Friday, August 28, 2009

Unwanted Advice: August 28, 2009 Edition

DEAR ABBY: We received a nasty note from our daughter-in-law, "Ariella." She lives several states away. Her father passed away about six weeks ago. They lived out of state, and we were never close with them.

Ariella is angry because we didn't send flowers to the viewing and didn't send her mother a sympathy card until two weeks after the funeral.

We're in our late 70s. Ariella's father was 89. Should we have sent flowers? And is two weeks after a death too late to send a sympathy card? Our other three children each received identical notes from Ariella.



Honey, you’ve got to stop cooking and baking with lard. It’s seriously affecting your circulation.

To answer your question, yes, two weeks is a very long time to wait to send condolences, particularly to the woman who’s married to your son. I don’t care if you were close to them or not—one assumes you’re close enough to the mother of your grandchildren to let her know you care before weeks have passed. Your age is no excuse—nobody’s asking to sprint to her house and hand the card to her. You can still manage to mail it on time.

And yes, flowers at the funeral would have been nice. It must have looked piss-poor for your daughter-in-law that her in-laws couldn’t be bothered to send so much as a dandelion. Expect crabgrass next to your casket when your time comes.

DEAR AMY: I have been married for 22 years and have a pretty good relationship with my wife. We have two great teenage sons. We have a great life, and by most measures, I am a perfect husband.

The problem is with my sexuality and infidelity.

I knew that I was bisexual when I met my wife and admitted it at the time. Ten years ago, I admitted to her that I had a sexual relationship with a man, and I took steps to prevent it from happening again. It was the worst time of our marriage. Unfortunately, it still happens.

I have tried many times to give up meeting men, but I can't. I have been advised by a therapist to work on my relationship with her, particularly in the bedroom, but I am no longer interested.

She is suspicious that I am having an affair. I really don't want a divorce, but I don't want to give up men, and I don't want to live a lie either. Is there any solution?



I'd be interested to see what yardstick you're measuring yourself by, because by my estimation, what you've described isn't anywhere near "perfect." (On second thought, maybe I don't want to see it.)

Has any of your “infidelity” involved another woman, per chance? I’ll bet not.

Listen up, Nancy, because it’s time for the hard (pardon the pun) truth: you’re gay. A ‘mo. A fairy. A friend of Dorothy. A pansy.

And if after 22 years, you still can’t manage to stay faithful to your wife, it means that there’s too great a pull towards the same gender and you’re better off coming clean (again, pardon the pun) to your wife and deciding as a couple what you should do next. You should in no way offer her any hope that you’ll change, because I’m telling you it’s simply not going to happen. Otherwise you would have already.

You two might decide that it’s best to end the marriage so that you can each be free to pursue a more fulfilling and open relationship. But whatever you do, stop seeing that therapist. He/she should have spotted this a mile off, and if they didn’t alert you then, they were just stringing you along to get your money. Close your purse.

DEAR MARGO: I have wronged one of my favorite cousins. Much worse, I embarrassed her in front of her friend, for which I am sorry. I should have handled it better. I immediately wished that I had spoken with my cousin and left her friend out of it.

Here's what the cousin told me with her friend present. I asked her to repeat it, thinking my ears had deceived me. Prepare to be shocked! She said: "On page 425 of Obama's health care bill, the federal government will require everyone who is on Social Security to undergo a counseling session every five years with the objective being that they will explain how to end their own lives. Yes, they are going to push suicide to cut Medicare spending!" I let her have it.

Forgetting one's politics, should a thoughtful person spread disinformation that clearly sounds nuts? She was very hurt that I would attack her this way. I continue to beg for her forgiveness. What do you think?



I think you should stop apologizing. Anybody who’s stupid enough to believe that load of shit will likely forget that you spoke at all.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband of 15 years and I have been responsible with our finances, and our small but nice home is well below what we can afford. We live in an affluent area with numerous high-priced homes.

Throughout the years, I have had to endure snobby put-downs from neighbors about our house and the cars we drive, etc.

With the downturn in the economy, things are tough for a lot of our neighbors. Conversations with them inevitably turn toward finances. They are worried about losing their jobs and their businesses being slow.

I simply state that things are not bad for us, and I'm not worried. The neighbors then state that I am being foolish and I should be grateful for having a job. I state that we have not drowned ourselves in debt and have a mortgage we can easily afford.

That usually ends our conversation, which is funny since I didn't hold it against them when they made statements I felt were unkind. Do I need be less blunt or make up some feigned concern over finances to keep small talking with these people? My husband is able to keep the conversation neutral; I am not so glib.


The funny thing about insensitive people as that they’re often so overly sensitive themselves. Of course it was OK for them to make fun of your house and car when times were fat—they were ridin’ high and caught up in that warm glow of conformism and “fit-in-itude” as I call it.

Now that things look a little less rosy, of course they don’t want to be reminded that they were cavalier about money back when, because they might recognize that “what went around, has come around.”

But they already know this, so there’s no reason for you to drive the point home by being smug. Karma has taken revenge for you—you don’t have to “feign concern” or be a bitch. Just be quiet.

DEAR ELLIE: In six years of knowing my fiancé’s parents, his mom’s never asked me a personal question beyond, how was work. They talk about themselves at family functions. Initially, I was upset, now I’m just sad because both my parents died and most people find my life interesting, since I’ve been on my own since age 14.

I expressed my feelings to my beau early on, as he was unaware that he needed to stand up for me. He’s asked them to ask me questions, but they seem to forget. I retreat to talk with the younger set.

Recently, his mom got angry that I didn’t thank her (which we both did) and at some past “sins” I’ve committed, and now I’m “not welcome” at family events, meaning holidays and birthdays. My beau said he’ll be spending less time with them because I’m also his family. He still visits them, as we live in the same town. He’s 50, I’m 48.

I told his mother that she appears uninterested in me - she said I was being overly sensitive.
I know I’m putting my beau between a rock and a hard place. What should I expect (reasonably) from his parents, from him, and how do I best deal with it all?

It’d be a first marriage for both of us - but I’m stepping back.



If it were me, I’d put casters on the legs of her walker—but that’s just me. So let’s recap: his mother falsely accuses you of not thanking her, and you’re the one who’s “overly sensitive?” She sounds like a real head case, and I’d take everything she says with a pound of salt. She also sounds self-absorbed and disinterested, and you shouldn’t concern yourself with her feelings beyond being polite and courteous.

As for how to deal with your fiancé, it seems he’s already wise to his mater’s shenanigans, is probably relieved at the excuse not to spend so much time around her, and pays his “duty” visits without dragging you along, since he knows you and she don’t get along. But it also shows that he recognizes this is not your fault, so fret not.

If you really want to go the extra mile, you can offer to accompany him occasionally, just to give him moral support. But do not feel you have to “step back”—you’re in a committed relationship with this man, and his mother has no right to demand his undivided loyalty at this stage of his life. Sounds like you’ve got a keeper—enjoy him!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Eight Days and Counting...

Joans CD Release Poster DC

The Handcuffs, The Joans and The Wanton Looks!! All your vices rolled into one evening!!

Even The Onion likes us. How can you resist??!

Get tickets now!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Unwanted Advice (August 21, 2009 "Just When You Thought It Was Safe" Edition)

DEAR MARGO: I'm 12 and getting ready to go back to school. I do not want to hear everyone ranting about their freakin' opinions! I don't want to be mean, but my best friend, let's say "Cassie," is a Hard Core Republican and Hard Core Christian. I'm Christian, too, but I'm willing to accept different ideas into my life (although I am Independent/Green Party).

Like seriously every time I bring up how we'll be moving to a bigger school, Cassie rants about how "they're forcing us to take Evolution." She's also against EVERYTHING to do with gays. I told her to see "Milk" and how they fought for their rights just like everyone else, and she watched the trailer! I asked her what she thought, and she said, "Wow, I've never seen so many **** in one place."

OMG, Margo, I literally didn't talk to her for two months. What I'm basically asking is how can I get Cassie to turn it down a notch. Her attitude toward everything she doesn't like is seriously injuring our friendship. Cassie isn't the only one. Last year people in my class were constantly arguing at the lunch table and recess about how their thoughts are the only right ones.



Hard Core Christian and Hard Core Republican, huh? No wonder she's so threatened by evolution.

You sound like a very smart girl. Sadly, for the next six years (and beyond, if you join a sorority), you’re destined to be surrounded by a vacuum of intelligence.

There’s nothing you can do to dial Cassie down, unfortunately. Just let her say whatever she wants, whenever she wants. Eventually, she’ll spout off to the wrong person and they’ll beat the ever-loving shit out of her.

Do not feel guilty about the secret satisfaction that gives you.

DEAR AMY: I will be getting married to a wonderful man in a few months.

My future mother-in-law never had any problems with me while my fiance and I were dating, but now that we are getting married, she refuses to give her blessing until she meets my family.

My father passed away when I was 8, but my mother is alive. She married a monster when I was 12. He sexually abused me, and my mother turned a blind eye to it and disowned me when I was 16, claiming I seduced him.

My future mother-in-law has stated that she will meet my mother one way or another and things would "go a lot smoother if [I] just cooperated." I do not have a relationship with any of my biological family, and that is a painful reality I have to live with.

My fiance has been unable to convince his mother that it is a bad idea, so I'm at a loss.

I am terrified that seeing my mother again will set me back psychologically.

What can I do?



Well, you might start by finding a new “wonderful man,” because yours doesn’t sound like he has enough balls to stand up to mommy.

The “convincing” phase is over. Once you’ve both explained that it’s a bad idea, it’s time to move on to the “drop it” phase. If that doesn’t work, you may have to proceed to Plan C, which is the “elope, then move to an undisclosed location” phase. (That one’s kind of a last resort.)

(Seriously, you should think twice about marrying into this family. Do you want to spend every Christmas with this bitch?)

DEAR ELLIE: Three years ago our distraught son admitted his older cousin had sexually molested him from childhood through teenage. Therapy ensued.
At 25, he’s bright, successful and joined our family business.

The perpetrator, now 29, also works there and has a history of violence and anger. One day, he threatened to kill my son the next time he did “anything like that again.” There was always a huge size difference. My son wanted to get a police restraining order against his cousin. The therapist advised not to talk to the cousin about the past abuse until he felt ready (we’d previously told his parents).

My husband wanted to fire the cousin. A family meeting was held, the cousin denied the abuse or had no memory of it, and said the uttering of a death threat was only a joke. His father said the earlier incidents were experimentation, not abuse.

This cousin had constantly bullied all my children and was left unchecked by his family. My husband doesn’t want to destroy his close-knit family or the business partnership with his brother. My son might return to work, not directly involved with the cousin. I’m worried about his emotional health down the line.

I’d alienate my husband by not attending family parties any more, yet I want to support my son, who’s starting therapy again.



You’re kidding me, right? Family parties?? If your husband puts so much importance on family unity, after all that’s happened, I think maybe he and this cousin should share a cab to the airport on their way to getting lost.

The cousin’s own family admits that there were sexual episodes between him and your son, whatever they’re calling it. (“Experimentation,” my ass. I’d hate to have him as my lab partner!)

The cousin also doesn’t deny making the threats, but said they were a “joke.” Clearly, they weren’t very funny, or your son would have been laughing at them. That means they were made in earnest.

Threatening another person that way is a felony, and grounds for immediate termination. Fire his ass yesterday. If his father decides to put up a ruckus, tell him if he doesn’t like it, he can buy out your half of the business, immediately, in cash, or shut the fuck up.

The only question left will be: how fast can this cousin pack his things?

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am 40 years old, and by a series of unfortunate events and three broken engagements in the past two decades, still a single woman. This is not a status that I celebrate.

At weddings, I just dread having to dodge yet another “throwing of the bouquet” tradition, where it seems everyone at the reception thinks it’s fun to shove any single female, including toddlers, out on the dance floor to battle for that “prize.”

At what point do they realize that I don’t want to bring attention to the fact that I’m single? The tragedy and embarrassment of it for me has long outlived the original ceremonial spirit of this youthful custom.


Offhand, I’d say that it stops when you tell people, the next time they try to shove you out there, to keep their fucking mitts off of you if they still want them attached when they leave.

DEAR ABBY: I am very concerned. I recently started seeing a man who refuses to kiss me. He will peck me on the lips or the cheek, but nothing more. I have asked him about it. He claims he has never kissed, and that it actually turns him off. I feel like because of this I can't connect with him on a more intimate level. Is this normal? Please help.



Tell him he doesn’t get a blow job until he kisses you at least once. I guarantee he’ll pucker up right then and there.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Today's Advice Post (Which is Admittedly Irregular Anyway) is Postponed to Bring You This Important Announcement...

Joans CD Release Flyer

I'm getting ready for The Joans' CD release on Friday, Sept. 4 at Schuba's in Lakeview.

I'm excited about the show because
A.) well, it's a CD release--I mean, we've waited forever to release this fucking thing (we recorded it last year), so now our fruit is hanging low, so to speak; and

B.) our friends The Handcuffs are playing with us. I've seen them live countless times. They're super folks, great musicians and widely played. Their songs get play on shows like "Gossip Girl," "The Hills" and Margaret Cho's VH1 reality show. Their drummer, Brad Elvis, is the touring drummer for The Romantics and they travel a LOT. So it's very cool that he made time to do this with us.

Also appearing are The Wanton Looks, a local Chicago all-female punk outfit that's smoking hot.

It promises to be a hell of a fun show, and all of this--ALL of it--costs only $8.00 at the door.

Three kick-ass bands for $8.00? Get it while it lasts, folks--the recession is coming to an end!