(Photographs copyright 2011, all rights reserved.)
Well, it's a gray old day in the City of Wind. The temperature is low, it's raining and dark, and this morning the wind was so bad that people were being warned to stay away from Lakeshore Drive because the waves were coming up on to the freeway. No kidding. Keep in mind that Lakeshore is a major part of many, many people's commute.
I know this is a precursor to winter. I know that snow will be here sooner than anyone wants. I also know that by tomorrow, the nasty part of the weather will go away, the temperature will rise, and life will be good again.
Lest anyone wonder about my suspiciously good mood - some of you are well acquainted with my loathing of all things winter - consider the photos above. They are recent, taken on my first trip to the Brookfield Zoo, and I only went there after almost six years of living here because my good and trusty friend from Texas was here and she wanted to go.
It was a good decision. She is one smart lady. Given that the day is so gray and dreary, I figured that some color was called for. I'm pretty pleased with these pictures. Thanks to an excellent zoom feature and very fast shutter speeds, they turned out pretty well. The fish is about 1 1/2 inches long and was at the other end of a large aquarium. What's not to love?
Sigh. But now I have to confront the stupid. Find the letters here (Ok Slate, you win, you bastards. I can't believe you won't allow me to post the link.)
Kids - go to the link above, click on "life", then go to "Dear Prudence". Sorry about the link. Grrr.
1. To summarize (for those that don't want to follow the intensely overcomplicated link).... This LW's 21-year-old college student sister is pregnant, and the baby is going to be put up for adoption. The LW is bitter. She says that their parents are well off, little sis's education is being paid for, and therefore she should keep the baby, giving it over to the LW for "babysitting". But the following statement tells all:
"After all, she got herself into this mess, and it doesn't seem fair that she just gets to put up the child for adoption and resume her life."
So, here goes:
SHADDAP! you stupid bitch!
See, I know where you're coming from....
You're still stinging because when YOU got knocked up and quit college to marry your swain, YOU never went back. I'm guessing the marriage was a hideous mistake, you resent your children for trapping you into a motherhood that you weren't ready for, and now you want to take that out on your sister, who is far more a grownup than you'll ever be.
I'm right, aren't I? See, you didn't have the intestinal fortitude or the maturity that your sister has. You never considered adoption because you thought (like most dummies that should never reproduce) that having a baby would be the perfect toy for you to trap your man and never work again. Too bad you didn't even consider that babies are not toys and the guys you sleep with when you're very young are almost never the ones you want to stay with for the rest of your life.....
You want to punish your sister because you were too stupid, too gutless, too selfish to do what she's doing. Believe me, the decision to give up this child is tearing her apart. I can't imagine how hard this is for her. Hopefully your parents are better people than you are. No doubt they're hideously embarrassed to think that, in spite of their best efforts, they've raised a self-righteous shrew.
Your sister KNOWS she's doing the right thing. She's chosen an excellent couple raise her baby. When this is done, she'll be able to finish school, start a career, and have her future children with less stress and will be a better parent as a result. That is her absolute right, and she doesn't need your permission or approval on any of this.
The LAST thing she needs is to have some self-righteous, bitter, ugly, stupid broad telling her what an awful person she is. And you would be just as nasty if she kept that baby, wouldn't you? Your sister can't win with you. Either you abuse her for making the hardest decision she's had to make in her life so far, or you can babysit her child and spend your time telling that child what a whore her mother is.
Your sister has every right in the world to resume her life. If you had one yourself, you would know this.
Get lost, dumbass. I hope your sister has enough sense to cut off all contact with you. Find something else to resent in your lonely, tedious life.
2. Sigh. Here we go again. A new-to-the-neighborhood kid is being bullied in Girl Scouts by the same girls that bully her at school. Mom confronts the troop leader who happens to be the parent of one of the nasty little shits. Troop leader blames new kid, and Mom APOLOGISES?
Listen Mom, what the hell were you trying to accomplish? If it's to model wussy behavior, then you get a gold star! What's with that apology? Is that what you want to teach your daughter? "Crap on me and I'll cringe, pee on the floor, and make nice"? You aren't raising a submissive collie here, you're raising a LITTLE GIRL. What the hell kind of role model are you, anyway?
Your husband is right. Tell your daughter (because it's the truth) that some people are just mean, and while they might not know any other way to behave, that is not your daughter's problem. It's all right to avoid these people and never speak to them again. She has the absolute right to choose her friends AND the right to choose who she won't try to befriend.
Teach your daughter that nasty little shits like the girls that are bullying her are nasty little shits and that she doesn't have to listen to their crap. She can walk away and she NEVER should be made to try and "go along to get along". That way lies a lifetime of accepting whatever shit and abuse anyone wants to level on her. Model smart, tough behavior with the nasty little shits' parents and DON'T let anyone get away with hurting your child.
Quit that Girl Scout troop, NOW. Call whatever governing body there is (I don't know these things, no kids.) and tell them exactly what's going on. In detail. Send copies of everything you send to everyone you can think of. Find another troop. Sign your daughter up IF and only if she wants to join.
Deal with the school separately. Demand that classes be changed, that homerooms be changed, whatever it takes for your daughter to be comfortable. Go the the principal EVERY SINGLE TIME you find out about the bullying. Find out (if you can) what other girls are having problems with the nasty little shits and get their parents on board. I guarantee they're as angry as you are - maybe worse. Send every e-mail to the principal, to the School Board, and the Superintendent of Schools where you live. Don't allow yourself to be fobbed off on the phone.
If you won't stand up for your daughter, she'll never learn to stand up for herself. Don't raise a little girl. Raise an independent woman.
3. And here's another woman who's choosing to embrace the stupid rather than make a fucking decision. to summarize:
The LW works for a dentist who is completely off his rocker. He has panic attacks. He's paranoid and accuses his staff of stealing and being incompetent, he yells and screams and threatens suicide - IN FRONT OF HIS PATIENTS. The LW is wondering how to make the situation all nice and pretty without hurting the doctor's feelings...
She sounds like one of the morons that write to Prudie (et al) saying something like: "My boyfriend is the bestest bestest boyfriend in the whole wide world and I loooooooooooooooooove him, but he - insert here - (a) ties me up and covers me with bacon in a room with his pit bulls before he goes to work every day, (b) used hot pokers to pierce my ears, (c) beats me with a stick every other Thursday, (d) screws my "best friend" in front of me..... Whatever. You get my gist.
Listen, moron. Your boss is a nutter. Seriously. Are you going to wait until he brings a gun to work and starts shooting before you say something to someone? Really? How dumb are you? Believe me when I say he just doesn't care about his staff, his patients, or anything else right now....because HE'S A NUTTER. Barking mad. Insane. Riding the crazy cart. Whatever euphemism you choose. Fill in the blank.
For all those people in the comment section of Slate who are recommending that you try and "help" this man, forget it. I see the usual suspects are already coming up with bullshit excuses and diagnoses for the guy. It doesn't matter. You got that? It doesn't matter if he's schizophrenic, bipolar, doing meth, or smoking crack. That is not your problem. In fact, your life would be easier if he just jumped off a high place and killed himself. NOT YOUR PROBLEM.
You have a code of ethics, too. You have to go to his governing body and tell them what's going on. This man should not be out in public, let alone working on people's mouths. How are you going to feel when - because it feels like when, not if - he loses it and hurts someone and YOU could have stopped it?
Here's what you do. Stop going to work. Now. Call and tell everyone you quit. NEVER go back there. Make them mail your check. I mean this. This guy is beyond just eccentric, he is actively nuts and potentially dangerous.
Good dental hygienists are in demand and there are (phobias notwithstanding) a LOT of very nice dentists out there.
4. Ah yes... This woman writes that her husband and his brother habitually lie about their children's ages just so they can get into Disneyland on the cheap. She doesn't like it. She thinks it's stealing. She doesn't like what it's teaching the kids.
This IS stealing. It IS teaching the kids that stealing is all right. It IS a stupid thing to do. YOU ARE RIGHT, woman! So it's time to make a fucking decision, idiot!
So why are you still participating in this bullshit? Do you LIKE that your husband has decided to turn your child into a miniature larcenist? Is that all right with you?
Get a fucking grip. Stop playing their game. Tell your husband that he's acting like a jackass and there will be no more trips to ANY amusement park if there's even a hint that he's going to do this again. Make damned sure he knows you mean this.
If he DOES try this line of crap again, then calmly go up to the ticket booth, tell the nice person that your husband is joking, and PAY THEM. Duh. Point out to your idiot husband that if saving the money on ONE KID is that important, then it's clear you can't afford for anyone to go.
Quit being such a fucking sissy and stand up for your kid.
Yeah, yeah I know. I'll save you the trouble of getting on my tits about how I should be "supportive" of all the others who share my gender. Give me a fucking break. If it were men that were screwing around making stupid (or no) decisions, I'd be as hard on them. You know this.
Ah... Time to retire to a delicious dinner, a glass of wine, and a cat on my lap. Perfect therapy for miserable weather.