Friday, January 16, 2009

The Unwanted Advisor - January 16, 2009 Edition

DEAR ELLIE: A mutual friend stayed with us for several months during a difficult time in his life. He was rude and obnoxious, and looked at pornographic sites on my computer. My boyfriend and I finally gave him a month's notice, and then had to practically drag him out. He left the room a disgusting mess, and with no thanks.
Now he's asking my boyfriend for favors and help with the move. My boyfriend agreed. I feel he's being a pushover and not standing up for us when someone's wronged us. He says it's none of my business and he'll do what he wants regardless of what I think.



It most definitely is your business, since you were sharing the house with your boyfriend when Pigpen parked his grubby gear there.

I’d tell your boyfriend that in order to keep peace in the boudoir (and you know what I mean), make it a condition of his helping his “friend” move that the “friend” clean up the mess he made in your house, or reimburse you the cost of having it done (if you haven’t already done it yourself).

And then you need to have a nice long sit-down with your boyfriend about his regard (or lack thereof) for your household rights. Tell him if he’d like to go and live with the slob in his new digs, that can be arranged.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I live in a town that bestows standing ovations as routinely as one draws breath. As a child, I was taught that one gets to one's feet when the performer is at the absolute top of his game and has moved one deeply.

Within two weeks, I attended a number of events where standing ovations occurred: choral music at an evening church service, an annual meeting in which certificates of appreciation were handed out, a concert performance by three tenors, a high school performance by students, and a bar association luncheon at which 1,000 lawyers leapt to their feet both at the appearance of the speaker (a Supreme Court Justice) at the podium and at the conclusion of his presentation.

All events were enjoyable and interesting. None qualified as "top of their game" and/or emotionally moving.

Am I hopelessly out of touch (always a possibility)? Just being a curmudgeon at my resistance to peer pressure? I do not wish to be unkind but find all this aggravating.



Oh, Jesus, are you still complaining about the standing ovation thing? Didn’t you write several months ago, all whine-assing around because you imagined people to be giving you dirty looks when you didn’t stand when they did? Here’s a hint: they still don’t care.

Yes, I, too, think people have gone a little too far in expressing their appreciation for performances by rewarding them all with the same amount of sugar, but if they get so spontaneously moved by what they see, good for them. There’s little enough joy in the world these days. It’s possible that it’s a ripple effect, caused by a small clutch of people noticing others standing to applaud, and thinking it would be rude not to. Then others. Then others, until nearly everyone is standing. But if they choose to, they can do what you do and resist peer pressure, simply remaining seated as they politely applaud.

I do think it’s odd that your entire town gets this carried away with standing ovations, but if it bothers you so much, move to another town. Although if that’s your biggest problem, I might start looking for property there myself (after you’ve moved away, of course). I could do with appreciative and joyful neighbors.

DEAR ABBY: Ever since I was a child, when my mother gave me a gift, as I opened it she would always say that she had bought a bigger, better or prettier gift for me -- but liked it so much she decided to keep it for herself.

Once she told me that she had purchased a jacket for me, but kept it even though she is several sizes smaller than I am. After wearing it a few times, she offered it to me because it was "too big for her."

My mother was the oldest of six children, and I am her only child. Why do you think she behaves as she does?



Maybe because she’s a bitch? I’m just guessing here.

Next time she tries to offer you a second-hand article of clothing because “it’s too big for her,” look her up and down and say, “That’s what you think.”

DEAR MARGO: I quit eating all meat (including fowl and seafood) about 20 years ago. People who become vegetarians do it for various reasons. We are not all animal-rights fanatics or health nuts. I have no problem with other people eating meat. (My husband eats meat.) The thing that annoys me is when people find out I'm a vegetarian, they become defensive and even hostile. My own mother can be that way. If I make a simple comment such as, "That looks like a meat-lover's delight," my mother thinks I am being sarcastic; then she starts defending the "other side." I can't help the way people react, but I am tired of the persecution just because of my dietary choices.

What is it with these people?



Get a grip, Gidget. Nobody CARES if you eat meat or not, but given the length of time since you’ve been “born again,” it’s my guess that you’ve trumpeted to all and sundry how great you feel, how your skin looks better, you feel younger—blah, blah, blah. Good for you. But not everybody is up to dancing in the meadow with you, so give it a rest. People’s lives suck sometimes, and they like a few pleasures in life—meat being one of them occasionally. The last thing they need are some McCartneys sucking even that joy out of their lives.

Since you’ve already clearly stated that you don’t eat meat, people know that you don’t like it or approve of it. So if you make a comment about a dish looking like a “meat-lover’s delight,” they take it as an all-encompassing criticism—they like meat, you’d don’t, therefore you disapprove of their dish, and by extension, of them. Crazy logic, I know, but these are the leaps our minds make sometimes.

From now on, don’t even mention that they’re eating meat—they already know how you feel. Just shut up and let them enjoy it. And can the persecution complex—that makes you doubly annoying.


Blogger Johnny C said...

It's funny about the ovation letters. Recently I was at a play and although it was great it didn't dawn on me to give a standing ovation until everyone else got up. I followed suit, and your post came to mind.

I'm sure if I had remained seated no one would have cared a bit...

6:36 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

You're right--both in not standing up and in not worrying what anyone else thought. They're caught up in their moment, and don't care what anyone else does. Only people who write to Miss Manners obsess over such things. And Miss Manners (that third-person speaking vixen) can give them the reassurance they so desperately crave.

They need to watch the last season of "Laverne and Shirley" and see Rhonda to see how ridiculous it is to refer to oneself in third person. Maybe that will cure them.

I doubt it, though...

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ed thinks it is silly to both worry about standing ovations and referring to oneself in the third person. Even though Ed thinks it is crazy it seems Ed can't stop doing it himself. Haha.
Granola Girl so wants to feel superior to the meat eating slobs. She only kills lettuce and turnips instead of Porks and Beefs. In the Bible, God killed animals and made clothing for Adam and Eve to cover their junk. This was so they would be able to make their own from then on. Give Granola Girl a Rice cake she'll eat for a day but teach her to stop being an Ass and every one will feel better. ed

8:25 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Frankly, if she moves to Siberia, they'll feel the best.

As for the rest: good on ya, Ed. Well said. Very well said.

1:44 AM  

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