Friday, January 09, 2009

Unwanted Advice - January 9, 2009 ("The Bitch Is Back") Edition

DEAR AMY: I've read letters in your column about what to do with "found money," and I thought your readers might enjoy this piece of family history.

At the height of the Depression, my mother (then a teenager) found a velvet evening bag on the street in New York.

When she opened it, there were two $100 bills inside—just the money, with no ID. She had never seen a $50 bill, much less a $100 bill! She took the purse home and with her mother (a widow with three children) took it to the parish priest, who went with them to the police station.

The police told my mother that the police would keep it for 30 days but after that it was the family's to keep. Well, 30 days passed, and the family decided this was Providence at work, so my mother used the money to enroll in secretarial school. When she graduated, it was World War II, and she got a job transcribing letters at the Office of Censorship, where she met my father.

Whenever I have lost something of value, I remember this story and think that my misfortune might be a blessing for someone else.



Yes, censorship is always a blessing. Thanks for the heartwarmer.

DEAR ABBY: My mother-in-law is insisting that she have my 8-month-old daughter "Mallory's" ears pierced. I am refusing. I do not want Mallory to be uncomfortable during the procedure or afterward. I have enough to worry about without adding fears of infected earlobes or my little one choking on jewelry parts. Mallory is just a baby -- MY baby.

My mother-in-law says she will "slip off" and have Mallory's ears pierced and I won't be able to do anything about it. Furthermore, when I said I didn't feel it was necessary to explain why I was against the idea, my father-in-law stood up and told me to get out of his #@&! house. I took Mallory and left.

Two weeks later, they called my husband and asked to baby-sit. They have never apologized. I'm afraid they will pierce my baby's ears if she's left alone with them. What do I do?



First, tell your husband that the in-laws are under no circumstances to spend time alone with your baby. They sound dangerously off-kilter. Pierced ears on babies just scream “white trash,” and there’s something wrong with anybody who insists on it to the point of threatening and bullying. Have you thought of a restraining order? Consider it.

They have a lot of nerve calling your house at all after they threw you out of theirs, and asking your husband if they can babysit. This indicates that they consider you an obstacle to be skirted, rather than the child’s parent. Your husband needs to step in and remind their sorry asses that you are his wife, and an equal partner in raising the child, and demand that they apologize to you. Yesterday.

And if they refuse, pass word to Granny Gumbo that if she even thinks about having your daughter’s ears pierced, you will personally come to her lakeside shack with a staple gun and fasten her lips together. Good luck eating possum stew then.

DEAR ELLIE: My wife hates her job, is distracted with our young daughter, overwhelmed by household chores, and has withdrawn from me emotionally and physically. She didn't get a promotion she wanted, but she's lucky she didn't get laid off in a recent downsizing.
Also, she'd counted on our buying a bigger house next year, but we lost much of our savings in the market. It's a tough time for everyone, not just her, and I need my wife back!



If you want your wife back, here’s an idea, numb-nuts: try being a husband. She’s overwhelmed by household chores? Tie on an apron and pitch in, asshole. She’s distracted with your daughter? Offer to take the family out for a fun evening, douchebag. (And don’t use that stale “the-economy’s-bad” excuse—there are plenty of fun activities that don’t cost much.) She’s disappointed she didn’t get a promotion? Try giving her some encouragement, instead of Puritan sermons.

What is it about your wife that you “need back,” exactly? The sex? The free maid service? Marriage is about more than fetching your slippers and getting your rocks off, Jethro.

(Oh, and a little word of advice: nothing pisses disappointed people off more than reminders to be “grateful” for what little they have. They can hear that shit in church and on the news—they don’t need to have their supposed loved ones rub it in their face constantly. So quit telling her to “buck up.” She might just tell you to “fuck off.”)

DEAR MARGO: I am the father of a beautiful, sweet, 7-year-old biracial girl. I am an African-American, and her mother is second-generation Italian-American. We live in a predominately white neighborhood, and my daughter attends a predominately white school.

My daughter advised us that a classmate was instructed by her parents to not socialize with her. The little girl has made it known to the classroom that she will not sit or play with my daughter; she even got up and moved in the cafeteria one day because my daughter sat next to her. My daughter is colorblind and too young to know what racism is. How should I handle this matter in your opinion? And how should I deal with the parents?



Unfortunately, you’re now going to have to explain to her (gently) the ugly truth about racism. She should know that she’s a terrific kid, and the other girl’s behavior is nothing to do with her, but that some grownups still hang on to ridiculous prejudices and pass them down to their children.

Sadly, that other little girl will suffer the most, because many kids are more and more colorblind, like your daughter, and this girl’s classmates are likely to see how unreasonable her behavior is and avoid her because she’s an unpleasant little bitch.

As far as the parents, there’s very little you can do about idiots. It really is more their problem than anyone else’s, and that will become readily apparent once the rest of society spurns their daughter for being stupid. Unless she rejects her parents’ teachings (once she’s older and can make her own judgments), she will appear foolish and backwards in the eyes of the world.

Be thankful you’ll never have that problem.

DEAR ELLIE: I recently discovered, unintentionally, that my live-in boyfriend of four years has been talking online very inappropriately to a female friend ever since we'd started dating. She offered him sex regularly. They discussed moving in together before he moved in with me, how he didn't really love me, and how they were in love.

When confronted, he said it meant nothing, that these conversations were just ego strokes, that his friends knew about this woman and that he'd stop talking to her immediately. I'm trying to believe all this, and I want nothing more than to move on because I still love him despite this betrayal. However, every time he's chatting online, I get suspicious and worried. Every time he sees his friends, I wonder why they never said anything about it to me.

How should I move on?



By moving out. Even if he had no intention of dipping his wick in her paraffin, the conversations that he had with her were disrespectful of you and your relationship at the very least. And if you hadn’t “unintentionally” discovered this transgression, do you think he would have come clean on his own?

Not bloody likely.

As far as his friends, well, that’s why they’re his friends. If it comes down to it, they’re not going to squeal on him, because they were his friends before they were yours (assuming they even are now).

Go make your own friends, and tell him to stroke his own ego from now on. He can even leave the lights on if he wants to.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a sister that constantly sends birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, etc., early. By early, I mean, sometimes as much as two months in advance.

I find this rude and odd at the same time. When asking her why she does this, her answer is so that she does not forget, since she travels so often.
I personally am just as offended in this as I am in her being late or forgetting entirely. To me, it demonstrates her inconsiderate ways in not caring about the meaning behind an important event and or date. How would you propose dealing with this, and, is it “normal”?



No, it’s distinctly abnormal. It’s far more “normal” to sit around and bitch when you get presents, instead of being grateful for them and for the person who sends them. And since we live in a material world now, full of people who learned their manners at troughs and think only of their gratification, you’re in plenty of company.

Congratulations on your “normalcy.” Would you like a plaque? We promise to send it two months early.

DEAR MARGO: I work in a small cubicle office of a dozen people. One gentleman who works in the office conducts calls with his young children (two under the age of 4) every day from his desk. All other personal calls he takes to the conference room where he's able to close the door and not "include" the rest of us. So for five to 15 minutes every morning he subjects the entire office to these childish conversations. The calls are disruptive and distracting and drive us all batty. You can almost feel the collective eye roll when those conversations start -- but he is oblivious to our irritation.

What is the most polite way to curb this behavior? We really don't want to know what his 3-year-old had for breakfast or how the park was or if Mommy is having a good day. Any suggestions?



Something tells me that he’s not so “oblivious” to the effect his little pattycake matinees have on his co-workers. I’ve often found, through painful years of working in offices, that those with kids just can’t wait to rub other people’s noses in the fact that they have kids. Boy, they sure show the barren rest of us!

People are soooo proud of their children that it's inconceivable to them anybody else isn't, and every little thing they do deserves a medal in their parents’ eyes, no matter how insignificant it is in the larger scheme. Be thankful these kids aren’t potty training. (Are they?)

There’s not a whole lot that you can do, short of suggesting that he take the kiddie calls into the conference room, too, unless your office passes a policy about personal phone calls on office phones. Chances are, though, he’s likely to just make the same damn calls on a cell phone—which means he’ll only talk to Wooby and Pooby even louder, since the reception’s notoriously bad on those things.

I do have to wonder about the stability of a person who insists on having conversations with his children every day while he’s at work. Not to mention what this will mean to the kids’ future emotional functionality. They’re Federlines waiting to happen.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have already read the Dear Abby a few days ago and have been steaming over it ever since, about the 8-month old baby who's mother just can't figure out how to keep her Mother-in-Law from having the babies ears pierced. Let's have her to recite this stanza shall we? "Bitch, if my child returns home with pierced ears my foot will be driven so far up your ass you'll have to unscrew the top of your head to take a shit"! If she let's the old girl have her way one of these days, "Grandma's Trailor Trash" will be tattooed across that poor babies backside. ed

5:11 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Yes, I've been in several--er--"malls"--over the last couple of years (they're rare in Chicago) and seen babies with pierced ears. My eyes instictively dart to the mother, just to see who would let such a thing happen. I mean, we're talking about a little person whose immune system isn't even fully developed yet, and they're encouraging some stranger to shove a NEEDLE in their baby's earlobe?

I can only imagine the tatoo they've planned for the kid's second birthday...

12:19 AM  
Blogger ayem8y said...

Dearest Mom in Georgia I would like to pierce your baby’s ears then it’s lip and eyebrow and then dress it in something gothic low cut and sexy. Then sell it to the highest bidder.

11:14 PM  

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