Friday, March 05, 2010

Aaron's Rotten Advice: March 5, 2010 Edition

DEAR AMY: My husband is nearly 70. He is handsome and fit and can pass for 55. He has smoked most of his life.

I am a nonsmoker and so are nearly all of our friends. I get tired of friends lecturing me on my husband's smoking.

One of my friends, "Shirley," who should know better, will say things like, "Your house smells like cigarettes — how can you stand it?" when she comes to dinner. I'm often at her home. She has two dogs and her house smells like dogs.

The dogs jump on me, and when I am invited for dinner I have to compete with the dogs for the food on my plate.

I can't stand that smell, but I've never commented on it to her privately or in a group.



You can tell her that if the smell bothers her so much, she knows where the door is. She should be grateful for the smoke aroma, because it probably draws attention away from her B.O.

And if you dine at her house again, remind her that the table is for humans and "doggie bag" is just an expression.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 48-year-old divorced man who has been dating a divorcee for five years. Last night I asked her to marry me, only to be told she was not ready and afraid of being hurt again.

Should I stay in this relationship, or stop seeing her and try to start another relationship? I’m afraid that staying in this one much longer will prevent me from finding someone else who would marry me.



After five years of dating, she doesn’t get to play the “Afraid of Being Hurt” card anymore. Surely she knows you by now. Don’t kid yourself. She just likes things the way they are—comfort, companionship and no commitment. Just like a man.

So treat her likewise—take her to the Justice of the Peace’s office and tell her it’s a football game. If he has hot dogs and beer, she might just fall for it.

DEAR ELLIE: What do you do with a guy who doesn’t grow up? We’ve been in a relationship for eight years and he seemed good-hearted, full of potential and sweet in the early years. We’re now both mid-30s.

We used to live together but he never had money for the bills and we were evicted. I was then too sick to work. He went back home.

He’s lived with his parents these past three years (a true Mama’s boy); he still can’t hold a job and keeps promising things will get better. Yet he asks for money from his parents for cigarettes, gas and phone cards.

My friends don’t like him and he’s severely damaged my relationships with my family and friends. He always wants to know where I am and hangs around my place on my dime.

I’ve now said that I’ll have my own personal days - my time and my business. I want to see if he’ll move on and if I can get rid of him. If I just try to leave completely, he won’t leave me alone. Is this the right approach?



Well, is your approach working? It doesn’t sound like it. So I guess the answer is no.

Forget this “personal days” bullshit—that’s like calling “time out” on a three-year-old, and it’s about as effective. You need to flick him away like a booger.

Tell him you don’t want his hot mess hanging around your place, wasting your dimes. He can go spend a penny somewhere else.

DEAR MARGO: Here’s a new one for you — I’m assuming, as it’s a pretty ridiculous situation. Two years ago, my husband begged for a tarantula, and after too many cocktails, I bought him one for his birthday. I am scared to death of spiders and have had buyer’s remorse ever since. I have nightmares about it getting loose, and even had a panic attack when I saw it molting. My husband won’t get rid of the thing, and I’ve learned to ignore that corner of our living room as much as possible. However … we just found out we’re expecting our first child, but my husband says he still won’t get rid of the tarantula, saying it’s no more dangerous than our dogs.

Our tarantula has fangs and can bite, as well as being able to fling its hairs, causing respiratory irritation, none of which should be an issue if the tarantula is kept secure in its cage. But I worry about a toddler knocking over the cage or removing the lid and reaching in. I don’t intend to let it go or die or anything. I just want it to be adopted into another home. So should we get rid of it or keep it? If you side with me, how can I possibly get my husband on board?



Who are you married to, Pugsley Addams??

What kind of grown man begs and begs to keep a tarantula in the house? What purpose does it serve? Is it intended to frighten away intruders? Spark dinner party conversation? “Before we have our crab legs, let’s go visit the cousin of the deceased.”

To answer your question, once the kid comes, the spider has to go. I’m sure it’s safe enough in its terrarium, but those things live forever (like 30 years) and once the kid gets old enough to start “exploring,” yes, he will get curious about the glass box and what’s inside, and there’s every chance he will reach in. By all accounts, tarantulas are fairly docile and don’t mind being picked up gently. But as we know, kids are not always gentle and if the thing doesn’t scare the living shit out of him just to look at (as it would have done to me at that age), then he might be dumb enough to play rough with it. This could result in not only a bite from the spider (which is not usually dangerous to adults but could be more so to small children, and is said to be painful in any event) but also injury or death to the animal after the kid flings it to the floor. And tries to stomp on it.

Maybe you should tell Svengoolie it’s time to grow up. If he persists in his fascination with creepy invertebrates, he can start a Bill O’Reilly scrapbook.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: As an educator of middle and high school students for 20 years, I have had my share of interesting comments and have learned how to handle the majority of them politely and appropriately.
However, one that I still struggle with is when students ask questions about my personal appearance, such as if I color my hair, for example. Of course I believe it is none of their business but have learned that answering as such only escalates their interest.

I feel that although, in the big scheme of things, they could ask much worse questions, part of my job is also teaching them life skills, and I want to respond in such a way that they understand the inappropriateness of asking personal questions of those they do not have a personal relationship with. Do you have any suggestions?



I sure do. Next time they ask if you dye your hair, ask if they stuff their bras (or the front of their pants, as the case may be). I don’t think they’ll ask about your hair again.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the Dear Margo letter about keeping a Trantula in the house. I would like to advise that the spider can be placed out of reach of any todddler. Did she not see the possibilities for children when she bought the thing? She should have told her man it's either sex or spider and then there would be a baby on the way and no spidee. Ted

7:15 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Actually, in her reply, Margo did mention the possibility of putting the tarantularium on a high shelf where a toddler couldn't reach. Then I thought, though, with the longevity of the creatures, it would still be around when the kid was old enough to start climbing on chairs and looking all likelihood, the kid would probably be creeped out by it and not want to go near it. But then he might wonder what kind of man daddy is that he likes it so much.

And what if Daddy is a prankster and likes giving the kid what he thinks is a harmless scare by bringing it out and making him hold it? ("You need to learn not to be afraid of things," etc.)

(Of course, that would mean instant divorce between Mommy and Daddy, wouldn't it?)

7:48 PM  

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