Saturday, October 31, 2009

Special to a woman in a nuptial nightmare

Dear SpaceCadet,

I have a semi-close friend (who was once a very close friend) who recently got engaged. Before her boyfriend even proposed she asked me to be her maid of honor. I agreed and knew at the time they didn't want a long engagement. Since she's become engaged she is adamant about having an early January wedding ... like, January 2, 2010. She will be finalizing the date this weekend after visiting a few wedding venues.

When she originally told me about her choice of dates, I gently suggested that she reconsider because of difficulties with finding vendors, the inconvenience for guests, the cost of travel and lodging during the holiday season, etc. She responded to that suggestion by basically saying that she thinks most of her family can make it and that nothing else mattered. The issues for me:

1. she lives several hours away in a city with limited lodging which is likely full now because it's also a college town.
2. I don't know that I can afford to be a maid of honor that soon after the holidays, nor do I think I will have the time to perform my maid of honor duties between now and then.
3. I think she expects that I'll spend my New Year's Eve with her before the wedding, and there's nothing I'd rather do less.

I don't know if I should tell her now that I cannot be her maid of honor if she finalizes that date, or wait until she tells me that date is set in stone before I make my case. Am I being unreasonable?

For what it's worth, our friendship has been strained ever since she started dating this guy and she was a less than gracious host when I visited her (upon her request) a couple of months ago. I know that if I back out it will be the final nail in the coffin of our friendship and I am prepared for that.

What should I do?

Maid of Inconvenience

p.s. - I am a huge fan of your Prudie letter are so clever!

Dear Maid,

Flattery will get you EVERYWHERE, lady! I mean that!

Okay, look, I hate calling women bridezilla. I think it's degrading, sexist and gets knuckleheaded men who aren't helping plan a very stressful and elaborate life event off the hook. But then I have to get a letter like yours and I think, "Jesus Christ our Lord and Shepherd, be a credit to your pre-married woman state will ya?"

I also have to laugh at her. She "recently" became engaged and immediately fixated on a January date, which is coming up in two months. Ha ha ha! You aren't joking when you talk about accommodations, vendors and everything else! LOL to the moon and back! She is totally hosed! The Saturday, nay, the day after a holiday? Which is a holiday wherein a lot of people get married? Which is also coming up in less than four months? Within, I am sure, a budget?ROTFLMAO!

So, you see, your spending New Year's with them at all may not even be in the cards. She may fall flat on her face getting the big three (venues, catering and services) to come together, forcing her to push back the date.

The advice to glean from that last paragraph: Don't remind her how hard it's going to be or say "I told you so." Just see if she can meet the challenge of getting the basics down. And if she's a picky little lemonface, who wants Barbie's Dream Wedding with ice swan sculptures and flight harnesses so she can swoop down the aisle like Peter Pan, or just has a particular band in mind, she may back down in the face of finding Her Amazing Day impossible to get right within her limited time.

Okay, so let's assume she DOES, somehow, pull off the major players for the wedding and she's NOT picky. She still has to get her guests on board.

Of course, she's saying as long as her family can make it, nothing else matters. Uh-doy! What about HIS family? Are these guests nearby? (Update: Maid of Inconvenience says, actually, yes, the whole family is within a day's drive.)

Well, it looks like if she's not going to be too picky about the wedding and only cares if family can make it, that you may in fact be screwed into going to this wedding and hanging out with them on New Years.

See, here's the thing: You agreed to do this duty. And if she's truly going to have a very short deadline for her wedding, she will likely not have time to find someone else.

But there's an up side to all of this. Although she is taking on some ridiculous planning challenges, and although right after the holidays is kind of a sucky time to put more eating and celebrating and money spending on anyone's agenda, she seems kind of flexible in terms of what she expects out of the experience itself (like, maybe she won't expect you to spend as much as you think you'll have to). And, if you think about the New Year's holiday, it is one where people could drive out on Friday, see the wedding on Saturday and head home on Sunday without needing to take time off.

If you look at it in this light, she's actually ... kind of okay.

But what it comes down to is this: There are her problems, which are all about, "is this the wedding she wants to do?" and there are your problems, which start off sounding like, "this is a crazy idea, I'll be broke at that point" but end up sounding like, "I just don't really like her enough to do this for her."

I think your real problem is you just don't like her enough to have made a commitment that would inconvenience you. You don't even have your arms completely around the level of inconvenience it's going to be and you're already tripping balls. I mean, you are going fetal thinking about hanging out with her for New Years instead of your real friends, right? How crappy does it make you feel that there's someone relying on you for her special day, and you're upset you can't hang out with people you'd rather hang out with the day before? A lot, I bet.

So here's my advice: Figure out what the damage is likely to be before you react. How much money does it look like you're going to have to spend? How much travelling are you going to have to do? Any time off work? Because you need to know her expectations before you lay out your parameters.

See, you do have an out. And that is the incredibly short time period in which you have to prepare. You get to tell her, as soon as she has an idea where her wedding is going, and if it becomes apparent that it is too rich for your blood, that you are happy to be there for her special day, and are grateful for the special role she wants you to play (grit your teeth if you must) but you made something of a mistake when you agreed to be the maid of honor, because you thought you'd have more time to save up and plan than the two busiest and spendiest months of the year, and you're worried you can't meet her expectations. Is she willing to lower them in consideration of your circumstances?

(i.e. maybe you won't have to throw an elaborate party for her, maybe the NY bash will suffice and be kind of cheap for you because it'll be you, her, two cousins and a sister and no male stripper because they're all booked/out on break, i.e. maybe you can wear whatever dress you want or she'll have cheap ones for you, i.e. no shower possibly.)

If she's reasonable, and I really hope she is, she'll recognize this and her expectations for you will be lower than the other poor MOHs out there. If she isn't overcome with materialism and tradition (and she seems kinda free and loose there), she may be able to have her family help take on some of the roles the MOH usually fills, mostly I'm thinking of the bridal shower here.

But the most important thing to do when you talk to her is admit that you are concerned about your own limits getting in the way of her having the wedding experience she wants, and surely she's aware that her timeline is pretty much determining your limits at the moment, and surely she can work with those limits as much as she's working with a shortened timeline.

This way, (if I've been giving her too much credit and her ungracious hosting turn is her new identity and not a one-off) if she's pissed off and angry and the friendship falls apart, it's because she's being a bitch, not you. Don't you be the unreasonable one by criticizing her choices as unilaterally unreasonable and ridiculous, even if you think they are.

The idea is that she gets to make choices, and you get to make choices, about what you're willing to do for each other in your friendship, in the name of history if nothing else. Besides, breaking up a friendship because of a wedding? For either of you, that's not a good way to go. If nothing else, it's a cheesy cliche.

I'm sorry this friendship seems to be petering out, but your best bet is to let it die a natural death and not let the wedding turn into drama that stomps it flat. I know that there can be a kind of temptation to utilize the wedding as a kind of weapon that way — you sound kind of at the end of a rope here in putting up with your old pal ("I am prepared to do that" is pretty ominous backing-out talk) — but don't leave in a swirl of anger. If you are forced to back out, make sure it's a mutual thing, where both of you agree that you shouldn't be MOH. Sure, that may kill the friendship, too, but in a totally, totally different way.

Also, I hope for her sake if she does decide to hold this thing in two months that everyone who wants to book a room can book a room.

I think the takeaway advice for you, and all the other readers here too, is that in the future, "Don't agree to be the maid of honor to someone who you'd rather not spend New Years Eve with."

Sorry this was so long, but I wanted to make sure I covered what I wanted to say. You have choices and limitations, she has choices and limitations, and either you're going to be able to work around them as friends or you won't. My way, friendship gets one more shot, and stability gets a chance.

Good luck!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

From My Orbit

Of course, the original letters can be found here.

LW#1: There is seriously a formula to at least one letter each week, and it goes, "S/He's great, BUT." You are apparently that LW, who, after literally years and years of advice columns, has not gotten the message. The message is that the "but" is something you'll either have to learn to tolerate or decide if it is worth breaking up over.

Sometimes these "buts" are things like, "he is getting fat." That sort of "but" reflects on the LW. Others, like, "he plays footsie with his sister," are a little more ambiguous, like, "You see this as a red flag but you're engaged anyway?"

You, however, have written in with one about a guy who violates your boundaries. Daily, even! You tell him you don't like what he's doing, and he tells you obviously you're wrong because you're laughing. Let me walk that back for you: You are pinned under him, he is doing something you don't like but to which you have an involuntary reflex, and he's telling you you must like it. Moreover, he's telling you that once you "master your mind" you "won't panic" when he does it, and he is going to do whatever he goshdarn pleases.

This is not a good dynamic. And written like that, it sounds kind of rapey, doesn't it? At the very least, he's giving you a mind(freak).

Just that what he's doing is a violation. And although you haven't said how long you've been with him, if he refuses to get that what he is doing to YOUR BODY should be at YOUR WHIM then he is either due for a dumping or a serious session of counseling.

What he is doing is flat-out unacceptable. And you need to accept that.

LW#2: Wow, fun birthday celebration. "So those years I was checked out in an alcoholic stupor, what was on your mind then, sweetie?"

Yeah, this is one of those situations where she probably doesn't realize the import of what she's asking. Chalk it up to years of brain cells marinating in Night Train (or whatever her booze of choice was). She probably realizes intellectually that those years were rough, but hey, being kind of insensitive and selfish are personality traits one kind of needs to be a totally checked out mom. (As of now, she sounds like she's still a tiny bit checked out. I mean, seriously.)

For now, you can probably just say, "Mom, that's a lot of history, a lot of pain, and I can't imagine hashing it out with you at all right now, much less at some lunch in a restaurant." I wouldn't get into it or get dramatic with it, I'd just state it as fact and move on. If she feels the need to know more, or let out her feelings, she can do that with her sponsor.

Honestly, you don't owe her anything of the past. She owes you her respect.

Good luck!

LW#3: Once people partner up it is really hard to not invite their partners. And when they have kids, sometimes those kids will come along, too.

No, really.

The only way to have a party without partners is to specifically have a gendered occasion. Seriously. "Girls night y'all!" "Boy's night in hizzouse!" So if you can swing that because you and your friends are one gender, you can do it.

The other possibility is that you make this a non-sit-down affair and use your table as a buffet and everyone hangs out in the kitchen, dining space and living room and meanders. Move the chairs out to the living room, etc. Then it isn't the table that is the problem.

Besides, 10 people for a sit-down dinner is too many.

Also, to address this: "I'd just hate to forgo inviting friends I'd like to see in order to make space for significant others who aren't significant to me."

If these people are significant to you, their partners are now part of their lives and you should make an effort to make them significant to you. If you don't, you will find yourself losing significance to your friends. Just a thought.

LW#4: You did something few people do, and you are handling it in a way fewer still could manage. You are awesome.

But now it's time to listen to your daughter, and let her needs and feelings guide this process. That's what open adoption is all about, right? The affect of family meetings in concept and in reality are two totally different things, so worry less about what will happen if you don't adhere to the concept for its statistical and theorhetical benefits instead of what is happening's effect on your daughter.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Just a reminder

I do free personalized and anonymous advice responses for those in dire straits, up a creek and in a whirlwind of confusion.

If you are in a pickle, feel free to write to me at frommyorbit(at) All replies will keep your identity anonymous, just in case you didn't see that up there.

My motto: Make it someone else's problem.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Advice on the fly

Read originals here

Some of this is a little snarky. Can't help myself.

LW whose fiancee wants her own room: Yeah, this wedding thing is her bid for freedom, isn't it? I can't imagine this will work out unless she has an independent life of her own first, so she can appreciate being with you the way all spouses should appreciate their spouses.

LW with an uninvited guest: If this is really a burden for you I kind of feel for your kids. You are cooking/preparing for 8 plus kiddos, somebody can budge up and I doubt you'll run low on nosh.

LW with the fat family: This letter is a total made up joke. Nobody's notorious for going to other people's houses and breaking furniture! All the same, I liked this because it reminded me of the show "Ruby: The First Hundred Pounds" and the "I'm Rick James, bitch!" sketch where Dave Chappelle goes, "I'm GRINDIN' MY FEET IN YO COUCH, EDDIE MURPHY!" (on the ruining furniture tip) and I highly recommend you watch the Ruby show and everyone else watch Dave Chappelle.

LW with nasty bf father texter: When I get dirty texts from unknown numbers (and it happens a lot more than you'd imagine (sike)), I generally text back, "I think you have the wrong number." And the sexting ends. Well, in my case it's mostly, "u want 2 meet up l8r?" and it's clearly intended for someone else. But now you know, I don't see why you wouldn't tell the bf. Because if he decides to dump you over it, he is doing you a favor!

LW with weird biodad: You are a grown-up and he's a freak and no wonder your biomom is not with him. Treat him like radioactive muck — useful for some things, but kind of toxic to be exposed too long to. And DO ask about him to other people.

LW with the shady husband: There is no other reason. Demand to watch him get on FB and let you tool around his profile, etc., with him right there. If he can't be upfront about his online life like that, then it is time to call a private investigator and cadging money out of the joint accounts.

LW who hates "no problem:" Get over it, buddy.

LW who has her own room and so does her husband: Jeebus, I could totally have guessed you were from Seattle. What sort of group living situation forces this sort of future own-room-having? That sounds traumatic!

LW with the immobile MIL: (Let your husband) Tell her the truth. Learn to be an adult who faces challenges and doesn't let them build up. Be amenable to ideas (hers and your own and your husband's) about how to help her with her immobility so she CAN babysit. Perhaps with someone else around?

LW who converted: Don't say anything till you're out of the house, if this is what they're like. Also, don't get caught. Also, if you are, let your parents think it is a phase. Is this satanism perchance you've converted to? I know paganism has a bad rep with certain religious types, but I really hope you're going whole hog in your quest to make your parents angry.

LW with the breast cancer friend: Do it this last time and next time make sure you ask what sort of charges you can expect. You may also want to say that while you have gone pink, bigtime, your friend's energy for the cause is getting in the way of her ability to interact normally and it feels like a shakedown every time you see her. If she is your friend, she needs to know that she's acting outside the bounds of friendship.

LW whose bf has not cut the cords: This is your future, and if you think you can't see it working for you you had best come up with some other plan. Yes, you can talk with him about spending time with you, but he sounds like he's in deep.

LW who has a chubby hubby: I'm sure you're finding out how well shame and disdain work for motivating a person to lose weight with your shrewish comments (ie they don't or the whole of America would be teensy). So cut that out. And ask why his looks are so important to you. And then start communicating with him about committing to a healthy lifestyle and back it up by cooking and taking him out for bike rides and hot yoga classes.

LW with the cheater friend: Well, looky here, you don't want to make assumptions about what was going on in that relationship because 1) it's not yours and 2) it's not so much your beeswax. But 1) no action happens in a relationship vaccuum, this stuff always spirals out and 2) people who are dicks lose friends. Really, what it comes down to is: Do you like him?

LW who thinks "no problem" nazis should just chill: A BIG KISS ON THE CHEEK TO YOU! I like that you overthought this thing and shared.

Friday, October 23, 2009

From My LOLcats

Dir Proody,

My boifrend and I getting married! But he haz an incest with his sister. I think. They talk about teh secks and also play footsy so I think mebbeh they not just be talking about teh secks.

Marriage will mayk it beddur, riyght?

-- No Like 3somes

Dir No,

Well, first u mite haz an incest on ur paws if he is boinking her. Iz he? Becuz we cats are not so suttle in the arts of luv u shud know this. Hopefully they be usin' proteckshun becuz sibling-sibling litters r not so gud! Nao, if ur problem is just that they are rilly close ... as in, he laik to talk to her moar than u ... u are going to hafta decide if that okay or if u hafta be numero uno

Dir Proody,

I haz a picture! It me! From back! All u see iz mah gud bits. It calico laik me, so I am shure peepul will visit, see it and say, "That u? Woo woo woo!" Then I haz to explain! And whut if mah boifrend see it? It painted by old boifrend! Who saw me newd all the tyme! New boifrend will know! Whut I do?

- Pussy in the picture iz me

Dir Pussy in the picture,

Eat lots of catfud. Get verry wyde. Hang up picture. No one think that u nao. Hyde seekret at all cost, obviyusslee.

Or do whut I would — OWN THAT SHIZZ

Dir Proody,

I haz a kitteh! She little. She great. But she haz a kweshchun! About her daddicat! Who is a tomcat and duzzint want to see her, only sends munny (so killing him only dry up the source). I so suprized she be asking about her daddicat I say he dead! Help me recuvver this fumble.

-- Never thought she'd ask

Dir Never,

In ainchent tail, a frog ferries a scorpion across a swollen river. Once across the river, the scorpion, he sting the frog, who with his dying breth ask, "Why?" Scorpion say, "I'm a scorpion, bitch! That is why!"

My point is that some beehayvyoors are prediktable. More preediktable than a scorpion stinging. Laik asking about daddicats.

Tell her the truth. Duh. She cat. She can take it. Onlee thing cats not take is lies.

Dir Proody,

My mother in law is old, so I take her to store! But she eat little byte of cat chow here, little nibble cat chow there. I say, "Leddicat! That is steeling!" But she look laik cat hoo ate a canary. And she no care and tell me to put a sok in it. Whut I do nao?

-- Bad cats bad cats, whatcha gonna doo?

Dir Bad cat,

Mmmm. Canarees. Deelishuss.

Let kops catch her, tayk her to back room and taze her. That will show her old sorry theivin cat ass. Justiss is krewl sometymes. But if she die whyle they taze her, u go to court, get big settlement! Justiss, it is also kind!

Ice cream-crazed office drone needs help!

Since I don't have the adult-content warning, I'm going to have to censor this letter. You wouldn't believe the power-trip I'm on about it, either! ;)

Dear Spacey,

Lately when I'm at work, and not daily, so I can't just pack something with my lunch, I get a strong urge to (have an ice cream cone). I mean REALLY strong. Like, if it weren't for having a smidgen of self-control I would have propositioned my smelly boss, strong. I have no attraction to him at all, but the urge is so strong and his is a somewhat available (ice cream cone), what with being unmarried, so that's why I put him forward as the "I would have propositioned him" person.

There is one guy at the office who doesn't technically work for my company who I wouldn't mind at all propositioning, except I'm pretty sure that there's no interest there on his part, and I wouldn't want the workplace to become awkward. And to be frank, I'm not a fan of dipping my pen in the company ink in the first place.
So the question, do you have any suggestions of items I could keep at my desk to assuage my oral cravings that would also be discreet enough to be UTILIZED at work? I am losing productivity to these urges, and that isn't good.
Any advice you can give would be appreciated!


Loves a good (lick of an ice cream cone

Dear (ice cream) lover,

You raise an interesting philosophical question: Are the smelly people among us actually interested in other people, or do we just assume they might be because our regard for them is so low we can't imagine they'd turn us down. Do you notice your non-colleague's lack of interest because he smells like Unicorn sweat and huckleberries with an undertone of manful musk? Or do you not notice your boss's potential lack of interest because he spreads the Funyuns and Foot funk?

If I were you I would abandon any thought of pursuing the boss, both because it's not worth it to your career and your self-esteem and because, if he's really smelly, that pretty much means he deserves to have (ice cream cone eating) favors withheld until he learns to spend 20 minutes away from the Lord of the Rings fanboards (which is where he's leaving his ice cream, probably hoping for this Hobbit prequel or whatever) in the bathroom acquainting his smelly bits with a bar of soap.

Anyway, that's advice for him. Now for you: Get out of the office. Get some hobbies. Pronto. You need to meet a new pool of dudes whose ice cream would be new to you, and who could share their ice cream without it causing office drama. I believe this week or last was national volunteering week or something. Surely there are a few pamphlets about volunteering left around the office, or old newspapers with press releases about how you can Make A Difference. You may as well use your craving for "ice cream" for good.

Tip: Find out what volunteer organizations have a lot of high school seniors come to them to fill community service requirements. Put on your best leopard print blouse and use the word "cougar" a lot. Or be honorable and ingratiate yourself to the little old ladies who populate every volunteer-run non-profit. They have a burning desire to see people married and will do almost anything to make sure you get hooked up with someone, and then you will have an outlet for your needs on the regular.

Oh, and while you're at work, bring popsicles or gum or Barbies (chew on her delicious, delicious feet once and I dare you not to chew on them again).

Also, keep your own hygiene sparkling and pristine and you will reap the rewards!

Good luck!

Space Cadet

Thursday, October 22, 2009

From My Orbit

As per usual, see original letters <a href="">here.</a>

LW#1: Can you count the red flags with me? "Several times, he's called me by her name." What is the context? In the sack? When he's annoyed with you? Context determines whether this is a red flag or just the fact that you're getting so close to him he confuses you with family at family-style moments (i.e. like how my parents called the dog by my name and my brother's name, or called us by the dog's name on occasions where one of us was being exasperating).

"At the last family dinner, he was playing footsies with her under the table." Okay, I'm going to count this as a red flag. By the time you are old enough to get married, you should cease with the clowning, especially "Deliverance"-style clowning, at the table.

"If I were to bring this up, he'd be upset" Now THIS is a red flag. Actually, this is basically the only red flag, when it comes down to it.

All the creepy footsie and inter-personal knowledge they have of each other are boundaries they have set and are comfortable with (and what exactly is wrong with being married to one's first and only significant other? While it wouldn't have worked for me, it does work for others). What is weird is that apparently he can't talk about this with you.

Why? I assume you're a little judgey when you try to broach the issue. You want to know if he's "normal." But his "sensitivity" is another red flag. Yes, this is uncomfortable ground, but you two are getting married, and a host of uncomfortable realities await you in marriage-land. You think this talk is uncomfortable? What about you living with your uncertainty for the rest of your marriage? What about him resenting your feelings toward his sister? If you really love and trust each other enough to spend the rest of your lives together, this is something you should be able to be honest about with each other.

But what I want to know is why the two of you are getting married if you, for your part, are wondering if there's something incestuous about his relationship and he, for his part, thinks you hate the sister he is so fond of. This seems like a very intimate and negative dynamic to be merging a family with.

If what you're really worried about is that he is closer to her, more able to freely talk with her. than you, then that may be its own problem.

Before you get married, make sure you're on the same page about who comes first to him. It should be you.

LW#2: I guess Prudie has no idea what an "open-style" house is, where all the walls are open to eyeballs. Sheesh.

I am guessing that there is a high enough level of detail to make you a little antsy about "just anyone" seeing this picture. So don't display it. Wait until you live somewhere else, or you don't care anymore. Or just until you can learn to lie about it.

If the picture is really hot, though, there will be a day where you'll be telling people, "That was me many years ago." Seriously. Take the Golden Girls route then.

I don't really understand what you're asking for. Do you want to be told not to be such a prude or that you should go ahead and lie about this painting? Do whatever you want, this is your life.

LW#3: Well, there are developmentally appropriate ways of dealing with this (that do not include lying to your kid) and I'd suggest you'd get in contact with the kinds of resources that will help you learn what they are so you can get out ahead of this situation you've created.

I would suggest talking with a therapist who is used to this sort of thing or heading to the library/book store pronto, too.

Another thing: You knew this day would come. You know there are other questions that will arise in the future. They all have answers that are painful, awful, sad and you have NO idea how, exactly, they will affect your girl. But here's the thing: You have the advantage of foresight. You can start making a plan about how you want to talk to your daughter about this. You can start practicing now, before she puts your back against the wall someday and you say some other untruth (or just plain stupid thing).

I can't help you with what you've already done (though Prudie's advice is sound enough), but I do know that kids not only like the truth, they NEED it, especially from people they trust. They also don't handle things the way you might think they would. The mind of a little kid is a really different place, and we adults tend to forget that. Always be truthful to her. Always, always be willing to answer any questions she has.

Good luck!

LW#4: If this is a new thing, it could be impending dementia. That is something to be paranoid about.

In the meantime, if you REALLY want to be scrupulous, get whatever she gets (candies, grapes) put them in separate bags and pay for it at the register and then say, "We won't be needing these, this is me paying for what my mother ate." That should embarrass both of you pretty bad.

Also, any security guard that will bust an 80-y-o woman would probably not actually arrest her, but give her a shakedown in the back room she'll remember for a while. I suspect she'd be given a pass, though.

You could also tell her that what she does embarrasses you and makes you think she needs to be put in a home.

No, seriously, I wouldn't worry about what your mother is doing. It's freaky, sure, but it's probably easier to freak out about what is probably a symptom instead of the core problem, which is probably neurological and not moral.

But I suppose the kindest advice is to tell you to a) take her to a doctor and b) if she's just becoming a little sneak thief in old age, tell her what my mother told me when I, at a very young age, contemplated eating a Brach's caramel: "How much money is your integrity worth? Five cents?" (Little did she know she was setting me up to do an integrity cost benefit comparison in the future because I was a bit literal-minded, but really, is your integrity worth the price of grapes and candy?)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This is just a reminder, the alien gives it away for free. What? Advice, silly!

Send your queries to frommyorbit(at), and I will guarantee
you anonymity if not a) the response you were looking for, b) the
perfect solution or c) the ability to really straighten out your life.

I promise to neither be as opaque as Cary Tennis nor as old-fashioned
as Dear Abby. But it helps if you have a clear question to ask and
remember that carriage returns, proper use of capitals and spell check
are your friends.

Bonus: I'm more likely to answer you than Carolyn Hax on her Friday chat.

Monday, October 19, 2009

From My LOLcats

Dir Proody,

A seekret luvver, I had one. A professor. Nowun knew our seekret luv, which occured in classrooms, broom closets, sleazy motel rooms and behynd dumpsters. All my frends kno is I had a "romantic attachment." They not kno it a deeldoh 4 pegging him all nyte long in backseat of his '82 Volvo while I spank heem wif the leather-elbowed sleeves of his corduroy jacket!

Whut I meen to sai by all this is: He wuz kinda mai only luvvah in college. So I can't rilly cop to the experience. In order to protect the guilty, I have been marketing maiself as pretty innosent. So to the surprise of my current boifren, whyle having a purely theorettical talk about wais we mite give each other pleasure, I mention the Christina Ricci. "Whut kind of slutticat r u? Myte u have had *gasp* a luvver in the past?" If I sai it troo, all will be destroyed -- his career, mai fyootcher, everything!

Whut I do nao?

-- Drama in the morning, drama in the evening, drama at suppertime

Dir Drama,

I think u haf to break up wif ur boifren so the next guy won't be so suspishuss of ur wyld and crazy sex lyfe. Are u not bored pretending to be innocent?

Also, wai u can't sai u had a luvver? U kontemplate spending lyfe wif a boifren, whut else u want to hide from heem?

Besides, u out of college, should haf had about three litters by nao if u r not spayed, rite?

Dir Proody,

My kitteh call mai mommicat in law "nana." Mai brother in law haz a kitteh, calls mommicat in law "grandma" and this other, unconnected to me mommicat in law "nana." He sai if mai kitteh call nana nana, hiz kitteh be comfyoozed.

My kwetchin is, do I kill heem for being a pinhed, or this other mommicat in law so there can be only wun nana?

-- Daddicat

Look, if both of them go bye-bye I don't think anywun will feel the pain. Myte be awkward to explain to wyfe, but if u mayk shur she on phone with bruther about this ishue u mai end up having a getaway driver.

Dir Proody,

My boifren iz in a good college. Hiz bruther is looking at good colleges. But his new stepcat is telling hiz daddicat, "Wai we pay so much of ur monee for elaborate edjookayshun when we could spend it on me and mai needs for rhinestone collars, fancy feast and squeaky tois?" Boifren wants me to say something.

Whut I do?

-- Not even reelayted

Dir Reelayted,

Don't tuch this mess with a ten-foot aardvark. Stay sivvil, but it up to ur boifren to talk to daddicat about his inkredibbly plezent new wyfe and hao she will dryve his kidz awai from him and probably drayne his pokkets. Or he could do battle wif her.

Dir Proody,

Long storee short: Wedding.

-- Fleeced

Dir Fleeced,

Get in line. Sine mai petition, "For the abolishment of wedding seramonies and the establishment of mandatory elopings. All partees forbiddun, too."

From My LOLcats


Spayss Kadett, U needs to nock off dis all-caps krap. - Proody.

Dir Proody,

Let me prefass dis letter wif a bald fakt: I be havin' a hyooge ding dong. It mai burden, it mai kwaiyet pride. Mai wifeycat, she laik mai ding dong, which is the size and shape of a prickly pear. So she be tellin' all her leddifrens all the tyme about the hyoogeness of mai amayzing ding dong. I ask, "I can haz privacy?" But she say all must kno of amayzing plezhure power I possess. Embarassment, I gots it. Hao I tell hir to stop with the overshare so she ackchually stop?

-- Catsanova, but married

Dir Catsanova,

Ur wyfe, she kno u go outsyde wifout pants, ryte? U r cat. Well, anywai, whut u do is when she start in on hao u have enormuss ding dong, u sai, "Yes. And I will be out on the fence in two more drinks, yowlin' for love. Hint hint." Impress ur wyfe with ur hyooge sense of hyoomer.

Dir Proody,

Mah kitteh won't wear hiz jacket. He fyte laik ninja to no wear it. Hao I win battle over little bebbeh kitteh?

-- Cowed

Dir Cowed,

Yes, the bebbeh kittehs, they are far moar wily than we gives them credit for. Here is a tip: It tayks 2. U or ur wyfe, pick up kitteh by scruff of neck. Kitteh will go limp. Then the other parent put on the jacket.

I think cats in clothes are pretty tackee, tho.

Dir Proody,

Mai daddicat alwais so good to me, buying me things. I ask, "I can haz cheeseburger?" He get me cheeseburger. Naice one, too, with BACON! I ask, "I can haz college education?" He get me naice one of those, too!

But nao he broke from buyin' all those cheeseburgers. Mommicat tell me and it a big seekret. I young but doing okai. I give him and mom money nao? Hao I do this wifout him knoing?

-- dutiful kitteh

Dir Dutiful,

U need to be tellin ur mommicat that there are some seekrets u no keep. This wun of those seekrets. He need help, need a headshrinking cat. Need a plan of ackshun. Need love and support. But not need monee till he get some inishul help.

Dir Proody,

I break up wif boifren the other day! We so wrong together. But I want to be frends wif his mommicat. She wai moar awesome than him. Is this kewl?

-- Laik hiz mom

Dir Laik,

It not wrong to fall under sway of a Cougar in a lezbionic wai. It all good. Might maik for weerd family sichuashuns, if she's into u.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I have email in the rocket

It is

I will read it all, whether kind or mean, advice-seeking or pedantic grammar advice-laden. Why? I am a fast reader, an observer of humankind, and also something of an attention-seeker.

From My Orbit Oct. 15

Original letters can be found here.

LW#1: Okay, not that it's any of your boyfriend's business whether or not you've had "another partner," but if you said you had, but not who, would your boyfriend care and why? Did you market yourself as a virgin to him? Because other than that (and potential STDs), the romance you had is your own business.

If you think, after a year of dating, that telling your boyfriend you had a sexual relationship with a man who is now your current grad school adviser, that your bf would get him into trouble, then maybe this bf isn't all he is cracked up to be. I will also add that this prof is probably not all he is cracked up to be, either. He shouldn't have slept with you as a student, and he knows being your adviser is pretty sketchy to boot.

LW#2: I thought the grandma's nickname was of the grandmother's choosing. Make "My Nana! My Grandma!" pick a side. Maybe she'll be granny. Or Mee-maw, if you're southern.

In the meantime, your brother sounds like a moron. If you think he's upset over his kid being confused by nana v grandma, do some Piaget-style experiments where you have two different glasses with the same amount of liquid in them. The glass that is taller and thinner will always appear to have more to this kid, even if you pour liquid from the smaller glass into the taller glass. I did this trick with a 3-y-o cousin one time and my uncle about climbed the walls trying to make her see that there was the same amount of milk in each glass. But it was something she just could not see at all because that is how a kid's brain works. Good times. I think she's a National Merit Finalist or something this year, so you know they grow out of this stuff.

LW#3: The stepmother sounds gross, and if I were in your shoes I'd keep my mouth shut about her and have the bf do the same. Trust, there are probably already arguments in the house between her, the brother and the father about how much money is going to be spent on the brother's education and how on the hook daddy is for his other two kids. Instead, be someone who encourages the little brother to do whatever is right for him.

People like the stepmother, who may not have revealed her whole self to her husband, considering the suddenness of their nuptials, will eventually out themselves as selfish pain in the asses. Her bitching about money will surely not end here. The father will then have a choice: Does he want to become part of that selfish, me-first attitude and they can be a miserable, icky couple together? Or will it bother him enough to ditch her?

LW#4: Jesus. They made a buck off a bachelorette party? 60 of them per person? What kind of sociopaths are they?

I suppose if you want to call them and say, "Hey, people are talking, and I suggest you either provide itemized reciepts or the cash everyone feels they deserve back," you can. After all, you live out of town, you don't really know them or have to deal with them. Just saying, "people are talking" has a kind of electrifying effect on the conscience.

Even if you can't get your $60 back, these women will have to deal with being known in their own circle as greedy little orcs for the rest of time (and when word gets back to the bride, as it will, they will be the ones who put the tarnish on her wedding). And that seems to be a special kind of punishment not worth the takings, doesn't it?

Also, this seems like it could be a really good episode of Judge Judy. Think about it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hello Earthlings

So I've managed to flag my own blog as having objectionable content. That surely must be the result of my spacecomputer's strained compatibility with this playground you call the interwebz.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a xenopologist from a distant star system, sent by my home world's scientific community to do a lengthy observational study of your ways. The idea at the time was to better understand what your species had to offer ours, what resources you could bring to bear on my home planet's thirst for knowledge and wisdom.

After years of unceasing surveying, studying, interaction (in disguise of course) and listening, I have come to the conclusion that humans *need* more help than they can offer. And while I am but one representative of a planet that strives for compassion, peace and truth, I believe I can offer you some guidance, should you be in need and not afraid to ask.

Fear not, I am not from a race like the Vulcans, or a robot. My people have emotions, and we very much take them into account in our wisdom-sharing. Logic is not always our highest value; the absurd is certainly appreciated!

In the meantime, I will probably be answering letters sent to other, less-green-skinned advice offerers.

Oh, yes, there is something your people have to offer the universe. I can't believe I nearly forgot: LOLcats. I like them so much I occasionally cast human situations in their voices.

If you like what I have to say (or not) please let me know in the comments! I do this because of YOU. And my absurd love of getting comments. Really, it gets kind of lonely up in the rocket.

From My WHAT?

Yeah, I'm doing this. The Fraypocolypse purge forced me. Well, not really since I don't cuss so much. It's a choice.