Friday, December 05, 2008

Unwanted Advice, 12/5/08

DEAR AMY: I have a problem with the mother of my daughter's school friend. She has no defined sense of boundaries.

When this woman comes over to our house to pick up her child from play dates or visits, if I leave mail or papers on my counter, she doesn't hesitate to go through the papers under the pretense of looking for a school-related item that she wanted to check on, and look at whatever interests her—papers, magazines, mail, etc.

She has also taken books off my bookshelves to browse without asking if she could look at them, opened my kitchen drawers and cabinets, and wandered into rooms I don't want guests to visit.

I have removed my papers, mail, etc. from their normal places if I knew she was coming over and closed doors to those rooms that have doors. I've also removed items from her hands if they are not hers.
Somehow, this seems like an abnormal way for me to have to deal with this nosy person in my own home.

How can I set boundaries with her without having to conceal everything I don't want her to touch and without being rude?



I wouldn’t worry about being rude. Somebody needs to put the smack down on this bitch, and it looks like it’s going to have to be you, since she’s clearly too obtuse to take a hint.

The tragedy is that, to many people, this is normal behavior nowadays—sadly, we live in an “information culture,” in which, with an absence of anything meaningful to do anymore, people fill their time satisfying their curiosity and poking around, even in places they don’t belong. There are no boundaries anymore, and you know what’s even worse? If you try to set boundaries, you’re the one who’s looked at askance. After all, “if you have nothing to hide, etc., etc.”...and all this “snoop on your neighbor-ism” that’s been encouraged by authorities under the auspices of “reporting suspicious behavior” has given these rope-swingers even more encouragement to try their hand at Miss Marpling.

Ain’t that a bitch??

Nevertheless, it’s your house and your rules. Tell her to keep her mitts off your stuff, or she’ll go home minus at least one. And tell your daughter to make friends outside the neighborhood.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I just found out that his daughter and her boyfriend duped everyone -- including us -- with a formal, traditional wedding ceremony, but the "marriage" is not legal. They had no intention of being legally wed, but felt that because they are having a baby, they were entitled to a formal wedding.

We paid a large amount of money to attend this wedding, Abby, including gifts and a bridal shower. When confronted, they showed no remorse for their deception. In fact, they are extremely arrogant about it. They say it's their personal business and consider themselves "married in the eyes of God."

I am furious over this scam, which affects more than 100 family members and friends. Please advise.



“Married in the eyes of God” is what people say when they just want to live together in a committed relationship without getting married. And it precludes throwing a fancy fake wedding just to get lots of loot. These two pencil-trolls weren’t married in the eyes of God, they were married in the eyes of Macy—and I don’t mean William H. or the guy who played Maude’s husband, either.

Since they’re expecting a baby, they’ll be needing diapers, and lots of them. So take a large Pampers box, fill it with worthless toilet paper, gift-wrap it and send it to them. When they call to complain (and you know they will), explain that in the eyes of Johnson and Johnson, those are diapers.

BONUS ABBY (if one can call it a “bonus”):

DEAR ABBY: I need some serious advice. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis a year ago. My condition is stable. I have taken the necessary precautions such as dietary changes, exercise and prescription medications.

My husband and I have been married eight years. This is my second marriage and his third. My husband is a very stubborn man. Once he makes a decision he stands by it until death.

He has recently announced that should I become incapacitated and unable to perform my "wifely duties," he is going to find a "sex buddy." What should I do about this announcement?



What you need is a big-ass pair of hedgeclippers to lop off his nethers. That’s what you need. This man isn’t “stubborn,” he’s an irresponsible asshole.

You could, perhaps, remind him that as long as he’s “standing by decisions until death,” he could start by honoring the one he made when he married you.

Tell him that vow still “stands until death,” but that if he’d like to change his mind, you’d be glad to kill him and set him free.

DEAR ELLIE: My wife of 10 years has never initiated sex in our marriage. In recent years, whenever I try to get romantic, she pushes me away, saying she's not interested. She says women don't need sex (she's mid-30s, beautiful, in good shape), so I'd better get used to the idea of not having it.
We've had sex once in six months. She's an aloof person, not concerned with my feelings or needs, but she doesn't realize or admit this. I don't want to cheat or end our marriage (and I'm sure she's not cheating), but I don't know what to do.



Tell her you understand completely. Say that she’s SO right—women don’t need sex. And since she won’t give you any, she’ll of course understand when you won’t fix the garbage disposal, mow the lawn or take care of home maintenance. After all, men don’t feel the NEED to do those things.

Also, tell her you’re sure she’ll understand that since she’s not willing to give you physical intimacy, you’ll be getting it elsewhere. Then buy her a big kitty cat to share the bed with her. Hope it sheds.

DEAR MARGO: My best friend has a problem with men. She thinks they can't stop falling for her. They're always flirting with her, she says, but she doesn't acknowledge the wildly flirtatious things she does to attract their attention. Recently, one of the city's wealthy bachelors pressed up against her and asked for more. She was shocked, as she didn't know what "more" meant, so she says. "Helen" has been married for 10 years and has kids, and this behavior troubles her husband. Not long ago, I gave her a list of things I've witnessed over 20 years, including flirting with my own husband. (When he didn't go for it, she called him the sensitive type, insinuating he was gay!)

I can see beyond her problem, and she is actually smart and a lot of fun to be with. But recently she scolded me for making her feel "insecure about her innocent behavior" when she "was just trying to be nice." Our friendship suffered. While it is true that she is beautiful and attracts attention for that alone (she was once a well-known model), she is in her 50s and her 20-something behavior is sometimes embarrassing. She flirts with waiters and anyone who is male. I guess my question is: What is the best answer when a friend with a problem asks for advice, when the truth I already offered was turned back on me?



Well now I’m going to play Dear Margo to you and ask you why this woman is your best friend. If she doesn’t realize that provoking a man into frottage (look that up—I won’t explain it) and flirting with a friend’s husband, then insinuating that he’s gay when he doesn’t reciprocate, are inappropriate ways for a married woman to behave, then she’s too stupid or stubborn to take advice, and you shouldn’t bother offering any. Her behavior is clearly not “innocent,” nor is she just being “nice.” “Nice” is baking a pie for somebody, not giving them a lap dance.

If she asks again, just say, “Helen, there’s no point in my giving you advice, because you only resent it and you’ll just do whatever the hell you want anyway. But you’d better get a prescription for a good antibiotic. You’re going to need it.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great answers oh wise one. The only one I wish to take some umbrage with is the Married in the eyes of God letter. Being part Native American myself I remember stories where my ancestors were married by the tribal chief but it was not recognized by the white missionaries later the Government wanted to take a toll so they made it a law to have to by a license to have a legal marriage. I think if you make a vow before your God to love and respect each other until death then you are married. Of course the reasons that Gays need to be legally married go for the straight folks too. Have a teriffic weekend in spite of the freezing cold blast from the North. Damn those Canadians! ed

11:49 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

I agree, and I think it's perfectly fine to take such an oath before each other and the eyes of God. What's NOT OK is pretending to have a big old she-bang, and KNOWINGLY duping attendees into giving you lots of expensive shit. That's low-down--if it's good enough for them to be married in the eyes of God only, then they should have enough integrity to stand up and say so, and skip all that pageantry. If they're gonna make a baby, they betta be ready to take care of it without charity. Can't count on it these days.

You're right about the Native Americans and the gays, though. The Establishment has always found ways to horn in and require layers of paperwork in matters that ought not to concern them.

12:26 PM  
Blogger ayem8y said...

If that snooping lady ever put her hands in my stack of personal letters the next time she did it she’d feel the cold steel snap of a mousetrap. The helpful things you learn from Bugs Bunny cartoons.

11:26 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Yes, not to mention the Acme Company! :-) (I'm still looking online for a place to order a roadrunner-chasing rocket...)

3:48 PM  

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