02 September 2010
(Photograph copyright 2010, all rights reserved.)
Labor Day is this weekend, and so I have to ask.... Does summer feel like it's over to you? We've still got 80+ degree temperatures, and even though it finally cooled off a bit, we know that's not going to last. It's been one of the hottest summers on record here in the City of Wind, and no matter how many people I hear whining for cool weather, I don't want it yet. The Boy is one of the whiners, but he gets to work in California during the week. He'll only experience snow on the weekend, and probably won't even have to shovel, so I'm ignoring him on this point.
A lot of people use Labor Day as a dividing line. People with kids send them off to school, so the kids definitely feel that way. I'm just relieved that the student drivers are all in classrooms where they belong. There are fashion rules about Labor Day - like no white shoes or gloves afterward. Some people start wearing boots and jeans the next day, even though they WANT to be wearing shorts and sandals. That strikes me as pretty silly. Why sweat if you don't have to?
I'm not going to acknowledge it. I will be wearing shorts until I risk turning blue with the cold. I'll wear shorts with sweaters, boots, jackets, even wooly hats - all because somewhere in my head I sincerely believe that the mere baring of my legs will prevent winter from coming. I'll drink margaritas, I'll use the barbecue, I'll eat outdoors, all until I'm forced to go indoors. I know I'll look pretty ridiculous in shorts around Hallowe'en, but that's all right. I'm willing to look like a complete goof to prove my point. I figure I can kid myself at least until there's snow.... whereupon I will embrace sweaters and excavate the long underwear. I'm a summer person, but I'm no dummy.
What a crop of letters today! From the dumb to the desperate, Prudie covered them all. Find the letters here .
1. You have everything you ever wanted and more than many people dare to dream of. You've got a loving husband who will stay with you until death. You have stepkids that adore you, and that you get along beautifully with. It sounds as if your lifestyle is just what you like - I assume both of you have good jobs and financial stability - or as much stability as you could have in this economy, anyway.
Life is good. Very good. In fact, you have it better than probably more than half of the people around you do....
...but it's not enough, is it?. No. You have fixed on the idea that you absolutely MUST, at all costs, have a baby. NOW.
You jackass! You AGREED when you got married to this paragon of a man that loves you to distraction, that you would not have kids. He made it excruciatingly clear to you that HE DID NOT WANT MORE KIDS. I think the vasectomy makes that pretty clear, don't you? You weren't a kid when you married this man, so you don't have the "young and dumb" excuse.
What are your reasons for wanting to spawn now, anyway? Hormones? Whoopee freakin' ding, sugar. Women who already HAVE kids feel like you do just before menopause. Most of them are smart enough to realize it's a bad idea. You even acknowledge in your letter that the ONLY reason you want to have babies is that the clock is running out. That's a lousy reason for having a kid, moron.
What do you think is going to happen? You say that you "...want to parent with a partner", which is all very well and good, but you know that THE MAN WHO LOVES YOU (idiot) will not be that person. All right. Let's say you leave your husband, who loves you, and your step-children (who you will have no right to see later) who also love you, and your home, which you love, and the relatively affluent lifestyle that you enjoy..... What will you be left with?
Let's see....oh yeah! You'll be a single mother at an age when most people are starting to look forward to retirement! There are precious few men your age that will be willing to take on a stranger's kid. Plan on being alone. YOU won't be able to retire, though, will you? No, you'll be raising a baby and working your tail off to make the money to do that because you won't have child support to rely on. There won't be any college fund.....no retirement for you, either. No, just because you feel a wagging uterus NOW, you'll be working at a job LONG after most of your contemporaries are napping at the beach between rounds of golf (or margaritas).
In the meantime, you will be devastating the people who love you. You will destroy THEIR lives and THEIR security, just because you have to act like a stupid teenybopper who thinks babies are toys. Sure. You can leave. You have every right to do that. You can say "damn the consequences" and bugger off into the great unknown if you want to. You'll be throwing away everything of value that you already have, but hey, it's all about you, right?
Marriage is NOT just fun and games. Anyone who's been married for any length of time knows that. Throughout your life, there are decisions to be made, and you don't get to take the selfish route every time. Those vows you took come with obligations. You are obligated to think not just about YOU and what YOU want, you also have to consider other people. Part of not being alone means accepting that the person you married is just as important as you are. That's MARRIAGE. Both people benefit, but both people compromise, too.
Trying to force your husband to accept a baby now is a betrayal. You knew what you were getting into with this marriage, and you accepted that kids were not part of the picture. You won't think about this. You're too self-centered and idiotic. I would advise that you get your hormone levels tested, because I think about 95% of your problem is that you're already well into menopause....
2. This is a stupid question, kid. Why did you write to the Internet lady? It's a no-brainer!
You found out that a student a year ahead of you plagiarized the paper that your professor gave you as an exemplar. Why are you agonizing over what to do?
kid, and listen...
Make a copy of the paper. Highlight the passages that were plagiarized. Then put a sticky tab in the spots where those passages are in the book. Hand it to your professor. Get another copy of the paper, another copy of the book, and do the same thing. Give that to your dean.
Why would you let an academic fraud prosper because you can't make a simple decision? Has it occurred to you that YOU will look like a flaming idiot if anyone ever discovers that you KNEW about the plagiarism and did nothing? YOUR integrity is on trial here, kid. You already know that the fact of the plagiarism proves that your professor's golden boy has no moral compass.
3. Your daughter asked you a technical question, you knew the answer, her boss is thrilled with the answer....and what's your problem? A co-worker accuses you of "cheating" somehow?
Your daughter did the absolute right thing. She asked an expert. That's what she SHOULD do, right? Why should she have to struggle through and reinvent the wheel every time she needs an answer? How stupid would that be? It's the equivalent of inventing the computer from scratch when you have a software issue. You'll get the answer, but by the time you do, it's not relevant and it will cost the company a fortune.
So here's the only thing you need to tell the silly ass who's got a stick up her ass about this:
SHADDAP! (Add invective as needed. For example, "Shaddap, dumbass!" is acceptable.)
4. I am so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine how devastating it was for you to lose your husband at such a young age. I don't know if anyone had told you that, but someone should. It's bad enough to lose a spouse, especially when your children are so young, but to have to deal with his obnoxious relatives is just too much. YOU need time to handle this, you don't need to put up with any extra crap right now. Tell them all to
and leave you alone right now.
One of the first things obnoxious relatives do is look to blame someone for a death. You seem to be their obvious choice....which is stupid, but there you go. The only thing you can tell them to do is ask for an autopsy on their own. It's just barely possible they can get a judge to order an autopsy, but they'd have to have a good reason for it. These things can be done. Probably if they tried this, they'd be told to get lost.
You aren't obligated to give these people anything. Clearly they have a grudge that is entirely irrational, and by attacking you, they're making themselves feel better. They don't CARE what you're going through, and they don't care what they're putting your kids through. It's obvious that "revenge" and petty bickering are all they're capable of. Don't waste your time or energy discussing anything relating to your husband with them. They've decided what they think and you will never convince them otherwise.
See, here's the thing. YOU were his wife. YOU are the one who has the authority to do as you see fit when it comes to funeral arrangements and so on. YOU and his children are more important than anything right now. They don't have to like that, that's the way it is. I'm sure that if they had at least tried to be decent to you, I'm sure you would have reciprocated. It's unfortunate that you had to learn what his relatives are really like now, when you're least able to do something about it. Beware, too. Given the way his relatives are behaving, you might have some of them demanding money - be it from your husband's estate, or his life insurance. They aren't entitled to a damned thing.
You say at then end of your letter that you're about to cut ties with these folks...and I give Prudie a big, fat, hairy F- for her answer. She yammers on about how kids "need" their grandparents. Take it from me, you don't want your kids anywhere NEAR these assholes, and YOU have the right to make that decision. They may be related, but they are NOT acting like family.
Oh, and don't ever agree to let them see the kids, but not deal with you. You and YOUR children are a package deal. Respect the group or be banned from it, you are the most important person in your kids' lives and never forget it. No one else matters, especially now.