19 March 2010


(Photograph copyright 2010, all rights reserved.)

I'm.... in a bit of a mood. I just spent the ENTIRE DAY at home, waiting for a UPS package to arrive that I have to sign for. I have gone nowhere. I put off grocery shopping until tomorrow. So, I went out to get the mail at 4:00 p.m., and what do I find? A STICKER ON THE DOOR!

That's right, kids. The guy was HERE. He didn't fucking knock. He didn't use the fucking buzzer. I know this because I haven't been on the fucking phone all day, and if he had fucking buzzed at the fucking gate the fucking phone would have twinkled its little fucking tune. He apparently just came into the fucking courtyard, wandered about a bit hoping that I'd be FUCKING PSYCHIC and know he was there, then fucked off to who knows where. There was no fucking time written on the fucking door tag, so I have no fucking idea when he was here. Asshole.

I called UPS at 4:00. They CLAIMED that they were going to get the driver to come back, but oh, look! It's 8:00! Gee, I guess it'll be MONDAY before I see that package. IF I see it. I'm done. If the driver shows up while I'm here, then great. If not, je suis the fuck outta here. I've got things to do.

But are you ready for the kicker? The really, truly fucked up shit that waiting around for that... I have no words...? I'm in CHICAGO. It was 65 degrees today. We're supposed to get FUCKING SNOW tomorrow.

Grumble. Grrrr. Which leads me to this week's letters. You can find them here .

1. You were molested by a babysitter, and sweetie believe me, I wish that had never happened. It's one of the ugliest betrayals of trust that there is. If I could erase that bit of your past for you, I would. I am so sorry that happened to you, and I imagine the legal hoo-ha that followed was almost as ugly as the crime that this ghastly excuse of a man perpetrated against you. You know that justice can never truly be done.

However.... Your parents don't seem to have done you any favors, or you charmed them and your counselor(s) into believing that he/she wasn't necessary any more (been there, did that). In either case, you need help, and no matter what some of the pop-psych morons that write books and show up on Oprah want to tell you, dwelling on this and "confronting" someone who is only tangentially connected with what happened to you is exactly the WRONG thing to do. There is no "closure" to be had from anyone, let alone your poor classmate.



and listen to one of the many voices of experience with stuff like this.

I understand that this young man has become a symbol for you. You look at him and somewhere in the back of your head, the person you REALLY see is his grandfather. I'm guessing that there's some kind of resemblance and when you heard his name, his identity became clear to you. You're flashing on the abuse, you're confused, and you don't know what to do. You feel thrown back in time, no doubt you're having nightmares that you thought were long over, and you want to DO something.

You also know that this is completely irrational. You KNOW that this kid in your class has no idea what his grandfather did. You KNOW that the kid was in no way responsible and has either been kept away from the man by his parents or the entire family agreed on a lie to tell everyone in his generation. Talking to him, confronting him, will do nothing. Worse, it will hurt him and cause all kinds of nasty repercussions in his family life if he believes it or open you to all kinds of trouble if he refuses to believe you or takes it up with campus authorities.

So you can't talk to him about what happened (in his terms) to someone two full generations older than he is. You know that, or you never would have asked for advice - you would have followed your impulse. I understand the impulse. I know what it feels like to want to stand in the center of a room and yell, "I was wronged", and have everyone automatically understand how you feel. I even tried the confrontation thing. I suspect that you would have the same experience I did. Half the room would feel sorry for you and do nothing. The other half would accuse you of lying. Do you want that? Do you really want to go all the way back to the beginning?

I DO know how you feel, and I'm sure that there are a lot of people around who could say the same. It's not easy. In fact, it's hard.

You have to get some more counseling. Go through your college and see if there's are any free services available to you. If you're still on your parent's health insurance, go through that to find help somewhere. USE THEM. These folks want to help, or they would never be in those jobs in the first place. They're serious about wanting you to get past the ugliness. Use whatever services you need to. Do what they tell you. Take advantage of whatever you can to get yourself healthy, or at least to a place where you can distance yourself from what happened.

See, there's one thing you need to learn now. You will never forget what was done to you. You won't "get over it". It's never going to go away. That experience, as ugly and painful as it was, will be with you for the rest of your life. You can do one of two things. You can let it define who you are and feel like a victim until the day you die. OR... You can acknowledge it, talk about it, realize that this will always be a part of you and take away the power it has over you by putting it in the past, where it belongs.

I understand your anger. I do. If anyone tells you that you should "forgive" your abuser, then you have every right to give them a solid punch in the nose and tell them that Messy said it was all right and they're full of crap. There is no forgiveness for what happened to you. Anger can give you power for the short term. It can help you survive. It can get you out of bad situations. It's no way to live your life, though. I don't recommend going to victim's groups, either. Every one I've ever run into seems to be intent on forcing its members to continue wallowing in the pain and gives them no guidance as to how to lessen it. Don't waste your time on them.

I don't know what to offer you except for what I had to learn on my own. The past is the past. It only has power over you if you allow it. YOU are the key. Put this in the past, knowing that the pain will never go away, but it can be sent to a place that will allow you to live your life. Understand that you are stronger than the pain. And hang on to that little bit of anger that you will have for the rest of your life. Every time you shy away from a situation, every time some word or smell makes you feel that kid again, use the anger. Tell yourself that you will not let that SOB win. He has no right to that kind of power over you and YOU are the only one that can take it back from him.

And don't wait until you're in your thirties to figure that out, all right?

2. So. Like thousands upon thousands of generations of children before him, your child saw you HAVING SEX (more on that later) and YOU'RE the one that's freaked out?


Moron. I can see it now. If you SHADDAP, your child will forget the entire thing, never ask you about it and it will be just fine. He'll get a degree, make a nice living, meet some nice girl, make a couple of nice babies, and have a lot of fun until he dies, the patriarch of a happy family, secure in the knowledge that he has taken care of everyone who is important to him.

You don't want to do that, though, do you? No, even though HE doesn't care that you and Daddy were playing WWF in the dark, by God you're going to MAKE HIM UNDERSTAND that he SHOULD be traumatized, right? Then, you'll send him to some sort of counselor who will make sure that he really IS traumatized, and that he's "bad" and "evil" for opening that door in the middle of the night.

By the time he's in his twenties, he'll be so freaked about anything to do with sex that he'll vow to live in your basement to the end of his days. He'll never touch a girl - how could he after you trained him to be terrified? For the fifteen minutes he's in college, he'll castrate himself so that there's NO CHANCE that he'll ever have sex because YOU made sure to teach him just how evil it is, right?

Ok. Whatever. You're a moron and I'm fairly sure that no matter what anyone says, you're going to be having this little fit for the rest of your natural life. You've watched too much Oprah and Dr. Phil to comprehend that this is only as big a deal as YOU MAKE IT....idiot. Besides, having fits is your favorite form of entertainment (aside from "private time") and far be it from me to inject any common sense into your pointed little head. Just wear a hat so no one notices.

I'm sure enough people have told you by now that "private time" is a pretty goddamned lame euphemism for having sex. Take the lesson. Frankly, in the Messy household, "private time" is a euphemism for a far more....earthy bodily function. "I need some private time" is used in the same instance as "I have to drop some kids at the pool" or "don't set foot in that bathroom for a good half hour".

You know that. It's okay to use the "s" word when sex is what you're doing. Oh, and put a fucking lock on that bedroom door, why don't you? It's what the rest of the world does. Duh.

3. You were a baby when you hooked up with the ONE GUY that you ever went out with in your entire life, you know he's a loser, but you're going to marry the idiot (if he ever finds his balls for long enough to ask) anyway. Whatever. I'm finding it hard to care. One day, you'll either run his mother down in a mall parking lot out of sheer frustration or you'll supplant her and find out that you didn't get a man, you got a toddler.

Either way, you're going to end up in living color on this web site , wondering how you ended up wiping an able-bodied grown man's ass for him while he whines that "mommy did it better."


See, your potential MIL is NOT the problem. Her son is. She wouldn't be able to run his life if he didn't let her. See, you've told him how you feel, and if he loved you or was at all mentally not fucked up, he would have told Mommy to back off. But YOU DON'T MATTER TO HIM, so he will never do that. Got it? No?

What do I have to do, hit you over the head with the "common sense" stick? Geez Louise, kid, what's it going to take for you to realize that YOU DON'T MATTER TO HIM. I promise you that if you walked out tomorrow, your "fiance" wouldn't miss you for a second. Sure, he'd call Mommy for some sympathy, but nothing in his life would change. Got it?

I have another guarantee for you, too. If Mommy tells this "great love" of yours that she doesn't like the way you "interfere" with THIER relationship, you'll be out on your ass so fast you won't even hear the door slam. All because you're too thick to understand that YOU DON'T MATTER TO HIM.

Here's a rule for you. If total strangers are telling you that you should get the hell out of a situation, then DO IT.

4. You're fucking kidding me, right? You got a "save the date" from a virtual stranger and this disturbs you so much that you have to write to the Internet Lady and disturb MY day with this shit?


For the record, and for all the posters that made assumptions, I know that you are not a lawyer. Probably you are a secretary, what with the whole "living paycheck to paycheck" thing. Even then, none of this matters.

THROW THE CARD IN THE GARBAGE. Now see how good that feels? It was a pointless gesture on his part to put you on any list at all, because he had to know that you won't be going to the wedding (unless you're a complete social idiot, and I have some thoughts on that...).

If, by some strange freak mistake you get an actual invitation... fill out the "can't make it" box on the RSVP card, plop it in the mail (you still know how to lick a stamp, right?) and forget about it.

Oh yeah. Almost forgot. If THIS is your biggest problem......fill in the blanks.



  1. 2- Literally LOL at your "private time" discussion.

    3- And no, he doesn't give a flip about her. He doesn't give a flip about Mommy. He only gives a flip on whatever makes him happy, or at least avoids making him unhappy.

    I had the same situation with Cablevision about 30 years ago. I worked 10 hour days, so Friday was 100% overtime, very welcome when you're making blue-collar starting pay, just above minimum wage. Waited all day one Friday, in the front room, for them to come fix our cable. Come evening, I went out to get the evening paper. (I know most kids don't know what that is.) There on the door was a "sorry we missed you" tag. I told them they could come that day (Saturday) or they could cancel our cable. That company isn't even in these parts anymore.

  2. Yowza! You're on fire, Messy! Good stuff all around, as per usual. :-)

    I *have* told you about my special fear regarding the People of Wal-Mart website, right? I'm certain that if my pic is not already there, it will be someday. I swear to you, that website looks like a family reunion. And, for the most part, I'm not even kidding. Now, granted, there are some pics that aren't scenes straight out of my childhood, but, most of them? Don't even seem the least bit odd to me. Doesn't mean they don't bring a smile to my face, though. ;-)

  3. Hey Messy! You're telling it like it is!

    I lke the photo it looks yummy! (just kidding!)

  4. Smag, I can't imagine seeing you on that site. You're far too classy. Trust me on this.

    Kati, aren't those batteries special? The photo was taken in a garage on a farm that had been essentially abandoned since about 1962. The chains belonged to electric motors that (when the power line came through in 1940) were attached to things like the well pump.

    The batteries were for the radio. They had to charge them via the electric motor that was run off the power for the whole site. Basically a tiny generator that ran on low current. It took a full 24 hours to charge the batteries to run the radio for eight.

    Part of my heritage! Ooh, there's a story behind that.

  5. What a ghastly UPS debacle. It reminds me of the year my phone line went out and the phone company refused to make a definite appointment or even name a day to appear. I ended up sitting at home an entire vacation week with no internet and not only did they never show, they never actually needed me at home at all.

    My instinct that LW1 might just as well have been referred directly to you seems to have been gratifyingly correct.

    I still rather think LW3 is getting more or less what she deserves, but I have a New and Ingenious Solution for her. Introduce him to Bondage. Some time when the Horrible Mother is presently to appear but he doesn't know it, get him thoroughly immobilized and start doing whatever he might most enjoy, only to discover a sudden lack of the absolutely most necessary item for the scene to proceed and succeed. Dash out of the room telling him not to go anywhere for the next ten minutes and get out of the house just before Mummy arrives. What happens next? Multiple choice:

    a) Mummy has a heart attack and drops dead. Problem solved.

    b) Mummy is so horrified at all the terrible practices into which LW3 has led Sonny that she has him out of the house in five minutes and before twelve hours have elapsed LW3 wouldn't be able to track Sonny down with full use of the entire FBI. Problem solved in a different way.

    c) Mummy and Sonny are both so horrified and embarrassed that neither can ever speak to the other the same way again, and it poisons their relationship. Sonny might think about leaving LW3 except that he'll need someone to make his appointments and bring him to them, and LW3 will be right where she wants to be. Problem solved with more effort but a more satisfactory victory.

    d) Mummy is unable to resist giving in to her true deepest longings, and she takes over right where LW3 left off. Admittedly, problem not exactly solved, and several new cans of worms open up, but 3-1 odds seem fairly decent.