01 January 2010
(Photograph copyright 2010, all rights reserved.)
Well, here it is the new year, MMX as it were. Naturally, in Chicago, the new year was greeted by new weather. It's -8F with wind chills of -20F and therefore the first day I broke out the long underwear for the long walk to the movie theater. Ok. It's only a mile. Maybe a little less. Still. No one that knows me would have recognized me, except The Boy. I wore my Coat of A Thousand Ducks, Fur Trapper Hat , Big Gauntlet Mittens and Big Sheepskin Boots. Don't trouble me with the anti-fur crap. As a Canadian, I reserve the right to wear beaver fur. It's our National Rodent and the little buggers can have up to four litters a year.
Most of us are managing our way through the recession, and while it's nice to hear that the economy is doing better, although we'd all like to see it in somewhat more concrete forms. The stupid people are still stupid, the smart people are still smart and people who write to the internet advice lady are still...well, you know about THEM, right?
You can read about the latest crop at Dear Prudie . By the way, there's yet another poll about the holidays on One Messy Lady, and I'm itching to know what all of you think.
1. I have to tell you what The Boy said when he heard your dilemma, "What an idiot! No one can call dibs on a job! It's ridiculous."
I have to agree, and to be fair, several people on Slate also agree. What adult is so spiteful as to bitch and howl about a "friend" getting (or potentially getting) a terrific job? And yet you say, "Was I wrong to apply? Should I cancel my interview? Is there any way to fix this?"
What an load of festering shit! How old did you say you are again? I have to guess early 20s at LEAST, because you're doing post-grad work. So why is it that you're still living in a world when a "friend" will tell you to throw YOUR Malibu Barbie in the garbage just because she got one for Christmas, too? This would be amusing if I thought for one second you were joking, but you aren't. You sincerely believe that you might have done something wrong.
Don't be an idiot.
I've had a "friend" like this. You say that your friend even went so far as to say she "doesn't think I'd be happy there." Yeah, right. I had a "friend" who once (in antiquity for you no doubt) told me that I should stop dating The Boy because he "moves in different social circles" than I did at the time. I gave that crap all the weight it deserved. The Boy and I have been together for 24 years. I haven't seen the "friend" since the night she made that rotten comment. I have to say that I'm not only not missing her, I'm having a blast. If I'd listened to her, I'd be where she is. Single and miserable.
Got that? Your so-called friend is a spiteful bitch. Don't let her or anyone else EVER stop you from doing what you want to. Friends don't try to hold each other back. If she really cared for you, she'd be asking you to put in a good word for her after you get hired. Take the job if it's offered and make friends that respect you.
As for the Facebook thing. Close that account NOW. I asked an expert (The Boy - he hires and fires on a regular basis and has done for 20 years.) what he thought about the comment you made. He says that he does indeed read people's Facebook and MySpace pages before interviews. Crowing about getting the interview is not fatal, as far as he's concerned. However - if you have party photos, pictures of yourself scantily clad or drunk or a clear habit of over sharing, he WOULD take those things into account. No matter who you work for, there will be things that you are not meant to broadcast to the world and if everyone's already seen you in your bra with a beer hat on, that's going to make an impression that you just don't want.
2. Oh you poor kid! Losing your mother is terrible, especially so young. No one knows what to say, so they say nothing for fear that they'll hurt you. You won't be getting the big SHADDAP, but I'd like to ask you a question that you need to answer for yourself.
Why don't you just tell them what you wrote in your letter to Prudie? These are your friends, they're feeling awkward and they want you to feel good, so give them a break and tell them how you feel. The good ones will get it. The ones that are too thick to get it...well, how badly do you want them around anyway?
3. I'm shaking my head. You can't see it, but I really am shaking my head. How did you get this so freakin' confused? Stupid, much? Shut your brain off because of sleep deprivation with a baby? Oy. Ok.
You're acting like an idiot. First, why the HELL are you considering the feelings of someone who is NOT IN YOUR FAMILY over your own wife? What in blazes is that all about, you moron?
Your wife, you know, the woman who is raising that child you adopted, doesn't want any contact with the birth family. Not right now, maybe never. Got that? Right now, at this moment, YOUR wife doesn't want YOUR child to be in any family but YOURS. This is not rocket science. This is basic stuff. She doesn't want to share her kid with people that didn't want him, and she has the absolute right to make that decision.
Your wife's feelings should be your FIRST concern. It's NORMAL for her to feel the way she's feeling. She needs to be with HER child and she doesn't want anyone around her who can pretend to some sort of claim on HER son.
I know. Open adoptions are all the rage, and we hear all sorts of wonderful (and anecdotal) stories about how warm and fuzzy they are. Does anyone remember another letter to Prudie though? You know, the one where the adopted kid was begging her mother not to force her into contact with the druggies, drunks and thieves that were in the birth family? No? Not ringing any bells? The mother was perfectly willing to shove her kid into proximity with people that should never be trusted with an ant farm, let alone a child, all for the sake of her "heritage". Right. Like she needs to remember that the kid's "heritage" involves a drugged out teenybopper and her much older "boyfriend" who bailed when she got knocked up.
Oprah and her ilk like to rabbit on about "reunions" and actually have dumped adoptees on the doorsteps of the mothers and grandmothers who didn't want them. It looks really pretty on TV, doesn't it? Too bad no one goes there six months later when the birth family has stolen their "long lost child's" identity, destroyed his/her credit and been so intrusive that the kid now has a restraining order against them. Lest any one think this is fiction, I read it in a newspaper interview. The adoptee was furious that her life was being destroyed because someone else took it upon themselves to do them this "favor".
Most telling in all this is that the grandmother contacted you, not the birth mother. Can't take a hint? The grandmother is the ONLY one that's made contact with you and I'm here to tell you that grandparents can fuck up a kid in ways that parents can never undo. After all, she raised a kid that got knocked up at the absolute wrong time and barely avoided wrecking both her life and her son's by giving him to you. DO NOT let her into your life OR your son's.
Listen to your wife. Send back the check and the gift with a note telling the NOT-grandmother that she should open a 529 bank account where she can deposit any money she wants to for college for the sake of the kid and IF he wants to talk to her when he's 18, the choice will be HIS and no one else's. Your wife is this child's mother, not anyone else. Your son is YOUR SON and no one else's. Have enough respect for the woman you chose to spend your life with to follow her instincts and remember the birth family didn't want your son. They gave him to you so that he could have a good life. Respect that, too.
4. Oohhh...the stupidity never ends. Are you seriously telling us that you are considering dumping a terrific guy JUST BECAUSE HE HASN'T GOTTEN YOU FLOWERS?!
You moron. You flaming idiot. Do you have to be reminded to breathe? Really?
and pay attention. I have some steps for you to take IF you want to be happy.
a) You know that shelf of vaguely pornographic Harlequin Romances that you've been worshipping for the past 20 years? BURN THEM. That's not real life for anyone, dipshit.
b) Get down on your knees and offer that man a blow job every time you see him every day. He's probably been putting up with a lot of nagging and shit from you for the past year.
c) Every time he does something for you, like help you around the house, taking your kid out somewhere, taking YOU out somewhere, send HIM flowers and thank him for being such a good person and putting up with your shit.
d) Never, not once EVER demand flowers from him again. NEVER.
See idiot, here's the deal. Most men are flower-impaired to some degree. Men are concrete creatures and to them, putting on your winter tires, watching a chick flick with you, taking you out for a meal or loading the dishwasher when you're tired are far better ways of telling you they love you than a bundle of dead plants. Adult women who live in the real world understand that. It's the Way Life Is. Grow or buy your own damned flowers and appreciate your man in the way he deserves.
You say you've never had a relationship that lasted for more than a few months, and your son is a teenager. Catch the hint lady. I'm willing to concede that you may have found a couple of losers. Fair enough - sometimes you don't catch that right away. However, if you've found that NO ONE can make you happy, then the men aren't the problem. YOU ARE.
Get it? Either get an attitude adjustment or reconcile yourself to living alone. Making stupid demands and ultimatums is not what you do to people you love. If that's what you insist on doing, then break up with this great guy and let him find some woman who isn't such a selfish, shallow bitch.
(A day later, I feel compelled to add a comment from a (now divorced) friend on the issue of flowers. She says that her ex-husband used to buy her flowers all the time. Along with an apology for showing up at home twelve hours after he left, drunk and trashing the house. She also got flowers after he was gone all night....or for a couple of days.....or after trashing her car... Got it? What price flowers? I think that she wouldn't give a damn about getting flowers ever again if she had a guy who was as wonderful as the LWs. Something to think about.)