06 April 2010

SHADDAP! Because it isn't just Prudie any more!

(Photograph copyright 2010, all rights reserved)

Right. Let's try this again. My description of my computer travails are in the second comment below, and let me tell you, it was a nightmare. Let us all clap our hands for the nice folks at Apple, who, for a honkin' big fee, spent the time to walk me through this.

Sigh. I AM a bit tired of some of the patronizing attitudes I get, though. I have to tell the little darlings that when they spew out a mouthful of tech, I have NO IDEA what they're saying. I literally need to be told what button to push. I am NOT a computer geek and I don't want to be. Ever. I just want the damned thing to work and obey me when I tell it what to do.

See, Apple has one very interesting quirk. There are NO INSTRUCTIONS. None. There are no troubleshooting guides. There are no lists of shortcuts, and you have to be fucking psychic to know what to do when something goes wrong. All they do have is a blog. You are forced to go to random strangers on the Internet to beg for advice - which may or may not be good. Generally, unless you're a blog-buddy with them already, you don't even get an answer. You have no way of knowing. They may be deliberately screwing with your machine and there's no way to find that out. Period.

Grrr. In any event, if you try and send Apple an e-mail (they do have a suggestion box of sorts), you won't get an answer. I suspect that the "suggestions" never even get read. Must be nice to be a behemoth company with no accountability.


But that's not why we're here. Slate has a column called Friend or Foe that has me a little bugged. It used to be just on XXX, which I never bothered with because commenting was a pain and let's face it, it was for "chicks", not adult women.

It's a basic agony column, really. The problem (or the fun part) is that it's all about female-only friend-on-friend drama. It's painful to read. The whining, the junior-high antics of supposedly adult women, the - well, it has to be said - bullshit!

So, since Prudie's been so deadly dull recently, I find myself unable to resist this parade of idiots...

1. Ok. You and your friend communicate only by e-mail. Cool. You give a long and tedious exposition about your friend with the bad breakup. Got it. She didn't date because of that for a decade. Ok. THEN you rabbit on for a couple of paragraphs about how she had an unrequited crush on a random handyman and got pissed at you when it when you told her it was stupid (the only smart thing you did, here). Gotcha.

THEN we get to the juicy bit. She is now dating your ex-boyfriend. She doesn't want to talk to you about that relationship.... There is angst....


Oh, fertheluvamike, you moron! Quit fucking whining for one second willya? Yeah, I know you SAY you're "happy for them", and maybe you even are. So what's your problem? What? She won't tell you every little thing they do and say when they're together? She asked for privacy?

SHADDAP, again!

Do you REALLY want chapter and verse on her relationship with the guy you used to sleep with? Really? Think hard here. I know it hurts to do that, but give it a shot. For me. What makes you think you have the right to demand that information?

Has it occurred to you that "real" friends don't necessarily tell all, all the time? That maybe there are things that just aren't for public consumption? Did it occur to you for even a millisecond that your ex-boyfriend sees you as a nosy, manipulative bitch with an unhealthy curiosity about HIS life? It's possible that he told your friend that he wants some things to be private, too.

So are you going to dump her for this? After all, how DARE she not tell you about her every zit and bowel movement! Friends don't need boundaries, do they? Moron.

Grow up, and consider this. Maybe she's just sick of YOUR oversharing and she's trying to set an example.

2. Ooh... this one made my teeth ache. Also my neck. Let's just say I had to pour myself a glass of wine and hug a cat to lower my blood pressure enough to deal with this shit.

To summarize. A woman in her late 20s has two friends. One of them used her computer to mess with Facebook. She didn't close it. The LW snooped and found - are you ready? The LW found that her two "good friends" had been swapping nasty private messages about HER! Oh, the agony! Oh, the angst! Let's drop in on this life and death situation, shall we?

Friend One told Friend Two that I have........ Cooties!

(See what I mean? My brain hurts just thinking about it!)



No, seriously. Shaddap or I'll lock you in a room with no computer for a week and take away your soap operas, too.

Can you hear yourself? Seriously? Because it sounds just like a bunch of elementary school kids fighting with each other, making "frenemies" (whatever the hell that means) and tattling on each other.

How old did you say you were? Late 20s? Don't you have, like, a job to worry about? A boyfriend (yes, or girlfriend)? How do you get through the day? Is Facebook the only thing you do when you get home from work? Is hanging out with these two people your life's work? No?

So what's the problem. You say "...I feel uncomfortable socializing with them." Gee, I wonder why? Could it be because they're....NOT your friends? That maybe their brains stopped developing before puberty?

I'll give you instructions. Follow them for a happy life. Don't follow them and be a miserable, whining, lonely idiot with no social life unless you can convince someone to feel sorry for you and let you serve punch at THEIR social events as long as you don't look prettier than she does. Ready?

a) Don't talk to these people again. Even if one or the other of them protests that they're rilly rilly rilly your, like, bestest friend in the whole wide world and they want you all to move to New York together and become, like, dancers on Broadway, ... why do you want to hang out with a couple of gossiping assholes like this?

b) Make grownup friends. If you want to know whether they're grownups, ask them if they have Facebook accounts. If they say "no", you have met a grownup.

c) Cancel your Facebook account. NOW. Seriously - NOW.

d) If you can't bring yourself to do that (stupid pastime anyway), then unfriend them, don't take their calls and delete their e-mails. How stupid do you have to be to be willing to hang out with people who are that nasty about you?

e) Get laid. Thoroughly and frequently. That should cure your desire to hang out in the vipers' nest for good.

Oh, and lose the guilt. If I had to guess based on the maturity levels of your so-called "small-but-close group of friends", then the silly bitch left her Facebook account open on YOUR computer on purpose because she doesn't have the guts to tell you that she's moving on to other things.


3. So? Whaddaya think so far? Are these letters epic stupid or what? Worthy of mockery? Oh, I think so, my friends. I think so. On to the last.....

Your friends are always late. ALWAYS. They have finally gotten on your last nerve because they TOLD YOU that they went shopping on purpose when they were supposed to be at your place already. They arrived almost two hours late and you fed them anyway?


What is your major malfunction, dolt? Don't you have enough to get on with - two kids and a job - that you permit yourself to be abused by these two jerks?

(Note: I've said it before and I'll say it again in case anyone gets owly with me. "Jerk" is gender-neutral.)

Ok, here's the thing. You claim that your friend "Ellen" "...loves and respects me."

Riiiiiight. Sure she does. And she shows you this how? Oh yeah. By accepting invitations and not showing up anywhere near on time for them and THEN not apologizing (in any meaningful way) for it? Yup. Sounds like "love and respect" to me. Sure it does.

So tell me. If she hit you with a stick every time she saw you in person, would you still think you have her "love and respect"?

See, this chick doesn't even TRY to accomodate you. She has never once showed up on time for anything, and she doesn't care how that makes you feel. If she did, she'd at least TRY to be on time once in a while. She's just counting on you taking her shit for eternity. That's because she sees you as....ready?... a doormat.

You say that "...(p)art of me doesn't want to continue this friendship..." It's nice to see that at least on some level it's starting to sink in that this so-called "friend" has been wiping her filthy Reeboks on you for the entire time you've known her.

So where do I have to lead you? She abuses your hospitality. She doesn't respect your time or effort. You KNOW that "...this lateness is not going to change or stop...." and THEN you wonder, "Am I being too harsh?"

Hmmm. Seems to be a disconnect there. NO, dippy. You are not being too harsh. Stop inviting them to anything for awhile. I suspect you won't hear from them ever again. If all the effort is only on one side, then you never had a friendship.

Quit being a patsy. Grow the fuck up. Demand respect from everyone around you. Earn it by being respectful. Dump these assholes "friends" and your stress level will literally plummet.


Oh, and for those people who are telling you to lie about the time, or not feed them when they finally do show up? Don't bother. You have plenty of precedents proving that these people are a couple of rude...assholes...


  1. Neither can I. I had a computer disaster yesterday - for some reason all of my applications files ended up in the trash. I had to spend the ENTIRE afternoon (you're going to love this) backing everything up, reloading all of the original software, making sure my stuff was still there when it was done.

    The above took about 2 1/2 hours. Then I had to delete everything I had just replaced, which essentially meant "emptying" the trash. This took another 1 1/2 hours - because it was EVERYTHING. I had two copies of my computer on my computer. One where it's supposed to be and one that was in the trash..

    THEN, I had to re-download ALL of the software updates that have happened since I got this computer three years ago. Another 2 hours.

    I had to use a helpline to the tune of $50.00, which pissed me off even MORE, because all of the information they gave me should be available somewhere from Apple as a set of instructions. None of it was rocket science, I just didn't know how to do it.

    Yes. I will be buying an external hard drive. Soon. Like today.

  2. Yay! New material! :-)

    Yepper, these got progressively worse. My main beef for #2 was the she snooped. I mean, a friend leaves her FaceBook account open on your computer. Hell, FaceBook is all about sharing information. About the *only* thing on there that's actually private are the messages that are specifically private. Nothing else on there is private. I mean, otherwise, why put it on FaceBook to begin with? It's whole purpose is sharing! And what does our LW do the MOMENT she's given the chance? She goes DIRECTLY to the only part of the friend's account that is private. To me, that's the bottom line. They're all idiot little school girls playing at being adults (as you rightfully note) and they ALL need to have their asses slapped. And *not* in the good way.

    As for LW#3, I was a little pissed about her whole military spouse thing. Hey, guess what, Chicky? Your spouse volunteered to serve. You are living a lifestyle that requires you to work on top of your spouse's income? That's something YOU volunteered for. Every single bit of that info is irrelevant, though, and a whiny-assed cry for sympathy. Guess what? You get none from me, being a former submariner who knows full well the fun of deployment, but who also knows full well that he volunteered for every bit of it. So, don't cry about shit you are actively volunteering to do.

    As for being treated like that by "friends", I'm curious as to why the LW didn't eat, put the dishes away and greet the friends when they showed up with some coffee. IF she felt like making it. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, that's on me. I say it's time for our LW to grab a pair of big girl panties and wear 'em.

    Great stuff, Messy! :-)

  3. I don't know, Smag. It seems to me that the Facebook account being left open wasn't an accident. Call it a hunch, but given the idiot behavior of these Bibsy Boopsies, it's just the kind of thing they'd do...

    As for #3? Yup. I know it's not the easiest thing to have two kids and be alone with them most of the time, but adding "friends" that crap all over her as well is just begging for punishment. Why make things harder for herself than she needs to?

    If people treat you badly on a consistent basis, then dump them!

  4. Oh, Messy, I agree with you on the account being left open on purpose! I can totally see that! And the two "friends" just loving watching the LW squirm! Either way, though, as I say, it was the LW's damn fault for looking! I mean, why did she go to the messages?! Like I say, that's the one place in a user's account that isn't already visible to friends. Why go there? 'Cause she's plain fuckin' nuts, too. ;-)

    Good stuff, though, and a great find, this 'Friend or Foe' column. :-)

  5. Messy, "a cruch on a random handyman" --I love it!

    I didn't bother reading the original "Friend of Foe" because you've given us all the essential info. and made it sooooooo much more interesting, not to mention entertaining.

    Sorry about your computer troubles! Sounds like a nightmare. I also have an external drive in a drawer somewhere. I'm going to undertake a search and try to connect it --you're my inspiration! (if I need techno help with my Dell I end up in India --and the unfortunate person at the other end can't understand my accent and I can't understand his --I be even sci fi writers with the wildest imagination writing fifty years ago couldn't fathom this turn of events! --I always ask what the weather is like where the person responding is, and I usually get told the city.... just want to know where my frantic phone call went to!)

    Fascinating photograph. Have you ever thought of publishing them as a book, as for instance "Urban landscapes" or "Chicago's mysteries" or some such?

  6. I saw the same thing with LW#3 as you did Smag. She spends an awful lot of that letter whining about how hard it is to have her hubby deployed and the two kids and work and I don't think anyone would deny that there's a lot of busy involved there but she CHOSE to have a party! That's not to say that her "friends" shouldn't do her the service of being on time but don't PLAN a dinner party and then whine about how busy you are! Her friends probably showed up late on purpose so they could miss the pre-dinner appetizer of whine and cheese!

  7. Robin, I think her complaint is what a LOT of people would say if they'd gone through all of the work to make a nice dinner and have no one show up. She WAS kinda whiny, but I'd be bitching about that, too. (Note, I have no children.)

    I also think - what with the whining and all - that the situation would be VERY similar if her husband were at home. Probably the only difference would be that if he were around, he'd be reminding her that she was wasting her time on these idiots.

  8. Kati - all of these latest photos were taken on a couple of farms owned by my family in Northern Alberta. The house in this photo has been abandoned since about 1939.

    It is surrounded by carrigana (or Siberian Peaberry - from jerks that still try and sell the stuff, it's a weed) that was planted as a hedge when the house was built. Now, all these years later, it has taken over about half of the 160 acre quarter section it was planted on and has completely engulfed the house.

    That house is only rotting because of the vegetation. If someone had killed that hedge, the house would be intact. The place was built of logs, with wood floors and a small cold room under about half the house. Hence the collapsing floors. The shot you see was looking from the kitchen into the living room. The blue arch was intact as late as fifteen years ago. Tough house.

    Getting through the insane bushes was hard enough. They're quite thorny. It was very dark, too. To get that shot I had to put my hand through a broken window and shoot without looking. That was with my old Canon film camera and a flash. I counted on the autofocus to make some kind of sense out of the image, but I had no idea what I got until I got the film developed.

    A book? I suspect it's been done...

  9. I'm glad I'm not the only one reduced to teethgrinding conniptions by "Friend or Foe." Ye gods, what drivel.

  10. But Jackal, just think of it! These idiots are so...so... mockable! I'm even planning a mock-fest with the chickie-boo that's answering the questions because she sounds about 12!

    I just could not resist. It's reflex. The stupider they are the more I have to mock. It's a target-rich environment of the stupid, the childish, the...the... Ah, who cares? It's too much fun to pass up.

  11. HI Aunt Messy,

    The thing that gets me about this column is not so much that the things they are writing in about would not bother me, but that they are WRITING IN ABOUT THEM. I know that is true for all these advice columns, but for this one it always strikes me as particularly bad.

    BTW, I have a facebook account. I could say I have it so I can keep track of my kids (I am, actually, one of those mothers who makes my kid 'friend' me) but I also like it because it is a great way to share news and photos with friends from college. Also, online scrabble is FUN. My mother and I always have a game going. I'm just saying, I don't agree having an FB account makes you a dolt.

  12. Bella - No, of course having an account doesn't make you a dolt! FB can be very useful.

    Making FB your LIFE would make you a dolt, and these idiots that spend entire days running to their computers to check their accounts to the point that they're logging in on someone else's computer really ARE dolts.

    They're like alcoholics. They need to give it up and quit obsessing.

  13. Yeah, I know what you mean. And while I post a status update once in a blue moon, I think it is weird when people do it all the time. I end up getting annoyed and 'hiding' them.

  14. Messy, very interesting about the farms and the killer-farm-weed! I wonder if Stephen King has already thought of that plot?

    As for books having been done before, I suspect everything has. So that doesn't preclude us doing it again?

    I'm reminded of the myth of Sysyphus. The poor lad displeased Zeus for reasons I can't remember, so he was doomed to push a large boulder up a hill, and when he finally got it up there, the rock would magically go back down and he had to start all over again. This for all eternity! ouch

  15. Good old Sysyphus! I frequently empathize with the poor bugger when I'm scooping litter boxes ... It's the darndest thing.

    I'll be posting more photos as I scan them. The problem is that there are a LOT of photos to scan. That's why I've GOT to get an external hard drive and soon.