Tuesday, September 25, 2007

In Which Aaron Answers Other People's Advice Columns

DEAR MARGO: I think my issue is one of the oldest in the book. My fiance and I currently live together. He owns his own business and works from home. I work in an office, and my job is extremely "people-intensive" and emotionally draining.

I often arrive home to a filthy house. I am expected to be peppy and upbeat while I clean up after him, cook dinner and listen to how his day has gone. I have brought this issue up a number of times, and while it might change briefly, we snap back into the same habits as soon as I quit my kvetching.

I don't want to go into our marriage already being the nagging wife, yet it is irritating that it does not occur to him to pitch in. When he chooses to, I am expected to practically give him a medal for doing what I unceremoniously do every day. Anytime the subject of our having children comes up, I simply cringe. I can only see it as another person to attend to!

What's most frustrating about this is, beyond these issues, he is an amazing man . . . the most charming, honest and sincere person I have ever known. I believe he loves me very deeply (as I do him). Is this just a case of you can't have it all?

--Someday My Prince Will Clean


Someday science will turn urine to wine, too--how long do you wanna wait? "Listen to how his day has gone?!" Why doesn't he start with where his day has gone? Answer: not too fucking far, since he "runs his own business from home" and can sit on his ass all day long. And of course he's "charming, honest, sincere" and all that shit--he has the emotional energy left to BE all those things because he doesn't even have to get dressed to go to work, and he's not cleaning up his own squalid messes. I'll bet he smells like a rhinoceros' ass, too, what with not having to shower and all.

Hand him a mop and tell him to pull his "charming, sincere" thumb out of his ass and cook his own goddamned meals. (But if I were you, I'd go out for dinner--you don't want food poisoning.)

Dear Amy: Our family has recently become connected to another family through a relative's marriage. We see this couple at family gatherings.

The husband is a religious fundamentalist. He recently self-published a book expressing his views, and he gave autographed copies to everyone in our family. He has also sent e-mails and postcards asking us to encourage our friends to buy his book.

No one in our family shares his views. So far, we have responded with silence to all of these overtures, but, as we are likely to see him at Thanksgiving and Christmas, it is likely that he will expect some reaction.

I don't want to hurt his feelings, but at the same time I don't want to imply that I found the book enlightening or artistically pleasing.

What do you suggest?

--Walking on Eggshells


Fuck the eggshells, baby, it's time to make omelettes. He'll want a reaction at Christmas? Try mooning him. I guarantee that will get his attention. As far as "not wanting to hurt his feelings," when have you ever met a religious fundamentalist who didn't go out of their way to offend and condemn anyone who didn't agree with them? I suggest you tell this crackpot to read his Bible more carefully, and he'll see that part where Jesus threw the money-lenders and merchants out of the temple. Know what that means? It means that RELIGION IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT COMMERCE, and he should put his faith where his mouth is and give this book away for free if he wants people to be so damned enlightened. Or else he could write about something else, like the family dog. It made a mint for the Bush family--and now the dog's getting married!

Dear Abby: My friend and I read your column often and usually agree with your advice, but we could not disagree more with your response to "Definitely Not Your Ma'am in South Carolina." She's the woman who feels that being addressed as "ma'am" is derogatory because she thinks it's a derivative of "mammy" and another way of keeping women in their place.

You told her she was mistaken -- that "ma'am" is a contraction of the word "madam" and an often regional form of respectful address to an adult (usually married) woman.

Well, Abby, we do not consider "ma'am" a term of respect!

Of course, in theory, the term is respectful. But notice how men have been given one "age-free" form of address ("sir") that follows them from age 9 to 90, while women are addressed according to their age.

Most of the women we know, regardless of geographic location, loathe that moment they are forced into "ma'am land."

-- Don't Ma'am Us Either


OK, I won't call you "ma'am." How does "dumbass" work for you?

Yes. I thought you'd like that better. Honestly, I don't believe I've ever referred to a 9-year-old as "sir." And I always address women that I don't know as "ma'am," regardless of age, because I don't know their name and "bitch" is too rude.

Get over yerself.


That's all for this week, folks! Look for the next installment when hapless folks write to advice columnists asking for no-brain, common sense advice, or as my misanthropy arises...


Anonymous Ed said...

You need to start a column in the Tribune: Aaron's truth be told. Then answer the queries just like these. I'm sure it would be so big you'd have to syndicate. I don't mind being called sir by someone who doesn't know my name. If a lady doesn't want to be called Ma'am would Hey you! be better? Forgive me if I'm wrong but years ago when the terms Sir and Ma'am were created weren't there women who demanded to be called Ma'am?

8:45 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

In the comments section of the online "Dear Abby," there was a woman who said that the letter-writer was nuts and wondered if she WOULD prefer "hey you!" So you see, you're psychic!

I was always uncomfortable calling elders by their first names. Now that I'm an adult, I still can't call those people by their first names! Even though they've asked me to! Much hilarity has ensued...

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Ed said...

A friend of mine just got back from Chicago. He enjoyed most of what he saw. He went to a place called Gino's East that claimed the best Pizza in town. If that is true they decided to keep that one hidden and instead served him a piece of shit that had crust as tough as chewing on a belt. He was very disappointed. It was $40 for him and his partner and they both agreed it was the worst thing they had ever tried to swallow.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Frankly, I swear by Giordano's pizza. Best stuff in the world.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Lou Malnati's...I'm having pizza DTs just thinking about it.

Um...ma'am isn't about addressing someone because of their age. It's about marital status. An unmarried woman of any age can addressed as Miss.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

True...but then, you never know how old a person is, and there's the "is she married, is she not married?" "Ma'am" became a general term of respect for all women ("Miss" can be even more dangerous, because some might find it condescending...can we use "Ms." yet on its own, without a proper name?)

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Yes, you just sort of slur it like maybe your doing miss but effed it up.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Since I'm drunk so often, that might actually work! Thanks for the tip...

1:39 PM  

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