Friday, August 20, 2010

Aaron's Rotten Advice - August 20, 2010 Edition

DEAR AMY: I am getting married next year. I am agnostic, and my fiance is a Christian, but he's going through some issues with his faith. Neither of us wants a religious ceremony.

His dad and stepmom are extremely religious, and I respect their faith. I bow my head at prayer, and I am very open to what they have to say about their beliefs. I am also very honest with them about how I feel about religion, and they have been respectful of me as well.

Unfortunately, they are not as understanding toward my fiance. They sometimes say things to him that make him very uncomfortable.

They have been asking us who will be officiating at the wedding. His stepmom told me this is the only fear they have about the wedding.

My fiance and I want a very casual wedding, and we have asked one of our friends to get ordained (online) so he can perform the ceremony. He has agreed.

This friend has many visible tattoos and will most likely be wearing a kilt to the ceremony. We think my fiance's parents will be extremely upset, and we don't know how to tell them the news.

We want to give his dad the opportunity to say something at the wedding or give a speech at the reception.

Any advice on how to handle this delicate situation?



I take it his father and stepfordmother aren’t paying anything towards this wedding? Because if not, they really have no say in how it’s conducted. In this day and age, they should be grateful you’re getting married at all, and not just shacking up.

If you think your soon-to-be minister friend will come as a shock to your in-laws, you can break the news to them beforehand and tell them that if they choose, they can bring along their family clergyman to stand beside them and translate the service from Pearl Jam-ese to regulation Connecticut English.

Tell your mother-in-law that she’d better not kneel too low in front of the minister, however, if she doesn’t want an education.

DEAR ABBY: My father is having an affair -- another one. It is not the first time I have found evidence of it.

I was using his computer to work on my grandmother's memorial and an IM popped up from a woman telling him to meet her at a family event my mother was not supposed to attend. Her message to Dad was extremely sexual and very upsetting.

The "other woman" is an old high school friend of my parents' and a friend of the family. I have confronted my father in the past and even threatened to end my relationship with him if it didn't stop.

My heart breaks for Mama, but she loves Dad so much she will stand by him through anything.

This has affected my relationship with my boyfriend because I have extreme trust issues. I find myself hating my father more and more each day. Please help me before I lose my sanity.



You’ve already confronted your father about this once, and if that wasn’t enough to keep his pickle in its jar, then I doubt you can do much more. I have a feeling Mama knows more than you think she does—you can’t live with a person for that long and not smell the stench of geriatric floozy all over him when he comes back from “business trips.”

Chances are, she’s decided to look the other way and be grateful there’s another receptacle for his unwanted desires. I hope she at least gets some real jewelry out of it.

DEAR ELLIE: My husband just told me that he sometimes pretends to be mad at me, to get me to do things around the house. He tells me everyday that I'm messy and I don't do enough.

But we have a two-year-old and I'm not very good at picking up after us right away. I try but it doesn't always happen.

It's not like I don't clean, in fact I clean all the time. He does more because he doesn't look after our son as much. If he took more time with him then I'd do more around the house. Is this marriage worth saving? I'm thinking of moving out.



Cut the histrionics. Tell him this is the reality of full-time parenting: sometimes “not filthy” is as clean as it gets. Say that it’s clean enough for you – if he wants it absolutely spotless, he can lick the floor or hire a maid.

As far as his “pretending to mad,” tell him that since you’ve been faking your orgasms since your wedding night, you’re even now.

DEAR MARGO: I am a 26-year-old man with problems in social situations due to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It is manageable except for really bad days, and I am discussing my issues with a psychiatrist.

The condition was always present, but until I graduated college two years ago and started working, it was kept under control by contact with close friends. Now I live in a different state, and all my friends are far away, so I end up spending most of my free time alone. Meeting people is not easy. Dating has always been an issue, too. I’ve been celibate for five years. This past weekend, I visited my family, and the OCD was acting up.

I need people to be careful of how they speak to me: Be attentive. Don’t baby me. Be assertive when you have to be, but it’s OK if you disagree with me; just respect my experience. One problem is that I’m compelled to balance my lack of control over my environment with an internal resolution: I just walk away and sit by myself. This is more acceptable than bouts of anger.

Recently, I met a woman I am interested in, and I plan to ask her out. But again, as with my family, I know that there are rules she needs to follow in order to get along with me. It is a struggle changing my behavior for the comfort of others, and doing so adds to my anxiety.

I accept people for who they are, but the question on my mind is: Can they accept me? How do I let my family and any potential girlfriend know to take it easy on me without making them feel like they’re walking on eggshells?



Maybe by taking it easy yourself?

You say you "accept people for who they are," but your list of instructions for dealing with you sounds like a list of no-nos at the zoo: “Be attentive, don’t baby me, don’t feed me, don’t look me in the eye, and no flash photography!”

The world isn’t going to either baby you OR coddle you, so you needn’t worry about that. But neither is it going to step out of its way to make you comfortable – I hate to break it to you, but it’s got other things to worry about besides your ego.

I’m glad you’re seeing a shrink about this, but before you begin a relationship with this lady, it would behoove you to tell her about your OCD up front, and say that it can be a pain in the ass at times, but that you’re getting help. If she’s as nice a girl as you say she is, I’m sure she’ll understand (and if she’s dated any other men, the “pain in the ass” thing won’t be anything new to her). Good luck.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I live in a small town with acrimonious politics and try to stay out of things, for the most part succeeding.

When I go to vote, however, and am waiting in line, a local woman working as an election judge, with whom I am slightly acquainted, begins skillfully peppering me with personal questions.

Would you suggest a statement that I may use to politely stand my ground and decline the questioning?



Have you tried “None of your damned business”? Usually works for me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the dear Amy letter I'd predict that the ceremony will last longer than the marriage anyway so who cares if it is performed by a kilt wearing biker? In the Dear Miss Manners letter just what personal questions are being asked? Name, age, address? To see a photo ID? All of these are required in my state any other questions should be answered thus: "Are you still dating Tommy Ray?" Answer: "How in the Hell is that any of your damn business, dear?"

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I forgot it wouldn't show my name. but the above comment is from me. TED

4:49 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

I would never have guessed! :-)

9:51 AM  
Anonymous carlnepa said...

My heart is going pittypat in anticipation of your response to today's letter (08/25)to Miss Manners about the highschool friends grown apart and the graduation note.
I've already fastened my safety belt.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Dear Abby whereas the woman keeps having sex with a guy who broke up with here by voice mail and then got married but keeps coming by for nookie-on-the-side? She certainly doesn't want to become his mistress!?!

12:42 PM  

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