15 October 2010

SHADDAP! Worlds of Dumb Edition

(Photographs copyright 2010, all rights reserved.)

Here we are again on another Goldilocks day! That's what The Boy has taken to calling days when it's a not too hot/not too cold, sun shining, birds chirping, non-windy fall day. I like it, so I'm going to use it. Probably he stole it, too, but I don't care. It's 60 degrees and sunny here in the City of Wind, with (ironically) very little wind. So there!

Naturally, I'm indoors....writing this. Mermaid's right. There's something just a little odd in that, isn't there? However, we're off!

For the original letters, read Dear Prudie .

1. I'd like to say I feel for you. I would. Seriously... but this has to be some kind of joke, right? Here you are, admitting that "(g)rowing up, I was quick to fly off the handle," and that you not only lost your temper with your sister again recently, but subjected her to a vicious, abusive harangue that ended with her not only not accepting your apology, but giving as good as she got, probably for the first time in her life.

THEN.... you have the nerve to say that you're "...broken-hearted that a sister I love and respect would say such horrible things..." to you? Some "love and respect". Funny, I didn't know it was all right to show "love and respect" by screaming at people for no good reason.


Let's review....You were a little shit as a kid. You got worse as an adolescent. You've spent your life throwing tantrums and hurling invective around your family, especially at your sister, and NOW you're surprised that she wants nothing to do with you?

You know what? I'm on your sister's side. You're an asshole.

Wake up, dippy. You finally got on your sister's last nerve. It took awhile, but you managed it. In one swell foop, you reminded her of all the shitty things you said to her when you were kids and all of the fake apologies you gave only because your parents forced you to. All it took was ONE LOOK at your face, ugly with rage, and she had had enough.

You heard me. You've been dishing out the shit for so long that when ONE PERSON calls you on your crappy behavior you're shocked, you bullying jerk.

What the hell did you expect, dolt? How many rotten things have you said to and about your sister over the years? Be honest. You were power-tripping on your whole family, weren't you? You discovered when you were just a tiny sprog that all you had to do was yell and go red in the face and everyone would do their best to placate you and you LOVED that, right?

That was one hell of a power trip, wasn't it? You got to control everyone around you, just by getting/acting angry. All you had to do was say the words "I'm sorry" and that was the end of it. Your parents chose to permit you to abuse everyone in the house and you took full advantage. They bear some responsibility, because this tantrum habit of yours is something they could have tried to stop, and it seems they didn't bother. Then again, nice people have trouble believing that they've brought an unholy, frothing at the mouth, psycho-bitch into the world.

I'd say your sister is a model of restraint! She really let you have it by the sound of things, and I'll bet no one's ever had the guts to do that to you before. See, when she told you that you're a "...toxic person who infects the whole family...", she was doing nothing more than telling you the absolute truth. Instead of whining that she was "mean" to you, consider that YOU very likely managed to destroy HER childhood with your selfish, childish antics. She's spent her entire life tippy-toeing around you and your nonsense and she's decided it's all over. I know. You can't consider that. If you did, you'd have to admit that maybe, just maybe the world doesn't revolve around you and your vile temper.

I'd have kicked your miserable ass out of my life long ago.

I love the way you try to cast yourself as a victim here. Maybe it's even worked for you a couple of times. It's classic, though - you're a bully and when someone finally stands up to you and shows you how truly small you are, you're so upset that you expect the world to feel sorry for you. Because you just don't get that it's NOT all about you. You claim that you've been working on your anger issues, but I'm not going to give you the benefit of the doubt. See, when bullies grow up, they surround themselves with people they can control...and I think that's what you've done.

YOU have no control over your sister or the situation any more. SHE is done with your nastiness, and SHE cut you off first. That's gotta suck. Your control of the situation is gone altogether now. Your sister has finally learned that you can only abuse her if she lets you, and she's doing the right thing to protect herself. I'd be willing to bet that she's also seriously considering limiting her contact with your enablers. That would be your parents.

Your parents are trying to get you to "make nice" like you did when you were a kid, and it worked when you were a kid. They would do anything just to shut you up, wouldn't they? Too bad your sister sees through the phony nonsense you show your parents.

2. I have to say, somewhat smugly, that I was born without wisdom teeth. I have none, and neither did my mother. Having witnessed the squirrel faces on many people in my friends and family, I'm deeply grateful I dodged that genetic bullet. Now. To the LW!

You I feel for. I know what major dental work is like - I've been looped on those wonderful drugs, too. Part of the reason dentists use that stuff is so that the patients won't have any memory of the crunching and yanking that went on in your mouth. It's a good deal for them. You're easier to work on when you're not stiff as a board and moaning and you still like them after you come down.

However, the "coming down" off that stuff is the issue here, isn't it? See, I don't think you did anything wrong. Your so-called friend is the one that behaved badly here.

Here's why. First of all, any reasonable person would take your abortive groping as a sign that you weren't in your right mind and that leaving you at a bus station would be stupid and potentially dangerous. Had it been me, I would have changed the plan, taken you home, and babysat you until I KNEW that those drugs had cleared your system. That's just what friends do for each other. They keep each other safe.

But is that what your "friend" did? Hell no! He dumped you at the station and (I'm guessing here, but I think I'm right) didn't even call to see if you were all right. At work, you're suddenly persona non grata in his world, because of something HE TOLD YOU you did when you were so high you couldn't see straight.

Do you really want to consider this guy a friend?


He was never your friend. Even if the groping really happened (and we only have his word for that) and was coming from some deep id-based desire on your part, a friend would have laughed it off and forgotten the whole thing. A GOOD friend wouldn't even give you the details about what you did, other than to tell you you were acting like a twit. A funny twit. The guy is a jerk. Keep the same attitude at work that you always have and let it be. You can't change his attitude. Take it as a lesson in his character and move on.

Here's something else to consider, though. Has it occurred to you that the reason he's not comfortable around you is that he LIKED it when you stuck your hand down his pants, even just a little bit? You know, maybe he had a little tingle.... a twitching in the old block and tackle....a slight change in the angle of the dangle.... Just thinking.....

3. I remember it well, being a college student on the quest for cheap rent. Like yesterday. The basement apartments, the seedy neighborhoods, the creepy landlords..... It's a story as old as the existence of universities - a rite of passage, if you will. It's only now, over 20 years after the fact, that I can bring myself to see the humor of my living in that silverfish-infested, creaky-floored, next-to-the-biker bar dump that was under $200.00 a month. I got out of THAT lease as fast as I could, too.

But this is about you and your conscience. To review... You find yourself living in a seedy apartment in a seedy neighborhood with a seedy landlord that you just now discovered is a registered sex offender who kept underage sex slaves in the building - nay, the very apartment - that you now live in. Gotcha. It's creepy.

I'm not sure how morally wrong it is to live there, though. Then again, I have stated elsewhere that an apartment is just a box, it was empty before you moved in and it will be empty again when you move out.

What can you do?


The answer to your question is, as many have already told you, nothing. You can't do a thing about it. You have to pay out your lease whether you actually live in the joint or not, so you'll just have to deal.

I have a couple of questions, though...

How did you find out all of this information? Did someone tell you? Who? Was it the old lady in 2B that always wears the pink bathrobe that smells of cat pee? Perhaps it was that skinnyyoung man with the red dots on his arms and legs and the twitching problem in 1A? How about the older fella that shouts through the door because he can't open it for all the junk he's hoarded in his apartment. Was it him?

Then I have to ask.... Did you verify any of this? Did you check your local Sex Offenders Registry? Most registries aren't allowed to tell you the exact nature of the offense, so really, how DO you know those details?

If I were a cynical person (heavens forfend!), I'd wonder if you were trying on this story to see if you could use it to break your lease and move in with a new boy/girlfriend....

SHADDAP! Again...

You say in your letter that your landlord is "back in business". What business would that be? The landlord business? Then pay your rent, you prat. The sex slave business? Then call the cops.

Now go away. Your whining hurts my ears.

4. Wow. You're brave. THREE kids? All little? You have your hands full. It's a wonder you found time to write to the Internet Lady!


Your husband's sister dumps her kids off on you all the time. Mostly in the evenings, forcing you to feed and care for HER brats AND your three (including a newborn) after you've already had a full day baby-wrangling and keeping your house running. Now she's threatening to leave them with you for the entire summer of 2011 and you don't know what to do!

Of course you already KNOW the answer to your question, right?

No. That's it. The whole answer. Ok, it's a little more complicated than that. She's your husband's sister, right? You want to keep your husband sweet, and in order to do that, you have to manage things so that she can't complain about you.

I know that most people who see a stay-at-home mother figure that she's got nothing to do but sit on her ass and eat bon-bons all day. But you know that's a crock, and so does every other woman (or man) who's opted to stay home with the kids. You're working hard and you deserve to focus on YOUR family, not someone else's

There are a couple of ways you can handle this. You can, as many suggest, have a talk with your husband, tell him that you can't handle FIVE kids alone, and that you want this free babysitting to stop. If he's got anything resembling a heart or a brain, he'll go for that. After all, he has to live with YOU, not his sister. Keeping you happy means him having a happy life, right?

If he gets shirty about it...tell him you want to go back to work. Say, "Honey, I think if I go back to work, we can just swing hiring a nanny for the kids and a house cleaner to come in every couple of weeks."

He'll ask you why you want to do that, and you'll answer, "Sweetie, I feel like I'm running a day care anyway with all of the extra work I have to do with your sister's kids. If I'm going to be run off my feet, frazzled and constantly too tired for sex, I'd at least like to get some money out of the deal."

That should about do it. How hard is that? Why didn't you do it before? Are you frightened of your husband? Do you LIKE being treated like a slave? Is it FUN to be taken advantage of all the time? Of course not!

Not dealing with this quickly and decisively would be dumb. Stop the nonsense now and you'll be saving yourself either a big blowup later or a nervous breakdown. Your choice.


  1. I think the stay-home mom has an over-developed sense of duty. Someone has convinced her that if SHE doesn't watch these kids, whom I'm sure she cares about, then no one will. However, if she didn't live near her husband's family, they'd manage to find someone to watch the kids without driving the across the country to see Aunt Wimpette.

    It's hard to break out of the "responsible" mode. Not to say she should be IRresponsible, or that people who choose NOT to be doormats are irresponsible, but that she needs to choose what she is responsible for. Raising her in-laws kids shouldn't be one she accepts, especially with them both alive and working.

  2. Well, and she has enough to be dealing with right now. I still think that most folks look at people who don't have day jobs and think that there's nothing to it. This lady has three little kids, one a newborn, and her own family decides she must have all the time in the world? What the heck is that all about?

    We know that part of the reason this lady doesn't work is that she isn't big on day care. But that's HER decision, for HER kids. It doesn't mean that she should have to "save" every kid on the block from day care!

    There's "responsible" - and I've always been the responsible one - and there's "doormat". I hope this LW doesn't wait until she's 45 to figure out the difference.

  3. Sadly, what the LW is going through has become very common now that so many moms work outside the home. If you have a neighborhood where most of the moms work, they're likely to assume that the one or two that don't, have all the time in world (because all they're doing is watching soaps and eating bon-bons). Not only do they get asked to watch kids - they get asked to be there to sign for packages, let the cable guy in, walk the dogs, etc., etc. The LW definitely needs to learn that it's fine to say "No" - even to someone in the family. Otherwise, she's going to be a perpetual doormat - she'll be the one doing all the baking for the school bake sales.

  4. You're so right Messy! Friends keep their friends safe or they're not friend....

    Love the pix. There are some pretty amazing graffiti artists in Chicago --could it be something in the wind?

  5. Nope, that's San Francisco. They've taken the smart route and co-opted the artists by sponsoring competitions and hiring them to do murals. If you peek down alleys all over the city, you'll see some of the best street art in the world.

    Naturally in some of those alleys, one only goes in broad daylight and never alone. Actually, in some of those alleys, one doesn't actually go in there at all.

    Here in Chicago, there are a few spots for good art, but most of what you'll see is gang tagging. The city has set up their 311 service to report tagging and it will be removed - either power washed off brick or painted over - within 24 hours.

  6. One swell foop, indeed! But too goddam nice! You wouldn't be trying to horn in on my schtick now, would you? Where's that patented brand of bitchery we all know and love so much? I want to feel my cheeks stinging from imaginary slaps after I've read a SHADDAP! This feels as if you were ~ less than mannerly. I'm afraid that's as high as I can go.

    My brother made a dangly earring out of 3 of my wisdom teeth that he wore with his homemade barbarian costume that he'd wear to ren faires and halloween. See what you missed, not having wisdom teeth?

    As if LW wasn't impossible enough to live with before, can you imagine the tirades her poor immediate family has had to endure since this incident? "YOUR Aunt B was so unfair to me!" and her family is probably thinking *finally! yay Aunt B!* It must be worth it just to have a ringside seat to see her coming unglued.

    Maybe you're just suffering from snarkolepsy. You know ~ when you start out being snarky but then just fall asleep about a quarter way through whatever it is you're doing. Ba dum bum!!!

    Oh, I'm just tuggin' your gam, Doll ~ I'm just jealous because I didn't have anyone to loll me around in a big old four poster bed covered in ecru satin (don't stop me I'm on a roll) surrounded by crimson rose petals and soft candlelight during a luxurious 3-day getaway to... The City. ;)

    Did I say "repeatedly loll"? I meant to.

  7. My sign in word was just "shlop". I'll try not to take that personally.

  8. ROFL! There WAS lolling... also a lot of walking. For example.... On Sunday we decided to go see the Conservatory in Golden Gate Park. We were staying at a downtown Marriott. After dim sum (sigh...they had no chicken feet), we hopped a cab to the park.

    We tootled around to the Conservatory, did the museum thing, listened to some kickass swing music, had a snack item...then saw that it was pushing up to 4:00 and thought we'd better get moving if we wanted to make dinner at 6:00.

    The Boy decided that cabs were too expensive (for which I don't blame him), so we decided to walk to Castro Station. About what? 2 1/2, 3 miles? No worries. By the time we got to the hotel, we put up our feet for half an hour and hied ourselves off to dinner. I was still footsore the next day.

    Wanna go on a holiday with us? Can you imagine Kyoto?

  9. Oh yeah...it was kinda hard to yell at 2 and 4, don't you think?

  10. Ah San Francisco! So the artistic inspiration must be in the fog?

    Sounds like you and the boy had fun! (I suspect the dim sum didn't have any chicken feet in it because they are saving them for medicinal purpose? I've been told that chicken soup will cure you of pneumonia etc but only if the chicken feet are included (actually in Hungary, it also has to be a pure white feathered chicken --which you of course have to chase around in the yard ....)

  11. They DID have delicious barbecue pork buns....

  12. Ooooh, Messy... Kyoto is absolutely lovely. Especially this time of year with the lovely autumn leaves. *sighs* I can say that during my stay in Japan, doing the Miyajima, Hiroshima, Kyoto loop was amazing, and I highly recommend all three for walking and enjoying the sights. *nostalgic sighs* Oh to be in college again.

    Also, if you're ever in Washington during your forays to BC, there are nothing but delicious Dim Sum places in Seattle's International District. They even have chicken feet if you go to the right ones. :D

  13. Corey - I can't wait. We've been there before, but it was September and the weather was stifling hot - temps well into the 90s every day. It was still wonderful. The timing was mainly because Sumo was on in Tokyo at that time and it was a blast to go and watch.

    I have a much better camera than I did before, so I'll be posting some pictures here after we get back.

    It's funny how you can find good dim sum in just about every big city there is. We had a couple of terrific places we used to go to in Toronto, Vancouver and Seattle both have amazing food, and of course San Francisco is the old classic. Now we need to explore Portland as well, since we may retire there.

  14. Nice Pics Messy, After last night's election, San Francisco is looking mighty nice.

  15. Thanks Peter! Ready for the next installment?

  16. Love the cats...