Friday, March 18, 2011

Aaron's Rotten Advice: March 18, 2011 ("Hung Over and Hung Out to Dry") Edition

DEAR AMY: I have lived with a man for 10 years.

He had a great job but lost it after many years because of an indiscretion on his part. He has refused to find any meaningful employment since then. He has never gone outside of the "box" and doesn't seem to have much imagination or sense of adventure.

Good fortune has come recently because of a lottery win, and now the two of us are self-sufficient. Prior to this win, I was always very content with my life and very happy with my seasonal position. I wish to continue this scenario for the next couple of years. (I am only 57 years old.) This job has kept me in contact with the outside world and always gives me a sense of accomplishment.

My "spouse," on the other hand, indicates that he wants me to give this all up in order to accompany him in his daily life because he has no "life" of his own.
He still remains inside the "box."

I continue to encourage him to do his own thing on occasion but have had difficulty in doing so. Any suggestions?



Where does he expect you to “accompany” him? The bathroom? Take some of your share of the money and go on a trip somewhere nice. Tell him he can go live in that “box” in the back yard.

DEAR ABBY: While standing in a checkout line yesterday, I witnessed a cashier speak to the older woman in front of me in a condescending manner. She kept calling her “Sweetie” and talking to her as if she were a 3-year-old. The woman was obviously offended, but said nothing.

I experienced this kind of behavior often when my mother was alive. Receptionists, waitresses, store clerks and others would direct their questions to me and talk to me while my mother stood there, perfectly capable of answering the questions herself. I’m sure these people did not intend to be rude or disrespectful. However, it was extremely annoying to both Mother and me.

Because a person is elderly does not mean he or she is senile. Regardless of their mental capacity, older people have earned the right to be treated with dignity and respect



If your mother was “perfectly capable,” then why the hell didn’t she speak up?

I agree that it’s disrespectful to underestimate elderly folks and treat them like children, and the “sweetie/ honey” thing can backfire because it can be a little over-familiar for some people. But let’s keep things in perspective. Some people address others that way because they don’t want to appear too formal and intimidating, and they’re trying to put the other person at ease.

Besides, quite frankly, there are worse things to be called. Don’t ask me how I know this.

DEAR ELLIE: I've been married for six years, we have two kids. I love my husband but he has two children from his first marriage, and his ex hasn't moved on. He's hidden things and lied to me.... e.g.: going out with her with the kids. When confronted, he said he didn't want a fight.

Recently, he "had to pick her up from the hospital after surgery," she'd asked him not to tell me. But it was only plastic surgery. It seems the doctor had said not to take a cab... that's crap, as she was driving the next day.

I'm upset that he agreed to hide that he drove her home. His response: She didn't want to hurt you. Is she that stupid not to know that saying things like this will ruin any couple's relationship? Are my husband's actions not proving to her that he accepts deceiving me?

He says he's not cheating. I've told him not to ruin his present for the past.

He says I'm jealous of her. Would he allow me to do these things with an ex? I suggested counseling. He refuses. I'm feeling I have to leave this mess.



Come on, think about this: she had to have some kind of plastic surgery. She’s probably a double-bagger. What are you so insecure about?

DEAR MARGO: I am 47, the mother of three great kids, with a wonderful husband. Now that my kids are older, I've decided to pursue the career I always wanted: nursing. I was accepted into a nursing program, and it turned out that I was able to get financial aid to help pay for it. I couldn't be happier that I have been given this amazing opportunity.

The problem? I had every intention of keeping my job as a teacher's aide at a high school in another town, but after attending a few of the nursing classes and speaking with the career counselor, I realized the workload would be too much and I needed to choose one or the other. I chose nursing. I knew it was last minute, so I offered to work until a replacement was found, but they accepted my resignation "effective immediately."

Now my former colleagues, who I thought were my friends, will not call me back. I have called and sent e-mails and Facebook messages asking how they are doing, but I have yet to receive an answer. Needless to say, I am heartbroken. My husband says there is nothing more I can do and I should just let it go, but I am struggling with this, feeling both guilty and sad.



Your husband’s right. It’s possible that the friendship was deeper on your side than theirs, so just let it go.

And remember, you’ll be a nurse soon. One day, there’s a chance one of these “friends” may come to you to get blood drawn. Make it hurt.

DEAR MISS MANNERS – I am wondering if it is rude to ask a bride to repay me for all of the purchases I made for her wedding since it did not last a year.
I know that she is supposed to return gifts she received from the wedding, so I am wondering if the same rule applies to the wedding party. I never wanted to be in the wedding but since it was family I had to say yes.



Actually, neither rule applies. Gifts don’t have to be returned except in the case of a cancelled wedding.

As far as the stuff you bought her, get over yourself. How much of a refund do you think you’re really going to get on a few boxes of Pamprin and some hair rollers?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Aaron's Rotten Advice: March 11, 2011 ("Some Days I'm Just Dry, and This Is One of 'Em") Edition

DEAR AMY: I am a happily married 45-year-old woman with three school-age children.

I took a job driving a cab in the worst part of town because I was bored sitting around the house.

I love my job, even though it is unhealthy and dangerous and the money isn't that great. I just really love the people and driving. My family and everyone else is appalled and want me to do something different.

I went out yesterday and obtained a job as a companion. I haven't started yet, but I already know how bored I am going to be.

Any suggestions on how to make the best of it?



I’m not sure what sort of “companion” you’ve signed on as, but if it’s what I think it is, you can have just as much excitement in the cab if you just move the seats back. And since you seem to "love the people" in that part of town so much, here's good news: they're the same people!

In any event, get the money up front and tell them nothing too kinky.

DEAR ABBY: I am a married man, but not happily. I have been taking the kids on play dates with a neighbor woman who has been kind enough to meet with the children and doesn't seem to care too much that I'm a guy. As you can imagine, most women will not bother to befriend a man they know is married.

She has two kids who are close in age to mine. She is 19 years younger than I am and lives with her boyfriend.

I have fallen in love with her. I know I can't tell her, and I doubt she feels the same toward me. When we part, we do hug each other. It makes me feel fantastic, something I haven't experienced for a long time.

Should I continue getting together with her or should I avoid her? I feel both happy and sad when I see her because I realize she is basically out of reach.



Yeah, see this is why most women don’t want to make friends with married men—you always want to be “friends with benefits.”

Why are you hugging this woman at all? These are kids’ play dates, not a birth coaching class—get a grip and go home to your wife. Buy a “toy” on the way home—that might be the first step towards marital happiness.

DEAR ELLIE: I just finished paying off $20,000 in student loans, in 18 months. I want to travel, as I've never been anywhere. I've been looking for inexpensive resorts but my husband won't spend his hard-earned money on a "trashy" vacation.

When I started looking for exclusive resorts, he said, "That's just too expensive!" Do I just go by myself? I feel he's turning something celebratory into this big drama. And like I have no one in my corner wanting to celebrate my accomplishments with me.



Congratulations on paying off your debt so quickly--$20,000 in 18 months is pretty damn impressive. I only owed $12,000 after the grants and what I payed myself, and it still took me 10 years. 10 years of toil, aging and decrepitude…

You know what? I’m envious of you now, and seething with resentment. In fact, I don’t feel like answering your question anymore. What was it again? Oh, yeah, the vacation. Go wherever you want, I don’t give a shit.

DEAR MARGO: I’m living with my mother, who has Alzheimer’s. I’m an only child, but my mother has three sisters. I have no one to relieve me once in a while so I can have time for myself. I’m also under a doctor’s care, and she told me I was to take at least two days a week and get out. I can’t do this. My mother is very headstrong and will not allow anyone in the house who is a stranger — and she will not go anywhere.

Now I have another problem. I reconnected with my first love, but he lives in another state. I so want to move out there to be with him, but I don’t know what to do about Mom. I would only be gone three or four months of the year. (The rest of the time I would be living here with Mom.) I’m hoping to be with him this month. He is very understanding and hopeful. He is 64 and retiring this year, and I’m 61 and want to make a life on my own with him. What can I do?



So just where are the three Gorgon sisters while you’re stuck in the house?? Tell one of them to waddle over once or twice a week with her stack of Enquirers and her box of Depends and sit with her sister. How exhausting could it be? You should be doing what the doctor says, or you’ll get run down and sick yourself, and you won’t be any good to your mom at all.

As far as your old flame, you can’t leave your mom for months at a time, obviously, but why can’t he come visit you periodically? Tell the lazy turd to hop on a plane and get his bony old ass where you are, pronto. (And here’s a tip: it would help if you met him at the airport in a corset and riding crop. No, don't ask questions.)

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My stepson is estranged from his father, and I want to include him in the obit but not list him as his son. May I do this? However, I want to list my children from another marriage but not indicate they are stepchildren. Please advise. This is a ticklish subject.



Gee, I wonder how he became “estranged?” Let’s all put our thinking caps on and puzzle this one out, hmm?