Friday, November 14, 2008

Since You Asked: Advice the Columnists Don't Dare Give-Nov. 14, 2008 Edition

DEAR MARGO: I'm 28 and have been dating a guy for six months. He is absolutely crazy about me and spoils me rotten. I love him, but the problem is that he isn't "tall, dark and handsome" -- that silly fantasy of every woman. I wish he were more attractive and find myself trying to balance his "vice" (not handsome enough) with his virtues. I also find myself looking at attractive guys and wishing I were with them. He has noticed and kids me gently about it. I'm trying to tell myself that it's better to be with a good man who treats you right than with a good-looking one who treats you like rubbish. Am I right, or am I just consoling myself?

--- BETHESDA


SYA SAYS:

Oh, Jesus. Do this guy a favor and break it off so he can find someone who deserves him. If your heart’s not in it, you’re wasting his time and yours. (In your case, I’d say that’s less of a loss, because I imagine you have very little to do with your time besides ogle men who don’t belong to you.) If you really “loved him” as you claimed to, you wouldn’t be living in this ridiculous media-fed fantasy world where every guy looks like Brad Pitt. (Hell, even Brad Pitt doesn’t look that much like Brad Pitt anymore.)

And while we’re at it, what exactly do you look like, Cinderella? Have you considered that maybe the guy you’re dating is more than good enough for you? Go to the mirror and count your noses and chins. Are you really all that? Even if you are now, do you think you’ll stay that way forever, without major cosmetic surgery that leaves you without facial expression, a lá Joan Rivers? These cogitations may keep you occupied until you come to your senses.

I have a news flash for you: not being “handsome enough” isn’t really considered a “vice.” Vanity, however, is. Think about it.



DEAR ELLIE: My three grown daughters all became vegans in their mid-teens. They're also animal-rights activists -- I think they're fanatics, refusing to celebrate Thanksgiving with us, with a "dead bird" (turkey) in our home, though I've prepared a "tofu turkey" for them.

My husband and I try to accommodate their diet and are sensitive to their activities, but they're rude and ugly, condemning everything we eat, and that we kill flies and earwigs in our home. One daughter has gone into debt having her aged, pet rats treated for acute illnesses.

They make time each week to feed feral cats, but cannot drop into their grandfather's nearby nursing home or visit other elderly relatives. They exhibit rising hostility to our family but it doesn't bother them. How do I remain civil, as I'm disliking them?


--STRANGE OR ESTRANGED?

SYA SAYS:

Why bother? I’ve met too many “animal rights” people who have nothing but disdain for their fellow human beings. I personally know some who are very nice people, but there’s a real misanthropic trend among the most fanatical of them. It sounds like these three are the biggest nuts in the loaf.

I sincerely doubt you’ll be able to find any middle ground with them, since you’ve already made efforts to accommodate, and they won’t acknowledge it. They have a right to their beliefs, but it sounds as if they don’t respect yours, nor your right to observe the holiday as you see fit. Write them off. It’s fortunate that they enjoy the company of flies and earwigs so much, as they shall soon have little else for company, once the pet rats die off.




DEAR ABBY: I read about your booklet "How to Write Letters for All Occasions" a few years ago, and I want to let you know how much it helped me recently in writing to my aunt.

You see, my aunt's beloved cat, "Mouser," passed away. Although I didn't know Mouser very well, I did know how much her cat meant to her.

Knowing how much she was hurting, I felt I had to say something -- but what? Then I remembered that your booklet had a section on how to write a condolence letter.

You said: "When writing a condolence letter ... if you come up with a specific memory that you have cherished, relate it. Believe it or not, a humorous incident will be appreciated."

So I sent my aunt a funny incident I remembered about Mouser. She wrote me back a month later thanking me for "moving her thoughts from a very sad place and making her smile." She said my story made her remember other antics she hadn't thought of in a long time.

I know I'm not the only person who has trouble putting feelings down on paper. Please mention your booklet again so your readers will know this invaluable resource is available.

-- GRATEFUL READER IN N.Y.


SYA SAYS:

What day is it again? Oh yes, Wednesday—that’s the day that Abby decides to take the easy way out and, rather than run a letter that might be relevant or important, instead runs a lame letter (that she probably wrote herself) extolling the virtues of one of her fritzy-shitzy pamphlets so that “other readers will know how invaluable it is,” and she can make a few bucks into the bargain.

But just in case you ARE a real person, I’m going to give you the benefit of my own experience, and you can save yourself $4.00 in wasted postage ordering that antiquated rag. Tell your aunt you’re sorry that her cat died, but that it wasn’t in vain—he was delicious!

Just kidding, of course—but honestly, what’s so tough about writing to your aunt that you had to order a pamphlet to do it? I mean, all you have to say is, “I’m sorry for your loss.” How hard is that? If it’s too hard to string the words together yourself, you can send a card. I hear you saying, “But cards are reserved for the death of family members, not pets.” Well, to many old people, pets ARE their family, since you ungrateful bastards never visit.

There. See? Didn’t cost you a dime, did it?


Bonus Ellie (since hers are the most in need of real advice):

DEAR ELLIE: I asked my best friend last spring to be my maid of honor. She wants to participate in a two-day bike ride to conquer cancer five days before my wedding. She'd be missing dinners and bridal party get-togethers while she's gone.
I'm terribly afraid that she'll come to my wedding exhausted and unable to help as she'd promised. She just lost someone to cancer, but there are tons of other fund-raisers she could go to.

Am I being unreasonable to ask that she not participate in this ride?

--ANXIOUS BRIDE


SYA SAYS:

Yes. She’s doing something very important to her by participating in this bike ride, honoring somebody she’s lost. What life-and-death task will she be accomplishing glued to your side for those two days, besides reassuring you every five minutes that the dress doesn’t make you look fat? If you’re so desperate to hear it, have your mother stand in.

Get over yourself, Precious. This may come as a shock, but the world already has an axis to revolve around, and it ain’t you. But no matter what happens beforehand, rest assured that on Your Special Day, people will still come up and tell you how radiant you are, that they’ve never seen a prettier bride (whether or not it's true), and ask “Are you pregnant?” Believe me, your friend’s absence for those two days will be the least of your concerns.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

meow

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When will we ever learn that beauty is on the inside? The first princess needs a talking mirror like in Sleeping Beauty: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall who's the fairest of them all? The daily affirmation is all she needs not a man.
The above commenter is mouser the cat come back from the dead. Translation: meow= Damn, lady I'm just a cat!
The Vegans make me laugh so hard. They think if they stop us all from eating beef, chicken, turkey, pork, Bambi etc. that all will be well but what they forget is the only reason we have pigs and cows and chickens and turkeys is for food otherwise they would be extinct. ed

11:44 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

"Anonymous 1:" Oh, I can be SOOOO much worse. You have no idea. Would you like to see?

Ed: We will never learn that lesson. We always need at least an attractive BOW on the package before we want to open it and see inside. But this girl was brazenly shallow and needs to be slapped. Sadly, she's too far away.

I respect vegans for their life choice. Unless they respect the rest of us, however, I will not associate with them.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Ray Ray said...

I love the line about the earth's axis, that is sublime. I'm still trying to decide who's more annoying, the stupid female with the awesome but not gorgeous boyfriend, or the stupid bride to be. I'll ponder this all weekend, but your answers are great.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Thanks for stopping by, Ray Ray! I'm always glad if others enjoy (and even better, agree with!) my answers.

I don't think it's possible to decide which of those two dingbats was dingier...I think they're equally dingbatty.

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Shonda said...

YES. The last one is my favorite. I love these posts. :o)

8:39 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Yeah, the bridezillas always get lots of column space from the advice folks. Not sure why they need so much advice! They should have paid attention when all the others got hitched before them...

8:33 AM  

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