Thursday, November 19, 2009

From My Orbit

As always, original letters and advice are here:

LW#1: Dang, grouchy, why are you such a stick in the mud? This is what they've always done, it's kind of cute, and I don't think the fact that you're not changing your name to Smith (like you future BIL did? Come on!) lets you off the hook.

Families do cheesy things together. That's how they bond. Obviously, you get this, in that your "future family" will have basically this exact same cheesy portrait situation. And when the time comes, you can do this and have your own Christmas card that you write the letter for, even as you continue to pose with the in-laws. So why are you being such a bad sport now? Why is this such an anger-provoking thing for you?

I wonder if you're so sick about this because you don't want to be a part of this family. At all. Because this is not umbilical-attachment behavior on your future husband's part, this is just one of those things that comes from having obligations, respect and love to and for other people.

LW#2: This is intensely, deeply weird, and I would not consider this man Mr. Right any more. Beyond photoshopping his step/daughter to look nude ("Photoshop. Yeah, that's the ticket!"), taking lingerie pics of her in the first place, even for her wedding day, is straight up not the kind of thing people want their fathers to do/want to do for their daughters.

You know what you have to do.

LW#3: Well, if there are any professional reasons you shouldn't try to date this guy, then I would hold back. But if you're not a fake letter, and you have developed feelings for this guy, and you're willing to expose yourself to loving him, nursing him as he gets ill, and ultimately losing him, that is your business. You don't have to treat him when he comes in, right? Some other nurse could do that.

So sure, why not send him a message that says you've noticed him, and here's how and if he's uncomfortable no big deal, but you totally dig him?

But before you do that, please take a step back and ask yourself, "Why do I want to pursue a relationship with someone who I know is this ill, who stands across a HIPPA barrier from me, and who I will spend time watching die?" Are you often attracted to men who are, in some ways, doomed, or unavailable to you?

LW#4: This is a situation where the father should talk to the brother, and, if he does not get a "Yeah, I can leave the howitzer at home, and I'll be on my best behavior" answer, should disinvite the guy. And if he gets that answer and Uncle Festus comes, but has the usual behavior and is concealed-carrying, he needs to escort him away post-haste.

Also, if your BF's dad is going to not understand the purpose of getting together to meet your immediate family and strike up some friendly conversation and bonding, and is going to do the "let's invite crazy Uncle Festus" thing on a regular basis (getting married anytime soon?), he's going to have to be watched.

Not that what he did is particularly bad. In fact, it's kind of a positive sign for you as you get closer to making him your FIL. He's a compassionate guy. That sort of thing trickles down, apple-from-tree style.

I get why he feels bad for Uncle Festus. Who among us does not have some variation on an Uncle Festus in our family? Someone who is outcast from the rest and unsocializable, someone who has done something, perhaps something unforgiveable to half the family, yet because Uncle Festus is so lonely and sad-sacky, and possibly mentally ill or brain damaged, there is always a brother or something who works to include him under the rubric, "this is my brother. I have to take care of him."

Yeah, but the father will have to become his brother's keeper. And if this is going to get in the way of meeting your family, then maybe you should pick a non-holiday for a Mulligan, if that becomes necessary.


  1. Excellent stuff, Spacey! In saying to LW#3, "Are you often attracted to men who are, in some ways, doomed, or unavailable to you?", you said in just a few words what I tried, and failed, to say in an entire paragraph. But that is the gist, isn't it? Way to go! :-)

  2. "Photoshop. Yeah, that's the ticket!"

    I must not have all the upgrades for Photoshop, because I can't find the "Remove Clothing" tool anywhere.

  3. I'm definitely showing my age there, because that's a Jon Lovitz on SNL reference.

    I believe I've read about people who use photoshop to make naked avatars and give celebrities naked boobs in subtle, creative ways (the method of making nipples, not the end results) but to spend that much time on ... Sheesh, the guy is not right, it is time for divorce. And therapy!

    Smag, your laurels mean so much to little ole me. But at least #3 knows she's in a better place than Mrs. Photoshop expert!


  4. Hey Spacey, sound advice. I particularly appreciate your comments about LW3 and your tactful question at the end.

    Must be that rarefied Martian air that keeps your brain humming so well...