23 July 2010

SHADDAP! You Gonna Take That?

(Photograph copyright 2010, all rights reserved.)

Well, regular readers of my nonsense already know, but here it is for the world: The Boy and I are now American citizens. That's right, kids! No longer will I have to tolerate the "what do Canadians know?" nonsense the *certain* people pop out with when I make sweeping, nonsensical political comments! No more will I have to endure the "you just don't get it" that I get when I crap all over Sarah Palin!

Quake in fear, fellow bloggers! I'm a Yank now, babies!

Now from time to time, I urge people to listen to a song that I think embodies the answer that ALL of the LWs on Dear Prudie need to hear. Something like this . Yes, if only we could solve our problems like Malcolm!

It's going to be 100 degrees here in the City of Wind today, and The Boy and I have pretty much decided that anything involving outdoor activity is just not going to happen. It would be cruel and unusual for us to make ourselves walk on concrete on a day like this, so here we go....

1. (Everyone is taking it easy on this LW. I get it. With an unemployed verbally abusive husband, she doesn't need any crap raining down on her. Really.....I get it. I'm trying to understand, I am. Ok. I can't, not completely.)

Ok. I gave a smidge of a synopsis above, but I have to ask, what is your major malfunction, kid? You're married a MONTH, your husband is showing his abusive side and you're sticking around? What in blazes for?

SHADDAP! How long are you going to take his crap?

I have to wonder what went into this "marriage" from the start. I suspect that you dated this guy four times, he love-bombed you and convinced you that you and he are "soul mates" (a bullshit designation that really means 'get a room') and married him without a single thought in your tiny, pointed brain.

See, I tell everyone that there are a bunch of conditions EVERYONE should meet before they decide to marry. They need to see their partner:

a) Interact with their family.

b) Sick. With the flu or something really nasty.

c) Ungroomed, as in unshaven or no makeup.

d) Interact with pets and children. Even if you aren't planning on either, this is an excellent character test.

e) Deal with money. Do they pay their bills? On time?

f) After a very bad day at work. Do they blame others for their problems?

g) On at least one major holiday.

h) Drunk.

i) With a hangover.

None of these are negotiable.

Even if someone passes all THAT without completely disillusioning you, you should STILL not marry until you've known that person for a full year. If it's true love, believe me, a year is NOTHING. I'm deadly serious here, folks. If the person who wants to marry you wants to do it instantly, that is a massive red flag. Waiting harms no one and it gives you both a chance to make a rational decision. And for those of you that think rationality shouldn't come into it - your life will be (or already is) a train wreck.

But you didn't do that, did you? Now you're finding out exactly what kind of person you married, and trust me on this, it is only going to get worst. You say "...I'm starting to feel like a martyr because I have to apologize for every little transgression.", what he hears is, "I'm sorry I'm sorry, please dominate me and tell me what to do! Treat me like a slightly mentally impaired toddler because I agree with you that I'm too stupid to live!"

Are you hearing me? Every time you apologize, you are giving him permission to shit on you. This is how he makes himself feel good. It has nothing to do with him being suddenly unemployed. If he had kept his job, this would have happened anyway, but he might have waited for you to have children that he could threaten.

You say that "...he said I can't fault him for my faults."

Are you paying attention to what that really MEANS? It means that in this relationship, you are not human. You are a servant, a dog to be beaten, a non-human. So how long are you going to take it? Are you going to wait until he hits you? Are you going to let him force you to quit your job because of stress? Do you think you deserve this? If so, why?

Get the hell out of that house. RUN, don't walk to a therapist to find out why your self-image is so crappy. The man you married TARGETED YOU because you are willing to be abused. Don't let him make his fantasies come true at your expense.

2. (I'm going to catch hell for this one. I've already run contrary to most peoples' opinions on it, so feel free. I still think I'm right.)

Right. You are a happily engaged 20-something, looking forward to a long, happy and prosperous life with your soon-to-be husband. Congratulations. But you can't just let that lie, can you? No, you have to hunt for trouble. I get that you went through a depressive stage in college. Most college students do at one point. It's a big adjustment, big decisions are being made, and most college students are at the exact age when everything, no matter how trivial isn't just important, they're LIFE AND DEATH.

You made a half-assed suicide attempt, failed, recovered, and are determined that it will never happen again. So what's the problem? You say you think you should tell your fiance?

SHADDAP! Stop listening to the 70s "reveal" freaks!

See, I have a different take on this. A lot of people think that when you marry someone, that person is entitled to know about your every burp, fart, sexual escapade and mistake. They're all in favor of telling that person about the time you nicked yourself with a razor trimming your pubic hair in high school, the one and only time you threw up because you were THAT drunk, the bad dye job you did when you decided to be blond, the time you went under the bleachers with Billy just because you wanted to see what an erection looks like up close, the time you got detention because you called one of the mean girls a bitch and someone overheard....

It's all bullshit. No one needs that level of detail. If you don't want to talk about your suicide attempt, YOU DON'T HAVE TO. It would only be fair to let him know about that depressive episode, but something as personal and upsetting as that episode is something that you're allowed to keep private if you want to. He doesn't need all the gory details.

See, good marriages are built by people who are both a couple AND individual adults. We all need a little space, a little privacy from time to time. Revealing your every dream, wish and sexual fantasy (no matter how odd) is something that successfully married couple just don't do. They love each other. They share the big things. They understand that they are separate people who have inner lives of their own. A good partner will NEVER try and force you to reveal everything. NEVER.

Prudie is right about one thing. If you're afraid to tell your fiance because you think he might leave you if you do, then he's an asshole that you don't want to be married to in the first place. In fact, I would add that little tidbit of advice to LW #2s list. While you don't have to reveal everything that you'd sooner keep private, if you're do decide to tell and that person reacts badly, then you need to find someone you can trust.

3. Ah, cubicle wars! It's been awhile since we've seen one of these. I'm assuming that you are a detail-oriented person who's in some sort of technical field. You need to concentrate on your work. But wait! There's a hitch! YOUR cubicle has become the Social Center in the office. People stand over you and blither away all day long while you're trying to work!

SHADDAP! Are you going to let a bunch of yappy idiots decide how you do your job?

Yes. I understand that your boss is one of the culprits. It sucks that you can't even hide in a meeting room without being snooped on. So DO something about it!

Your boss seems to be a nice, social person. TELL him/her about this. Let them know that you need a quiet place to work in. Everyone is telling you this, it's true, so listen up! Don't sit there seething. Don't be a timid twit trying to drown out the noise. Don't ASK if people will be quiet.

Go to your boss first thing in the morning, explain your noise issues and offer a couple of suggestions. You could ask to work at home one or two days a week. Tell him/her that you'd like to take over a meeting room from time to time and put a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door. Ask if there's an empty office you can borrow.

See, going to a higher-up and whining isn't going to get you anywhere unless you can add some concrete solutions as well. If you really want to solve this problem, you're going to have to get proactive and deal with it instead of whining to the Internet Lady.


4. This is an easy one. You live as "green" as you can, but draw the line at suffering through intense heat with no air conditioning. That's reasonable. Many, many people do exactly the same thing. There are limits to what you can live with, and life is compromise.

However..... I love these "howevers"..... you have a so-called "friend" that goes to your home once a week, accepts your hospitality - along with snacks and beverages, no doubt and "...always manages to lecture me about how I'm killing the environment because of my own selfish wants."

SHADDAP! How long are you going to take that crap?

Some "friend"! Why the hell are you asking what you should do about this? Hell, even if it were a family member who never saw you without berating you, I'd recommend the same thing!


Is that so hard? You could say some snappy things to her as quid pro quo, like spraying her with room freshener and remarking about how she smells like a homeless person fermenting in the heat, but why would you go there?

Do you waste time on the religious freaks that knock on your door? Befriend telemarketers because you don't want to be rude? Have you ever hurled your body over a puddle so that someone could walk on you? How about letting a stranger hit you with a stick because you can see he just needs to vent? No? Gee, I wonder why?

Grow the hell up! This person is TRYING to make you feel bad for reasons of her own, so why are you letting her do it? Do you LIKE being treated like garbage?

This idiot is not your friend. Stop being her doormat.


  1. Messy, I have an exception to your list. I don't get hangovers unless I literally drink enough to have courted death by alcohol poisoning. Since I plan never to reach a BAC of .35 or above again in my lifetime, no future spouse of mine will get to see me with a hangover. Otherwise, that's a pretty good list! =-D

  2. Also, the suicide thing. I call that a major life event that needs to be discussed. I agree that no one needs to share every case of the sniffles they ever had, but major things, as I said on the Fray, especially major things that others who are still in your life know about, should be shared, because otherwise you'll have to deal with an "outing" at some point and all the fallout from that.

  3. Really, the key to all of this tell/don't tell stuff has to do with trust. If you're afraid to tell - then why are you with that person? People want to listen to the words instead of trusting their gut, and that's generally pretty stupid.

    I agree on telling about the depression - but it's not the main thing in her life. It is NO LONGER a part of her life and she's pretty clear about that. I object when people start to scream about having to know EVERYTHING.

  4. I agree that if you are afraid to tell then you shouldn't be with that person. I disagree that telling about the depression, without the explanation, that at one point it had gotten as bad as it did, but these were the things she did to recover from that point, is sufficient. (Gack, that was a horrible run-on, I hope it made sense.)

    I think there is a huge chasm between "I have to know EVERYTHING" and "You should share about your previous suicide attempt."

    The key for me on this is often the whole concept of "If I were to find out about something like this from a friend of his in 15 years, would I wonder why he didn't trust me enough to share it with me?" If the answer is yes, then it should be shared. If the answer is no, then it can safely be considered a non-issue.

    For instance, if I were to get married to someone, and I didn't know that they hadn't had chicken pox, or the vaccine, as a child, and found out years later about how they were the lucky so-and-so who didn't get it when it was making the rounds that one hot and sticky summer...I'd shrug and figure this was something that it was good to know in case our kids (if we had any) got exposed, otherwise it wouldn't faze me.

    OTOH, if I were to find out from a buddy of his at some point that he had not just "been depressed" which can be anything from feeling down for a few days/weeks/months, but had "attempted suicide" I'd wonder what I had said or done early in the relationship to make him think that I couldn't handle that information, and make me wonder what else that falls into the category of life-changing that he didn't feel the need to share with me.

  5. You can't say "Eh?" at the ends of your sentences anymore, either, if you ever did.

    1. (h) and (i) are negotiable, if they are a non-drinker. Complete. Total. As in, no-not-even-a-beer-with-their-pizza non-drinker.

    2. I disagree that something "personal and upsetting" should be hidden from the spouse, only because it will absorb a lot of emotional energy, which will impact the relationship. If it isn't something that bothers her and that she doesn't think about except maybe when she hears about someone else committing suicide, she can withhold it. But she wrote Prudie about it, so obviously she's still dwelling on it.

    Libby's rule of thumb is good. Would she want to know if this was in his history, instead?

    But still, it is her decision to make. The more people she asks about it, the more likely it is to get back to him.

    3. I understand how this happens. This is a resource person, whom everyone needs on occasion. One day, a line formed, and his/her cubicle because the new water cooler. However, I've never seen a supervisor be a part of it unless (a) he/she is totally incompetent, and/or (b) he/she was promoted from within, and hasn't learned to adjust the socializing with the help to a managerial level. But, yeah. Tell them to stop. Especially the boss.

    4. Good answer. Enough said.

  6. Libby, I would concede if it was a serious attempt or resulted in a hospitalization that she should tell. Clearly it's bothering her, so she should tell. But 'Neato's right, too. If she's never devoted any thought to it and it's so remote in her mind that it's no longer a big deal, then she shouldn't.

    'Neato - I probably would never date someone who NEVER drank, unless there's a darned good reason for it. People who teetotal just for the sake of teetotalling, or who lecture on the "evils" of spiritous liquors just to feel superior would be so far off my radar screen that h and i just make sense.

    Everyone knows I can't abide whiners and wafflers, so I tend to be pretty harsh on them. If people would just Make. A. Fucking. Decision. their lives would be so much easier. Unless they don't want them to be easier, in which case they'll ignore that advice and keep whining.....

  7. Oh, Ms Messy, Ms Messy.

    Never drink, never have, never will, never spout, never judge. Never smoked either. Just never felt the urge to try either, though it doesn't bother me when others do, even when I was coping with rooms blue with smoke back in the 80's. I'd have no objection to serving alcohol, though back when I gave dinner parties it was the sort of thing that it never occurred to me to have available, not on a point of principle, but just because I never thought of it one way or the other and it was just something I never had in the house, like coffee or orange juice. You probably wouldn't have approved of that, but you'd probably have liked my vichysoisse.

    I sort of get your point, though. I did once see someone I loved drunk, and it gave me a distinct view of his inner sadness that was quite touching.

    And I hate to ask about those of us who don't interact with toxic families. At least my nephews like me, so that I might skate by on that.

    And fortunately I have Retired from Romance, so that it really doesn't matter whether I pass or not, but it's always nice to think I could if I wanted to.

    I tried to post a comment last week wishing you and Mr M enjoyment of your new citizenships, but the page ate it. If I weren't afraid of the same being about to happen, I'd have a lot to say thanking you about L2. Why so many seem to think an attempt is so shameful is just beyond me.

  8. Howdy hrumpole, I never said that I thought it was shameful, and I hope that wasn't the impression that I gave, it is, however, lifechanging, one way or another....

  9. I agree with you on LW2. I'm now married with kids. In my past, before I met hubby, I was pretty depressed and did some dumb things. I don't think I ever told my husband about any attempts I made because I'm really just over that point in my life. Maybe this chick really isn't over it. She might still be in that 'I have to tell everyone I was depressed' mode. Maybe she is just trying to convince herself she's over it. Also, people who dwell on past events, whether good or bad, really piss me off. Move on. Plenty of people have been depressed. She's acting like it's this grand event that solely defines who she is as a person. It's not. I just don't see what a big deal telling the fiance or not telling him is.

  10. hrumpole - The key to all of this is that you don't preach. In fact, you don't care whether people drink or not, which makes you a jewel among non-drinkers. It's the people that DO preach that make me want to beat them about the head with hard things like shoes and cricket bats.

    As to LW2 - a lot of us do stupid things at various times of our lives. The world AND our significant others really don't need to know about every single one.

    MonkeyHead - Welcome! I'm glad you like the SHADDAPS. I suspect you're right about LW2. She's still rattled by what she did. I suspect it's age related. If she were even five years older, it just wouldn't be that big a deal.

  11. I've been preached at by plenty of drinkers (not just when I was barely of drinking age) that I should drink too, to be sociable and not to make people feel uncomfortable and that I needed to learn to relax and fit in. I figure, if you won't tell me I MUST drink, I won't tell you that you MUST NOT. Well, maybe if you're already past being just drunk, I might.

  12. CoolOne - tell ya what. I'll provide the wine AND the club soda (or beverage of your choice). No worries. ;-)

    I don't think I've actually been drunk in about 20 years. More? Not sure. It's been that long.

  13. Oh, Messy, you are so full of crap. Woo! I really need to do more proofreading; for a minute there you were full of carp. That would present its own set of problems.

    Congratulations on the citizenship, really, but Canadian citizen to United States citizen.... Hmmmm. Do you have to renounce your Canadian citizenship? Isn't that harsh? We like Canadians, except for that bitch Anne Murray.

    Isn't that like going from the Methodist Church to the Presbyterian Church? You know what a Presbyterian is, right? It's a Methodist that finally got a decent job.

    I have a hard time caring what the pathetically stupid letter writers do with themselves but I wish they could leave the rest of us out of their obsessions. I know that's not the way it works because their little brain-dead obsession is to lecture everyone in the whole world about how they are the only ones doing it right. (sigh)

    Why do alkies think everyone else in the whole world ought to get shit-faced, knee-walking, puking, crawling off to die in a corner, drunk with them? It would be a lot easier and maybe a bit cleaner if they would just hook a taser up to their genitals and zap themselves when they are in the mood for some abuse. I was kind of like Madd Libby, with an enormous capacity for alcohol abuse, but that was a long time ago. Those hangovers were something special; I haven't been that sick since then except for the time I got food poisoning.

  14. Meh. Those hangovers weren't as bad as the case of the flu I got last year. I mean, feeling bad for like 3 hours is hardly a lesson on not drinking so damn much. What got me was when an online BAC calculator asked me to "enter a reasonable number of drinks." I've consumed considerably less than an unreasonable number of drinks SINCE (in total) and usually never more than 1-3 in a sitting.

    I suppose I might get drunk once with a partner I was looking to marry. Not unreasonable number of drinks drunk, but definitely impaired, just so that they would know what I am like when that happens. Mainly because I don't like the idea of accidentally overindulging because my immune system is down, or whatnot, and them having no idea what happened and why I was that odd.

  15. On the suicide thing, I think she should tell if it is important to her and not if it isn't. She could be afraid to tell not because of something he said or did but because of how other people have reacted.

    On the drinking thing. I don't drink to the point of getting drunk. Don't see the point, a buzz great, drunk not so great. Plus, I don't think I can get drunk, I'll fall asleep before then, alcohol makes me sleepy. Maybe that's why I've never seen the point of being drunk. As for hangover, I make sure I drink plenty of water/sports drinks and eat stuff to sop it up.

  16. Tonto darling! It's been forever! Life is hard when there's no one around to tell me I'm fulla crap. I didn't even sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night. What should scare you is that some people seem to think that I am full of common sense.

    The US does not demand that Canadian passports be turned in. Part of the Oath of Allegiance renounces citizenship in other countries, though. There must be some sort of agreement in place, because UK citizens are in the same position. Canada owns you until you die if you're born there. They'll take you back any time, and you're welcome. I don't know if that amounts to dual citizenship, but there you go.

    BTW, Ann Murray is....I'm not altogether sure. She has her fans, but that was a LONG time ago. Google "Don Messer's Jubilee" and see what comes up. She was a regular on that show in the '60s. You'll laugh your head off, I promise.

    The truly embarrassing entertainer for Canadians is Celine Dion. Worse than Pam Anderson because at least Pam KNOWS she's a caricature of a human being. Celine's action figure is just My Little Skeleton with makeup. We don't like to talk about her.

    I come from a long line of dedicated alcoholics, and I've always been careful about my alcohol intake. The truly frightening thing is that I don't get hangovers. Never. THAT doesn't bode well. Still, I'm a bit like Mist - I'd fall asleep LONG before I got truly drunk.

    And I will NEVER give up wine.

  17. Sorry, I don't have as much time to goof off this summer as I'd expected. I work for the government, and that actually turned into WORK for the government this year. Bummer.

    In my personal opinion US and Canadian citizenship ought to be almost interchangeable but that would probably upset a lot of politicians and maybe a few xenophobes. England and Australia ought to be treated that way as well, but there you go. People would suspect me of not having enough patriotism. OK, I confess, I don't have enough patriotism. I don't need to be waterboarded.

    The "bitch Anne Murray" is from South Park. She is probably the least offensive living Canadian entertainer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxPRHXgYVlk&feature=related

  18. Hmm. Never thought of that. But then, I've always felt that Aussies and Canadians have more in common than either of them do with the English. I may just have to go to Oz and do some research. Eventually.

  19. Hi Messy, congrats again on your dual citizenship. In the olden days where I live near the border my friends tell me they used to ride horseback from one country to the other without even knowing it... ah the good ole days!

    I have to laugh at the discussion of drinking booze. I'm such a cheap drunk, one sip will do it. I've been told it's a genetic condition 'cause my bro. has it too. And then when I'm around people who are drinking, I get typsy, even if I don't even take a sip... so I always have booze on hand (also to cook with) but contact typsiness doesn't give you hangovers, yeah!

    Good advice about how to test a potential partner. I think getting really sick is good, you need to know how he/she will handle it....

  20. Messy, I am certain you'd like the Aussies. I certainly want to go back. It's an island about the size of North America with about 22 million people. Sydney is great fun, more like a European city than an American city. Don't skip the Great Barrier Reef if you go to Oz.

  21. I think Aussies are definitely my kind of crazy. They're game for anything. I have a deep and abiding terror of spiders, though, and the funnel webs scare the bejesus out of me. Where I come from, critters that can kill you are BIGGER than you are.

    kati - Someone I used to know in Toronto got violently sick with the flu when she'd only been dating a fellow for a few months. It turns out he was an absolute brick. He kept her supplied with whatever she needed - food, meds, tissues, and so on, AND checked on her morning and night for three weeks. Later she said she had to marry him because he'd seen her at her worst and still wanted to kiss her good night.