Friday, October 08, 2010

Aaron's Rotten Advice: October 8, 2010 Edition

Yes, I'm back from one of my sporadic, life-dictated absences...of course, I always hate to miss a few weeks, but I had lots of stuff I had to do during September, not the least (or most fun) of which was cleaning out the storage shed with my mom's remaining effects. But I rescued some really cool rugs, some Nancy Sinatra CDs, some great DVDs, my grandparents' old liquor cabinet, and an old Morris chair (which I still have to make room for).

But all that's beside the point--feast your eyes on this week's crop of hapless advice-seekers. They didn't know they were asking me, but I could tell they needed it...

DEAR AMY: Over the course of three months, my wife of 16 years called a male "friend" more than 2,500 times and sent him more than 6,000 text messages.

The calls were made at all times of the day (with three calls being between 2 and 4 a.m. one night when she was spending the night with a girlfriend).
The texts occurred all through the day and night.

When I confronted her she became very defensive and claimed this was just a really good friend she had known for a long time. She says that there is nothing wrong with what she's doing.

My wife now has a device with Internet access that allows her to text without any record of whom she is texting. Am I stupid, ignorant or wrong to have suspicions — or correct in thinking this is an affair?



A combination of the above. If you really think she spent the night with a “girlfriend,” I’d have to go with numbers one and two. Although why she would spend all night texting him during The Deed, I don’t know—perhaps he’s hearing-impaired.

DEAR ABBY: A friend of mine, "Barbie," volunteered to be the maid of honor in my wedding. She didn't attend any of the dress fittings because she doesn't have a car. She volunteered to throw a bridal shower despite having no money, and asked my fiance to contribute. After he told Barbie he was "tapped out" (because of the wedding bills), she suggested he return some of the gifts he had bought me!

Two days before the shower, I learned she had selected a dress more suited to a stripper pole than a church wedding ceremony. At that point, my fiance decided to remove her from the bridal party.

Barbie feels slighted and doesn't understand why we made the day about "us" and not her. She's genuinely hurt that we didn't "consider her financial position." (We didn't ask for her help in the first place.)

Would you please lend your vast wisdom and insight to this matter?



Gee, clever signature, Trixie. Love the fake name you gave your friend, too. Please don’t ever get a job writing greeting cards.

OK, on to your question. Yes, the fault is partly “Barbie’s” (Jesus, is that really the best you could come up with??)—she should not have volunteered to take this project on if she was financially unprepared to do so. And for her to suggest to your fiancé that he return some of your gifts was just off-the-charts stupid and thoughtless. But what did you expect? Hello—the bitch doesn’t have a car! What did you think she was going to do, ride a bike and drag your wedding cake behind her in a Radio Flyer wagon??

In any event, it’s over and done now, so just let it go. Or you could do what most upwardly-mobile young people do when somebody upsets their standards of material impropriety: complain about it to anybody who will listen until you find a sympathetic pair of ears.

Good luck with that.

DEAR ELLIE: My boyfriend of 18 months and I are late-40s. I'm divorced, with joint custody of my sons. My boyfriend's been divorced for ten years with sole custody of daughters, ages late-teens to 21. His ex-wife abandoned them (an affair, plus problems with drugs and alcohol).

His daughters constantly call when we're out on a date. They fight to sit beside him. One often sits on his lap.

His ex-wife attends family functions, birthdays, holidays, Christmas, with them. Last Christmas I insisted he come to my house. But his phone didn't stop ringing.

During a family vacation together, one daughter locked herself in our room and wouldn't let us in all day. Sometimes I think his devotion is unhealthy.

I've voiced concerns (one daughter comes into his bed when she has a bad dream) but he becomes defensive.

Will things change when they get older or is he using the women in his life to block a deeper relationship?



Have you ever seen “Chinatown?” Rent it. Watch it. I don’t think age is the issue here. How much older do you expect them to get before they stop sleeping with him and sitting in his lap?!

You’ve already talked with him about this, and if he refuses to do anything about it, I think it’s time you walked away and left him to his daughters and their Electra complex.

DEAR MARGO: Like many others, the recession has taken a toll on our family. My husband has been a functioning alcoholic for years, and despite my objections, he leapt at the opportunity for early retirement two years ago and now spends his days watching television, drinking and criticizing everything I do. Once he retired, he decided I would continue working and we would live off my income for the next 10 years to avoid tapping into the retirement fund.

Well, I lost my job a year ago and have not been able to find a new one. At the urging of former colleagues, I started a new business. It is finally starting to generate some revenue, but we are still dependent upon my husband’s retirement income. Consequently, he participates in every business decision and points out how everything I touch will fail. Please be aware that I have advanced degrees and have held positions as COO and CFO.

I am so depressed that I can barely get out of bed in the morning. I want nothing more than to leave him and live alone. I should have done this years ago, but instead relied on a heavy work schedule and limited vacations to minimize our time together. Now I feel like a prisoner. The one family member who has seen his dark side tells me I should suck it up because it’s hard to live alone at my age (I am in my early 50s). I just can’t bear any more criticism and "humor" at my expense.

During a call with a potential client, I asked what more I could do to get his business. My husband piped up and said, "You could lose 50 pounds and have sex with the board of directors." Yes, the client heard. I was beyond mortified. How can I live in this environment until I can become self-supporting again?



Your husband is a soaking schmuck, and you need to walk. Wait until you get your business up and running if you want to be self-sufficient. Otherwise, I do believe he’s legally required to hand over half his retirement to you in the divorce settlement.

Yes, that’s right, divorce—tell him to go and hang by his peter. Before you go, make sure he’s well-supplied with beer—drop a case right in his lap. Hard.

Early 50s is not that old where I’m from, and while it’s never easy to make that kind of adjustment, I think in your case it’s going to feel like a long, wonderful vacation after what you’ve lived with. Think how giddy you’ll feel once you wake up every day and realize that it’s permanent—no more ass-hubby! Furthermore, I think your expenses will be a lot smaller once you cut that dead weight loose. And let’s see how long he can stretch his half of the retirement fund on Old Style and TV dinners.

I doubt he’ll have an easy time finding another partner. Most women aren’t eager to hook up with a lazy, smart-ass, beer-drinking slob—he might have to trawl the parking lot of the “Jerry Springer Show.”


My husband's oldest friend (a female) told us last week that she planned to come to visit us. On many previous occasions, I have invited her and her husband to stay with us overnight.

However, since their last visit, she committed (in my opinion) a grievous social faux pas by telling a woman of our mutual acquaintance that my husband appeared to be planning to get a divorce. This led to the woman's inviting my husband to her home for dinner and other socializing, unfortunately more than once.
Do you think I should be chastised for not inviting her to stay at my home on this latest trip?



On the contrary: I would chastise you if you did offer this harpie room and board. Tell her to go hang upside down somewhere else.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your advice though sporadic is still very good. I don't know what a Morris chair is. I hope Tim Gunn doesn't take my Gay card.
In the Dear Abby letter it states that Barb volunteered to be maid of honor. Eeeek! put on the brakes. She should have been told that the bride will pick and choose the maid of honor thank you. I love the picture I get of Barbie dragging a wedding cake behind her Schwinn in a little red wagon. Flinging Icing down the road forever and forever. Ken dodged a bullet with this one. Ted

7:44 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

I confess, the Radio Flyer came to me after a colleague and I (yes, I write this thing on my lunch hour--I have to be productive SOME time!) were looking at a catalogue of retro toy reproductions, and came across one of those 1940s fire put me in mind of the red Radio Flyer my grandma used to haul her garden produce back and forth to the back porch.

I'll bet it's easier to cart a wedding cake around in it than it was my grandma's dog--she was a rotten passenger, forever complaining.

2:28 PM  

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