Friday, November 13, 2009

Aaron's Rotten Advice (Friday the 13th, "It's Baaacccck!" Edition)

DEAR ABBY: My neighbors, "John" and "Marcia," are such a nice couple, I'm not sure what to do. I don't know them all that well, but what's going on is extremely upsetting.

On several occasions, I have seen a woman park her car near my home after dark and walk to the back door of their house. About an hour later, I see John let her out the front door. He even has the nerve to kiss her goodbye right on the front porch! I'm sure he is slipping this tart in for sex -- right under his wife's nose.

I want to tell Marcia what's going on, but I'm unsure how to go about it. I have contemplated just going over, knocking on the door and blurting it out. I have also considered writing her an anonymous letter. What's the right way to let someone know that her husband is cheating on her in her own house while she's there?



If her husband is cheating on her in her own house, while she’s there, and she can’t hear it, then she’s probably stone deaf. So she won’t hear you when you try to tell her. Butt out.

(Oh, and I’m sorry, sweetheart, but you ARE nosy. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be watching someone else’s house after dark.)

DEAR AMY: I recently reconnected with "George," an old flame who has made and sustained substantial life changes in the three years we were apart. These changes have improved his health, appearance and attitude, and they ultimately brought us back together. George takes pride in his diet and preferences for healthy food, and often talks about how he has lost weight or how little he eats.

He met some friends of mine for the first time when we went out to dinner for my birthday. In a snooty tone of voice, George said he wasn't hungry. My friends asked why, and he said, "Because I ate lunch today." They thought this was peculiar, as we had all eaten lunch and it was about 8 p.m. I was embarrassed that he came across this way. I'm often embarrassed about my dietary choices when I'm around him.

If I order pizza and it's not gourmet, he'll eat one slice and complain, and then he'll chuckle at me for eating it. I feel like such a pig around him because I eat more than he does, though I'm also more physically fit than he is.

It has gotten to the point that I hate even opening my fridge when he's there.

Aside from this issue, he's a loving, nurturing person.

I just don't know how to tactfully explain that bragging about not being hungry, or how little he has eaten, or how much weight he has lost, is generally bad form.



Here’s your solution: George is a douchebag. A “loving, nurturing person” does not make someone else feel awkward for something as normal as eating. If he’s lost lots of weight and improved his health, bully for him, but it doesn’t make him special. Thin people are going to die just the same as everybody else eventually. Ask Jackie Onassis if you don’t believe me. Oh, wait--you can't--she's dead!

Why would he agree to go out to dinner with you and your friends at all if he had no intention of, you know, eating dinner? When he said he wasn’t hungry and threw you attitude, you should have told him to chew on a straw and shut his piehole.

And tell him the next time he laughs at you for eating pizza, he’ll be wearing it.

DEAR MARGO: I honestly don't know where to turn. I can't share this information with family or friends, and my husband is so ashamed, he doesn't want me to tell anyone.

Now 52, he has been an alcoholic since he was 14. When he decided to quit drinking, he wanted to go out "with a bang." I was so proud of him for his decision that I told him whatever reward he wanted he could have. He is also very sexual, and he wanted to go to a strip club and have an intense version of a lap dance.

As it turns out, they can't really do that on site. So one gal offered to meet us at a hotel. I didn't think I could watch that, and I wasn't at all interested in participating, so we set the ground rules of three things he could do, and he took a cab up to a local hotel to meet her this past weekend. Today we talked about the experience, and although he really didn't want to hurt me, he felt he should be honest. They ended up doing everything a couple can do. He is hugely sorry and doesn't want anything more to do with strip clubs, porn or being with anyone else.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate him telling me what happened. On the other hand, I feel I am falling apart. I can't stop crying, can't stop visualizing. I just want it to go away. Do you have any advice for me? What do you think of this situation?



I think you should have been a LOT more specific. You should have explained to him that when you said he could have “whatever he wanted,” you meant you would fix his favorite meal.

Your best option right now is to get tested for STDs. If all is clear, maybe it can go away. (On a side note, he’s been an alcoholic for almost 40 years and he can still…you know? He must be a very high-functioning alcoholic! )

All the same, if I were you, I’d start putting saltpeter in the pancakes.

DEAR ELLIE: I’m 40-plus, an adopted adult who never felt loved or appreciated by my family. My mother will repeatedly accuse me of some fabricated hurtful act or statement, as part of life-long competition between us - initially for my father's attention. He often seems to believe her tales. Eating has always been one of my escapes.

I’ve occasionally felt suicidal, and the lure of walking away with some dignity intact is strong. Should I?



Now I’m confused: were you adopted as an adult, or are you an adult who was once adopted as a child? Your language is a little unclear.

You could use time away from both parents, frankly. It sounds like your father’s part of the problem, since he either a.) believes her bullshit or b.) is pretending to believe her just to placate her. Either way, it’s not very healthy for you, so make yourself scarce.

As far as “walking away with dignity,” I assume you’re speaking of suicide again. I’d advise against it. Not only is it a desperate and selfish act, but people frequently soil themselves when they die, and that might leave you with less “dignity” than you’d hoped for. And frankly, nothing is worth that, especially a pain-in-the-ass mother. Get some hobbies.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My beloved mother passed away suddenly and unexpectedly after 45 years of marriage to my father.

At my mother's memorial-service reception, a scant two days after my mother's cremation and a week after her death, an older man sat down at the table I was sitting at and said, loudly and repeatedly, "We need to find George a new wife. That's what we need to do. He needs another woman."

I was beyond shocked. I can only assume the gentleman did not realize he was sitting three seats away from the grief-stricken daughter of the recently departed, but am I incorrect that such conversation is always completely and utterly inappropriate in such a setting, and so soon after the unfortunate event?
What would the proper response have been on my part? I sat there too stunned to say anything. All I did was shake my head to indicate my disapproval to a friend who overheard the conversation. I feel like I should have said something to defend my mother's -- and my father's -- honor.


Perhaps you should have agreed with him, then offered to fix your father up with HIS wife after you ice him.

To be honest, unfortunately, sometimes old people say whatever they want without regard to anyone else’s feelings. They think that’s one of the perks of getting old, and tough shit for everyone else. YOUR perk will be to mumble obscenities at him that he’s too deaf to hear, but that everyone else can hear and enjoy.