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!


Blogger Java said...

You actually give some pretty good advice, IMHO.

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Always geat advice. I wonder what the closet 'Mo did when he said he took steps to prevent himself from ever going with another man. Did he cut off his Penis?
Have a wonderful although somewhat cool weekend. ed

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He meant Great advice.

Eddie often gets in a hurry and doesn't check his work. He amy suffer from ADD and Dyslexia. We recommend he be kept back and under go Psychological testing. The Academy

2:16 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

That's OK, I knew what Eddie meant! And thanks for the vote of of my hometown friends on Facebook read this and asked why I was so negative all the time. I don't think he realized that it was "Fantasy Advice." I explained that it was like "Fantasy Football" for people who can't be bothered to give a shit about such things...

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