Friday, July 25, 2008

Since You Asked -- July 25, 2008 Edition

In which Aaron answers select letters sent to various advice columnists throughout the week. So who asked him? The better question is: why DIDN'T they? So let's pretend they did! On we go:

DEAR ELLIE: I've always been treated differently from my three siblings, though my parents deny this. They'd knowingly miss important events (graduations, sports events) and yell at me more. I was always a straight-A student, never got into trouble; my siblings have partied more than me, been in trouble with the law, been unemployed, I was the first to get a part-time job at 16 -- so financial support was stopped. I'm now 27 and about to get married.

My parents tried everything to stop our dating. I understand their problems with his being of a different religion, but they've treated us both so poorly I've started speaking out. (For years, he was forced to hide in the basement when relatives came over so they wouldn't know I was dating him). We've been together for seven years .
They say they love him and welcome him as part of the family, but I still get grilled on where I'm going, why I have to be out so long, even when I'm with his parents.

I'm the only sibling who's had to go through this. I'm ready to stop talking to parents and siblings after the wedding. Should I give up, and look forward to my new life?



Why wait? Stop talking to them now. It’s unthinkable that a 27-year-old (who’s engaged to be married) should be held to a curfew like some teenager. That’s bullshit. And incidentally, you don’t owe your parents any information about where you’ve been/how long you’ll be out when you’re with the fiancé. Try taking a home movie in the bedroom sometime and giving it to them the next time they ask. I’ll bet you they keep their gobs shut when the Kitty Cat of Curiosity starts purring around the saucer again.

In answer to your last question, yes, forget about them and enjoy your new life. Just make sure it’s an independent one that doesn’t require any participation or assistance from them, because they’ve proven that they’re not reliable.
In fact, why even invite them to the wedding? They never attended your special events in high school, when it mattered, and cut off their financial support when you were 16, so what makes you think they’d even show up for an important life event now?

The good news is, should you change your mind and decide to invite your parents and siblings, they could all take one car, since I’m sure these losers still live at home. Think how environmentally-friendly it can be!

DEAR ABBY: I am 26 and lived with "Mackie" for three years. Although we were not legally married, I referred to him as "my husband."

We have now split up. I refer to this as "the divorce," and the time we were together as "when we were married." My conservative mother seems to understand why I do this. However, others choose to correct me -- rather rudely.

My question is, what would you call this? And what do I say to those who feel the need to tell me how I should attribute an event in my life?



Of course your conservative mother was happy to indulge you in referring to the breakup as a “divorce.” It probably galled her no end that her daughter was living with a man in sin, and this terminology helps her because she can maintain her fantasy that you were married. Besides, she’s probably happy as a pig in shit that it’s over now, so she’ll call it whatever you want.

When and if you begin another live-in relationship (after a suitable period of time, of course), be prepared for her to stick her nose in and constantly drop snide reminders about “what happened the last time you co-habited without benefit of marriage,” or some such terms.

As far as the friends who correct you rudely, tell them it was your relationship and you can call it what you want. Since it didn’t even cost them a waffle iron or a wedding shower, they can shove it up their ass. You gave them a bargain.

DEAR AMY: I feel as if I've been used. My fiance told me to move out of the house we co-own. She went back to dating the same guy with whom she cheated on me. I moved, but I'm still supporting her by paying the house taxes, insurance, etc.

I've invested thousands of dollars into the house for renovations and expansion. I can tell she really doesn't want me around the house, and she keeps turning down my offer to help her maintain it, but she gladly accepts my monetary support.

Meanwhile, the guy she cheated on me with has the run of the house.

I'd like to continue co-owning the house as an investment, but it is difficult, knowing that she doesn't want me around and that her boyfriend stays with her in "our house."

Should I try to negotiate a buyout from her, or should I just hang onto my share of the house for a while?



You feel like you’ve been used? Why, whatever gave you that impression?!
Jesus, dude. If you co-own the house, and she didn’t want to be together anymore, you should have made her move out: as the travel-itchy partner, the onus should be on her to change the living arrangement she’s unhappy with.

You should move all your shit back into the house and tell her and her rent-boy that if they don’t like it, they can go hit the bricks and move into his one-room studio with the hot plate and the hissing radiator.

Alternately, you can check your insurance policy and make sure it’s covered for the market value at the time of purchase. Then wait until they’re out of the house and torch the fucker. Chances are, your settlement will make a more-than-generous down payment on a new place—footloose and fiancé-free.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: As a server in a coffee shop, I am constantly greeting customers, and I make a genuine effort to be kind and polite to everyone. I greet most customers by asking how they are or how their day is going. Nine out of 10 responses begin with the phrase, "I'll have ..."

How do you suggest I respond to an answer of a question I did not ask?

It truly hurts my feelings to be ignored while attempting human interaction apart from the usual impersonal (and often required or even prerecorded) greeting at other quick-service restaurants. I realize it is probably not my place, but I am tired of biting my tongue and feeling less than worthy of a response or even recognition as a human being and not a drink-making machine. Please let me know a polite response.



I agree that people are abrupt and rude nowadays, but you mustn’t take it personally. Remember, these people haven’t had their coffee yet, so they’re probably suffering withdrawal. If you work for one of the Big Coffee chains, you’re probably also inundated with pretentious poseurs who can’t wait to get back outside and try to impress people by standing next to the BMW they’ve rented for the day. So of course they’re in a hurry and have no time for human interaction.

Next time, wait until they turn their head for a second, then spit in their drink.

No, really, the pleasure was all mine.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guy who co-owns the house with his ex hoped that when he left she'd beg him to come back. Now what? It's time he cut all connections with her and move on to bigger and better things.
The one where the guy was "forced" to hide in the basement when relatives came to visit was so weird. For seven years no less. He should be nominated for sainthood. What religion was he, devil worshipper? Why does she care what the relatives think?
That last one hit home with me. When I go to Taco Hell I mean Bell for my Nachos fix, the voice in the speaker starts with: Hi, how are you today? I usually ignore them and order because gas isn't cheap and I do have better things to do than chat to a speaker. One time though I was feeling bad and I said, "I feel like shit" the voice said, "Oh My, order when you're ready" so I guess they don't really care what the Hell is going on they are just doing what they have been told to do.
Have a great weekend Aaron. ed

10:43 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

My guess is #1 is from an immigrant family, where cultural background and religion are uber-important and women are expected to strictly adhere to the traditions of their families or risk some kind of ostracism. In this girl's case, she sounds like she's about had it, and is only one nudge away from telling the whole worthless clan to up it...good on her.

If people try to be pleasant to me when I order coffee, I always smile and make pleasantries back, but you're right, they're just going through motions a lot of the time. If I really told them about my bad back and my dead mother, they'd probably come to a dead I just say "Fine, and how are you?" Preserve the social order and all...

11:41 AM  
Blogger Johnny C said...

Excellent answers as always. I wish the writers could get your answers!

9:50 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Thanks Johnny! I live to serve...;-)

9:53 AM  

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