Thursday, April 26, 2012

Advice Unillustrated

Letter 1 is from a wimp whose new wife is off comforting her BFF rather than enjoying her honeymoon. BFF’s long-distance, maybe-married, “boyfriend” died the day after the wedding. New wife has a habit of sleeping with BFF rather than husband.
I say: “Guys: don’t marry a crazy person.” When she returns, maybe she should find another woman in your bed. Your new BFF, with whom you spend nights chastely talking about boys and the prom.
And just how is it that you don’t know the status of the late BF, or when your wife might be coming back to her nuptial bed????
What does Prudence say? Kind of the same thing. But Prudence says: “It’s not unreasonable that Brenda postponed her honeymoon because of Sadie’s loss.” I think it’s pretty unreasonable, and certainly very unreasonable to do so without any discussion with HER H U S B A N D.

Video letter is from a woman whose parents came to help with her first child. They caused all sorts of mess, offered none of the promised help, and made out that he’s the best dad in the world. Her in-laws are gems, and she wants to have them help out with her next child.
Prudence says to get pregnant and set out rules for her parents. I say, yeah. Your house, your child, your rules.

Letter 2 is from a girl who was told by a superior to fetch lunch for a client meeting. She hung around, and finally had her own lunch, during which the superior came to fetch her because the meeting folk were ready to eat, at which point LW blew her off. Superior fetched the lunch herself. Superior now wants LW fired. Boss is refusing, but tells LW to suck it up. LW writes: “As the new young staffer is it my job to just suck it up? Or did I merely set boundaries with a disrespectful colleague who sorely needs them?”.
Boy. I’d’ve fired you. She’s not a “disrespectful colleague”, she’s a superior. (For the actual problem, why didn’t they have lunch delivered? Or set a time for lunch? But that’s another story…) You will be out on your keester very soon, I won’t be crying, and “in this economy” (ugh), you won’t be hard to replace.
Prudie agrees. (I kind of wonder if LW isn’t the superior in fact…)

Letter 3 is from a woman married to the best husband in the world, except he only has one leg. He gets annoyed when strangers come up and ask what happened to him. More often, strangers ask LW. She wants a witty reply.
I will call on Miss Manners, and say that you don’t need a witty reply. You need to raise your eyebrows, aghast, and say “I beg your pardon?!” as if you cannot believe they would ask such a question. Which is better treatment than they deserve. My cutting remark might be something like: “Why do you want to know about his leg? Can you get him a new one?”.
Prudie pretty much agrees.

Letter 4 is from a woman who threw me off by saying that she likes to sit alone and people watch. I think she meant “people-watch”. Anyhow, she does that when she’s traveling for business. Guys chat her up, which she doesn’t mind, but she’s married and has no intention of sleeping with them. Despite her making clear she’s married, when she finally formally turns down the suitors, they get angry.
I say: woman alone at bar is asking to be picked up. That’s a pretty fair assumption. And just because you’re married doesn’t mean you’re not looking. So if you insist on presenting yourself in a context when women sitting alone are in fact often looking for a guy, make your intentions very clear from the beginning. “Why hello. If you’d like to chat, that’s great, but if you’re looking for some feminine company for later on, please don’t waste your time.”
Prudie is not on my side. She says to leave the bar and eat dinner alone, with a book.

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