07 January 2010
(Photgraph copyright 2010, all rights reserved)
It's snowing. No really, it's snowing a LOT. When I got up this morning, I looked outside and there was just an inch or so of fluffy stuff - not even enough to bother with a shovel, just a broom. But then it started again and we're supposed to get 8 to 11 inches of the stuff before tomorrow morning. I hate snow. Seriously, I know I'm Canadian and I'm supposed to be used to it, but no. I hated it when I was a tiny child and that has never changed. I don't know how to ski. Why would I engage in a sport where not only would I be guaranteed to maim myself, I'd have to voluntarily go out in the bloody snow?
There are signs on every street here that say something like "Parking prohibited when more than 2" of snow falls." Fair enough, they have to get the streets cleaned. People ignore it, of course, and after the snow stops every street has a car on it that's been booted, or has a bunch of tickets on the windshield and we don't get to see how many have been towed, but you have to figure a lot.
After that's all done it starts to get really ugly. Chicagoans are dead serious about their parking spots, you see. The rule is that if you shovel it out and call dibs on a spot by putting a couple of dead lawn chairs, some kid's Big Wheel or other garbage in it, it is YOURS and woe betide anyone who dares to park there. There are tales of cars hosed down with water, snow packed on top, and the whole mess hosed down again. Those silly buggers are taking public transit until JUNE. The city is ok with this. It's only when the streets are totally clear that the garbage gets unilaterally hauled away.
This is the week when Prudie gets smacked around. There are times when even she will admit that she fucked up, but this week's advice is ...well...really bad. Read it here: Dear Prudie
1. Teach, you are dead bang correct. Young men who shove their hands down their pants are disgusting and obnoxious and need to be told that. You can start them off like toddlers.
(Ok Billy, you have to take your hand out of your pants. It's not polite. Does Daddy walk around with his hands in his pants? No? Does Uncle William do that? No? Big boys don't do that, and we KNOW you're a big boy now, right?)
Ah, but Prudie, dear Prudie can't answer that question, can she? No. Not her! SHE has to "...talk to my resident expert on the intricacies of teenage-male behavior, my 14-year-old daughter." Oh Prudie...
Since when to infants of 14 know how the world works? What the hell kind of school are you sending that kid to anyway? Teachers don't say anything about hordes of young men fondling themselves in public? Really? So tell me then, do these kids also throw poop at their teachers when they don't like what they hear? Sniff each others' bums? Play dominance games where they stare at each other and growl, then pull out their dicks and measure? Have spitting contests in the hallways?
Teenagers, especially young ones like your daughter are not civilized creatures yet. That's why we don't let them drive or operate heavy equipment until they're 16 or 18. We also keep them out of bars and don't let them vote. They have to develop the brain power to do adult stuff before we just turn them loose on an unsuspecting public. Those of us who actually remember junior high and high school are willing to freely admit that kids that age are not too bright about the world at best and beastly little heathens at worst.
Manners have to be taught. Normal people start teaching their kids to say "please" and "thank you" before their second birthday. Little boys can be taught to keep their hands in their pockets and not in their crotches before kindergarten. So why would you tell teenagers that public dick-fondling is all right? Are you HOPING they'll get arrested when they walk past the elementary school?
The worst thing about this whole mess is that you actually think it's all right for your 14-year-old daughter to believe, when confronted by a guy who's feeling himself up in the cafeteria that "...it's not like they're 26 years old and perverts; they're just boys." Oh for the love of green peas with butter! I can't WAIT until that kid of yours starts dating. Are you going to let her out the door when the guy honks from the curb? Let it pass when the kid actually meets you and instead of shaking your hand, dives for his crotch with both grubby paws because he needs "comfort"? Are you going to take your own advice and "(i)gnore the occasional adjustment.."?
Tch. At least you have something to apologize for in your NEXT New Year's letter.
2. I am so sorry that you grew up in such a dysfunctional household. It sounds like you pretty much raised yourself, you poor bugger. Prudie is fond of advising counseling, and I don't think that's a bad idea. Not because your dad was an alkie. You've reconciled yourself to the way he was. I'm guessing that you're carrying a pretty heavy load of anger about the way your mother put him and his "secret" first and pretended your household was "normal".
You don't have to write that eulogy. Refuse and no one will think less of you. One poster on Slate correctly stated that direct family almost never gives a eulogy, so that's your out. Don't go there.
Ah but Prudie, dear Prudie struck again, didn't she? Oh yes, she came up with a doozie on this one. So for Prudie, one more time a big old...
What in blazes were you thinking, woman? Since when is one's father's funeral the best place to "...confront(ing) your father's alcoholism head-on."? But you don't stop there, do you? No you have to go one step further and add actual TEXT to what the LW "should" say: "Talk about how he struggled, and lost, his fight with this illness."
Why didn't you just label that little nugget of advice "how to forever fuck up your relationship with your mother", too?
This guy (girl? I'll assume male.) grew up with a "father" who spent his every moment not at work in a drunken haze, then passed out on the couch. His mother spent her entire adult life wiping up the vomit, cleaning up after dear old Dad when he peed himself and pretending to the world that everything was all right. Mommy was a perfect enabler, putting her husband first, training her child to say nothing to anyone outside the house, and never facing that she was living in a shitty situation.
"Dad" never struggled with anything! He drank, he got drunk, he passed out on the couch EVERY DAY OF HIS LIFE, ignoring the fact that he fathered a son and ignoring the fact that he was mangling the lives of everyone around him. He LIKED living that way! He didn't consider himself "ill". He didn't think that anything was wrong at all! He lived his selfish, miserable life exactly the way he wanted to; filling the house with second-hand smoke and too pissed to see anything beyond his bottle.
So why, Prudie, would you ask that the LW "confront" any of this? Do you think that the image of the mother writhing with shame and pain in the front row at the funeral parlor while her son systematically destroys every part of the image she created for herself about her family is something that her son should have to live with? Is this your idea for punishing "Mom" for fucking up Junior's life? Did you think, for one millisecond, that a woman who has spent her entire adult life pretending that she had a normal family would ENJOY the idea that the world will know about her lies to herself?
I'm surprised you didn't just tell the kid to run a grater over his mother's skin and rub in some salt. It would be less painful for her than being forced to listen to that little exposition you recommended.
Another one for the 2011 New Year's letter.
3. Waaaahhhh..... my piano teacher sucks ass! Waaaaaahhhhh! I'm paying two teachers! Waaaaaaahhhhh! What am I gonna do?
Your friend has nothing more to teach you, and you have discovered that not only have you gotten bored with her teaching style, she was NEVER A GOOD TEACHER in the first place. If you learn more from a more professional teacher in half an hour than you did from your buddy in three years, then your "friend" has been ripping you off for those three years.
You say: "I know my friend would be heartbroken if she found out, so I've been sneaking around like I'm having an affair!"
Really? Are you that stupid? Tell me, are you still going to a hairstylist that makes you look like you were mugged by a scissors-wielding, one handed blind man every month because you're afraid of "hurting her feelings"? You'd rather look crappy than do that? Are you still wearing the little dirndl dresses, pinafores, and Mary Janes (Oh yes, Schuyler, I'm predicting that you'll have something to say about that image.) that your grandmother thought looked cute on you when you were four because you just can't bring yourself to tell the old bird that you're a grownup now?
Get a grip, woman! Stop messing with YOUR finances for the sake of HER feelings! If she can't be your friend without taking your cash, then she was never your friend to begin with.
4. Ah, another manners issue. I gotta say I'm mostly with the LW on this one. Being texted something like "wanna go out?" for a first date is tacky. It's childish and silly. Men would like for it to be socially acceptable to do this because...well...most of them are chickens when it comes to picking up the phone, especially when they aren't sure what the answer will be. Fair enough. There's pressure there. However no guy ever actually DIED of mortification from being turned down.
That said, other posters have a point when they say that the LW could solve this problem by texting back something like, "sounds like fun, will call you after work". Or something of the sort. After all, texting is here to stay, and even The Boy and I text each other during the day. It takes less time to text, "we out of pbutter?" than to pick up the phone, and it's not something that requires a whole conversation.
But, here we go again! Trust Prudie to kick an LW in the tits over a simple matter of etiquette! I don't know if she was trying for snark or sarcasm or if she was serious. Nonetheless, she needs to
Clearly Prudie has gone back to the 14-year-old for advice again. What she missed is that the woman who wrote to her for advice is TWICE THAT AGE. She is a grownup dating grownups and she has a right to expect a little more from said grown up men than Prudie seems to think is acceptable from the crotch-grabbing youth that she finds so charming.
Advising the LW that "it's probably not a good idea to blow off candidates who take the time to ask you out by tapping the request with their thumbs." was..what? Supposed to be actual advice? Projecting much, Prudie? You yourself admitted that this young lady has a number of swains, so why would you tell her to quit being picky? Were you expecting another letter from her in a couple of years after she marries the first guy that asks her about what to do because he never talks to her?
Any man worth his salt from a dating perspective will happily pick up a telephone to ask for a date. That's what grownups do. They make an effort to understand others and are willing to take the time to make reasonable accommodations for their preferences. Why would the LW even WANT to go out with a guy that's so inarticulate that he can't string together a single sentence using his mouth rather than his thumbs?
If this was meant to be funny, it failed miserably. If it was meant to be serious, it isn't even laughable. I suspect I'm not the only one that thinks it's just....bad/tacky/a cheap shot/spoken like someone who was never asked out a lot ........