Friday, July 30, 2010

Aaron's Rotten Advice: July 30, 2010 Edition

DEAR AMY: There is a family I am not particularly fond of. Even though I don't like them, my husband insists on putting their son on his baseball teams.
These people have disrespected me many times. My husband knows how I feel about them.

My son and their son are friends, but I've had enough. After this season, I'd like to sever all ties with these people. This might mean the boys can't be friends anymore. What do you think?



I feel your pain, but I think unless their son has disrespected you as well, you should drop the ‘tude. Let’s face it, if your son’s only allowed to make friends with kids whose families you approve of, he’ll be reduced to having tea parties with stuffed animals. So lighten up.

And your husband’s the coach, not you, so butt out. It’s ridiculous to penalize this poor kid just because his family’s insufferable.

DEAR ABBY: My 89-year-old mother has always been difficult. She not only never loved me, she treated me as if she didn’t like me, either. She told me she didn’t send me a birthday card on my birthday last month because “What was it supposed to say — what a ‘wonderful’ person you are?” My children visibly winced when they heard her say it and worked extra-hard to make sure my day was special.

Abby, I have cancer. My prognosis is questionable. I was supposed to have been dead seven years ago — but I’m managing. My problem is, I recently was told that my mother has been keeping in touch with a single friend of mine from years ago, and they are making plans for her to marry my husband when I die! A few other so-called “friends” are in on this.

This last betrayal is incredibly hurtful. Where do I go from here?



Straight to the phone. You call this nasty bitch of a mother, tell her the jig is up on this marriage thing and say, “I’m sorry to disappoint you, but you’ll snuff it long before I do.” Then call this “friend” and tell her not to bother with a bridal registry.

DEAR ELLIE: I was in a three-year same-sex, long distance relationship with a man, from Europe - monogamous for me, not him.

I soon learned he was a drinker, substance abuser, sexually promiscuous. I broke off but remained friends. I also offered him support in seeking addiction treatment, which he rejected.

Fifteen years later, he occasionally visits, staying with me and my (same-sex) husband of 13 years. Recently, he bragged about a liaison with a flight attendant on his trip overseas; he spoke of his drug paraphernalia; he takes sleeping pills plus a double cocktail to sleep. He drinks at meals into the night. I believe he contracted hepatitis and doubt he informs his casual sex partners.

I cautioned him on the consequences of his being an alcoholic, abusing prescription drugs, his addiction to street drugs, his sexual addiction, of being inconsiderate of others' well being and playing his partner for the fool.

I drove him to the airport, told him I loved him as a friend and that my offer of help stood. He's since called and left a message asking to be in touch soon.

I'm wondering if I've said and done what's best.



Well, you’re a hell of a lot nicer than I am, that’s for sure. I don’t know how you can remain friends after finding all this out. I still can’t speak my ex’s name, or run into him on the street, without getting hives. His entering my home is out of the question—I don’t want my cat exposed to him, and I don’t feel like fumigating that often. And he was Cliff Richard compared to this guy.

To answer your question, you’ve certainly done all you can. You’re probably a little closer to your ex than I would deem wise, but if your husband doesn’t object, and you don’t mind offering the help, it’s probably OK. You’re a good friend—better than he deserves, probably. (The only cold comfort is that you probably won’t have to offer your support for very long—this person is undoubtedly destined for a short life with his alcohol and drug abuse, on top of his hepatitis.)

DEAR MARGO: I am a 20-something girl who was engaged to a guy a couple of years older. We had a good run, but things deteriorated, and he left me for a younger chick.

I went through a period of being mad at him, and then I got over it. I prefer to live with the good memories, and heck, we haven’t even talked in six months. We rarely cross paths anymore, and when we do it’s no big deal.

The problem is his girlfriend. She seemed nice at first, but over time, she seemed to develop a superiority complex: I lost him; she has him; ergo, she’s the victor. If she sees me do something she doesn’t agree with, she thinks nothing of trying to pick a fight. She says she’s just making "observations" and that I need to be mature and accept her criticism with grace. I don’t see how my life is any of her business.

In the end, I usually tell her exactly what she wants to hear (that she’s right or that I’m sorry) because we have mutual friends that I don’t want to lose because of her influence. Any suggestions for a better way to handle this?



OK, help me out here: If you rarely cross paths with him, why do you so often cross paths with her? Do you regularly meet for coffee so she can tell you what color she painted the ceiling since you left??

Tell her to park her broomstick up her ass. When she says that you need to accept her observations and criticism with “grace,” tell her that she needs to learn what that word means before she can sling it around--she clearly hasn’t got a clue.

You’re right—your life IS none of her business, and you need to make that crystal clear to her. Don’t cave in and tell her she’s right just to keep peace—why the hell should you care about that?? As far as your mutual friends, I wouldn’t worry. Most of them would probably enjoy the spectacle of your taking her apart. And if any of them do take sides against you, they’re not really very good friends, are they?

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Just when I thought etiquette was at its lowest on the convenience scale, my husband and I received an e-mailed invitation to his cousin's wedding.

To top this off, we received it three months prior to the event and were requested to RSVP within days. The bride's family (immediate and extended) lives in Washington, D.C., and the wedding is in London. I am still flabbergasted. How do I RSVP? Do I RSVP?

Honestly, I don't feel compelled to attend an event that will take our children out of school, cost us more than $4,500 and inconvenience us greatly -- for a girl whom we adore but whose family could not inconvenience themselves to print and mail an invitation.

Said bride is now sending out mass e-mails saying that she is sorry that it seems that she didn't care if we (all) attend her wedding. She checks with her mother for the numbers of attendees and is disappointed that they are so low.
How do I respond to this? Do we send a gift? What would be appropriate? My husband thinks that the e-mailed invitation is great because it's "green," but I can't get over my own expectations.



Well, get over ‘em, honey, because that ship has sailed—the era of rice paper invitations with self-addressed stamped envelopes is over.

To answer your question, do RSVP to your husband’s cousin with a nice e-mail (yes, bite the bullet and bow to modernity just for today) explaining that you’re sorry you won’t be able to attend, but that she’s in your heart and you wish her all the best (or some bullshit like that). Send her a nice gift and a card.

I’m sure you’re not the only ones who will be unable to attend—no doubt she accepted that eventuality when she decided to be married overseas.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your advice is excellent! I would add to the Dear Ellie same sex letter that the ex-boyfriend needs to seek help for his addictions BEFORE he tries to keep the friendship going. If not I fear he will only fuck up the current relationship which I suspect is just what he has planned. Ted

6:32 PM  
Anonymous carlnepa said...

What the hell is wrong with some gay guys? Don't they know when to move on? Why do they hang on and on and on as if an unhappy past is better than the chance at a happy future? Why do they ask so many questions like this?
How do you have a 3 year long distance relationship with a drug addled sex addict from Europe? Why did it take him 3 years to find out this swine was a drug addled sex addict from Europe? And then he lets him stay at his house. Is this guy f***ing crazy? I hope he burns the sheets after he leaves.
I have a couple theories about this whole thing but lacking more information I'll leave it others to come to their own conclusions.
Well, you got my all riled up for a Monday morning. Thanks!

9:53 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Ted: That occurred to me, too...I think the current husband has his eyes open, however, and probably figures (as I do) that this ex isn't long for the world and doesn't want to be unkind. They probably just feel sorry for him because nobody else will probably have anything to do with him.

Carl: All theories are welcome.

12:32 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home