Friday, October 22, 2010

Aaron's Rotten Advice: October 22, 2010 ("The Weather Finally Matches My Disposition") Edition

DEAR AMY: I've known "Jared" for two years. We dated for about a year and then broke up because he wanted to date someone else.
We decided to remain friends. In fact, we are now roommates. He has since broken up with his girlfriend, but he is now in a long-distance relationship with an ex-girlfriend.

I know it's not healthy to be jealous, but I am. It kills me just to hear him say her name. I can tell that he is really into her, but I don't care. I still have strong feelings for him.

I keep telling myself that I should have been an actress because I'm doing such a great job of hiding my feelings and acting like I just want to be friends.
I go out, hoping to meet someone else, but I haven't met anyone yet.

If I tell him how I feel, I'm afraid it will ruin our friendship or things will be weird between us. I definitely don't want that to happen. On the other hand, I feel as if I'm just letting him go without a fight.

Should I tell him how I feel and hope for the best, or should I just leave well enough alone and keep quiet?

-- CONFUSED IN LOVE


AARON’S ROTTEN ADVICE:

Good questions. Now I have a question for you: how many fingers am I holding up? (Here’s a hint: it’s one, but I won’t tell you which.)

You may be a great actress, but you'll never be a scientist. Your question proposes two possible courses of action, but I’d like to add a third: move out. And on your way out, be sure to stop at a shrink and have your head examined—I don’t know what made you stay friends with an ex-boyfriend (who essentially dumped you), not to mention move in with him. And in the meantime, he’s been through another ex. Obviously, this guy gets around faster than smallpox.

While you’re looking for a new place, be sure to wash your laundry separately.




DEAR ABBY: I recently gave birth to a beautiful, perfect baby girl, "Cassie." I also just returned to work. I would love to stay home, but I cannot afford to financially. I am lucky that my best friend, "Mary Ellen," doesn't have to work and has offered to care for my little 8-week-old bundle of joy.

My problem is, every day when I go to pick up Cassie, I must wait for Mary Ellen to say goodbye to her. She has started instructing me about how Cassie likes to sleep, be burped and held. While I appreciate her watching and caring for my little one, I am Cassie's mom and I know what she likes. The time I have with my daughter is precious. I just want to pick her up and go home.

How do I tell my friend it upsets me that she feels she should tell me about how to care for my own baby? I feel guilty and sad that I must work, and her comments make it worse. I know she's only trying to help. I don't want to hurt her feelings, but what can I do?

-- WORKING MOMMY IN BALTIMORE


AARON’S ROTTEN ADVICE:

Wait, you’re getting free babysitting?! Shut the hell up and be grateful.

If it bothers you to hear her list of instructions, just pretend to listen with a smile on your sour puss, then ignore it and do whatever you usually do when you get home. (Minus the animal sacrifices and naked dancing in the meadow.)




DEAR ELLIE: My boyfriend of three years had trust issues from the start. He's been cheated on in previous relationships. I initially didn't tell him about my guy friends - just friends - as I was scared. (I should've told him regardless of what he thought).

He found out about my friends and I cut them off completely a year ago. Because of that we broke up for a while. I begged him to come back! I love him so much.

Now he thinks I'm talking to guys again. Even before, he'd go through my phone, check my phone bills for anything and he still does. It kills me, but I allow it to happen.

He looks through my private messages with my girlfriends. What can I do? I feel so low as a woman when he does these things. Will he ever trust me again?

--HANGING ON


AARON’S ROTTEN ADVICE:

Who the hell cares?? What, exactly, are you “hanging on” for—a schmuck who tries to control every aspect of your life and goes through your mail?

Frankly, there’s something seriously wrong with a guy who limits your contact with your friends—it’s one of the hallmarks of an abuser. You were better off when you were broken up.

No doubt he’ll get pissed off about something else very soon and move out again. When he does, change the locks and leave his stuff on the lawn outside.




DEAR MARGO: My experience has been that friendships are transitory and people don’t put in the work to maintain them. For this reason, my husband and I are pretty much loners. We have many acquaintances but few friends.

This year, while traveling abroad, we met a couple (30 years younger). My husband struck up a strong friendship with the woman, and her husband and I got along nicely. I was delighted my husband had made a friend. The age difference didn’t seem to matter, and we are all financially comfortable. We traveled together for about two weeks. Later, they came to visit us. We took them on a road trip through national parks. It was a great vacation, and they sent us generous thank-you gifts. Then they went on to set up a new home in Canada. We’ve both e-mailed the wife a couple of times since then, which was about a month ago. We are renting a two-bedroom condo in Canada next month, so yesterday my husband e-mailed to ask if they’d care to join us. Neither of them is looking for work yet, as they await the birth of their first baby, so we thought they’d have the time. Yesterday we got an e-mail back from her saying they could not make it, they are busy, and then the letter ended: "So please don’t expect me to keep in touch on a regular basis. That just won’t happen. Enjoy your boredom."

Enjoy your boredom? What does that mean? That we have no real life because we are retired? She is Canadian, he is German, and we are American. Perhaps this is some kind of foreign expression? We were really hurt by this curt dismissal. I fail to see why our efforts to keep in touch provoked this reaction.

— FEELING DISMISSED


AARON’S ROTTEN ADVICE:

Isn't it strange that you and your husband don't want to be friends with people your own age, because they won't take the trouble, yet you jump at the chance to be friends with people half your age? Hmmm...

Now to your question. I’ve never heard of rudeness being part of the normal Canadian lexicon unless the person communicating is, well, rude. Germans are a different matter, but in my experience, usually that’s just dirty talk, and then it’s only during “special occasions.”

No this is altogether another animal. As to her meaning, I think it’s pretty obvious—she doesn’t want you to write or email anymore. There could be lots of reasons: maybe she and her husband felt a bit smothered by your attention; maybe it’s the hormones from her pregnancy; or maybe she’s just a bitch. Either way, you can safely back away now.

Look on the bright side: this proves your theory that people are basically unfriendly. Isn’t it nice to have your suspicions vindicated?




DEAR MISS MANNERS:

How do you feel about a bride who has a bridal shower and a reception but a week later is not married? She and her groom have said vows and exchanged rings several times in different locations but have failed to get a license. They just haven't had time for that [expletive]. Her own words.
She uses the term married, and many people at the reception believed them to be married. She keeps saying that they will go and get married in the courthouse, but I'm beginning to doubt that.

I feel as though I have been taken advantage of for gifts. If she had just had a commitment ceremony and called it what it seems to be, I could respect that and not feel like the whole thing is a joke. I feel embarrassed for her. Am I just becoming an old prickly lady?

--NOT JUST A GIFT HORSE


AARON’S ROTTEN ADVICE:

Why are you embarrassed? She’s clearly not. She sounds pretty brazen, in fact.

I always think that kind of chutzpah deserves a response in kind—you know, just to show you appreciate and respect it. So when she has a housewarming party (and you know she will), wrap up an empty box and give it to her. When she opens it, explain you didn’t get a gift because you were too busy and didn’t have time for that shit (I know the word, and am not afraid to use it).

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or when she opens the empty box one could say, "empty just like your fake marriage but I will get you something to put in it one of these days, maybe after you have a real marriage?"
In the dear Ellie letter she states her boyfriend had trust issues from the start. She knew he was a psycho but was so let's say disparate for a boyfriend that she is willing to become a hermit. I had an aunt like that but she couldn't please my uncle. His jealousy grew daily and she had to wear dirty clothes and no make-up or he thought she was flirting with other men. She became confined to the house for years. When he finally died I thought she would have a Prozac moment and tiptoe through the tulips but she was so crazy by then she still couldn't leave her house. Anyway excellent advice. Ted

9:24 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Yes, after a lifetime of emotional abuse, people start to "depend" on it, because of theconditioned response and because it becomes a part of them. This girl has self-esteem issues that are much larger than her captor's "trust issues." ("Trust issues," my ass--he's just a psychotic prick.)

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My sick Uncle would invite men over to the house and require my Aunt to fix them snacks and drinks. If she laughed at one of their jokes or looked their way he would beat her afterwords. I know Psychotic prick first hand. Ted

5:50 PM  
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