Friday, August 29, 2008

Since You Asked -- August 29, 2008

DEAR AMY: I am the proud father of an exceptionally gifted 7-year-old. We are struggling with finding ways to keep her engaged in school because she is so far ahead of her peers.

Can you suggest ways to help her continue her growth and love of knowledge?

What worked for you?



Oh dear God, is there anything worse than a parental braggart?? Oh, that’s right, there is—a psychophant.

If she’s such a wunderkind, maybe the school could advance her a grade or two. Or maybe you could drain your bank account and send her to one of those ritzy-titzy private schools favored by those with more money than sense. But chances are, you’ve probably worshipped and fussed over her so much that she’s spoiled shitless, and your best option is to yank her out of school altogether and hire a private tutor for her at home.

It’s probably also the safest, since if she’s the insufferable know-it-all most “gifted” children are* (and if she takes after you), she’s likely to get her ass kicked at school.

*NOTE: This does not extend to children who are merely intelligent and thoughtful. Such children actually WORK, and are unlikely to be extolled with the “gifted” label, as are the children of privilege.

DEAR ABBY: My husband's best friend of 40 years, "Nick," started dating a woman about a month ago. Nick has been down on his luck personally and financially for several years. He called and asked if he could bring "Hattie" to our home for dinner. We agreed, hoping it would be a good relationship for him.

Within 15 minutes of meeting her, Hattie told me she was bipolar and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. She has two small children, but when I asked where they were, she changed the subject. Nick doesn't have kids, and he's nearly 50.

When Hattie asked me for something to drink, I offered her tea or soda. She took the soda, then said she preferred beer and wine, and did I have any. I poured her a glass, then she asked for a second and proceeded to drink 2 1/2 bottles of wine. Later, she told me she had a "headache" and asked if I had anything for pain. I offered Tylenol. No, she wanted something with a "kick." Needless to say, they didn't stay long after that because she was looking for prescription medication, and we had none.

My husband told Nick that Hattie was not the type of woman he needed. Nick shrugged off my husband's advice of not seeing her anymore. Personally, I don't want that woman at my house again. If Nick calls and wants to bring Hattie around again, how should we say no?



Granted, “Hattie” doesn’t sound like an ideal guest or girlfriend, but frankly, you sound like a chilly, unpleasant sourpuss. As if you weren’t looking for a reason to dislike the woman from the time she came in your door! My, what expectations you’d built up from a fucking dinner party!

Yes, she drank too much, but in your presence, I would too. Ditto on the prescription drugs—in fact, I would’ve brought my own. And here’s a lil’ tip: if you disapprove, why did you open two more bottles, braniac? Why didn’t you just say you’d run out?

Frankly, I feel sorry for replacement S.O.s when they get trotted to the homes of existing friends to be sized up and found wanting. I think they should be allowed to bring along two of their best friends to size you up. Shove a cork in that one, sugar-tush.

And I wouldn’t worry about not having her at your house anymore. I doubt she would want to return. And you and “Nick” can continue your clandestine affair behind your husband’s back.

DEAR ELLIE: My cultural obligation to my parents includes financial help, i.e. giving them enough money to go on vacations. My wife feels they ask too often, and greatly resents that we sometimes can't afford our own vacations and are living tightly, even though we both work. But I feel I have no choice.



I assume you’re living in America now (otherwise, your wife would share your cultural background and be aware of this so-called “obligation”). Living here means you get to do this neat thing: adopt new customs. Drop all your old shit at the Ellis Island door. It’s all part of living in a free(ish) country.

While it’s good for you to offer your parents support and help them any way you can, you are NOT obligated to pay for their grass skirts when they go swanning off to Hawaii. Support should extend to the necessities of living, but they should not extend to vacations. Vacations are luxuries, and if they want luxuries, they should pony up by themselves or do without, as you’ve had to. I’m going out on a limb here and guessing that they’ve never paid for a vacation for you. Have they? I thought not.

So there ya go. If I were you, I’d listen to the wife. She’ll be holding the rolling pin long after your parents have departed, and there’s no reason she should have to suffer perpetually because your parents are dangling convenient “cultural obligations” in front of you. And while you may “feel you have no choice,” you’ll soon find that she does, and she just might go to Reno and exercise it.

DEAR ABBY: For the past 25 years, my husband, "Don," has had his hair cut by a woman I'll call "Barber-Ella." She's slim, attractive and full of energy. Don has mentioned that she often pats him on the leg and kind of flirts with him.

We have been married 35 years, and I've never had a reason to mistrust him. Our life hasn't been a bed of roses. We have a 30-year-old disabled daughter who lives with us. I have rheumatoid arthritis, which causes me pain and saps my energy. The medication has made me gain weight in my belly and face, and I feel unattractive.

Barber-Ella seems to have a lot of influence on Don. She persuades him to buy certain products, and once talked him out of a medical procedure "because it went wrong for a friend." Recently he told me she has been telling him dirty jokes and using four-letter words in the telling. Don says, "She likes to see how red my ears get." Although she is married, I'm not convinced that's all she's up to.

I feel this woman's behavior is inappropriate. Does this have more to do with my own insecurities than with her? Why does she do this? Should I ask him to change stylists? Should I call her and ask when she'll be adding lap dances to her services?
I don't want to put Don on the defensive or make it seem like I don't trust him. Please give me your opinion because I'm losing perspective.



I’ve noticed that everything you’ve heard about “Barber-Ella” has come from “Don’s” mouth. If he had any sort of consideration for you at all, he wouldn’t be telling you how she pats his leg and tells him raunchy jokes. Obviously, it’s his sorry way of preening and implying to you that other women find him attractive (as if Barbie would have any use for him if he didn’t tip well).

So next time he comes home from getting his ears lowered, tell him you just got bonked by the mailman. Let’s see how he likes it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I so enjoy the way you cut through the B.S. and uncover the real answer so badly needed.
I might add to the first comment that the guy might look into some self-protection classes for the sweet little Brainiac.
As for the guy who paid for his parents vacations around the world, I think he may be my child and was stolen away years ago. Oh by the by I've always wanted to see Paris.
AS for the woman who is jealous of her husbands married Barber, I say he has her right were he wants her.
Have a great holiday weekend Aaron, and open a bottle of Wine for me. ed

10:59 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Thanks Ed! I may open 2 1/2! :-)

11:22 AM  
Blogger Ron said...

I am writing in response to Rheumatoid Arthritis. In my mind this statement is the cure for arthritis, let me explain. Some time ago my wife at 37 years of age started developing pain through out her body and a lot of swelling. We were blaming it on older age and just recently having a child a year ago and also being slightly over weight. Six short weeks have gone by and my wife’s pain has gotten progressively worse to the point where I am now helping her out of bed. She was also not able to pick up our child up or even take a laundry basket downstairs and her steps have now become baby steps. We were seeing lots of doctors and they were all confused, finally we were sent to a specialist (rheumatologist) and after several test came to a conclusion my wife has Rheumatoid arthritis along with that followed many prescriptions of PREDNOZONE and MEHTHOTREXATE all having nasty side effects and shutting down of organs after long term use. None of this sounded good. Even though the medication did help some, she was always in pain but she knew she had to live with it. Until one day we were introduced to some equipment, my wife was a little skeptic at the time but I pushed her to try it. We were told to take the no risk treatment 10 times every other day. We followed that span of treatment and after the fifth treatment my wife was totally and completely pain free. We were ecstatic and continued the treatment, at the end of sessions we both felt completely energized and my wife’s Rheumatoid was like it was never there. To us this felt like a miracle and I said to her we can’t put a price on health and found out that we could also purchase this equipment. We know have the equipment in our home and are now helping others with the same ailments along with other health problems and all of them seeing great results. Even some of these people have purchased the equipment themselves, all having there pain completely reversed. This equipment basically promotes and enhances circulation and oxygen and detoxifies throughout the body. In return basically jump starts the immune system and your body does the rest, it’s really quite simple with very little effort from you. My wife now has discontinued her prescriptions of 12 pills a week of METHOTREXATE, and is using the equipment to keep her health in tact along with myself now only as a maintenance maybe once a month. Our family doctor totally amazed and ask us for more info.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Aaron said..."nice," Ron. And cryptic. What won't you tell us next, I wonder?

12:11 PM  

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