Friday, February 19, 2010

Aaron's Rotten Advice - February 19, 2010 Edition

DEAR AMY: I have been married for 30 years. I endured put-downs, slurs and nastiness from my husband's parents for the entirety, with no help from my husband.

A year ago, my mother-in-law passed away, and my father-in-law was placed in the dementia unit of a nursing home. My problem is that I am still furious at how they treated me, and terribly disappointed that the close relationship I always wanted with them never happened.

I tried and tried, but everything about me was dead wrong: my ethnicity (not Norwegian-American), my weight (not thin enough), my education (I have a doctorate, and my husband has a high school diploma, so they called me "Miss Know-It-All"), my child-bearing capacity ("only one? What's wrong with you?"), my hair color, my role as breadwinner ("never, never overshadow your husband"), my traveling for work and my willingness to express an opinion.

How can I let it all go, considering that my mother-in-law is dead and my father-in-law is completely impaired?



Let’s just say that karma has a way of catching up with everyone, and your in-laws are finally getting theirs. Why you wanted to have a close relationship with those two pencil-trolls is beyond me, but you need to accept that it’s not going to happen now and probably never would have. And you should also suggest to your husband that he visit a surgeon for a spine implant (I’d suggest something more—umm—“southerly,” but I suspect that wouldn’t be well-received, and it occurred to me you might still have some use for that dishrag).

Think of it this way: now is a perfect time for revenge against your father-in-law (or “helping karma along,” as I prefer to call it). He won't remember anything you do, and even if he does, who’s going to believe him?

Sorry, normally I have a lot of compassion for the elderly, but when they've spent their whole lives being nasty, the least you can do is put an ugly bonnet on them and take a picture.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 29-year-old registered nurse who has never been married. Recently I bought a home, and soon after, an old boyfriend, "Gary," started coming around. I was happy about it at first, but he's been staying here at my place for two months now and hasn't paid any rent.

Gary buys his own beer and has brought home a few grocery items from time to time, but nothing to speak of. He had the electricity turned off at his place so his expenses are minimal. He also brought along his cat, but never cleans out her litter box.

He does no housework and comes and goes as he pleases. I do not want him sharing my home without contributing anything. Is there a way to tell him without wrecking our relationship?



Let’s recap here: an ex-boyfriend moves into your house, doesn’t pay any rent, doesn’t do any housework, and doesn’t clean up after his own cat, and you let him? For two months? And you want to preserve the relationship?

What hospital do you work at? Remind me never to go there.

DEAR MARGO: I am a newlywed, married four months, and quite happy. We are both in our early 20s and plan to start a family in a couple of years. I’ve never met my husband’s father because he abandoned their family long ago. After rekindling their relationship a few years ago (before we met), he overdrew my husband’s bank account and took off again. He was not at our wedding, and I doubt he even knows we’re married. Neither of us has any interest in including his father in our lives. (My parents live in the same town that we do, and we all get along fine.)

Recently, I asked my husband what he would tell our future children when they start asking about their grandfather. He simply shrugged and said, "Just that he’s dead." I said I didn’t think that was a good idea because if his father ever shows up, it would make us look like the bad guys. What would you do in this situation?



Me? I’d track the old son of a bitch down and kill him. At least then you won’t be a liar when you tell your kids he’s dead.

DEAR ELLIE: I haven’t felt I could leave what’s long been a difficult marriage due to children, financial dependence, a vindictive spouse and in-laws.

I’m staying till my children are bigger or I feel stronger. I’ve attended courses and am seeking work. Now my husband’s opening a business; if it fails, the bank will look to us both for repayment.

I’m expected to largely set up and run the business, but told there are regulations (from the professional body) prohibiting me from being a part owner; I can only be an employee.

It’s unfair that I should be equally responsible to the bank if the business fails, but cannot claim to be a part owner if it’s successful, and the marriage ends.



Your direction is out.

First of all, I don’t know what “professional body” you’ve been consulting, and I’m no lawyer, but I did take paralegal classes once, and if you have no ownership rights, then you should also have no liability if the business fails (the bank will go after the “deep pockets,” and if those aren’t yours—which I suspect they’re not—you shouldn’t sweat it).

It’s possible that you feel you have to remain with your husband because he’s your only means of support. Well, if the business does fail, and you don’t have ownership rights, that becomes a moot point, doesn’t it? Also, you get no share if it’s a success (a remote possibility, since unpleasant people like your husband tend to have a hard time retaining customers). You literally have nothing to lose. The only way you will be in any way liable is if you’re married to the owner and have joint assets. Which is a pretty strong case for not staying with him.

So don’t let the doorknob hit ya where the Good Lord split ya. As far as the kids, it has to be less stressful to grow up with separated or divorced parents than it is with a father who subjugates and belittles their mother.

Save your sanity. Leave him now. Then let mice loose in his new business and call the health inspectors. Anonymously, of course.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Do you think it’s appropriate for a guest at a funeral to comment negatively to the family afterward? I think it is insensitive.


It depends on what they’re commenting on, I suppose. If you mean they’re making negative comments about the service itself, then yes, it’s pretty insensitive.

Just tell them, “The guest of honor didn’t give a shit, so neither should you.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should change the name to Aaron's correct advice or needed advice it is far from rotten.
The Dear Abby letter had a part missing. I need to know her address. I'll throw the bum out and take his place. Damn, it's in Canada! What relationship is she trying not to wreck? He comes and goes as he pleases and she even cleans his cats shit box. I mean I might just turn straight. Ted

3:28 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Maybe I should change it to "Aaron's Illegal Advice." :-) I'm sure there's a copyright infringement in there somewhere, although I never read the columnist's response before I write my own, so at least that work is original.

And there is truly a victim waiting around every corner to be taken advantage of. Some people can't see the ocean for the octopus shit.

4:12 PM  

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