09 December 2011

Out Pop the Assholes! They're Everywhere!

(Photograph copyright November 2011, all rights reserved.)

I know, I know. I've been promising a new post for weeks and nothing's been happening. Well, the photo shows where I was for one of those weeks, anyway. Yes, that is the Eiffel Tower. The Boy and I spent Thanksgiving in Paris, and it was the best ever. I love that town! I also got to meet Marcparis of Fray fame, and I have to thank him so much for taking me out for the best chocolate in the world. The man is a sweetheart.


I also had an adventure this week. I went to the dentist for a simple cleaning on Wednesday morning. No big deal. It takes an hour at most. I planned on heading off to class afterwards provided I didn't need any work done. Then (cue mournful violins) when I got there, someone had decided to fill the air with multiple cheap scented candles.

Now I know the media LOVES to shove scented candles at people. Celebrity profiles always seem to have a "favorite things" list, and there's a goddamned candle on every single one. Stores put the foul-smelling things right on the front display, right where they can make my nose run and my eyes pour water. Clearly I'm not the only one, either. There always seems to be a jumbo pack of tissue somewhere on the display. Two minutes after getting in the door,  I look like I've been on a three day drunk and I know I'll be popping Benadryl for days.

This was the worst, though. THIS particular aromatic hydrocarbon-infused petroleum-based bewicked vessel was spewing something worse than natural gas emissions. Dirty coal power plants spew less vileness in the air than these things did. I've smelled skunk, rotten egg, and decomposing rat, and they are ALL less disgusting than that candle. One woman was sitting in the waiting room with her scarf over her entire face. Another was green-complected and looked as though she was contemplating a dash to the toilet.

I got a migraine. The fourth in my life. I've seldom felt as foul as I did when I got home. I didn't stay for my cleaning. I rescheduled the appointment and literally ran out the door, where I spent two light changes inhaling exhaust fumes to get the burning reek of those "candles" out of my nose.

So here it's Friday, and I've almost recovered from the headache. Almost. It's still lurking there, behind my left eye. Waiting for someone to assault the world with another fucking rotten goddamned stinking vile candle-like object to reappear in its migrainish agonizing glory, causing me to take massive doses of painkillers and lock myself in my (clean, fragrance-free) home for another couple of days.

A word of advice. Leave the cheap-ass candles in the store. The expensive ones are just as bad. If you use them people assume things. They wonder if you have a mold problem that you're covering up. They wonder if you have a garbage fetish and it's all stored in your bedroom, so you need to cover the stench. They wonder if your cooking is so vile that the smell of phony gardenias is actually better. They wonder if the dog has been allowed to pee all over the house........

Now for the letters. Prudie really cacked it up this week. Why am I not surprised?

1. Your husband left you for your 25-year-old daughter. You are understandably "...heartbroken, betrayed, and furious..." . All perfectly normal. I'd be worried if you weren't feeling these things. Now,


Prudie told you that your daughter is probably mentally ill and will come running to Mommy (that would be you), groveling for forgiveness sometime in the future.... Well... bullshit, Prudie.

See, there's a difference between being mentally ill and being an asshole. Assholism is a character flaw, NOT an illness. It can't be cured. If a kid makes it to adulthood and behaves like an asshole, then all hope is gone. Once an asshole, always an asshole. Some mentally ill people can ALSO be assholes, and the asshole part of things will most assuredly remain even if the mental illness is medicated away.

Nice people can give birth to assholes. Nice parents are often gobsmacked when they realize that they've spawned an asshole and will spend decades blaming themselves for it, but the simple truth is that assholery is born in the blood. Generations can pass and no assholes will show up in a family, then *WHAM*, along comes a prize asshole, right when no one was expecting it.

So LW, you both married and gave birth to a pair of assholes. I know Prudie was trying to preserve some sort of motherly feeling with her "mental illness" schtick, but that's too bad. There's nothing wrong with your daughter OR your soon-to-be ex husband that any form of mental health therapy will fix.

Feel free not to speak to either of these people, ever again. Communicate through lawyers. Don't let them in your house, tell them never to contact you again, even when the divorce happens. There will be a split between these two assholes in the future. Your daughter isn't going to stay young forever, and it sounds like your ex has a thing for younger women...as well as women who are assholes.

Time and counselling for YOU are the only things that will abate your agony over the asshole behavior of the two assholes that you were unfortunate enough to be related to. Nurture your anger for awhile - at least as long as it takes to divorce the first asshole and get the second one out of your life.

2. Your daughter has a Grabby Grandad that grabs her at every opportunity and won't let go. You wonder if it's all right to put a stop to this?


There's a lot of other stuff in your letter. Your in-laws expect to be worshipped, they treat you like crap, even your husband doesn't like them, and so on. Shit like this happens to other people, so you're not alone in any of it.


Your in-laws are assholes. See above.

People have already told you not to take this bullshit any more. They've already said that you have to make your husband deal with his parents. They're right, but they don't go far enough.

Tell your daughter (five now, right?), that if she doesn't want to go near Grabby Grandad, she doesn't have to. EVER. No matter what anyone might tell her, she has every right to never be touched by him again. Tell her that if she feels even slightly uncomfortable, she is to say "no" as loud as she wants to and to run to where you are. You have to defend her. YOU are the one that has to be her gatekeeper.

If anyone says a word to you, tell them to piss off. Use those words.

Now that that's settled, you must tell your husband that you will not permit these people in your house. Tell him also that you will not be taking your child over to their place, either. Tell him (are you getting that I'm not saying the word "ask"?) that if there are to be visits, your daughter will be with YOU at all times, supervised and never left alone with either grandparent.

See? Easy!

3. Yadda yadda yadda. Yap skawk, bitch, complain, whine........ your girlfriend's stepfather paints nude portraits of her and it squicks you out. Whatever.


Listen asshole, YOU are the only one that has a problem with this. You say she's your long-term girlfriend, so I'm assuming that she's a nice lady with no issues. LISTEN to her.

YOU are the one with the issues. Did you think that you're the only person who's ever going to see her without a long sleeved shirt in her life? Deal with it. Your girlfriend has been and probably will continue to be a nude model. It's a tradition of the art world. Suck it up.

If you're going to continue being an asshole over this, don't be surprised if you suddenly end up single, with only other assholes for company.

Now get lost, kid. You bother me.

4. You have your blankie. Your boyfriend says that's gross and wants you to get rid of it.


Your boyfriend is an asshole. Your blankie is none of his damned business and if you want to have it around you, then go for it.

I have a manky old worn-out ugly brown sweater that I put on when I'm stressed out. It's oversized and very soft and it's never going to be seen in public, but it's mine and I need it sometimes. The Boy still has his blankie in the closet. When he's sick with a cold or the flu, only the blankie is good enough to cover him up on the couch. I also still have my first teddy bear, and HE gets hauled out to use as a pillow when I get sick.

These are all normal things. Just about everyone has something like this. Here's what you tell your boyfriend:

"Hey asshole, shut up about the blankie! This is not a discussion, I'm telling you to shut up about the blankie."

If he persists, he's proving that he's more invested in being an asshole than a boyfriend. Let him meet up at the asshole bar with LW #3.


My dentist did call yesterday afternoon to apologize and promises that on the days when I have to come in, there will be no candle. Thank goodness for that! He's a great dentist.


  1. Why do professional offices do that anymore? Maybe it's intended to calm people, but Muzak can do that without affecting people with breathiing problems, allergies, etc.

  2. I asked my dentist about that. He said that there are smells in dentist's offices that can be very upsetting to patients in the waiting rooms. They no longer use those nasty, stinky resins, but that smell of drilled tooth sends some people running for the door.

    I can completely understand that they'd want to cover that up. It's just that those particular candles proved to be the worst migraine trigger I've ever been around.

    I do have to make it very clear that these are fantastic dentists. They do beautiful work and the atmosphere in the office is very nice. I particularly like the surfing videos that play in the waiting room. I would recommend them to anyone, and I have no intention of changing.

    The hygienists all have a light touch and do very thorough work. This is important to me because in the past I had one that was nicknamed "The Impaler".

  3. So sorry about your migraine, but the dental office certainly sounds exemplary.

    Good to see you back in top form. I've been thinking lately that I'd like to see you take on a bunch of NALT Christians. They seem the group of people at the moment who need most to get knocked around by you for a bit.

  4. I'm working on that one, hrumpole. I'm just waiting for my chance.....


  5. Perhaps one day a week set aside for no scented candles? Allergic patients would love it, recommend it to other patients, and he might have to expand to multiple days. I'd recommend Mondays, so the scents from Friday will have had a chance to dissipate.