Friday, August 15, 2008

Since You Asked--August 15, 2008 Edition

DEAR ABBY: After I ordered at a fast-food establishment, the cashier informed me of the amount of the bill. I had the correct change and placed the money on the counter. She looked at me and told me it was rude to place the money on the counter instead of into her hands. She asked me if I had a problem with handing her the money.

I was offended. Since I have never worked in the fast-food industry, does placing payment on the counter send a negative message? What are your thoughts, Abby?



Perhaps you should remind the cashier that you’re free to take your rudeness to another establishment. As long as you paid fully for your meal, what the hell should she care?

Where I live, many fast-food places have bullet-proof glass windows in front of the cashier, with a metal drawer for customers to deposit payment, and from which to collect their change (kind of like a gas station). Placing the money directly in cashier’s hands isn’t even an option. Furthermore, it’s not her business to criticize you for being rude. She’s there to take orders, not give etiquette lessons. I can understand her umbrage if you squirted ketchup on her or hosed her down with Coke. But complaining about where you put the money is a little nitpicky. If she’s so offended by it, perhaps little Miss Emily Post, Jr. should switch professions.

DEAR CHERYL: I'm 28, never married. I had a rough childhood, and it affects my adult life. I was raised by a single mother with a sister two years older. My mother's idea of punishment was dressing me in girl's clothes and curlers and having me do the housework. My sister and her friends put makeup on me, did my nails and tied ribbons in my hair. I left for the Navy 10 days after high school and haven't seen either since.

Some of this has carried over. I don't wear women's clothes or makeup anymore, but I do enjoy having a woman comb and brush my hair and put it in curlers. I've had two steady girlfriends, and it took me a long time to tell them. The first woman didn't enjoy it but would do it once in a while.

It took me a year to tell Barb, the second woman. She said it wasn't a problem and really indulged me. She even gave me a perm and bought a shampoo chair at a garage sale. I can't tell you how many dinners I ate with a curly do, a barrette or ribbon in my hair.

Barb moved for a better job to another part of the country. But before she did, she gave one of my co-workers a picture of me with my hair in curlers. Why would she do that? I'm now wondering if I should ever tell anyone again or try to keep my fetish to myself.



Why would she do that, you ask? The words “cheap,” “disgusting” and “hosebag” spring to mind. There are other words, too, far less printable, near the top of the list (which I’d also use to describe your mother, your sister and her skanky friends).

But that’s the problem with break-ups: you’ve shared intimate details of your life with someone, and then the relationship ends, and with it, their loyalty to you. They then show their true character by spreading those details around.

People have all sorts of unusual fetishes and turn-ons, most of which, including yours, are completely harmless. However, the “unusual” part guarantees that anybody who hears about them will razz you mercilessly, because their own sex lives are extremely boring to non-existent, and their partners can’t stand to look at them unless the lights are off. So your story provides vicarious spice to their dull-ass lives.

As to your second question, I would say yes, it’s OK to keep it to yourself. It’s nobody’s business unless you’re really in a relationship. Chances are those who know you already know about it, thanks to Barb. Once the novelty of it wears off, they’ll forget about it. And the right woman will come along who will accept you and not use it against you.

As for Barb, no doubt she’s probably found a new boyfriend by now who’s given her a case of the crabs.

Hope she still has that shampoo chair (even if she has to sit in it upside down).

DEAR ELLIE: I'm getting married in mid-October and would like to invite my ex-boyfriend. He's had a girlfriend for the past few years, and she hates me because she believes that during the first early months they were together, I was trying to win him back. I was single then, so I was calling and wanting to see him more often.
There was also a time about a year into their relationship when I was drunk at a bar and apparently she saw me try to kiss him. We were supposed to stop communicating on a regular basis after that, but we remain in contact, which she knows.
When addressing the invitation to him, is it rude to put his name plus a guest, instead of putting her name on the invitation? They're not living together.



Are you a guest on Jerry Springer or something?? Why in the hell would you want to invite an ex-boyfriend to your wedding, unless you’re trying to stir up trouble and have it be on your very own “special day” so you can make the drama All About You? Or is this another example of the Bridezilla Nutzies?

You’ve conveniently glossed over the trashy behavior that led to the girlfriend’s suspicions in your horribly clumsy attempt to sound like some kind of innocent bystander. Nice try, gurlfrin’. Why were you calling him more often after you’d broken up? You may have been single—he was not. Of course you were trying to win him back. She has every reason to be suspicious, and so does your fiancé, if he isn’t already.

To answer your question, yes, it would be rude to invite him “plus a guest.” They’ve been together for long enough that they’re an established couple. If you invite him “plus a guest,” just who in the hell do you think that guest will be, dipshit?

I’m not surprised his girlfriend hates you. So do I, and I’ve never even met you. You have all the twisted values and ass-backward motivations that keep the residents of Wisteria Lane running to the doctor for antibiotics. If you’re serious about getting married, forget about the ex-boyfriend. I’m sure he’ll be happy to make it mutual.

DEAR AMY: My wife is addicted to playing "World of Warcraft." She plays it from the time she wakes up in the morning until she goes to bed at 2 or 3 in the morning for days on end, to the exclusion of practically anything else.

She met a friend online and had an affair with him.

He is one of their "guild" players, and they talk online every day.

She is totally unapologetic about playing 12 to 15 hours a day, and doesn't believe she is neglecting her family.

I am feeling sad and neglected as I pick up the slack around the house and try to explain things to our kids. My wife's attitude is that we can accept this or take a hike.

I don't mind her playing the game, per se. I'm not even asking for equal time, just some time.

The ironic thing is that she is an expert in the field of addiction.

I love this woman dearly. We have been married for almost 20 years, but the past six months have been hell. Forget counseling.

Anyone married to a top player knows that you can't even talk to players while they are playing. They don't respond when you try.

I am desperately trying to save my marriage but I am at a loss as to what to do.



I take it that this “expert in the field of addiction” isn’t seeing too many counseling clients or writing too many journal articles with the joystick in her hand. If she feels like throwing away all she’s worked for, the hell with it—it stops being your problem if she refuses help.

But your kids shouldn’t have to watch her downward spiral. So take her up on her suggestion that you “take a hike.” If she honestly spends over 20 hours a day on the computer and doesn’t think she’s neglecting her family, she’s probably too dim to notice you’ve gone. But first, remove the toilet and padlock the refrigerator door, and take the keys with you when you leave. Expect frantic calls within a day explaining her change of heart (and asking for a change of underwear).

I’d also bet that her little “gaming buddy” is probably three feet tall and has eczema under his facial hair. (There’s a reason these people hide behind computer games.)

DEAR MARGO: My husband and I have been married for five years. We have two beautiful daughters, ages 3 and 1. My problem is that my mother-in-law buys gifts for my oldest daughter and signs the card with the name of her deceased son (my daughter's uncle). I explained to her that I didn't think this was the correct thing to do, because how do you explain to a small child that a dead person is buying her gifts? She became quite angry and told me that this was an acceptable practice. Now I'm wondering if I should have kept quiet about it. What's your opinion?



Does your mother-in-law have a pet monkey that died recently? And a bald butler? Is her name Norma? Somehow, I’m sure I know her…

Anyway, about your question: ix-nay on the dead-guy gifts. It’s nice that your mom-in-law chooses to keep her son’s memory alive, but there are more appropriate ways of doing that. Like sitting down with the kids and going over old pictures. Kids eat that shit up!

The gift thing is too confusing. Kids like to be able to thank their benefactors personally, and it’s awfully hard to do once they’re gone. And telling your daughter she can thank him “at night in her prayers” (because I know that’s where this will be headed) is just a little too “The Waltons” for me. Tell MIL to sign her own name. Or you will.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes I wonder if these letters are for real. Having grown up during the 70's when there was a hair explosion and my brother got frequent perms, curlers in a guy's hair is no big deal.
If the Whorecraft player has been married 20 years the children must be old enough to take care of themselves. The husband on the other hand should calmly remove the Computer from all phone and electric lines and then drop kick it out an upper story window.
The child getting gifts from a dead Uncle is only 3 years old. When she gets a little older just tell her, "honey your Uncle is dead, this gift is from your crazy Ass grandma."
The fast food worker who feels it is rude to scrape money off the counter, should be reminded that having eaten in many a fast food place, I find it rude when I have to scrape food off the table to be able to find a clean place to eat.
Aaron, you missed your calling man. ed

12:16 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Yeah, I thought the hair thing was no big deal, too. But the guy is clearly surrounded by macho types who expect that he is, too, so it must have been embarrassing. One person on the online comments board of the Trib speculated that perhaps the guy was a jerk in some other way and "Barb" was getting even. But I figured for him to have to write to an advice column to ask why she'd do that really suggested that she did it out of malice. I hope she itches forever...

I got the impression that the zombie gamer's kids were probably teenagers, in which case they can certainly buy their own groceries and cook for themselves and each other. But it would be nice to have a mom who participated in the family as long as she's living there! And the husband should do exactly as you say. The bitch would probably just go buy another computer, though...

I know most people hand the change directly to the cashier, but if I have coins (and if he had exact change, there are almost always coins involved), the harder I try to make SURE they get them in their hands, the more they're SURE to fumble and drop them. And coins scatter everywhere. In that case, it's just safer to put it carefully down on the counter so they cashier can collect it however it's easiest for them.

Thanks Ed! Maybe my calling will call for me again someday...I'll listen harder next time. :-)

12:51 PM  
Blogger Java said...

You have such a winning way with words, Aaron. No one has any doubt what you think. I like that in a man.

Also, these people writing to advice columnists are wacked out.
I won't mention the fact that I sit here and read blogs for [hhmmm*koff] hours a day.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Thanks Java! I suppose if I thought more, I wouldn't speak at all! (But what would be the fun in THAT?) :-)

11:18 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home