28 January 2010
(Photograph copyright 2010, all rights reserved.)
WOW. That's some set of letters this week. Where does one start? This just goes to show the levels of fucked up pathology that lurks beneath the surface of the blandest countenances.... Ok. That's a load of crap. There's some serious nonsense around here this week, by gum and I'm going to smack it around a little!
I think I'll just dive in. As always, the letters can be found at Dear Prudence
1. Ooh...you're good. Very, very slick. I LOVE the "I'm a monster, what can I do?" thing. It almost smacks of.......sincerity.
I'm loving that confessional style. Pretty sophisticated for a kid. So, how long have you been a sociopath? Really, you can tell Aunt Messy. Did your parents fall for it, too? When the cat went missing or the shih tsu across the street got barbecued when you started the grill without looking inside, or the neighbor's kid went screaming home with all his teeth missing, what did you do? Nothing, I'll bet. And if you ever got caught, I can just see you crying your crocodile tears and promising to "do better Mommy, I will...".
When you went off to college I suspect that everyone in your neighborhood AND your family breathed a sigh of relief. It's not easy to live with a little con artist/narcissist/asshole. I don't imagine the welcome mat is just popping on to any doorways near you, either.
Pay attention, little boy. You're about to get a lesson in who you can and cannot sling the shit to.
(Naturally this is all dependent on the letter being from a real LW. It could go either way.)
You confess to Prudie all about how mean you are to women. It's like you lifted your story right out of a book labelled "abuser" and scribbled it all down for the Internet lady...who bit. Verbal abuse, check. Unreasonable jealousy, check. Isolating your girlfriend, check. Bringing up her sexual past in order to hurt her, check. Getting a new relationship before the other one even picked up her toothbrush, check. "I thought I was a good guy", check. "I know I'll eventually slip...", check. From there you segue right into the good old self-help/"how do I stop myself" schtick.... Really, it's a thing of beauty. Don't get too excited though, slick. You've fallen all the way into cliche territory with it, too.
This is why I think your letter just might be fake because most abusers aren't that self-aware. Then again, this is EXACTLY the sort of behavior I'd expect from a relatively smart person who IS a serial abuser of women.
So, your last girlfriend took your bullshit abuse for a year or so, then kicked your skinny ass out of her life for good. No doubt her friends got tired of listening to her complain and helped her wise up and see you for the scum you are. Good for her. But that left you with just a teensy problem, am I right? See, people like you can't survive for long without someone to kick around. You NEED to have someone around to validate your sick little world view and if you can make them miserable, all the better. The yelling (yours), crying (hers), the manipulation (yours), it's how you get off! It's the only power you have, isn't it, little boy?
But here's your problem. You're in college. I'm guessing it's not an especially big college, either. In small, and even medium-sized schools, people talk to each other, don't they? This has GOT to cramp your style a little bit. After all, your former girlfriend has probably told the entire world about your scum-sucking-rotten-slimeball ways by now. You only have a couple of alternatives. You have to find some chick who doesn't know about you, or.......
You have to find someone with both low self-esteem and the utter conviction that she can "fix" you, if only you'll "let her in". There are a lot of girls your age that really go for the broken losers like you. A dime a dozen. Most of them wise up over time, and you have to keep on hunting for a few years to get the one girl that meets all of your needs.
I have no doubt you'll find one eventually. Sadly, my gender seems to have an overabundance of people who will spend DECADES taking crap from people like you and then get sucked in by the insincere apologies and promises to do better. You just have to find the right balance of agony and repentance, and you could have one on the hook for the rest of your miserable, misbegotten life.
And this is where the letter to Prudie comes in, isn't it? Your present girlfriend, who you've been love-bombing like a Moonie with a quota, has heard all about your rampant manipulative assholism. She's not quite the idiot you thought she was at first, but not as smart as the last one, either. You have to somehow convince her not only that you CAN be helped, but that you WANT to be and that you've been trying real hard to curb your "baser instincts", which in your case amounts to who you really are.
It's a fine line, isn't it? You have to be the "man" she wants, but in need of just a little nudge in the right direction. I'm guessing that you're busy convincing her right now that the other girlfriends just didn't know how to "reach you", and all you need is your "soul-mate", so you can be the perfect person you already think you are. You're convinced that you can show her the letter to Prudie and she'll be all over you because of hard you're "trying" to "get help". After all, if you're willing to brave the criticism you're taking on The Fray, then you MUST be serious, is that how it goes?
You're a little ham-handed about it right now. I'm guessing you probably need a little practice getting the schtick right. Better hurry up and get one on the hook, though. After most women finish college, the pickings will thin. Grown-up women tend to have a lower bullshit tolerance than the ones you're after now.
2. Are you your mother, girl? You've watched your brother manipulate your parents for your entire life. You've worked your backside off making ends meet while he sat on his because he knew that Mom and Dad would come through because they couldn't stand to see his kids go hungry.
How can you even consider giving your ill-tempered layabout of a brother even a NICKEL of your money? In fact, (and I owe this question to a Frayster) how did he even find out that you were getting this money? Did you tell him? Why on Earth would you do that? After all, this is an insurance policy - it could have stayed between you and the company and no one would have been the wiser!
Ok. I'll analyze for you. I'm guessing your brother is bloody terrified right now. He's spent his entire life acting like a child - skating through crap jobs knowing that if he got bored and quit, he could hit your mom up for money. He's never had to face a consequence in his entire life, because he was perpetually being bailed out. Why should he go to school? All he had to do was play the "woe is me" card and the money just flowed in. His wife has been sitting on her tush for years, all because she knew that your mother would always come through. Beginning to see?
Now that the bank of Mom is closed permanently, your brother is soiling his armor and with good reason. But wait, there's more! I'm guessing (and I'm a good guesser of these things) that there was no actual inheritance left, either. After all, your mother spent all kinds of HER money on your brother and probably had no savings left by the time she died. If she owned her house, you probably saw part of that, but that's about all there was, right?
So no. You have no reason to feel guilty about this. Your brother is pitching fits because of plain old naked fear, and for the first time in his life, HE's the one that has to deal with it. Your mother - a smarter woman than you probably thought she was sometimes - found a way to give you money that your brother has no claim to. He will never be able to get a nickel out of you UNLESS YOU ALLOW IT. It wasn't in her will, so he can't contest it.
Prudie says you should throw him a couple thousand bucks to shut him up, but you know the truth, dont you? He will NEVER shut up. He will ALWAYS need cash. He doesn't care about your family, he doesn't care about you, and he would take away your last pennies and let you starve without a pang of conscience.
So what should you do? The next time he calls and whines say this, "It looks like you have a problem. Good luck with that." Then say nothing else. There's nothing to argue about and let's face it - in the long haul $20 000.00 isn't that much money.
3. Ok. I have to restrain myself from banging my head on my desk. Really? You need to ask what you should do?
Pay attention. You are dealing with a grown-up adult woman who spreads rumors like she's in Grade Four, tells the neighbors you have cooties, won't talk to you, and sends nastygrams to your husband when you try and reason with her.
Got a clue yet? No? Why the hell did you go around talking to people about the rumors? What were you thinking? Did you consider, even for a second, that by running around trying to do damage control you were giving her all the power? It must have been absolute CANDY to this woman when she found out about it. You played directly into her hands and gave her the reinforcement she needed to step it up a little.
Got it now? Yeesh.
So. You started with the Big Ignore and finally you found something that ticked her off. That should have been the end of it, right? I mean, most people, even the nastiest would eventually move on to another target once they realize that the fun is gone. Ah, but no. She's upping the ante. Her latest game - following you around in her car is starting to veer into Dangerous Person that Can Hurt Me territory.
See, you aren't dealing with most people. I can't believe you haven't figured this out, but you are dealing with a Crazy Person and there are different rules to dealing with Crazy People. I have to say that I don't often say that Prudie is full of crap, but in this case, she's full of crap. If you wave to this Crazy Person, you will be giving her EXACTLY WHAT SHE WANTS.
Is any of this sinking in? Am I wasting my time here? Ok. See, this Crazy Person wants to control your actions. She LIKES it when you get upset. She LIKES getting a rise out of you. If you wave at her, in her mind, you are obeying her and she is controlling you and making you do what SHE wants you to. Hey, I didn't say any of this made sense. This is a Crazy Person, remember?
Now, you can hope that she'll finally take both hands off the wheel and wrap her car around a tree or post. That would probably injure her enough that she'd be out of your hair for awhile. What's MORE likely to happen is that she'll decide one day that waving and yelling isn't enough and she'll aim that car at you....just to see if you'll jump. Do you REALLY want to go that far? What if she decides to go after your husband with the car? Do you have any children? Crazy People will do anything to hurt the object of their current Crazy, you know.
Are you in physical danger? Probably not right now. Maybe never. Crazy People are, after all, Crazy. They aren't especially logical or predictable. You may get away clean until she finds someone else to obsess about. Here's my advice.
WAKE THE HELL UP, LADY. You are being stalked. It doesn't matter that the Crazy Person isn't an ex and hasn't held an actual gun to your head. Go to the police, report it. Write down every instance when she pulls her crazy bullshit. If your husband saved her Crazy e-mail, give it to the police. Duh. You need to get a restraining order, NOT a way to make up for the rumors on Bridge Night.
Geez, you just have to hammer a point in to some people.
4. SHADDAP! SHADDAP! SHADDAP! Again. Repeat as necessary.
Kid, if you don't know what to do about unwanted Facebook contacts, then you are too young to be allowed to use a computer. Now show YOUR Mommy all of the messages, "unfriend" the idiot and shut down your Facebook account.
Gawd, I hope no one ever tries a Bad Touch on you. You'd be doomed.
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Oops. Sorry. I hit post and then forgot to tell everyone that I'm not ignoring any comments you might make, I'm going away for the weekend and the computer is staying home. In fact, I'm hoping to come back on Monday (maybe even Tuesday!) and find a whole bunch of messages explaining to me how I'm full of crap. This is one thing I miss about the Fray. Tonto could ALWAYS be counted on to give me a negative rating.....
22 January 2010
(Photograph copyright 2010, all rights reserved.)
Be prepared! I've had a shitty week by just about all the ways you can think of, so there will be cursing and swearing. If you can't handle it, then you can't say you haven't been warned.
Yes kids, it's a photo of gas meters this week. Now why, you might ask, did Messy pick gas meters? Could they be relevant to the letters at Dear Prudence this week? Or is she being ironic in some obscure fashion? Nope. Not really. Although I did have some notion about slapping people who just gas on about their problems without actually lifting their asses to DO anything about them...
Yep, life REALLY IS a Country and Western song for some people....
1. Oh, you poor darling! Your husband fucked your best friend and now he doesn't want you to say anything to her so he can pretend it never happened...
Listen to what Hank Williams had to say about it. Listen five or six times until it sinks in, shithead.....because yours is a forlorn hope. That sleazy lout you married will NEVER cry and cry because YOU told him that fucking your best friend was all right with you!
Moron. What is with you? You know your husband cheated. You know that your so-called "best friend" eagerly participated. And you were willing to buy the whole "I'm sorry honey, we were drunk and she fell on my dick" excuse? That one ranks right up there with "He looked like he was going to hit me so I hit him back first" as the lamest excuse to act like a jackass I've ever heard!
There are a bunch of reasons he has for trying to force you to keep the secret, you know. They could still screwing around. Keeping your "friend" around you means that HE can invite her over and pretend it's all innocent and neighborly. If you confront your friend, he's afraid that her story won't match his and HE might get in some real trouble. He might like your friend's husband and wants to keep socializing with them. OR, are you ready for this? This "big reveal" on his part could be his way of making you suffer.
It doesn't matter. Tell your "friend" that she's persona non grata with you. Get rid of the bitch. Tell her why. Tell her husband why. Just. Get. Rid. Of. Them. Do you really have a burning desire to have to look her in the eye and pretend to be buddies after this? How much of a masochist are you? Maybe you think you deserve to watch the video every night, too and watch them laugh about what a couple of chumps you and her husband are?
Tell your erstwhile husband to pound sand. His actions AND his "reason" were just a bunch of juvenile nonsense, and you've now given him permission to do whatever he wants, as long as he looks contrite. He's a prick. He's an asshole. He's a waste of skin.
Why would you keep any of these losers around you? Or is being treated like shit something that you've aspired to ever since you were a little girl putting wedding dresses on Barbie?
2. Oh my Gawd! I've heard of lousy cooks before, but this is just ridiculous. She really makes you sick? You're afraid to tell YOUR OWN WIFE that you get the shits every time she lifts a finger in the kitchen? How dumb can you be and still be able to breathe unassisted? Worse, if you're that stupid, how did you get your job in the first place?
Oh, and get yourself in to see a doctor, genius. You could have gluten or lactose intolerance - best to eliminate those first. Sure, a colonoscopy isn't the most fun you could have on a day off, but hey, It's better than wondering if your next meal will be your last, right?
You didn't say what exactly your wife is feeding you or if you have reason to suspect poison. Maybe your wife realizes just how stupid you are and wants to get rid of you. I don't know. I do know that if your food makes you feel like this , then she may be overdoing it on the spices. It's called, according to The Boy, who has had the reaction after overindulging on Indian street food, Flaming Fire Shit and is apparently excruciatingly painful. I can't really say. I do try and avoid these things, but then I have a sincere aversion to pain.
You ask, "How do I tell my wife that her continued cooking will eventually kill me..." Hmm. Let's see. Try this, "Honey, if you cook for me again, I'll probably end up shitting out what's left of my brain on the way to the emergency room just before I turn myself inside out entirely and die in agony"? Will that work, do you think?
3. Ok. Your situation well and truly sucks, and no one seems to get that YOU were subjected to an ugly experience yourself. I can't imagine how awful that night was for you, and how being reminded of it every day when you go out to get the mail must hurt. I can't tell you to SHADDAP! You don't deserve it. You've been far more patient than anyone has a right to expect.
Prudie advises that you box up the garbage on your lawn and send a nice letter to the parents of the dead kid.... but I don't think that's what you should do. You have no obligation here, and the fact that the parents are completely ignoring your position proves that they are jerks of the first water.
My advice is to pick up all of the rotting teddy bears, dead flowers and plastic crap and put it in a green garbage bag, which you will place in the garage. After a week, put it out with the trash. Every time some moron puts more crap on your lawn, do the same. Eventually they'll give up. It could take awhile.
Now, even if you never send it, here's the letters the parents SHOULD get:
I've taken down the shrine to imbecility on my property and I will not permit this nonsense to continue. I'm not interested in being reminded of the night I spent watching your kid bleed to death in front of my home because someone convinced him that this is a legitimate life choice instead of a paean to rampant, immature assholism.
I understand the impulse to pretend that the dead are all innocent little angels that never put a foot wrong in their lives. It's bullshit, but it probably makes you feel better both about him and the fact that you raised an idiot who didn't see anything wrong with getting behind the wheel of a car when he was so shit-faced drunk that he shouldn't even have been ambulatory. I'm having a hard time mustering any sympathy for you while you pretend that your son was some sort of little darling and that the evil tree just leaped out at him on the street.
There's no doubt in my mind that you and all his friends are probably weeping and wailing about what a "good guy" he was and how he was a starting quarterback, a scholar, and a really fun fella. None of it changes the his cause of death; Stupid, with a side of booze.
I suppose that the only good thing to come of this is that he managed to kill himself and not anyone else. Most drunks aren't so efficient. They have passengers or hit pedestrians or cross medians and kill whole families instead. His "friends" didn't exactly cover themselves with glory, either, did they? After all, I'm betting that not a single one of them thought they should try and get his keys, or call you.
So don't put any more crap in my yard. Leave my tree alone - it's probably the only reason his car didn't crash through my bedroom while I was sleeping. I don't want to hear from you, see you, or speak to you ever again. Tell his friends not to come around here or they will be charged with trespassing. I'll have to live with seeing that accident for the rest of my life. I don't need you to remind me about it.
Lest anyone decide to take me to task because of my assumption that the kid was drunk - the LW gave that away when he/she said that the kid was on his way home from a "celebration". 'Nuff said.
4. Ya know... I just have to agree with Smagboy and Schuyler on this one. So the economy sucks - no news there. As always, when the economy sucks, people decide to join up with the latest pyramid direct sales ripoff and inflict this shit on their friends. I get it. So
and get a grip on yourself and more importantly, your balls!
Do you have a garage full of K-Tel crap? You know, those were the guys that marketed the first Teflon pans until the finish started falling off in chunks. How could you forget the K-Tel Patty Stacker - just twenty bucks for a plastic tube that you cram full of ground meat products separated into patties with handy dandy aluminum rings? How about the Popiel Pocket Fisherman? Amway? Avon? Mary Kay? That cheesy lingerie company that sells the all-polyester silk-like undies that fall apart the first time your lovie dove puts them on?
Why, all of those things and many more were sold by the millions door to door and on TV through at LEAST the last three recessions. People DID get sucked in on both sides - buying and selling. I'm sure there's a listing in the DSM somewhere for the trauma that people suffer when their so-called "friends" relentlessly try to sell them crap!
So what's happening to you? You buy this shit out of guilt? Not from friends and family you don't. Most of us have learned the art of telling would-be salespeople to get lost, even when they are loved ones.
No, you have clients demanding bribes to keep dealing with you. No doubt at all, it's a crappy thing to do to you. But threats? I can see if you were running a restaurant and Big Joey was sent over to make sure you were doing business with the "right" laundry facility. That's a little frightening, right? But that's not your problem, is it? No, you have people selling band candy and floor solution threatening to...what? Not use your services any more?
It's your decision, of course. But you might want to point out that you're in business to make money, too, and that's not going to happen if you have to shop just to do business. Duh.
07 January 2010
(Photgraph copyright 2010, all rights reserved)
It's snowing. No really, it's snowing a LOT. When I got up this morning, I looked outside and there was just an inch or so of fluffy stuff - not even enough to bother with a shovel, just a broom. But then it started again and we're supposed to get 8 to 11 inches of the stuff before tomorrow morning. I hate snow. Seriously, I know I'm Canadian and I'm supposed to be used to it, but no. I hated it when I was a tiny child and that has never changed. I don't know how to ski. Why would I engage in a sport where not only would I be guaranteed to maim myself, I'd have to voluntarily go out in the bloody snow?
There are signs on every street here that say something like "Parking prohibited when more than 2" of snow falls." Fair enough, they have to get the streets cleaned. People ignore it, of course, and after the snow stops every street has a car on it that's been booted, or has a bunch of tickets on the windshield and we don't get to see how many have been towed, but you have to figure a lot.
After that's all done it starts to get really ugly. Chicagoans are dead serious about their parking spots, you see. The rule is that if you shovel it out and call dibs on a spot by putting a couple of dead lawn chairs, some kid's Big Wheel or other garbage in it, it is YOURS and woe betide anyone who dares to park there. There are tales of cars hosed down with water, snow packed on top, and the whole mess hosed down again. Those silly buggers are taking public transit until JUNE. The city is ok with this. It's only when the streets are totally clear that the garbage gets unilaterally hauled away.
This is the week when Prudie gets smacked around. There are times when even she will admit that she fucked up, but this week's advice is ...well...really bad. Read it here: Dear Prudie
1. Teach, you are dead bang correct. Young men who shove their hands down their pants are disgusting and obnoxious and need to be told that. You can start them off like toddlers.
(Ok Billy, you have to take your hand out of your pants. It's not polite. Does Daddy walk around with his hands in his pants? No? Does Uncle William do that? No? Big boys don't do that, and we KNOW you're a big boy now, right?)
Ah, but Prudie, dear Prudie can't answer that question, can she? No. Not her! SHE has to "...talk to my resident expert on the intricacies of teenage-male behavior, my 14-year-old daughter." Oh Prudie...
Since when to infants of 14 know how the world works? What the hell kind of school are you sending that kid to anyway? Teachers don't say anything about hordes of young men fondling themselves in public? Really? So tell me then, do these kids also throw poop at their teachers when they don't like what they hear? Sniff each others' bums? Play dominance games where they stare at each other and growl, then pull out their dicks and measure? Have spitting contests in the hallways?
Teenagers, especially young ones like your daughter are not civilized creatures yet. That's why we don't let them drive or operate heavy equipment until they're 16 or 18. We also keep them out of bars and don't let them vote. They have to develop the brain power to do adult stuff before we just turn them loose on an unsuspecting public. Those of us who actually remember junior high and high school are willing to freely admit that kids that age are not too bright about the world at best and beastly little heathens at worst.
Manners have to be taught. Normal people start teaching their kids to say "please" and "thank you" before their second birthday. Little boys can be taught to keep their hands in their pockets and not in their crotches before kindergarten. So why would you tell teenagers that public dick-fondling is all right? Are you HOPING they'll get arrested when they walk past the elementary school?
The worst thing about this whole mess is that you actually think it's all right for your 14-year-old daughter to believe, when confronted by a guy who's feeling himself up in the cafeteria that "...it's not like they're 26 years old and perverts; they're just boys." Oh for the love of green peas with butter! I can't WAIT until that kid of yours starts dating. Are you going to let her out the door when the guy honks from the curb? Let it pass when the kid actually meets you and instead of shaking your hand, dives for his crotch with both grubby paws because he needs "comfort"? Are you going to take your own advice and "(i)gnore the occasional adjustment.."?
Tch. At least you have something to apologize for in your NEXT New Year's letter.
2. I am so sorry that you grew up in such a dysfunctional household. It sounds like you pretty much raised yourself, you poor bugger. Prudie is fond of advising counseling, and I don't think that's a bad idea. Not because your dad was an alkie. You've reconciled yourself to the way he was. I'm guessing that you're carrying a pretty heavy load of anger about the way your mother put him and his "secret" first and pretended your household was "normal".
You don't have to write that eulogy. Refuse and no one will think less of you. One poster on Slate correctly stated that direct family almost never gives a eulogy, so that's your out. Don't go there.
Ah but Prudie, dear Prudie struck again, didn't she? Oh yes, she came up with a doozie on this one. So for Prudie, one more time a big old...
What in blazes were you thinking, woman? Since when is one's father's funeral the best place to "...confront(ing) your father's alcoholism head-on."? But you don't stop there, do you? No you have to go one step further and add actual TEXT to what the LW "should" say: "Talk about how he struggled, and lost, his fight with this illness."
Why didn't you just label that little nugget of advice "how to forever fuck up your relationship with your mother", too?
This guy (girl? I'll assume male.) grew up with a "father" who spent his every moment not at work in a drunken haze, then passed out on the couch. His mother spent her entire adult life wiping up the vomit, cleaning up after dear old Dad when he peed himself and pretending to the world that everything was all right. Mommy was a perfect enabler, putting her husband first, training her child to say nothing to anyone outside the house, and never facing that she was living in a shitty situation.
"Dad" never struggled with anything! He drank, he got drunk, he passed out on the couch EVERY DAY OF HIS LIFE, ignoring the fact that he fathered a son and ignoring the fact that he was mangling the lives of everyone around him. He LIKED living that way! He didn't consider himself "ill". He didn't think that anything was wrong at all! He lived his selfish, miserable life exactly the way he wanted to; filling the house with second-hand smoke and too pissed to see anything beyond his bottle.
So why, Prudie, would you ask that the LW "confront" any of this? Do you think that the image of the mother writhing with shame and pain in the front row at the funeral parlor while her son systematically destroys every part of the image she created for herself about her family is something that her son should have to live with? Is this your idea for punishing "Mom" for fucking up Junior's life? Did you think, for one millisecond, that a woman who has spent her entire adult life pretending that she had a normal family would ENJOY the idea that the world will know about her lies to herself?
I'm surprised you didn't just tell the kid to run a grater over his mother's skin and rub in some salt. It would be less painful for her than being forced to listen to that little exposition you recommended.
Another one for the 2011 New Year's letter.
3. Waaaahhhh..... my piano teacher sucks ass! Waaaaaahhhhh! I'm paying two teachers! Waaaaaaahhhhh! What am I gonna do?
Your friend has nothing more to teach you, and you have discovered that not only have you gotten bored with her teaching style, she was NEVER A GOOD TEACHER in the first place. If you learn more from a more professional teacher in half an hour than you did from your buddy in three years, then your "friend" has been ripping you off for those three years.
You say: "I know my friend would be heartbroken if she found out, so I've been sneaking around like I'm having an affair!"
Really? Are you that stupid? Tell me, are you still going to a hairstylist that makes you look like you were mugged by a scissors-wielding, one handed blind man every month because you're afraid of "hurting her feelings"? You'd rather look crappy than do that? Are you still wearing the little dirndl dresses, pinafores, and Mary Janes (Oh yes, Schuyler, I'm predicting that you'll have something to say about that image.) that your grandmother thought looked cute on you when you were four because you just can't bring yourself to tell the old bird that you're a grownup now?
Get a grip, woman! Stop messing with YOUR finances for the sake of HER feelings! If she can't be your friend without taking your cash, then she was never your friend to begin with.
4. Ah, another manners issue. I gotta say I'm mostly with the LW on this one. Being texted something like "wanna go out?" for a first date is tacky. It's childish and silly. Men would like for it to be socially acceptable to do this because...well...most of them are chickens when it comes to picking up the phone, especially when they aren't sure what the answer will be. Fair enough. There's pressure there. However no guy ever actually DIED of mortification from being turned down.
That said, other posters have a point when they say that the LW could solve this problem by texting back something like, "sounds like fun, will call you after work". Or something of the sort. After all, texting is here to stay, and even The Boy and I text each other during the day. It takes less time to text, "we out of pbutter?" than to pick up the phone, and it's not something that requires a whole conversation.
But, here we go again! Trust Prudie to kick an LW in the tits over a simple matter of etiquette! I don't know if she was trying for snark or sarcasm or if she was serious. Nonetheless, she needs to
Clearly Prudie has gone back to the 14-year-old for advice again. What she missed is that the woman who wrote to her for advice is TWICE THAT AGE. She is a grownup dating grownups and she has a right to expect a little more from said grown up men than Prudie seems to think is acceptable from the crotch-grabbing youth that she finds so charming.
Advising the LW that "it's probably not a good idea to blow off candidates who take the time to ask you out by tapping the request with their thumbs." was..what? Supposed to be actual advice? Projecting much, Prudie? You yourself admitted that this young lady has a number of swains, so why would you tell her to quit being picky? Were you expecting another letter from her in a couple of years after she marries the first guy that asks her about what to do because he never talks to her?
Any man worth his salt from a dating perspective will happily pick up a telephone to ask for a date. That's what grownups do. They make an effort to understand others and are willing to take the time to make reasonable accommodations for their preferences. Why would the LW even WANT to go out with a guy that's so inarticulate that he can't string together a single sentence using his mouth rather than his thumbs?
If this was meant to be funny, it failed miserably. If it was meant to be serious, it isn't even laughable. I suspect I'm not the only one that thinks it's just....bad/tacky/a cheap shot/spoken like someone who was never asked out a lot ........
01 January 2010
(Photograph copyright 2010, all rights reserved.)
Well, here it is the new year, MMX as it were. Naturally, in Chicago, the new year was greeted by new weather. It's -8F with wind chills of -20F and therefore the first day I broke out the long underwear for the long walk to the movie theater. Ok. It's only a mile. Maybe a little less. Still. No one that knows me would have recognized me, except The Boy. I wore my Coat of A Thousand Ducks, Fur Trapper Hat , Big Gauntlet Mittens and Big Sheepskin Boots. Don't trouble me with the anti-fur crap. As a Canadian, I reserve the right to wear beaver fur. It's our National Rodent and the little buggers can have up to four litters a year.
Most of us are managing our way through the recession, and while it's nice to hear that the economy is doing better, although we'd all like to see it in somewhat more concrete forms. The stupid people are still stupid, the smart people are still smart and people who write to the internet advice lady are still...well, you know about THEM, right?
You can read about the latest crop at Dear Prudie . By the way, there's yet another poll about the holidays on One Messy Lady, and I'm itching to know what all of you think.
1. I have to tell you what The Boy said when he heard your dilemma, "What an idiot! No one can call dibs on a job! It's ridiculous."
I have to agree, and to be fair, several people on Slate also agree. What adult is so spiteful as to bitch and howl about a "friend" getting (or potentially getting) a terrific job? And yet you say, "Was I wrong to apply? Should I cancel my interview? Is there any way to fix this?"
What an load of festering shit! How old did you say you are again? I have to guess early 20s at LEAST, because you're doing post-grad work. So why is it that you're still living in a world when a "friend" will tell you to throw YOUR Malibu Barbie in the garbage just because she got one for Christmas, too? This would be amusing if I thought for one second you were joking, but you aren't. You sincerely believe that you might have done something wrong.
Don't be an idiot.
I've had a "friend" like this. You say that your friend even went so far as to say she "doesn't think I'd be happy there." Yeah, right. I had a "friend" who once (in antiquity for you no doubt) told me that I should stop dating The Boy because he "moves in different social circles" than I did at the time. I gave that crap all the weight it deserved. The Boy and I have been together for 24 years. I haven't seen the "friend" since the night she made that rotten comment. I have to say that I'm not only not missing her, I'm having a blast. If I'd listened to her, I'd be where she is. Single and miserable.
Got that? Your so-called friend is a spiteful bitch. Don't let her or anyone else EVER stop you from doing what you want to. Friends don't try to hold each other back. If she really cared for you, she'd be asking you to put in a good word for her after you get hired. Take the job if it's offered and make friends that respect you.
As for the Facebook thing. Close that account NOW. I asked an expert (The Boy - he hires and fires on a regular basis and has done for 20 years.) what he thought about the comment you made. He says that he does indeed read people's Facebook and MySpace pages before interviews. Crowing about getting the interview is not fatal, as far as he's concerned. However - if you have party photos, pictures of yourself scantily clad or drunk or a clear habit of over sharing, he WOULD take those things into account. No matter who you work for, there will be things that you are not meant to broadcast to the world and if everyone's already seen you in your bra with a beer hat on, that's going to make an impression that you just don't want.
2. Oh you poor kid! Losing your mother is terrible, especially so young. No one knows what to say, so they say nothing for fear that they'll hurt you. You won't be getting the big SHADDAP, but I'd like to ask you a question that you need to answer for yourself.
Why don't you just tell them what you wrote in your letter to Prudie? These are your friends, they're feeling awkward and they want you to feel good, so give them a break and tell them how you feel. The good ones will get it. The ones that are too thick to get it...well, how badly do you want them around anyway?
3. I'm shaking my head. You can't see it, but I really am shaking my head. How did you get this so freakin' confused? Stupid, much? Shut your brain off because of sleep deprivation with a baby? Oy. Ok.
You're acting like an idiot. First, why the HELL are you considering the feelings of someone who is NOT IN YOUR FAMILY over your own wife? What in blazes is that all about, you moron?
Your wife, you know, the woman who is raising that child you adopted, doesn't want any contact with the birth family. Not right now, maybe never. Got that? Right now, at this moment, YOUR wife doesn't want YOUR child to be in any family but YOURS. This is not rocket science. This is basic stuff. She doesn't want to share her kid with people that didn't want him, and she has the absolute right to make that decision.
Your wife's feelings should be your FIRST concern. It's NORMAL for her to feel the way she's feeling. She needs to be with HER child and she doesn't want anyone around her who can pretend to some sort of claim on HER son.
I know. Open adoptions are all the rage, and we hear all sorts of wonderful (and anecdotal) stories about how warm and fuzzy they are. Does anyone remember another letter to Prudie though? You know, the one where the adopted kid was begging her mother not to force her into contact with the druggies, drunks and thieves that were in the birth family? No? Not ringing any bells? The mother was perfectly willing to shove her kid into proximity with people that should never be trusted with an ant farm, let alone a child, all for the sake of her "heritage". Right. Like she needs to remember that the kid's "heritage" involves a drugged out teenybopper and her much older "boyfriend" who bailed when she got knocked up.
Oprah and her ilk like to rabbit on about "reunions" and actually have dumped adoptees on the doorsteps of the mothers and grandmothers who didn't want them. It looks really pretty on TV, doesn't it? Too bad no one goes there six months later when the birth family has stolen their "long lost child's" identity, destroyed his/her credit and been so intrusive that the kid now has a restraining order against them. Lest any one think this is fiction, I read it in a newspaper interview. The adoptee was furious that her life was being destroyed because someone else took it upon themselves to do them this "favor".
Most telling in all this is that the grandmother contacted you, not the birth mother. Can't take a hint? The grandmother is the ONLY one that's made contact with you and I'm here to tell you that grandparents can fuck up a kid in ways that parents can never undo. After all, she raised a kid that got knocked up at the absolute wrong time and barely avoided wrecking both her life and her son's by giving him to you. DO NOT let her into your life OR your son's.
Listen to your wife. Send back the check and the gift with a note telling the NOT-grandmother that she should open a 529 bank account where she can deposit any money she wants to for college for the sake of the kid and IF he wants to talk to her when he's 18, the choice will be HIS and no one else's. Your wife is this child's mother, not anyone else. Your son is YOUR SON and no one else's. Have enough respect for the woman you chose to spend your life with to follow her instincts and remember the birth family didn't want your son. They gave him to you so that he could have a good life. Respect that, too.
4. Oohhh...the stupidity never ends. Are you seriously telling us that you are considering dumping a terrific guy JUST BECAUSE HE HASN'T GOTTEN YOU FLOWERS?!
You moron. You flaming idiot. Do you have to be reminded to breathe? Really?
and pay attention. I have some steps for you to take IF you want to be happy.
a) You know that shelf of vaguely pornographic Harlequin Romances that you've been worshipping for the past 20 years? BURN THEM. That's not real life for anyone, dipshit.
b) Get down on your knees and offer that man a blow job every time you see him every day. He's probably been putting up with a lot of nagging and shit from you for the past year.
c) Every time he does something for you, like help you around the house, taking your kid out somewhere, taking YOU out somewhere, send HIM flowers and thank him for being such a good person and putting up with your shit.
d) Never, not once EVER demand flowers from him again. NEVER.
See idiot, here's the deal. Most men are flower-impaired to some degree. Men are concrete creatures and to them, putting on your winter tires, watching a chick flick with you, taking you out for a meal or loading the dishwasher when you're tired are far better ways of telling you they love you than a bundle of dead plants. Adult women who live in the real world understand that. It's the Way Life Is. Grow or buy your own damned flowers and appreciate your man in the way he deserves.
You say you've never had a relationship that lasted for more than a few months, and your son is a teenager. Catch the hint lady. I'm willing to concede that you may have found a couple of losers. Fair enough - sometimes you don't catch that right away. However, if you've found that NO ONE can make you happy, then the men aren't the problem. YOU ARE.
Get it? Either get an attitude adjustment or reconcile yourself to living alone. Making stupid demands and ultimatums is not what you do to people you love. If that's what you insist on doing, then break up with this great guy and let him find some woman who isn't such a selfish, shallow bitch.
(A day later, I feel compelled to add a comment from a (now divorced) friend on the issue of flowers. She says that her ex-husband used to buy her flowers all the time. Along with an apology for showing up at home twelve hours after he left, drunk and trashing the house. She also got flowers after he was gone all night....or for a couple of days.....or after trashing her car... Got it? What price flowers? I think that she wouldn't give a damn about getting flowers ever again if she had a guy who was as wonderful as the LWs. Something to think about.)