Friday, March 06, 2009

You Asked For It: Unwanted Advice (3/6/09)

DEAR AMY: My husband and I donate a lot of things to homes for senior citizens.

We had an 80-pound television that we were not going to use anymore. I called a girlfriend and asked if her mother could use it in the senior home. She said her mom didn't need one, but if I was giving it away, I could give it to her 32-year-old daughter.

I was not pleased with this idea because I did not offer it to her daughter, but I asked my husband and he said it was fine. He then said I should ask her to have her 27-year-old son help carry this TV.

I repeatedly reminded my friend to make sure her son would help my husband (he is 67) move the TV. When they came to pick up the TV, it was just my friend and her daughter––no son. I was furious.

My friend then attempted to help my husband carry the TV down the front concrete stairs, and my husband tripped. I ran down the stairs, helped them lift it up and put it in her truck. I yelled at her, "It would have been nice if your son was here to help!" and stormed into my house.

I sent her an e-mail explaining why I was so angry, but she answered me that she was capable of handling the TV herself. There was absolutely no mention of her son and no apology. Her daughter (who did not lift a finger), got a free television out of the deal and I lost a friendship.

I am still furious. I feel my husband and I were taken advantage of. Some people think I should be more forgiving, but I don't agree.



Of course you don’t agree. You’re a bitch. No wonder you’re so “FRUSTRATED(!)”

The daughter got a “free television out of the deal.” Whoop-de-doo. A “free” television that you didn’t want anymore and probably wasn’t working that well anyway (otherwise, why were you not using it anymore?).

If you didn’t want to give this TV away to your friend’s daughter, you had the option of politely declining. But you didn’t do that, because you felt put on the spot by your friend’s request. It was, perhaps, a little manipulative of her to presume on your friendship like that, but it was childish of you to storm into the house the way you did (leaving your husband with egg all over his face and making apologies for you, by the way—did you ever think of that? Of course not—because you’re a bitch).

You never stopped to ask why her son wasn’t there to help, and rather than e-mailing her to apologize, you e-mailed to “explain why you were angry.” Pick up the Clue Phone on Line 1: that’s not an apology, it’s a self-justification, and it’s even more insulting to the people you’ve dumped on (not to mention a waste of their time and energy to read and respond to—they already know you’re mad, and a repetitive rant adds insult to injury).

After such a shitstorm, your friend owes you no apology. You treated her like a burden, and if that’s the case, why are you complaining about losing her friendship? It’s clear that you don’t know how to have friends, so it’s probably best that you’re left untroubled by outside company.

Call it a wash and walk away.

DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Warren," and I are happily married. We love each other. We are both hardworking career professionals and have raised our family. We have always been faithful to each other.

Warren is very open with his emotions and often tells me how much he loves me. He is also very passionate during our intimate moments. The problem is, he expects me to act the same way -- which I can't. Although I love my husband and always will, I do not feel comfortable expressing myself the way he does during our lovemaking. I am content to just "get it over with" while he yearns for the kissing, hugging and talk.

Despite an active sex life with Warren, he has told me many times he wishes I were more expressive and open with my feelings. I respond by telling him, "I am who I am." He is not happy that I refuse to change.

Warren is a wonderful man. Other women probably would have no problem giving him what he wants, but we are not compatible this way. I have never spoken to anyone else about this, and I'm wondering what you think.



I think I'm glad I'm not “happily married” to you. And I think if Warren is such a “wonderful man,” he deserves a wife who doesn’t treat him like a predator when he wants to do The Thing that Married People Do. Right now, he sounds like a live-in handyman who gets paid with grudge sex: “Oh, my husband is just a wonderful man who takes out the garbage, fixes the garage door and mows the lawn, and in return I lie on my back, tolerate his sexual fumbling and stare at the ceiling, deciding what color it should be painted. That will show up on his honey-do list tomorrow.”

Maybe it’s less cold-blooded than that; maybe there’s an underlying emotional or mental issue inhibiting your “connubial enjoyment.” But if you do have some sort of emotional block or anxiety, you owe it to yourself and Warren to see a counselor and find out what’s going on.

(And if I were you, I wouldn’t tell him the part about “other women having no problem giving him what he wants.” You might just find that they are—sooner than you think.)

DEAR ELLIE: I'm in love with my boyfriend of seven months; we were friends beforehand. I was living with my ex-boyfriend for two years. We'd lost love and respect for one another. My ex smoked marijuana daily, which created a big financial strain. Yet I still miss him and wonder whether we really tried to make things work. Then I remember how relieved I felt after the split.

My current boyfriend and I have plans for a future together. However, I'm confused about my ex and don't know if I should try and rekindle what we might still have.



I wouldn’t try to rekindle it—I’m sure the bud’s cashed by now, and you’ll only be left with some resin. I understand it takes a while for it to leave the system completely. Drink some red clover and yellow burdock tea and lots of water, and you should be over him soon after that. (I’ve heard.)

MORE ELLIE (Because you were just dying for more, weren’t you??):

DEAR ELLIE: I'm 27, a single working mom with one child, who handles guys based on my past experiences. I use them -- mentally, emotionally, personally and sexually. My current four-month relationship has had terrible problems: abortion, STDs, he's untrustworthy, and we're both rebounding. However, he's still with his partner.

I know he's not right for me and that I'm much smarter than I've been acting with him. I haven't slept with anybody else, but I flirt often. I accept that he doesn't provide for me because he also has kids.

My previous two-year live-in relationship was more about friendship and financial stability. He was 36 years older, knew that I had mood swings and expensive taste. So he took care of my daughter and me, until he abruptly left. Our "deal" was that I take care of him health-wise after his hospitalization, but I went out instead, and we talked only occasionally.

Why am I now with half a man? And letting the Old Man still help with my car loan?



You think you’re smarter than you’ve been acting? I hope so, because you act dumb as a goalpost. (And that’s your good point.)

I especially love the passive voice you use to describe the “terrible problems” in your (relatively brief) relationship: as if the STD and abortion “just happened” while you stood by, a helpless spectator, wringing her hands. Nice try, hon. It took conscious action to get to the point where you are. Even your own description of your previous relationship paints you as callous and unreliable: you “went out” instead of caring for the man who had just come out of the hospital, as you’d agreed to. Hope you saw some interesting restrooms on your clubbing adventures.

Drop the act: you’re not some sort of passive victim—you basically said yourself that you use men “mentally, personally, emotionally and sexually.” You very slyly left out “financially,” but if someone’s paying your loans, that’s clearly implied.

I think you know what that makes you, however much you try to rationalize. In case you don’t, let me suggest that you consider moving to Babylon—and I don’t mean the one in Long Island. The reason that you can’t find any satisfaction with men is because you’re not willing to build a relationship that lasts longer than it takes for you to scam beer money out of them. I think your signature could be applied better to the men you suck dry like prunes date.

I feel sorry for your kid.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: We have a niece that addresses all mail Mr. and Mrs. Smith. She never includes the first name of anyone. We feel this is disrespectful.


I’m not sure it’s disrespectful, but it would get confusing after a while. Imagine only having friends named Smith! Don’t worry—she’ll have to include first names eventually, just to keep them straight.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of your answers were fabulous, Aaron. Let me expound on the Dear Abby letter. The lady starts out with, "my husband Warren and I are happily married". I say wanna bet? I think a blow up doll would be more satisfying to him and he wouldn't have to tolerate the nagging. Have a wonderful weekend, Aaron and enjoy the spring fever. ed

4:42 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Thanks Ed. As far as the "happily married" writer, people see what they want to see until the blindfold is forcibly yanked off. I hope she deals with this before he really DOES end up having an affair, she she's the proverbial Last To Know.

3:30 PM  

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