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.
12 October 2009
(Photo copyright 2009, all rights reserved)
For those of you who don't know me at all, this is my very first experiment in blogging. A bunch of us who used to post on Slate Magazine's Fray decided a week or so ago to start our own magazine, so here we are at The Fly, and it's all thanks to Schuylercat, our resident Internet god.
This space is for a lot of different things. I'll be posting my own responses to the weekly Dear Prudie letters here. Please note that this is a parody and not to be taken seriously. Ever. It's just that some people ask such ridiculous questions that I think they need to be told to SHADDAP! This is not meant for children. There will be some cursing and swearing, some explicit answers to explicit questions and occasional nastiness.
If you're planning on taking me to task for saying things that "aren't nice" or that aren't "politically correct", or that you think are "offensive", forget that notion right now. I'll be ignoring those comments. Probably I'll mock you unmercifully for it. After all, I didn't pay attention to you on Slate, so why would I start now?
I do love to hear from people, though. Feel free to say pretty much whatever you want. If you think I'm full of crap, by all means tell me so. I can take it. Then tell me why. I am wrong on occasion (she said a trifle arrogantly), and I know there are a lot of smart people out there, so go ahead.
I'll answer your letters, too. If you really want MessyONE to answer your letter, I will do that. Be prepared, though. I am notorious for giving straight answers that may or may not be what you want to hear. If I think the situation is silliness, I'll tell you straight out. If you think I'll give you permission to do something dumb, you aren't going to get it here. I may well (and probably will) tell you to SHADDAP!
Now I am going to clearly label this for entertainment only. I am not a counsellor. I am not a doctor. I am just a certified smartass with a big mouth and a lot of opinions. if you want serious help, you are not going to find it here. If you want to have good smart-alecky fun, you've come to the right place.
Oh, and the photo is of Miss Ella bo Bella, She of the Beauteous Paws, Queen of the Most Expensive Chair in the House.
I'm going to start here with last Thursday's Prudie letters, since a fair number of people have asked about them. First, go to http://www.slate.com/id/2231720/ and read the letters. Now off we go!
First, I just have to say....Congratulations on having the biggest, most monsterly oversized widdler in the history of the world. I bet you've never, ever peed on your feet in the woods! A noble accomplishment. So often men CLAIM to be hung like a heater hose on a Mack truck. It's a mean trick, because generally it leads only to the triumph of hope over experience, but you are apparently telling the truth.
How do I know this? Ask. G'ahead. I'll tell you.....
It's because your wife has rented a van with one of those speaker thingies on top and she's telling the whole fucking WORLD about marrying a nice guy whose nickname just happens to be GARGANTUA SCHLONG! Your name, or at least your John Thomas, is legendary, dude! The tabloids have long articles every week full of first hand locker-room testimony from people telling the reporters that yes, you ARE that big. Women around the world shiver, just a little, at the notion of inviting you over for...
Finding that a bit embarrassing? Ok. First tell your wife to
...and let her know right now that she is NOT to post photos of your massive member on her Facebook page. Take away all of the cameras in the house at night and lock them up, even the ones on the cell phones, and don't let her near them unless you're fully clothed. Got that so far?
Then.... Say this:
"Sweetie, you are acting like a real bitch here. The whole world does not need to know that I'm hung like a donkey. Really! I'm tired of having people look me in the crotch instead of the face when they're talking to me. Even my boss, a straight 75-year-old man, is staring and it's all because you can't shut your filthy fucking pie-hole!
It's ultimatum time, dear. Every time you mention my *ahem* honkin' big love rod in my presence, I'm going to whip it out. Right there in front of everyone. I figure that once they see it, they won't need to hear you talk about it any more. Of course, they may never speak to either of us ever again and we'll become social outcasts and I'll probably get arrested for indecent exposure and serve prison time.....
...but I'm ok with that if it will shut you the hell up! "
Now I have to say, dude, that you're being just a tad disingenuous here. Admit it. You LIKE it, just a teensy-weensy bit that your wife is bragging. Your ego, like that of most of the men on the planet, is partially or wholly wrapped up in the old trouser snake. Just remember, if you manage to get your wife to SHADDAP!, she'll be the last and only person to know that in any room, YOU are the big swinging dick.
You're kidding, right? Please tell me you're kidding. I can't stand it if you're serious, because I'll have to subject you to some serious mocking here... Seriously? Ok. You asked for it.
You wrote to an internet advice lady about your three-year-old not wanting to wear his jacket. THIS is your biggest problem? What did you hope to hear? Clever strategies to point out the illogic of his contention that the jacket is an Instrument of the Evil One and is part of a conspiracy to destroy his little life because it either looks geeky (three-year-old kids DO think some things are geeky) or is too tight? Really?
Did you miss the part where he's three? What kind of moron gets this upset over a cranky baby? Where is this angst coming from? What do you want, a list of "jacket wearing" meds to give to the poor little spud? What kind of morons are you and your wife?
You're the adult, shithead. You're bigger than he is. You're smarter than he is. You should KNOW better than to argue with a goddamned toddler!
Excuse me. I have to get a drink. Seriously. You make my head hurt.
Ok. A lot of people on the Fray gave you all kinds of serious advice. They can be a terribly earnest bunch. Some even suggested that he's mentally disabled in some way (and truthfully, if the best he can come up with is "no jacket" at three, then the kid is WAY behind on his verbal skills), or that the jacket's too snug, or that he's hot or whatever. None of it matters. You don't care about that shit. YOU are stuck with a screaming kid, and NOTHING is worse than that, right?
So? Take their advice, dolt. If he doesn't want to wear it, don't put it on him. He'll be chilly, but you've made it HIS problem. You could give him a choice of two jackets and let him choose one. Kids that age LOVE that - it's the only power they have. Throw the jacket in the car and take it with you. If he gets cold enough, he'll ask for it.
Fertheluvamike, though, stop being so fucking stupid about this! Of course there are no chapters in the "care and feeding of toddlers" books about them not wanting to wear a jacket! You don't need to take him to a doctor. There is nothing wrong with this kid except that he's three!
Look at it this way. In a few years, he's probably going to trash your car, get caught drinking in school or smoking pot in the toilet, knock up his girlfriend or tell you that he's gay. THESE are things that are going to require skill to deal with. A jacket? You ain't seen nothing yet.
Mommy told you Daddy's broke. He took early retirement, burned through his savings and now your mother is starting to pick up cans on the side of the road and haunt phone booths (if she can find them), tampon dispensers and condom machines for spare change. Yup. Dear old Dad really managed to screw up his life.
But now you think you should be sending him money?!
Now think hard here, kid. I know your parents bought you an education, so I think you'll eventually get that nothing about this is your fault! Your parents CHOSE to send you to school. They CHOSE to travel with you and make sure you were raised wanting for nothing. And to tell the truth, at the time, it sounds like they could more than afford it.
So how is this your problem now? If you do decide to send money to your father, what the hell do you think he's going to do with it? I guarantee he won't be paying down debt or paying the bills. No, I think it's pretty much guaranteed that he's going to piss it away in a bar somewhere, or in the casino, or the bingo hall, or paying the rent on his girlfriend's apartment before your mother sees a nickel.
Of course, this is no secret. Go ahead and confront your Dad. Tell him you're worried about your mother. Tell him he needs to get his shit together and GET A JOB! He can't be more than in his fifties. That's a little young to be a Wal-Mart greeter, but I'm guessing that a responsible fellow like him has a long and fruitful career ahead of him saying, "You want fries with that?"
See, they do say that "a fool and his money are soon parted". And they say it because it's true! You're father's a fool. Your mother isn't exactly the brightest light in the chandelier, either, given that she had no idea what was going on until it was too late. Only a real chip of the old block would give that fool a penny.
Why would you risk your own future by enslaving yourself to a spendthrift? They're the ones that gave you a chance at that future!
Don't. Just. Don't.
Hmmm. You dumped your boyfriend, but you like his mother. You aren't missing the relationship, and you aren't missing HIM, and I get that.
There's no point whining, and as much as I hate to admit it, I have to agree with Prudie. This is just not that big a deal. Send her a birthday card or a Christmas card and put, "Thinking of you" in with the greeting. Problem solved.
There's no etiquette breach involved here (unless you're only doing this because you want to be invited to your ex's wedding and throw rotten tomatoes and bottles at the groom or something), and it would be a nice gesture on your part.
If she wants to stay in touch, she will. If not, she won't.
This is kind of a...no-brainer. It's one of those things that you just shouldn't have to ask....