Monday, December 15, 2008

Unwanted Advice - Dec. 15, 2008

DEAR AMY: My 75-year-old mother called the other day to talk about the Obama election, and she proceeded to tell me that she has been a "closet racist but now she's coming out of the closet." She said she hates all people of color.

After initially thinking she was joking, I came to realize (to my horror) she was not.

I went to my sister with this revelation and told her how upset I was and that I was embarrassed to be her son.

Several days later my mother called to tell me she couldn't believe I went running to my sister and that, in fact, she was joking. She said I need to "get a life."

I responded that I fail to see where the humor is in all of this but agreed that we would add this to the list of topics we could no longer talk about. I am still very upset and wonder if I should just let it go.



The first thing that crossed my mind was that you should ask Sister Stoolie why she reported your conversation back to your mother. But then I realized that if I’d heard something that unbelievable about my mom, I’d want to confirm it with her, too, and she’d know where I’d heard it.

You seem like a reasonably intelligent person, so I’m betting that you were right the first time, and your mother was not joking when she made those comments. But she realized after talking to your sister that she can’t just go around saying shit like that without it coming back on her in some way, because it will get around. Regardless of her real feelings (you can’t really do anything about those, because at her age she’s likely to be as as stubborn as a nanny goat), you should just tell her she’s never to say those things in your presence again and then drop it.

But first, tell her you’ll “get a life” when she gets a conscience.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 17-year-old, happily married girl, but I have a problem. My 15-year-old cousin "Rayleen" likes my husband. She calls his cell phone at all hours of the night, and last week she sent him a letter telling him that I was cheating on him (a lie!) and that when he decides to get a divorce from me, if he wants a "real woman" to give her a call.

Rayleen has always had a thing for older men, but this time she has just gone too far. I know my husband loves me and would never believe her, but I'm not sure how to tell my cousin to stop. I don't want to be mean, but she can't have him.



Back up a minute. Did you just say you’re “17 years old and happily married?”

You did? That’s what I thought. Well, now that that’s out of the way…

Forget being “mean.” Your cousin is psychotic in an “Alicia Silverstone in ‘The Crush’” kind of way, and that means you shouldn’t need to tell her to stop. Her mother (who might possibly also be her sister) should be doing that. If she refuses, perhaps you should mention to Cousin Rayleen (Is that really--? Oh, never mind) that you’re saving the letter, as well as all the cell phone messages, and if she keeps it up, you’re turning the whole kit and caboodle over to the juvenile authorities.

You might want to mention that there aren’t many trips to the Dollar Tree or the discount shoe and purse outlets once she lands in juvie. Bet she cools it right then and there.

DEAR ELLIE: My wife is very hard on my mom, who brought me up on her own, but since she's retired from her office job, she's lonely.

My mom baby-sits our three kids every day without pay, as my wife works. But when my wife gets home she always finds fault with something my mom did. I tell her to ignore small things, but she doesn't. What can I do?



Remind her that your mother keeps the kids safe and happy—for free. Tell her to be grateful and shut the hell up.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it ever appropriate to hire a baby sitter to assist with guests’ children? At our Thanksgiving meal, two toddlers and a 5-year-old were dismissed by their parents from the table while parents lingered over dessert and coffee.

I jumped up and tried to run interference while topping off coffee cups and clearing away plates, but the three children with minimal supervision managed to wreck my home.

When they come over at Christmas for another family meal, would it be rude to have a baby sitter on hand to assist the children with their plates, and then direct their activities away from my rugs and antiques when the children are through with their meals?



It sounds like that’s the only alternative, since their parents are too preoccupied with their pie to notice when their kids are knocking over lamps and vases.

What’s more, I think you should stick the parents with the baby-sitting bill. When they complain, assure them that it’s far cheaper than replacing what their kids wrecked last time.

(Don’t expect them next Christmas—but that means fewer places to set!)

DEAR MARGO: I will get straight to the point: My boyfriend is in love with my mother. A few weeks ago I brought my new boyfriend, "Max," home to meet my parents. Max immediately fell head over heels for my mom. I've told him that she's happily married to my father, but he ignores that fact completely. Since the day he saw my mom, he has asked her out three times, attempted to have sex once, and even threatened my dad to "back off, or else."

This situation is quite uncomfortable for my entire family, but whenever I try to talk to Max about it, he claims to be in love with me and only me -- not my mother. I know this is false, and I'm not sure how to end it all. I love Max very much, so I ask you, Margo, how can I tell him to step away from my mom while keeping him in my grasp?



As long as we’re getting straight to the point, allow me: What planet are you from??!

The situation is “uncomfortable,” you say?! Well, gee, I can’t imagine why!

You should worry less about keeping your grasp on this fruit loop and more about the grasp you don't seem to have on reality. And maybe think about what kind of deadbolt to buy for your door. If you believe him when he says he loves only you—after he’s propositioned your mother and threatened your father—then you deserve whatever happens next.

Tell him to stay away, or your father will meet him at the door next time with a rifle. That should clear things up.


Blogger American Girl said...

How is it possible for these people to be so stymied by their situations that their only hope is help from a newspaper columnist?

Their brains must hurt when they poop.

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first letter could have been written by my sister except she is a bigot too. My Mom uses the N word on a regular basis but claims not to be a racist. She voted for Obama to prove she isn't a racist and "hopes that N----- can straighten up this mess". (her words.
In the second letter I wonder if when they got married all of the guests sat on the same side of the church?
In the third letter the Mom babysits the little yard apes for free. Mom doesn't have a backbone and her son takes after her. Tell the wife if she wants to raise the kids herself to quit her job and start a daycare or else shut the F--- up!
The next letter reminds me of my cousins Billy Bob and April Dawn whenever they came to visit us they would run to the bathroom and see what they could flush down the stool since they didn't have indoor plumbing at home. Their parents looked the other way as they turned the house upside Down. Finally, my sister could take no more and said, "stop it you little devils go sit down!" My Aunt never brought them by again, thank god.
In the last letter the young lady loves the guy so very much. There must be some way to keep him off of her mother. I mean since he loves the girl so very much and there doesn't seem to be a gun in the house maybe the Mom should just let him have his way. Are you kidding me? Is this letter for real? Your advice was right on.
I'm all a twitter over the possibility of getting another Unwanted Advice column in the same week. ed

5:17 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Sarah: I think their brains actually fall out when they poop. I can't think of any other explanation for such social deformity.

Ed: Actually, Ellie's original advice to the son of the baby-sitting mom was to "be a man" and stand up for his mother. I thought she should have stuck to a topic she was familiar with, since she probably hasn't seen a man without an air nozzle since Connie Francis was on the charts. However, some cogency was called for, hence the one-sentence advice.

There's nothing worse than kids running riot in someone else's house while their parents stand by and do nothing. I think they should be stood in the corner along with their kids.

10:26 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home