Thursday, April 03, 2008

Advice Is Now a Habit

It's that time of the week again...the time I read the advice columns and pick out their most complex (read: clueless) readers' problems, and answer them the only way they'd TRULY understand...

Ready? Let's go down the slide. Wheeeeeeee...!


DEAR ABBY: Help! I am engaged to a man with three kids -- a 7-year-old girl and 9-year-old twin boys -- and soon to become a stepmom. He has them about half the time.

The family all believe their biological mother is failing miserably, and I feel as though they view me as a suitable substitute. I like his children, but I have three of my own. One is grown; two are teenagers. I see the light at the end of the tunnel and do not want to start over again raising someone else's kids.

Can I marry this man and not have to raise his kids? Or is that what a stepmother does? I would be happy just being their friend.



Poor little you! “Can I marry this man and not have to raise his kids?” “Can’t we just lock ourselves in the bedroom and leave a jar of peanut butter outside for the little monsters?”

Do you want the short answer or the long answer? Well, you’re in luck, because they’re both the same: No.

I guess it can be confusing for second-time marriages when kids are involved, but this ground has been tread for years and years and years (Christ, the Brady Bunch was 40 years ago, and even they knew this shit). Where’s the mystery now? It’s common knowledge, Precious: if you marry a man/woman, his/her kids are part of the deal. Period. You said yourself that the family feels their biological mother is failing them. You don’t say WHY they feel this way, but they obviously need something that they’re not getting from her. If you’re married to Dad, you will therefore become Mom.

These are all young kids, too—they’re at a rambunctious, sly, and devious age, and they need firm parenting. As Dad’s partner, you will either become surrogate Mom, or end up like the poor substitute teacher whose drawer is full of frogs and whose chair is full of thumbtacks.

If you think it’s possible that your “mom quotient” is part of the deal your fiancé is putting together, and you’re not ready to pull that duty again, you’d better clear the air now.

Before three teenagers are in the bathroom stinking it up again…

DEAR ELLIE: My boyfriend is too attached to his older sister. Their parents died when they were teens, and she helped him a lot.

But I'm sick of visiting her place every other week. We have to eat early because of her young kids' schedules, help bathe them and read to them etc. I'd rather be out at a club having fun for our age group.



You don’t say what your “age group” is, but from your letter, I’d guess that you’re not old enough to be going to clubs anyway—although it’s possible that you’re just a really immature, snipy early 20-something. And if you’re any older than that, God help you—you’re way too old to be channeling Lindsay Lohan.

Here’s a cold slap of reality for you, Tawny: some people feel very strongly about their families. They actually even--*gasp*--LIKE them, and want to spend time with them, especially when they’re grateful for an emotional lifeline like the one your boyfriend got from his sister. This gratitude is especially strong when the event is not far removed, and it sounds like their teenage years, and the death of their parents, is not that long ago.

Is it really asking too much to visit her and spend time with her kids once every two weeks? If it is, do your guy a favor and break it off—give him the freedom to find a worthwhile partner who shares his love of family and isn’t a skank. And then, by all means, run, with your nipples to the wind, to the nearest nightclub. Throw your dress over your head and dance like there’s no tomorrow. Drink until you pass out. Face down. In the toilet.

But when you vomit, at least have the courtesy to hang your head OUT of the cab window. Taxi drivers don’t make nearly enough money to put up with that shit.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a very health-conscious person. When I was a child, I was obese and was picked on by my peers. But with hard work and determination, I have lost a lot of weight. The problem is, my family and friends, many of whom are overweight, don't pay attention to their health.

When we go to social gatherings, I eat light foods and order diet sodas right in front of them. I always feel this cold mist of jealousy around me. Is this good manners? Or should I just indulge myself with them for that night?

HUNGRY MORON (OK, I made that up—so what???!)


Are you expecting a pat on the back? Well, now that your arms are so goddamn skinny, you can reach around and do it yourself. Geez, could the fat-free chip on your shoulder be any bigger?

What makes you think that anyone gives a rat’s puckered behind what you eat? (Although I have a helluva suggestion for you.) Are you sure that you’re not projecting? That it’s not YOU who exudes a “cold mist” around your family and friends who “don’t pay attention to their health?” Sometimes the cheap seats allow the best view, but the mirror has a big-ass blind spot.

If I were you, I wouldn’t worry about it—you’re not likely to be troubled by too many social invitations. Your family and friends aren’t as dumb as you think.


That's all for this week! Hope it was good for you. I have to go take my anti-depressants now...see you next time!


Blogger American Girl said...

Aaron, I think you missed something in your response to the future stepmom.If she wants to avoid raising these children there are options that don't require her to cancel her wedding:

1. She can turn the children into scullery maids and spoil her own children rotten.

2. She can send the children out to the woods with a huntsman with orders to bring their hearts back in a box.

I'm sure after the kids get lost in the forest one time too many, dad will do the right thing and surrender custody to their real mother.


9:50 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

You're right, Sarah--I TOTALLY forgot the Hans Christian Andersen Plan! :-) Thanks for the suggestions...

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That first story reminds me of the woman who drowned her children in a lake. First she said a big black man kidnapped them. Finally admitting that her new boyfriend didn't like kids so she had to get rid of them. Also, there was a baby found in a state park near here a few years ago. It's mother didn't want it. What to do? She threw it done the toilet in an old outhouse. The little boy was sinking into the pile of shit as a woman heard him crying. They named him Moses. "Bless the beasts and the children, for in this world they have no voice, they have no choice...Ed

1:10 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

You're right about kids not having voices and needing extra protection. And while I wouldn't put this woman in the same class as the child-drowning woman (whose name was Susan Smith if I recall correctly), she has completely missed the point of marriage to a man with kids. I would HOPE that any single parent would not choose a partner who didn't want to raise his kids. Otherwise, they're not really a "partner"--because partners share everything!

4:02 PM  

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