Friday, March 12, 2010

Aaron's Rotten Advice: March 12, 2009 Edition

DEAR AMY: I'm at an age where I'm eligible for Social Security and draw a pension.

I enjoy good health and still have the energy level of men much younger than me. I'm scared to death of going into my twilight years with nothing to look forward to other than carrying my wife's purse around cute little boutiques, playing cards and dealing with boring people.

I know this sounds selfish and I have a little guilt about it, but if I don't follow this dream, I'll never know what adventures might await me.

I intend to explore the possibilities of living on my own in South America, where my dollar will afford me a certain amount of freedom and luxury. Am I crazy? I know there are a lot of unanswered questions, but I have a dream and I want to see it through.



You’ve been watching “Romancing the Stone” again, haven’t you?

You’re damn right there are unanswered questions, and you’d better start asking them and finding out the answers “muy pronto.” (That’s Spanish for “fast.”)

Here are a few to start with:

What do you know about living in South America? What makes you think you can adjust to the environmental and cultural differences? Are you prepared for the critters down there? They have spiders in South America that can eat birds—did you realize that?? And let’s not even get started on the snakes.

And when you say “on your own,” do you mean literally leaving your wife behind and moving away by yourself? She might be glad for the peace and quiet, but isn’t that kind of rude?

And just what country were you planning on living in, anyway? Many South American countries are overrun with dangerous drug cartels, and you could get duped into being their drug mule and then get arrested and end up being Paco’s bitch in the laundry room. You’d beg to carry your wife’s purse around then, wouldn’t you?


DEAR AMY: Last week I was a guest at a party. I was seated next to a friend of my mother's, and I could not get up to move unless I made five or six people get up, so I was stuck. This woman proceeded to tell me a story and used two very offensive racial slurs.

I was so stunned that she would think it was OK to say these things to me, but I wasn't sure how to tactfully respond, so I ignored her the rest of the night. I was angry with myself for not speaking up, but I didn't want to spoil the party and make people uncomfortable.

The icing on the cake was at the end of the dinner when she made a racist announcement directed at the rest of the group. Is there a way I could have tactfully put her in her place?



Yes. Knock her chair backwards. Then tell her the wind did it. She's obviously too stupid to know otherwise.

DEAR ABBY: I work in an office where folks sometimes bring in birthday cakes, desserts and other goodies to share. “Dolores” is always the first in line, and helps herself to a large portion of the treats and says she’s taking some home for her family.

Last week, someone brought in an exotic dessert and I got out the dessert-sized paper plates. Dolores took out two regular-sized paper plates and cut off a quarter of the entire dessert! No one could believe it, but we didn’t know what to say or do. One time, she actually cut a huge portion of someone’s birthday cake to take home before the “birthday boy” even got a slice. This woman is not poor. What do you recommend?



I recommend telling this greedy bitch to keep her mitts off the goodies from now on. Lots of people would love to “take some cake home to their families” (or eat it in the car, as she probably really does, hence the quotes), but grown-ups don’t behave that way.

Since she’s already lowered the bar, however, try this: before she gets to the front of the line, each person should lick their finger and touch a different part of the cake to claim it as their own while she watches. See if she wants any then.

DEAR ELLIE: We met and married very young making strong, mutual agreements - no kids, much travel, pay our house off quickly, etc.

Twelve years later, I’ve recently moved out because I think things will never change. I’m no longer attracted to him and have lost respect for him. I feel I was too young to make those commitments.

I have a hard time telling him my issues, for fear of hurting him. We’ve basically stopped talking for the past year. Even if he changes his mind about kids I don’t want to be with him.

We’ve grown apart. However, I’ve agreed to see a counsellor together, as a way to close things. I’m excited for my own future, but he views counselling as a chance to fix things.

I’m getting flack from friends because of my prior uncommunicativeness (my moving out was a shock). I’m pressured to go back and try. When I listen to others, I change my mind. How can I get everyone to accept that it’s over?



Well, you’ve already moved out without telling him why, so it’s stupid to worry about “hurting him,” since I think that horse has already left the barn.

You can hardly complain about things never changing, when you both agreed at the start that they never would. That’s as much your fault as his. And let me guess: the house is now paid off, so you want to sell it, get your share of the swag (assuming it’s increased in value and not depreciated like most real estate) and then fly off to bonk some other guy in your “exciting future.”

I think you can leave off the "indecision" part. You sound just plain "crazy."

Don’t put this guy through counseling if you’re not really going into it seriously. Tell him it’s not his fault: sometimes people grow apart, even when one of them (like you) doesn’t grow up.

DEAR MARGO: I am an adult woman with three older brothers with whom I do not speak. My oldest brother has always treated me like an idiot child with nothing to say. He stopped even acknowledging my birthday nine years ago. My youngest brother only contacts me when he wants me to do him big favors. The middle brother told me three years ago that I am "dead" to him. He eavesdropped on a conversation I had with his now-ex-wife, where he heard me say that if he did what she was alleging, she was right to feel the way she did.

My problem is this: Although my parents say they're staying out of it, they bring up the issue periodically, which shows me it hurts them that their children do not talk. My brothers also rarely, if ever, speak to each other. Our parents are in their 70s, and a recent health scare with Mom has me thinking that when my parents do eventually pass away, I will have no connection with family anymore. I am not sure whether there is anything I can do to end the animosity between siblings, since most contact with them has been met with disdain. Do you have any ideas, or should I just cut my losses?



The second one, although I don’t know why you would consider those three oafs as “losses.” Frankly, they all sound like douchebags.

You need to gently explain to your parents that you are all grown-ups now (at least chronologically) and whatever problems you may have with each other, they’re not Mom or Dad’s fault. Tell your parents that you love them very much and always will, but can’t do anything else with regard to your brothers. You can’t have discussions with pigs: it wastes your time and annoys the pigs, as the saying goes.

As far as having no family connections someday, it sounds like that’s probably for the best where they’re concerned. Treasure the time you have with your parents now, and try not to stress too much about the day you eventually have to call The Douchebags when Mom or Dad passes away.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: What is the correct response when people tell me to smile?

I am not at a photographer's studio or where photos are being taken. I'm just going about my business.

The other evening, I was waiting for my husband to bring the car around to the door to go home from a social function we had attended. An acquaintance was getting her coat at the coat check. We exchanged some pleasantries when out of the blue she told me to smile.

I told her that really annoys me when people say that to me. After a few moments of uncomfortable silence, we bid each other goodnight.

This request to smile has happened to me more than once. I am a reserved person and not one who goes around grinning from ear to ear. I'm not sad or mad. I'm just me.

How should I handle this request? Am I obligated to give them a big toothy smile? Was I rude to my acquaintance? Do I owe her an apology? I am perplexed by this command.



I get this one all the time, too. WTF? Why this sudden interest in other people’s expressions? Did the Department of Homeland Security establish a Bureau of Face Police, and forget to tell us?? And if so, why haven’t they arrested Priscilla Presley yet?

The next time someone tells you to smile, the correct response would be: “Why? I don’t have gas.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or say "everytime I smile I fart." I bet they won't ask her to smile anymore. Ted

3:45 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

I guarantee it.

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