lamp, tried to add her own comments here to the blog (I deleted them, she's rude) and is now draped around my shoulders, purring so loudly I can't hear myself think. You'd think we never pay attention to them....)

1. Wow, you have an answer for everything, don't you? That's not a compliment, either. KNOWING an answer and HAVING one are two entirely different creatures. In your case you're trying desperately to convince yourself that they're the same, but you know they aren't....


You say that "I have always believed I am plain." Ok, let's go with that. Where did you get that? If you've always believed it, someone told you that in the first place because no child is born convinced that they were "plain" and no child would come up with that word to describe themselves. So tell me, what abusive jerk spent years pounding you with the "you're plain" nonsense until you actually came to believe it?

If it was a family member, then cut that person out of your life for eternity. They have never had your best interests at heart. If it was a former boyfriend, let me be the first to tell you that abusive men say that stuff ALL THE TIME. They aren't saying it because it's true, they say it because they want to make sure that you never make the effort to find out if there are other people who aren't slimeballs like they are. It's one of the ways abusers control their victims. So there.

So, you go about telling the world that you're miserable because of your looks and your looks alone. Your friends, you claim, are just being nice to the ugly girl when they tell you different, but you "know" they're lying. Right. So tell me again why you "know" they're lying? Oh right, you can't tell me that. Because THEY AREN'T LYING. See, you're such a sad sack these days that if your friends had been lying, they'd have dumped your behind ages ago. They are NOT "trying to make you feel better", they are telling the truth as they see it. You've just chosen not to believe them.

As for flirting, you know you're lying to yourself about that, too. The most successful flirters (is that a word, even?) aren't flirting at all. They're talking to people, holding conversations. All that's required to be a success at flirting is to make eye contact, smile and hold up your end. That's it. There's nothing phony or contrived about it. As for the hair-flinging cheesy bimbo stuff - that's not flirting at all. That's part of the "lets get a room" dance and you know darn well it is.

I suspect Prudie is right when she speculates that you are frumping around and not taking care of yourself. You admit that you've given up. Even though you CLAIM you're taking care of yourself and dressing well, you know you aren't making any effort to be attractive. I suspect that if you WERE making a real effort, you'd look a whole lot nicer than you do now.

But that's all beside the point. You need to deal with this deep depression you're in. You need to unpack all of the bullcookies that abusive SOB (this includes family) who put a bunch of garbage in your head and stop renting mental space to them. Why are you letting them rule your life? Doesn't it make you even a little angry that someone else decided that you should be miserable and you've let them succeed so far?

Now, those "answers" that you have for everything? It's time to stop making excuses and take control of your life. Go to your doctor, ask for a therapist and obey whatever they tell you. No one can do it for you and if you insist on giving up for eternity you really WILL end up alone.

(Disclaimer: I WAS a homely kid, what with the bumpy nose and crookedy teeth, both of which have been dealt with. I am now socially acceptable, but no glamour-babe, never have been, never particularly wanted to be. I DO get irritated with people who sell themselves short. It's usually either false modesty or genuine whining and there's no excuse for either.)

2. Ah Thanksgiving. That holiday from hell!

All around the country, people are whining and complaining about their relatives and preparing to vomit all night because Aunt Sarah's "family tradition" oyster stuffing is traditionally allowed to sit on the counter for WAY too long before it hits the table but everyone has to have some anyway or the resulting tantrum will reverberate for YEARS afterwards. People are girding their loins to deal with the family feuds, the family drunkards, the families composed of drunkards and the foul tempered jerks that are tolerated only because of tenuous DNA connections and the fact that they live far away and are too cheap to make long-distance phone calls. The grannies and aunties will all be there, yelling and screaming about nonsense that happened so long ago that they're the only ones old enough to have been there.

And you married into that. Voluntarily, yet! It's all right, we all marry into the families of our spouses, and I'll let you in on the big secret; ALL families are just slightly nuts. Even the ones that LOOK like the Cleavers. Trust me on this. It's true.

Yup. That holiday where we all give thanks that we only have to see these idiots a couple of times a year is upon us. Whoopee. I was reminded this weekend that all of Canada is laughing hysterically at all of us because THEY had Thanksgiving a month ago and have already decompressed. Smug weenies!


You know what the answer is for your dilemma. Everyone over on Slate has already told you that this year, like the turkey, you are committed to this dinner from Hades. However, one more day of the blaring television, children in bondage and Tupperware hoarding hostess is not going to actually kill you, no matter how much you wish it would.

All is not lost, though. You say you want to see friends as well as family next year. Good on ya! So tell me again what the problem is?

You know what you want to do, so next year just do it. Why do you need permission from the internet lady to put the plan in action? Get your husband on board, invite the family to the open house as well as the friends and let the games begin. I've always maintained that a big mix of people is more interesting than the same old crowd. You know it too, otherwise you wouldn't be chafing to get the heck out of that non-event at your sister-in-law's place.

Plan the open house. Serve the food buffet style, rent dishes, cutlery and glasses and have fun. Get booze, wine, whatever beverages work, and keep glasses full. It's way more fun to nibble, mingle and talk to a bunch of people than being stuck at the same spot on the long table with the same people every year, right?

If your husband's family whines about it, make the usual excuses and tell them you're trying to lessen the stress on your beloved sis-in-law. If they don't come, so what? You know that you're having more fun than they are, right?

Besides, 20 years from now when this has become a tradition and you swear to the Almighty that if you have to cook one more blasted turkey and make one more fifteen pound potato salad that you're going to scream.....you can always wax nostalgic and convince another in-law that it should be someone else's turn for awhile, then go to France or something on that weekend.


Sorry dental assistant. I don't generally start out with the SHADDAP, but how moronic can you be? How complicated is this for you?

You say that you work for a "nice" dentist.....who just happens to be defrauding insurance companies! I know you'd like to think that he doesn't know, but get real sister, HE KNOWS. So


again and pay attention now.

You now have knowledge that a crime is being committed. If someone else finds out what's going on and you are still working there you are JUST AS LIABLE in this fraud as the dentist and his wife. That's right, cookie, you could go to jail! Now, how "nice" is that dentist, really? Do you really think he'll let his wife take the rap for the fraud if he thinks for one millisecond that he can throw you under the bus instead? Get real, kid. No matter how you slice it, you have to tell.

Doing nothing is not an option for you. Period. You have to tell whatever authorities there are that deal with this stuff. Of course, if you report it AFTER your resume is making the rounds, so much the better. So I'll leave you with this:


4. Hmmm. Someone passed out at a funeral. That happens all the time, you know, especially in hot weather or at big funerals. It's not in the least unusual. You did your job, the job you were trained for, and the fuss was over quickly and without interrupting the proceedings... You should be pretty proud of the way you handled it. The best possible thing to do was get the guy to a hospital without creating a hullaballoo and you did it.


But that's the problem, right? Hardly anyone actually SAW your heroics! No one applauded or grabbed a microphone to thank you profusely. It's an ego thing, I'm thinking. When your poor husband made the mistake of asking what went on, you HAD to blow it up to the kind of event equivalent to being the only poor nurse at the bus crash.

I have to start with why the heck was this so upsetting for you if you're a nurse to start with? It's not like you had to deal with a sucking chest wound, fercryinoutloud! Someone fainted. You've never seen anyone faint before? Where do you work, the "We Don't Treat Sick People For Fear It'll Upset The Staff" hospital? Gee whiz, lady, remind me not to go to you if I have a boo boo on my pinkie or something!

What do you do when something REALLY upsetting happens to you? Hysterics? If your usual response is to spend hours and hours repeating every little detail (...he had lint on his cuff....) then little wonder your husband tuned you out. It has to be exhausting listening to you yatter on and on about things that the rest of the world has already forgotten about!

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt for a second here, though. It's a guy thing, too. When men ask for information, that's all they want. Your husband asked you what happened, you told him, and that's all he needed or wanted to hear. He doesn't NEED the exposition, the emo-crud or the tears and he isn't particularly interested in all that because he just doesn't see it as that big a deal. In guy-speak, you were finished as soon as the ambulance guys got there and he only asked you what happened because he didn't actually see it for himself.

See, men want INFORMATION not EXPOSITION when they ask a question. They truly and honestly aren't interested in anything else. It doesn't mean your husband doesn't love you or care how you feel, he just doesn't see this as a big deal.

It's the same with venting. You can stand in the middle of the room ranting about the creeps you work with and you won't get any sympathy for it. What you WILL get is suggestions for dealing with the problem. Because that's what men do. They see a problem and their first thought is not to whine about it or beg for sympathy. Their first impulse is to bitch about it for a second while they're thinking of the solution, then DO SOMETHING about it.

Straight women like you and I and a whole lot of others marry these alien creatures called "men" and we all seem to pretty much thrive, so it can't be all bad, right? Now let the poor bugger watch his game and go vent to a female friend. She'll get it, make all the right noises and you'll feel much better about the whole thing, I promise.


(Sarah, the Golden One, The Pygmy Leopard that Runs Like Thunder has given up on me. She is now lying on a heat vent, smug in the knowledge that even if my feet freeze up here, SHE'LL have a nice warm tummy. (Sigh)

05 November 2009


(Photograph copyright 2009, all rights reserved)

Now, as a matter of scale, I have posted a picture of Nina the Dippy Kitty, Clutzy Girl that Trips on Her Own Tail, sitting beside the same cushion as Louis was leaning on in the previous photo. Note the size difference. Nina weighs 9 1/2 pounds. Lou weighed 28. 'Nuff said.


All right. I know you all expect me to be late. The truth is, for the first time since March, The Boy and I are taking a whole day and a half off. I'm going to meet him in The City By The Bay for a weekend of many and varied hi-jinks, including dinners at three outstanding restaurants; Bar Tartine, Leiola, and A16. I can't wait! There will be reviews over on One Messy Lady next week.

I leave tomorrow morning, and I'm taking time from my desperate packing (Should I take those gloves with the leather bow on the back?) to write this.

As always, the letters are at Dear Prudie .

Off we go.

1. Congratulations! Its so nice to hear that a teenaged girl is taking her sexual fate into her own hands, as it were, and considering what I think is a very wise purchase. Clearly you aren't going to have any trouble purchasing the vibrator you want, and isn't online shopping grand?

However.... do you really think your mother needs to know about this?


And listen a moment....

I know your mother is a nurse. I know she's probably seen and heard it all. (Disclosure: My mother is also a retired nurse, I STILL managed to give her a shock or two.) The thing is, there are some things about you that she not only doesn't NEED to know, she doesn't really WANT to.

How do I know this? Well... put it this way. Does it ick you out to picture your parents having wild and grubby sex in the park? Does the idea of them rolling around in the leaves, spreading condoms hither and yon, yelling with glee and groaning so the joggers can hear them bother you at all? How about the mental picture of your mother using her OWN battery operated friend? You know it totally creeps you out. That's just somewhere your brain doesn't want to go. Admit it. Well, the mental picture of you sporting with a vibrator (let alone a boy) is enough to send your mother around the bend. It's too much for a parent to process.

She diapered you, kid. Even though you're just about an adult now, some part of your mother will always see you feet up on the changing table covered in shit and gurgling with happiness at the success of that enterprise. There is NO WAY she's going to be able to square that with the notion of you masturbating seven or eight times a night. Trust me on this.

I'm a firm believer in the idea that kids should be able to explore their sexuality on their own before bringing a partner into it. Knowing what you want and need is crucial to good relationships. You seem a sensible sort, and knowing that your mother is a nurse, I know exactly what kind of sex education your mom gave you. Nurses are no-nonsense types that have no patience for the bullshit that a lot of other people do. They aren't going to tippy-toe around this topic. I'm certain if you asked her for birth control right now, she'd ask a bunch of questions AND make sure you had whatever you want or need, and in embarrassingly vast quantities.

This talk you want to have? Not so much. Do some reading. Make your purchase. Have some fun. Relax - this IS supposed to be fun. Parents know you're doing it, they just don't want the specifics, and who can blame them, really?

2. A wedding! Oh joy, oh bliss! And wait, there's more! Stupid demands, rampant insecurity, and a total lack of True Love on your part!


...you silly little bitch, and pay attention.

You don't get to have it both ways. You CLAIM you want to spend "...the rest of my life and have a family with" this man, which is all well and good. You PRETEND that you have no problem with IVF or sperm donation if his little swimmers are nonfunctional. Ok. I get that. So tell me, oh silly jackass - if the above is true, then where you you get off demanding a fertility test from HIM before the wedding?

So tell me, genius, what makes you think YOU'RE Fertile Myrtle? Been knocked up before, have you? Did it ever occur to you that YOU might be the one who can't ever have kids of your own? No? Why? You think that because you're still young that there's no chance of you having any fertility problems, ever? Convinced you'll be able to drop'em like puppies? What are you going to do if it's YOU that can't have kids?

The fact that you'd even consider this question means that you don't love this man. If you did, you wouldn't care if he had one leg, one arm, no teeth and a three-pronged dick. None of that would matter to you if you loved him as much as you claim to. In fact, you'd be shouting from the roof tops that you didn't care one way or the other if you have kids or not, as long as he's there with you.

You can't do that, can you? No, you just want to be a uterus with feet for the next few years, and if you're honest with yourself, you're so convinced that you have the right to be Super Mommy and that their father really doesn't figure in to the equation after the initial contribution. Try this. Put off the wedding for a full year. Quit using all birth control now. If you have a baby BEFORE the wedding, you'll know, right? Not willing to make the sacrifice for "true love"?

You haven't the foggiest notion what it is to love someone, little girl. You are, in fact, a jerk. "Jerk", by the way, is a non-gender specific term for "selfish person who tries to control every aspect of everyone's life around him/her for his/her own convenience no matter who gets hurt".

I'd say you qualify.

3. What a little shit you were! I don't actually blame you for being a little shit as a teen. Just about everyone goes through some sort of little shit stage, even those of us who grew up in intact families of sane people. You took it all a little too far, though, didn't you? I'm sure you'll blame your mother for egging you on, but it's not all her, is it?

I don't know what the fuck was going through your pointed head when you tried to commit physical harm to people who cared about you. I don't know how even a vengeful 14-year-old could even contemplate harming a baby - YOUR SIBLING, in fact. I don't care what a bitter bitch your mother was. The simple fact is that you had no right to do any of this.

I will tell you to


...just like your father has.

Pay attention now, and look at this the way your father did. I'll make it easy for you with simple declarative sentences.

- Your father divorced your crazy/insane mother while he was still young enough to have a life.

- He met a NON crazy/insane woman and fell in love.

- He felt guilty about leaving you and tried to keep your crazy/insane mother from destroying your life because you were too young to defend yourself from her.

- He's your father, he loved you, and he wanted you with him so he took you into his home, with his wife and your baby sibling, thinking to make your life easier.

- He tried to help you in any way he could think of, and you spit on his every effort.

So how did you return his love? You committed assault. You verbally abused him AND the woman he loves. You tried to harm his child, an innocent baby who did NOTHING to harm you. He still tried to reach out, and you threatened to lie and make a criminal of him for no better reason than you were a selfish, ungrateful bitch.

You gave him no choice. You backed him into a corner, no doubt trying to force him to choose between his new family and you, and YOU LOST. You know what? Your youth is no excuse. I know that there are a lot of things that maybe could or should have been done, but in the end you CHOSE this course, and you lost. There are no do-overs for stuff like this.

So now what? You apologize and that's supposed to make it all go away? How do you think that works? Do you sincerely believe that one apology is going to make all the ugliness that you created go away and you can make nice again? Sorry. It doesn't work that way. I know a lot of people are telling you to persist - they seem to think that family is family, no matter how shitty people treat each other. They're wrong.

Your father has every right and some very good reasons for keeping you away from his family. You tried to destroy him, his wife, his kids, everything he earned and for what? Because like a million other kids, your parents got a divorce?

He doesn't HAVE to do anything. He doesn't HAVE to respond to your e-mails or letters. He doesn't HAVE to love you. You've proven yourself to be unloveable. He doesn't HAVE to accept your apologies. What you did is so ugly that in his mind, there is no forgiveness for you. He doesn't HAVE to even listen to you. Everything you say probably sounds like an excuse to him, a way to worm your way into his life so you can hurt him again. You put his family at risk to the point where he was frightened enough to send you away. Why should he take that chance with you again, when he has a wife and family who love him, respect him and depend on him?

Listen to your uncle and your cousins. They know your father better than you ever will, and for some reason that you won't disclose, they are still frightened that you might harm him. They were the ones that had to be there when you played your ugly little games, they were around to help him heal from the damage you inflicted, and they will defend HIM. YOU don't count for them any more. Feel free to sent THEM updates about your life. They may or may not pass them on to your father.

In the meantime, only you know how much you've changed. If your father wants to find out if you became a human when you became an adult, then HE'S the one that will contact you. That is his right. You do not have the right to force this on him, and you don't have the right to claim that he's "hurting" you when all he's doing is keeping his family safe.

4. Oh, aren't you just Miss Prissy-Pants Perfect! Why I bet everyone loves you and everyone wants to be just like you! Why I bet that you are single handedly going to bring back the spiral perm and the disco ball! Aren't you just the specialist, darlingest, darling that ever walked the planet. Of COURSE you should be ruling the world, one toilet seat at a time!


I don't know just how crucial you are to your business, but you aren't likely to be there long, given the time and energy you spend on such work- related industriousness as toilet seats and other peoples' socks. I'm sure your boss was thrilled to know how you spend your time on the company's dime.

I also don't have much sympathy for you as far as your co-worker is concerned. After all, you waltzed in, pretended you were doing him a big favor just by being born, and proceeded to hound the poor man about every little thing he does! And don't try to pretend you're the "wronged" one just because of the state of the loo. With your attitude, it's no wonder the guy hates you. In his postition ANYONE would be making that special effort just to piss you off some more.

You may or may be hot shit when it comes to your job. That doesn't matter one way or the other. When you behave like a bitch, harass your co-workers and run whining to the boss every time something happens that you don't like, all you're proving is that you aren't worth having around.

Don't be surprised if the boss decides you're a liability in the near future. Perhaps in this economy you should be making an effort to fit in with and not piss off your co-workers.


Pooham - I did see that photo you sent of your kitty, and he is not just cute, he is stinkin' cute. I'm a fan of cats with oddball markings, and his black dots are wonderful. There's something of a "type" for white cats with yellow eyes, isn't there? Miss Ella is gorgeous, but there are a lot of cats with her general appearance. Let's not tell them, though. Best to let them think they're the best, right?

30 October 2009


(Photograph copyright 2009, all rights reserved)

As always, this post is based on the letters to Prudie at Dear Prudie

Now, this is a parody. It is not to be taken seriously by anybody. It will be unkind (especially this week), and there will be bad language. If you have a problem with that, then move on. If you stay anyway and get up my nose about it, then I will mock you in the way that only MessyONE can mock you. Clearly the "adult content" warning will have flown right past you when you opened this page.

Right, then. Some of you may have guessed that I'm a bit testy this week. Two straight weeks of clouds, pouring rain and gloom will do that to me every single time. Even the cats are bummed out. I've added "scraping the mildew out from between my toes" to my pedicure, it's that soggy around here. You'd think it was Seattle!

It's all right, though. The letters this week are....perfect for me. Yes, yes they're PERFECT! (Insert snort of derision and scorn here.)

1. I hate to say this because everyone and his dog has already told you this, but it seems I have to do it. You're apparently too thick to get it the first 500 times. Your boyfriend is not "great". He isn't even "nice". He doesn't love you, and in fact, he doesn't even like you. He gets off on hurting you, in fact. I'm betting that you "get along very well" when you obey his every whim, even if you don't realize that's what you're doing. So


Now pay attention, twit. What the HELL are you doing here? Do you LIKE being held down and tortured? Seriously. You've told the asshole that you seem to think is super-duper-good-guy over and over, using your words yet, that HE'S HURTING YOU! Worse yet, you already KNOW that he thinks hurting you is fun! Tell me, does he have the best erections of his life watching you scream at him to stop hurting you? Does he "have" to have sex after a torture session? Is he that sick?

What if it weren't tickling? What if his "thing" was to "playfully" smack your bare ass with a fly swatter until you bled, all the while telling you that pain is meaningless if you could just learn to ignore it. That ok with you? No? So what's the fucking difference here?

Did you know that parents have been charged with child abuse for doing to kids what your boyfriend is doing to you now? Do you READ, little girl, or do you just believe him when he says it's all "lies". Tell me, if you piss yourself (a poster on Slate suggested this), does he bother apologizing? Does he clean up after you? Or does he make you clean it up yourself all the while lecturing you about how you need to learn "control"?

See, I think you know you're being abused, otherwise you would never have written the letter. Some tiny little part of your pea-sized brain has registered that this guy is having fun humiliating and dominating you against your will. Your pain makes him happy. He LIKES watching you cry. He thinks that his place is to make sure you know yours, and by God he's happy to demonstrate that in a physical way.

What if you DO learn to control yourself? What then? Tickling you won't be fun for him any more, will it? If you aren't in apparent pain, then that sucks the joy right out of it for him. So what is he going to do next? He's into control and domination (and not in a good way), so what do you think? Maybe lock you in a dark room and let you scream to get out? Would that be enough for him? No? How about if he ties you up and leaves you alone in the house with a camcorder recording your every tear? Think that'll do it for him?

Of course since he likes to get physical, probably the pain needs to be more concrete to him. Likely he'll start slapping you around. Not hard at first, of course. Just enough to make you cry and beg so he can lecture you about "control". Does any of this sound like fun to you, dumbass?

You're not married to this chump. You have no obligations to him. Thankfully you have enough sense not to get knocked up by this abusive SOB (so far) so that you have to see him for the rest of your life. You are an adult. No one can harm you without your consent. Keep repeating this to yourself and GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE.

2. Kid, I feel for you. (I can say "kid", because I'm well over thirty, so there!) It had to be rough, growing up with a drunk for a parent. A lot of people can never move past that - I'm glad to see that you can. It's nice that your mother's been sober, too. It probably saved her life. Too bad for her it's too little, too late. Next time you talk to her, tell her to


I can't help but wonder what in blazes your mother thinks she's playing at now. Does she want to hear about your adolescence because she feels like she missed out on the abuse she heaped on you and she wishes that she remembers seeing your pain? Is she still punishing herself for her own stupidity?

Either way, it's HER problem, not yours. You owe her nothing. I know (better than most) that talking about these things and rehashing the past can make things worse rather than better. Obsessing over past hurts and, contrary to what pop psych idiots will tell you, is NOT necessary for healing. In fact, keeping the memories nice and fresh is the LAST thing you want to do. You have every right to tell her to get lost the next time she asks to hear these things.

Besides, what are you going to say to her anyway? I can think of some things that very likely happened...

- Gee Mom, do you want to talk about how I never had friends over to the house because the stench of old vomit was so ingrained to the house that the reek of it was enough to gag a goat?

- How about all the times I had to strip you off, wipe the vomit off you and put you to bed? Did you want to hear that? Too bad I didn't take photos, right?

- Then there was the out-of-control screaming at me every time you were hallucinating about whatever it was that you were hallucinating about that day. No, you never did see pink elephants. On those nights I put a chair under the door knob of my room, because I didn't like the look in your eye.

- Would you like to hear about there being no food in the house to eat and there not being any money to buy food because you were drinking it all? Or the way you used to steal the money from my part time job?

- How about the prom I never got to go to because you drank my dress money?

- What about the rotten teeth I had to deal with as an adult because you couldn't be bothered to take me to the dentist...or the doctor....

See, you can list all of this stuff off to her, she'll pretend that she's mortified and apologize to you repeatedly. The whole 12-step bullshit talks about apologizing to the people the addict has hurt. Too bad most ex-alkies (and ex-junkies) never seem to understand that they can apologize until they're blue in the face and there are some things that can never be forgiven. In fact, there are things that SHOULD never be forgiven.

It sounds as if your mother wants you to bleed for her for reasons of her own. They don't concern you, and anything you don't want to tell her is none of her business. She CHOSE to check out for the most transformative years of your life. She CHOSE to let you raise yourself. Be assured, you did a better job than she ever could have, drunk or sober.

Her request and her nagging about it are upsetting you. They're bringing up things for you that are better left in the past. I'd also hazard a guess that the mere fact of her nagging sounds just a little like the way she sounded when she was drinking and pursuing answers in ways that only a dedicated drunk can do. Tell her you can't talk about, write about or even mime that stuff for her. Let her know that YOU had to deal with that yourself and now it's her turn. If she can't remember it, then that's too bad. Tell her that it's too painful for you to re-live it all.

Then tell her to stop nagging. She probably has some half-assed therapist who's told her that she "has" to hear these things and "understand your pain". Half-assed therapists like to think that they can help their patients by making their victims suffer some more. In fact, it's a favorite trick of half-assed therapists of this ilk to try and bully their patient's relatives to a session so they can "relearn how to relate". (Can you tell I've heard all of this shite before?) Remember that if she tries to convince you to go with her that none of this is about you or your feelings. It's all about HER, and it's as selfish of her to do that as it was for her to booze her way through your childhood. It's all bullshit.

I know it feels like she's trying to turn you back into that kid that she abandoned all those years ago. But you're an adult now. You're angry with her, and you have the right to be angry. You have the right to tell her to get lost, and you also have the absolute right to limit your contact with her if she persists.

3. Wow. So you're new to "grown-up" entertaining.... the way you talk, you're also new to "potty-training" and "eating with a fork". I bet you were the kid who gave out invitations to your birthday party to all the kids in class. And on some of them you added "don't" to "Please attend". Are you that much of a bitch (and I mean that in a gender-neutral sense, for those that think this is a guy)? I mean you've been all the way through graduate school, so I'm assuming that the number of years you've been on the planet qualifies you as an adult, but...


The answer to your question is "no". No, you may NOT EVER invite half a couple to any event that you're holding. It's NOT acceptable to do that under ANY circumstances. See, no one gives a damn that their significant others aren't significant to you, shithead. THEY ARE A TEAM.

You don't have to like it. No one cares what you think. If you want to stay friends with these people, then you had damned skippy get to know their significant others and make them significant to you, because you don't get to separate couples the way you're proposing to do. I guess you could TRY, but the instant you pop out with "and don't bring your girlfriend/boyfriend/ fiance/e/spouse", you will be off their lists permanently. No one wants to hang out with an asshole who has decided that for the rest of his/her life, he/she will only have ten friends.

I'm guessing that you're going to be spending a whole lot of time alone in the near future. Since you're going to have all that free time, I suggest that you check out about six etiquette books (start with Emily Post and work your way through - you CAN read, right?) and memorize them. Then, when you've recovered from that nasty case of Cranial-Rectal Syndrome you've been suffering from for all these years, you can try again.

4. Oh, aren't you just....special! You adopted one of those underprivileged children that you read about in the paper! Oh, how wonderful of you! How politically correct! How pleased you must be with yourself! Why I bet everyone in your encounter group is just full of praise for the horrendous yet rewarding job you took on! How.....


Jesus lady, if this were a hundred years ago, I'm guessing that you would be spending your life on the Dark Continent converting the Brown People, too. Patronizing asshole.

What's the problem, you didn't qualify for a Chinese baby girl so you made a virtue out of settling for a kid in foster care? That's how it sounds, sugar. I'm sure that poor kid is just thrilled to fucking bits every time you tell her how lucky she is and will send you letters throughout her life "filled with love and gratitude" (Sally Struthers reference, I am that old.).

What part of "she was in foster care" did you miss? Do you have even the slightest idea what it takes not only for a kid to be taken away from a parent, but for that parent to have their rights permanently stripped from them so the child can be adopted? Did you even ASK why this happened?

Personally, I think open adoptions in general are prone to the kind of child abuse that you've been committing for the past seven years. Kids do NOT need to know just how bad their lives could have been if it weren't for being adopted. Older kids - and five qualifies - do NOT need to re-live the horrendous and life-threatening abuse they were subjected to when they were little. I see another half-assed therapist that's made a lot of money off you in the past seven years, you credulous bitch, but I also see a fucked-up twelve-year-old who will suffer for the rest of her life because you took that load of bullshit and forced it down her throat.

She's old enough to stand up for herself now, and she has a right to be listened to. She doesn't NEED to be forced to talk to the crack whore that turned tricks in the same bed she had to sleep in. She doesn't NEED to be left alone with the granny who locked her in a cupboard and half-starved her to death. She doesn't NEED to be around the meth-head father that strapped her until she bled and broke her bones when she disobeyed him.

See, that's the kind of stuff that puts kids in the situation you adopted her from. If the scum that are her birth family stay in contact with her, you will be responsible for all of the pain that comes from that. YOU may "disapprove of the choices" they've made, but SHE is the one that has to deal with them. If you force this issue, there will come a day when she walks out your door and never returns. Nothing about this situation is right, and you need to back down now.

There's time enough for her to have to fend off her hillbilly birth relatives when they come harassing her for money because you were stupid enough to make sure they know where she lives.

26 October 2009


(Photograph copyright 2009, all rights reserved.)

As always, you can find the letters to Prudie at http://slate.com/id/2233031 (ED: fixed your link, sweetie! You owe me kisses...)

(No, I have no idea why my link doesn't work. I don't have the magic for that. Maybe I'll ask for the loan of some from Mermaid or the Oracle.)

Here I am, back again and taking consolation for my ten day cold to the fact that the rest of the population of the City of Wind seems to be snorting and sneezing too. Of course this does not include the folks that have swine flu, which is everywhere. We had a high school close for most of last week. Out of roughly 2000 students, something like 970 were out sick. There was no point staying open with almost half the kids gone.

Now here's where more people should be angry. We are out of vaccine. Completely out. At one clinic, people started lining up at dark o' clock for a 9:30 a.m. opening and they were out of vaccine within two hours. How is that possible? How is it that MASSIVE pharmaceutical companies can manage to screw up this badly? How can anyone explain that a company that can pump out (for example) a kajillion purple pills for limp little dicks every single day manage to fuck up something so necessary that badly? It's not like they didn't have any warning. It's not like they didn't know what was going to happen. So how does that work?

The people that lined up for those shots NEEDED them. There were sickle-cell patients, people with asthma, people in cancer treatment, some of whom travelled by bus for an hour or more, and there was no vaccine for them. Some of these folks could (and probably will) DIE because there was no vaccine for them. There is NO excuse for this.

So I have an idea. All of you, everyone who thinks this is as absurd as I do, start writing letters. Write to your newspapers, your congressmen, your City Councils, the pharmaceutical companies that dropped the ball, everyone who might listen to you. Write to the President. Let everyone know just how appalling this situation is. Ask how it is that pharmaceutical companies can get away with screwing up this vaccine and not be accountable for the deaths that are going to result from it. And make no mistake, there are going to be deaths because of this monumental screwup. All I hear in the press is excuses that I wouldn't accept for a ten-year-old to be late to class!

If you do this, let me know. If someone actually gives you the courtesy of a response, let me know. I'll put them in this space. This is important, kids, and no one should be able to shrug off these horrible consequences. If all we can do is make noise about it, then let's make noise.

Ahem. Off the soap box now. To the letters!

1. Hoo boy. I read this letter twice. First to see if the idea that your fiance's relationship with his sister was really odd, second to see, well, why you put up with this shit for four years. You say that the love of your life plays footsie with another woman, calls you by her name, and knows all of her most intimate secrets, including the ones in her MARRIAGE!


THINK, woman! Who the fuck CARES if the other woman is his sister! Even if they aren't fucking (and who knows, they may or may not have gone there, it doesn't matter) he is giving her the position in his life that is rightfully occupied by a wife. He tells her everything, spends as much time with her as he can, and ignores you when you're with them. No wonder you've tried to distance yourself. Who'd want to be around that much pathology?

Yeah, yeah. I know. A lot of folks over on Slate are willing to make excuses for them. Who the fuck cares? Really? This has been bugging you for FOUR YEARS. How can you even consider marrying this jerk? This is not a situation that will improve after the wedding. After all, your fiance's sister is married, too, and you don't see HER behavior changing. She's still mucking about and spending way too much time with her brother. In fact, I advise you to make an excuse to call her husband and ask what HE thinks of the situation. His answer won't mean you should go ahead by any means, but I would guess that he's a "go along to get along" kinda guy.

You claim that your fiance is "sensitive" and that he accuses you of not liking his sister. Gee, I can't imagine why you don't just adore her! After all....she's so... so... important to him. So what? I'd say he's about as sensitive as a rhino in a thorn bush. He may be touchy about it, but if he loved YOU, he'd do what he could to reassure you. He has chosen not to do that. Not only does he not give a damn how you feel, he throws a little hissy when you even mention it - probably to cover his guilt, but also because you just aren't as important to him as his sister is.

If you marry this guy, you will never really have a husband. You will spend your life fighting for his time to be spent with you and possibly his children, but he will want to be with the woman who really IS the most important person in his life. That's not you. It will never be you. He won't allow it, and neither will his sister.

Get out now. Tell him that you won't marry him, tell him why and tell him that the only hope he has of marrying you is if both of you go for counseling. He's going to refuse, and then you'll be free to find someone who wants YOU as the most important thing in his life and won't allow anyone or anything to get between you. And that's how it should be.

2. So, an accomplished artist did a lovely nude painting of you, gave it to you because he cared about you, and you're willing to insult him by hiding it in a closet with the shoe mistakes and unused sports equipment?


Where in the Midwest do you hail from that a nude painting scares you so much? Are you one of Garrison Keillor's Lutherans who would rather slit their wrists than admit that they didn't find their kids under cabbage leaves? When did you, a woman who happily POSED for a nude painting suddenly get a stick up your ass about showing it off?

I'm guessing you're quite young. I'm guessing you were pretty young when the painting was done. Why do I mention this? Well, if there was ever a time you could attractively bare your ass, that time is NOW. You might have kids, gain weight, start to droop in unattractive ways and in unmentionable places, folds will appear on your once-killer post-adolescent bod, you'll start to see cottage cheese where he saw smooth, inviting thighs and... get the picture? THIS is the time you flaunt what you've got, kid. Because what you've got now is a LONG way from eternal - you'll be envying yourself in that painting before you know it!

Why would anyone ask who's in the painting? Nudes in the thousands hang from walls all over the world. I got news for you, kid. No one gives a damn about the model. They won't ask who the nekkid chick is. They MIGHT want to know about the artist. If the painting is as beautiful as you say it is, then the artist is the one that will benefit if you tell people about him. Frankly, one set of bare boobs is pretty much like every other - it's the artist's skill that makes them worth looking at.

Hang it, tell people who did it, help the poor bugger make a living. You never know. Your ass might make his career, and THAT is something you can be proud of.

3. So you lied to your kid. How did that seem to be a good idea? Seriously, what were you using for brains that day? You think a kid, even one as young as yours, can't smell a parental lie from a hundred paces?


So tell me, moron, how do you think your "little lie" is going to play out over time? Let's say you keep it up and one day she finds out about the lie. You will have single handedly destroyed any trust that your child ever had in you. Everything you will have told her for her entire life is going to be up for questioning, and your cute little daughter will be so angry with you for lying that you may lose her altogether.

Think that's not possible? Really? Think again. How would YOU have felt if your mother "confessed" one day that your father was not your father, but an anonymous one night stand in the alley behind a bar when she was too loaded to know what she was doing? You'd be furious with her, right? Even if you didn't care who the guy was, you'd feel betrayed and wonder what else she lied about. THAT is what you're doing to your daughter.

She may not remember the lie. One day, she's going to bring up the "daddy" question again, and YOU MUST TELL THE TRUTH!

You don't need to go into gory details. All you have to tell her is that her father lives far away and is very busy. THEN you WILL tell her that one day when she's old enough, you will help her get in touch with him IF that's what she wants. You will tell her that he DOES care about her, he just can't be around. Reassure her that its not her fault, it's just the way it is.

Of course....if you don't do theses things and NOW, see the scenario above. It's going to be your life if you don't fix this now.

4. Oh boy. So Granny is a larcenous old bird, is she? I can see why it's annoying. Actually, the whole situation is pretty goddamned annoying, isn't it? This isn't ALL about Granny the Shoplifter is it? There's more going on here than that....


Your situation is not unusual. A LOT of women end up caring for either their aging parents, their spouse's aging parents or both. Sure, right now it's not that big a deal to haul your MIL around once a week, but it's not going to stop there, is it? It never does, you know. Eventually, she won't be strong enough to leave the house. That's when you have to do the shopping for her and take it to her place. Then she won't be able to cook for herself, so you'll either end up cooking all her meals or setting up Meals on Wheels for her. And if she can't cook, she won't be able to clean, either, so you'll either end up cleaning her house for her or setting up a cleaning lady or home health care....

I've seen this happen many, many times, and the way you handle this now is going to have a massive impact on a large chunk of the rest of your life. You will end up running around taking care of your MIL until she dies - and her own children (including your husband) will LET YOU DO IT. Forget anything that you might consider your own life - that's over if you let this situation continue to its natural end. You'll end up hating the old dear for screwing up your life and resenting your husband for letting this go on. You need to straighten up this situation NOW.

Have a family meeting. I don't know how many siblings (if any) that your husband has, but you have to get them all in a room together and make a plan for taking care of their mother. Tell them that you are NOT going to be going over there every day, that you don't have time to do all her shopping for her every single week, and outline what she's going to need as time goes on. Tell them (and make sure your MIL knows it, too) that you will NOT be the person to fulfill her every whim and that you are NOT the first person to call if she needs something.

This is where they'll all start screaming that you "don't have a job", so it shouldn't be a big deal. Let them yell, but don't buy that bullshit for one second. You may love her to bits (I'm guessing not), but you do have a life of your own and you will lose that if you don't fight for it. You do not want to end up hating and resenting all of them and her over this. You are not responsible for the care and feeding of an adult until the day she dies. Make sure everyone is clear on that.

Your situation happens all the time. Don't let it take over your life. You deserve a life, too, and if there's more than one person to shoulder the burden, then make damn sure they do it.

Oh, and the grazing? She's jerking your chain, the old bugger. It's pretty clear that she likes making you uncomfortable, and she knows this is a guaranteed way of doing that. So stop letting her. Take her on the weekly shopping jaunt. Make sure you have a list of what she needs before you leave. When you get to the store, fill the list. If she toddles off to snack for free, turn your back and let her go. All you need to do is fill that cart and get it and her home safely. In between, she can do whatever she wants. Just because she's elderly doesn't mean she can't be a bit of a jerk, you know.

18 October 2009


(Photograph copyright 2009, all rights reserved)

I'm late! This is no surprise to many of you. The fact is that I don't generally get time to post something this long until Sunday or Monday. Of course, this week I also have The Cold From Hell, so my brain just isn't working the way it should. My nose is clogged up right down to my elbows and that's AFTER I took all the cold drugs. It's a sad and sorry thing, kids. The Boy was a couple of days ahead of me on this, so he feels fine now. That is so not fair.

Naturally, my patience goes flinging out the window when I'm sick. How DARE people whine when MY head is about to explode!

1. Oh my goodness! You had the undergrad fantasy, didn't you? You got to screw the hunky professor, pick up a few tips in the bedroom and swan off to try them out on other unsuspecting undergrads with no hard feelings. The professor still likes you enough to (as you say) be your advisor years later in graduate school. It's a win-win all the way around, both of you are content and successful....

You couldn't leave it at that, could you? No, you little ninny, you just don't have enough drama in your life, you have to make some. Is it because you suddenly have an appropriate boyfriend and you're bored? What? All your instincts are screaming at you to fuck up your life and do it now!

As always, if you want this to make sense, you have to read the original letters at http://slate.com/id/2232269/


You'd think that someone in your position would actually USE that brain you're so proud of, but no. No, you have to make trouble when there is none to be had.

So what? You busted out a move to make any man scream with pleasure and want to die in your - um -arms. Ok so far. That's what you SHOULD be doing now. He asked you (probably in jest) where you picked THAT up, not really expecting an answer (because, trust me here, HE DOESN'T WANT TO KNOW) and you said...duh...nowhere...like a goddamned 8-year-old with a pocket of pilfered candy.

NOW you feel what? Like you were "unfaithful" five years ago when you hadn't even met him? Really? You think you "lied" to the guy because you didn't give him chapter and verse on every smooch and yearning look you've ever exchanged with another human being for your entire life? What about that kiss on the cheek you gave Billy in kindergarten? Or the time you and little Sam played "doctor" in the tool shed in second grade? Does he have the right to know that, too? Are you going to give him your masturbation diary so he'll know about every little twinge below the belt you've ever had? Really?

Help me out here. You "love" your boyfriend of one year enough to engage the golden twat, but expect him to think that you had no contact with a member of the opposite sex for what....six, seven YEARS after high school? Do you really think he's that stupid? If he told you that there was "no one" for him in six years, would you believe that shit? Are you that stupid?

See, grownups have sex. Often with several partners before they meet "the one". That's NORMAL. It's ORDINARY. It's even EXPECTED. So please tell me what you think you did "wrong"? Oh, would that be nothing?

Answer me this, too. Do you REALLY want to know your boyfriend's every single sexual move and thought from HIS whole life? I'll give you a hint. If you do want that, you are in serious need of some counseling and probably some anti-psychotic drugs. Because it's none of your business. It didn't involve you, it's far in the past, and if he's with you it's because that's where he wants to be.

So you're willing to give up your career (a little over-dramatic, to be honest) destroy your professor's life (or maybe you WANT to punish him) and "lose" your boyfriend for what? A meaningless confession that has no impact on anything you've done or will ever do? Moron. If your "beloved" boyfriend claims he "needs" to know this, then I have to ask why you're with such an asshole in the first place. It is none of his business.

Don't let me stop you from fucking up your relationship, though. Really. Of course, when normal people need drama, they generally go to a movie. Or read a book. Or masturbate. Or something OTHER than run their mouths for no good reason....

2. My mommy says that your mommy is a big meany and I'm not allowed to play with you any more because my friend said that you have cooties, but I know you're the one with the cooties and you eat your boogers!

Does any of this seem familiar to you? No? Try again. Think hard now, you'll get it eventually. Ok. I'll use a plank to pound the lesson home. But first you have to


Did you re-read that letter before you sent it off to Prudence? Did you? No? Seriously, do you really understand just how stupid that sounds?

Ok. I'll lay it out for you.

a. Your two-year-old calls his/her maternal grandmother Nana. This is the mother of your wife.

b. HER brother doesn't like that because HIS two-year-old calls HIS maternal grandmother Nana, too. This is the brother's wife's mother. NOT the same grannie.

c. HER brother thinks that HIS kid should call his PATERNAL grandmother "Grandma" and he'd like you to force YOUR kid to call the same woman the same name.

Clear as mud. And dumb as a bucket of rocks.

First of all, why are you in this? It's your wife's brother that's acting like an idiot. When he called, you should have told your wife that her brother was acting like an idiot and asked HER to deal with it. You didn't grow up with them, after all. Let them fight it out. They're far better at that than you could ever be.

That aside, you gave your BIL and his wife the sensible answer and told them that no two-year-old is going to get that straight in the first place, but at least the KIDS know who they're talking about. Even if they're in a playpen together, they'll figure it out on their own, with no adult interference. Ok. So leave it alone - and you did.

They didn't leave it at that. This is because they're a couple of morons. You know that too, right? They're idiots who know nothing about little children. You can tell them I said that, too. After all, they'll never find me. It's ok.

It takes TWO parties to make a fuss like this. You told them what you think, your wife concurs - so let that be the end of it. Duh. So they phone you and yell. So? So what? HANG UP. Tell them you aren't going to talk about it any more. If they bring it up in company, say that and leave. YES, IT'S THAT EASY. Just don't engage.

It's all right. This will blow over, then they'll be bitching at you because your kid has cooler sneakers than their kid and you should throw them in the garbage so their (by now royally screwed up kid) will feel better.


3. A divorce letter! Better, an embittered stepmother letter! It's been awhile. I have to savor this for a minute. Hmmm. Yup. It's just as stupid as ALL of the evil stepfamily letters.

I'm confused though. You don't have a dog in this fight. It's your boyfriend's family here. Oh, all right. He asked you what to do, so ok. Now,


and pay attention. This is for your boyfriend, not you.

Your stepmother is behaving like a bitch, your little brother is concerned he'll get shafted in the educational stakes (not an unreasonable concern), and besides, none of you like the woman in the first place because she's fucking Daddy and probably was before the divorce (that part is, to quote Ann Landers, nunuvyerbizness). Gotcha. It makes a twisted sort of sense, even.

Stop and think, though. Why would you confront her? It's not like SHE has a dog in this fight, either! This is between your father and your brother. She can think whatever she wants, but it's not her place to stick her nose into something that was established long before she came on the scene.

So this is what you do. TALK TO YOUR FATHER. Go with your little brother and in a CALM AND STEADY MANNER, tell him what was said and ask if there's going to be a problem with this. 17-year-old kids still have a tendency to get overly emotional and shout a lot and that's not what this situation calls for. All you need to know is what YOUR FATHER intends to do when your brother goes to college.

BEWARE. You may NOT get between your father and his wife. You do NOT get to rant about what a bitch she is, you do NOT get to scream that she's a slut, you do NOT get to rail against the marriage, you do NOT get to rant about how it was so unfair and how your mother will never recover. NO. If you do that, you will lose your father. Got that? HE will stay loyal to the woman he married, not to you. Yeah, it's not fair. Suck it up.

4. Oh bridesmaids! I am SO glad I dodged that bullet. It was easy for me, I left town before any of my friends started to get married. I never had to deal with the ugly dresses, the ghastly hairdos, the ridiculous expenses, getting drunk with strangers at stupid parties.... Did you get that I'm feeling a little smug about this? Oh, you should my friends, you should. I would rather scoop out my own lungs with a grapefruit spoon that go through any of that shit.

Ok, ok, get on to it, Messy, you've gloated enough.

So you agreed to an out of town wedding, spent too much money on the shower, spent too much money on the gift - are we talking in the hundreds of dollars yet? Yes? Ok, then you find out after the fact that the "bachelorette" party that you didn't even want to go to cost less than you actually paid...by sixty bucks.


Really? After all that, you want your sixty dollars back? Are you serious? Why? Why on earth would you compound this whole miserable experience by choosing to get into a fight about money with a bunch of women that you will never see again? Again, I have to say is your life THAT boring that you have to make drama over sixty fucking dollars?

See, I'm having trouble giving you any sympathy. This entire mess is YOUR FAULT. Stop, and listen, twit! Throughout all of this kerfuffle, running around, spending money - you said nothing. You say that you're knocked up and broke, but you NEVER ONCE told the bride (who you claim is a friend) that you just couldn't do it.

Now think hard. What did you think would have happened if you just said no when the bride asked you to do this stuff? She'd never speak to you again? She'd tell all her friends you're a meanie? If so, why would you want someone that shallow and silly in your life in the first place? Did it ever cross your mind to call her up and say, "Honey, I love you and I'd LOVE to do these things for you, but I just can't manage it right now."

No? If you had done this when the bride first asked for your help, she could have gotten someone else to do it, you could have gone to the wedding as a guest and had a lovely time, and all would have been well. It's just not that big a deal!

So what's your plan now? Talk to the bride? That's good. After a lovely wedding you can tell her that her friends are a bunch of assholes. I'm sure she'd LOVE to hear that. You could talk to them, I guess, but in their position I would tell them to show you the door. You volunteered for this, after all.

No, this is the time to SHADDAP, chalk it up to experience and move on. You have bigger things to worry about now. Deal with it.