Tuesday, December 29, 2009

LOLcat I forgotted

Dir Proody,

For Catsmas, I raps mah presents in tricky wais. Now I haz created the ultimate rapping: A metal box soddered shut. Inside iz catnip. For mai motherinlawcat to be. She hatez me. Mai girlfren sai: "I no think this a gud idea, espeshully becuz she hatez u." But I think this ultimate hilaritee. Whut sai u?

Heh heh heh

Dir Heh,

Look, u obveeussly hatez her, too, so wai u not kill her? For that matter, wai she not kill u by nao?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

From My LOLcats

Proody cat think she may owe u guyz sum moar LOLcat fun frum the past. Proody cat will get rite on it when she feel gud and reddy, 'kay?

Dir Proody,

Mai sister, I buy her gifts! She come visit all teh wai frum teh country! We haz amazing Catmas! But nao she sai she want me tu send her gifs to her by teh mailman so she no haz to carry them in her carrier. I think, 'Christ on a cracker, u du this urself!' Am I bad for that?

Big sistercat


No. U r not.

Dir Proody,

I iz in luv! We dayt sereeuss for a month nao! But she get a gif from a tomcat who I know is married! She sai, 'Oh, it okay, he gif lot of munnay to church.' But I sai, 'U no church, u gif those gifs to poor kittehs!' But she be wearin' the fancy catspray he gifs her teh next week! Whut I do nao?

Whut with this church talk?

Dir Churchtalk,

I do not understand how the church is relevant to ur interests here. But please explain, why u so toar up about those gifs? They are not the ones boinking ur girlycat. That would be Mr. Churchypants. I suggest u either ask girlycat to be ur wun an ownly but for reelzies, or u find a girlycat u not be telling to gif away catspray becuz she mayk u so jealous.

Dir Proody,

I be marryin' a wunnerful girlycat! But her aunt and uncle, they no be likin' public healthcare so much they send a tackee Christmas card saying "We No Like Public Healthcare." Nao I never want to talk to them. That so bad?

They're opinionated

Dear Opinionated,

Be that as it may, u realize they is being jackasses. Why u be jackass 2? Don't u got jackass cats in ur family? U may only ignore girlycat's jackass relatives if u kill ur own, just so there not be a dubble standard.

Merry Catsmas everybody! Don't eat the poinsettias! They can be toxic!

From My Orbit

OMG it's been so long! I will try to never be away from you all that long again! Okay! Here we go!

As usual, read it all here first.

LW#1: Sister wants YOU to take time out and pay to ship her gifts? I see why you are upset. No need to pile on the "we are professionals" here, just when your sister says something patently crazy, call her out with a laugh and a "that's crazytalk." If she repeats herself, say, "Look, the post office? We'll give you a ride there on Dec. 26." Yes, they were open.

Telling her that you're willing to share the inconvenience that way is about as good as you can do, and that she's awfully demanding, isn't she?

LW#2: Well, you only started seriously dating her a month ago. Look, is this the kind of person you want to be with? And moreover, is this the kind of person you want to be? Suspicious, jealous and trying to make her give up gifts that are just lotion and perfume (hey, the fact that he knows what she likes probably means bupkis, if that means anything to you. These are superbasic gifts for chicks). Sure, she's kind of weird about these gifts, and that means, I think, more than the whole tension you're creating around them in and of themselves.

I don't get what all her church talk or "he's married" talk is about, but let's face it, you've been in this thing a month and already you sense she has checked out. Nothing at all you can do about that, dude.

LW#3: So they breached etiquette, that's what a-holes do.

Now you are both totally aware that they are big a-holes. I don't see why you need to go all crazy doubling down on the number of a-holes in the family by refusing to see them for Christmas.

Besides, these are an aunt and uncle, fairly peripheral to the people you will be seeing. And EVERYBODY has an a-hole relative they don't want to see. Just ask around the Fray.

Your best bet is to shrug your shoulders, realize that you cannot control nor reform these a-holes, and move along in your own lives with as much dignity and grace as you personally can muster and not take things so personal.

LW#4: She hates you out loud, and you act your hatred of her out passive-aggresive style. Great.

I mean, as long as you realize that what you are doing is an act of malicious spite, as long as you realize that what you are doing will do nothing to thaw out your frosty relationship with this woman and do everything to make it colder. As long as you realize that your special someone is going to have to be the filter for this negative two way hatred, a position I'm sure she'll just freaking love, then go ahead, put your feelings in that locked metal box.

I mean, don't feel obligated to be the better person just because you want to show your honey that you aren't going to let her mother hate you for foolish reasons only, and not any actual behavior on your part.


I doubt you'd call this wrapping a "masterpiece" if you hadn't heard some cartoon villain use it before.

Besides, she isn't in on the longstanding years of prank wrapping.

Give people a break. They may give you one in return, awesome rich prankster dude.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

From My Orbit

As usual, read the letters here

LW#1: Oh for the love of Pete. Nothing says helicopter parent like "we're not diapering widdle baby because we read a book on how great it is not to!" I mean seriously, you have to be there all. the. time. Plus, the "most places in the world" that don't "do this" also have insane disease transmission rates, unhealthy streets and dirt floors.

Seriously, dude, I have been there. I have seen the diaper-free babies. They are not diaper-free by mom's choice. Look, I'm going to get to praising you in a minute, but I have to take a pause here to berate you a bit. Okay, back to rant:  In fact, the women have a lot less choice in a lot more things than you think, so stop fooling yourself that they're so in touch with their babies and their peeing and pooping out of something that is anything other than dire necessity.

I mean, organic reusable cotton didies won't do it for you?

But okay, praise time: You are really researching for your twins, and you're doing some very nice things for the planet by trying to go low-impact here. You are to be commended. Also, I appreciate parents who are going to make their kids learn to go diaper-free post haste, because it is good for the planet and teaches personal control and how many more anal-expulsive folks does this world need?

Oh yeah, you ever heard of something called a "baby shower registry?" Use one. Load it up so there are organic options for every budget. I mean, go nuts. People will think you're greedy, not that you are trying to save the planet. Or, worse, that you're an ingrate when they buy you bottles loaded with phthlates and you shriek in horror and pick them up with tongs and put them in the trash. You may also want to consider naming a charity (perhaps one that helps women in non-diapering countries have access to choices about their and their family's economic future) people can donate to in the babies' names.

But really, consider the reusable diaper. They not only will save any nice carpet or Pergo floors you may have (not to mention your sanity), they will probably help you in this huge adjustment you're making bringing these two bundles of joy into your lives.

I'm just saying, there is being a good citizen of the Earth, and there is realizing when you need to give yourself (and your sweet diddumses!) a break.

Oh, and please do not do the non-vaccination foolishness.

That's all.

LW#2: Your aunt did WHAT???

That is shameless, and I reckon there is not much more that you can do other than to confront her and ask her to be straight with you now. And if someone lets you know they gave money to her, you might want to tell them the truth, because it isn't fair to that person to lie to them.

While talking bad behind her back might make you feel good and might give you a little vindication, (because I am not going to say you need to continue the lie to anyone else that she has perpetrated) don't let anger and bitterness get the better of you.

Sometimes we pay a price to find out what kind of people other people are, literally.

LW#3: You'll feel uncomfortable? Huh. Imagine how the wife will feel.

You have been sucked into this man's personal drama, and you basically let it happen. When a jerk tells you: "I told her you were going so you have to know or she'll know!" those are about bad consequences happening to *him,* not her. So you are supposed to say: "Well, let her know." or just, "You'll have to tell her I had a migraine and couldn't go." I mean, reach down deep inside for some strength or something!

But since you couldn't dig then, you'll have to freaking excavate now. I mean it, get out the emotional backhoe until you find a little seam of internal iron, and tell him (face, phone, email) that you don't appreciate being his alibi and he can't rely on you to keep the truth from his wife is she asks about any lies he has dragged you into. Tell him to get his shizz together and reevaluate his life and marriage, because they are none of your beeswax anyway.

LW#4: Oh great, all the Fraystians are going to go bonkers on this one.

Look, let's take religion, which is totally fraught, out of it. Imagine if your parents were really big fishermen, and they liked to go fishing all the time, and you, you are cool with fishing because it is a family tradition, even if you'd rather not bother on your own. And, although you aren't the most faithful fisher, you find comfort in your family's fishing heritage and skill. But the boyfriend really, really, really does not like fishing and in fact disagrees with it so much as to say he doesn't want to get on your folk's boat at 5 a.m. because he'll get seasick. You tell him, geez, it's just a lake, man, you don't even have to hold a pole. And he's all, no way, I am so not in.

The thing is, we all have to do things for family's sake that we normally wouldn't choose to do and certainly don't want to do. He should be mature enough to know this, and to indulge you and your parents. Sounds like he's not. (People, going to church is not the same as torturing small animals, unless it's one of those places with speaking in tongues, and then that can be amusing and anthropological to boot!)

On the other hand, if you're concerned about your parents finding out he's an atheist because he won't go to church instead of finding out he's a boor who won't just do the bare minimum to fit in a family, you need to reconsider your own maturity levels. Growin' up, it's not about covering up who you and others are for the 'rents' sakes.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Remember, the other advice columnists have too many freaks writing to them to address your issue. Me? I hardly have any! What I'm saying is, if you want some entertainment-purposes only advice, you can send it to frommyorbit at gmail.com.

I know you have some Holiday Drama, please! Do share it with the smart and sophisticated readers of From My Orbit! I will keep you completely anonymous.

Monday, December 14, 2009

FMO: Short takes

As usual, originals here.

Note: Prudie is Jewish but celebrated the secular Christmas. Nice to know. I'm christian and have celebrated the religious Hanukkah and Passover before, because there are not a lot of members of the Tribe in space, and those who are here take what aliens they can to participate.

My dog is dying and MIL says kennel him: Do what you need to do. If you are looking at anyone else to give you the permission to do what you feel is best (stay home) that's insane. I know you don't want to disappoint anyone, but c'mon, this is like your kid here, am I right?

Paper carrier crassness: I guess he couldn't tell you were a Scrooge when he asked for a tip. Jesus H., just tip the poor bastard. I can't think of a worse job than being a paper carrier — 7 days a week, hours begin at something like 5 a.m. or earlier, the pay absolutely sucks, you have to do it in all sorts of weather. These days a lot of paper carriers are grown ups, often with developmental disabilities (like my paper guy), and their earning potential is way limited. You have a nice brick house? Spread it around a little.

Surprise! Xmas at your house: This is where you (and your man) learn to say "No" and stick to it with your husband's family. They're coming anyway? Quick! To the minivan for an impromptu look at neighbor Christmas lights!

What to get my dad with the evil wife?: A gift card? A gift certificate at a restaurant? I mean, maybe enclose these in a card that says something like, "This is the gift you get when you marry a psychobitch. Wish I knew you better, but oh well it was your call and you just played through like you didn't notice lo those many years ago." Does Hallmark have a line like that?

Cinderelly: Why can't he at least stay over to wake up before you to do the dishes? He sounds like a crumb and you should have a talk with him about any other promises he can't keep before he starts making them to you.

Cheap ass tipper: What a paper carrier makes is absolutely piddling. You sound like a hard-hearted jerk. The kind who won't let his employee throw another coal on the fire. Enjoy the chains you forged in life after you die.

How to let hubby know I'm knocked up without his parents suspecting when I give him booties and a bib: Retro attitude here, with the "I'm having his baby, what a lovely gift" vibe. Just tell him. Pre-Xmas. This baby is a life-changing event, not a gift.

Why tip someone with a job?: Why are you taking the paper if your man has been out of work three months? Oh right, you're on unemployment and can afford it. I hope you're also not not-tipping when you eat out and "can't afford it." Again, DOES ANYONE HERE KNOW WHAT PAPERBOYS MAKE??? (They may make $10 an hour (not in my orbit), but they work 2-4 hours a day, generally.) And if they are developmentally disabled, as many, many of them are, they may not make more than a very, very low amount or they will be permanently disqualified from getting SSI bennies, which are absolutely critical because they cannot compete in the marketplace for actual jobs. So $20-$50 or so under the table is a huge effing deal to them. Like, HUGE.

"Sit in Santa's Lap, little girl": You can say it makes you uncomfortable, or you can cut a joke about your new entry for your sexual harrassment diary, but whatever you do, make sure you do it. Another option: email them all the website creepysanta.com and say, "This is where we'd be sending the pictures, LOL." LOLNOT also works there.

Cinderelly part duh: He sounds like a zero. A zero who lies. Call him on it, shut him down and see if he values you for more than your central location and hostess and cleaning skills.

Off the dog: Actually, this sounds about right, unless the dog is still having quality of life.

Should I feel Guilty?: Hell no, he should have. I can't believe you're worried about how YOU are perceived when HE is a MOLESTER!!!

Beauty Schooler dating richish dude: I believe Pogue Mahone said it best. The gift of BJs. Seriously, just give him the gift of you and your future together.

He cheated, and everyone knows: Well, this sounds like a recipe for something not tasty. Hopefully everyone will be civil, but it sounds like you two are in a fragile place, and some people can't help but want events to come out how THEY want them to instead of you. And you will not only have to insulate yourself from their possible aggression, but your possible defensiveness/latching on more strongly to Mr. Right. See what I'm saying?

Turkey: Yeah, might as well bring this up. Can't see how any non-jerk would object.

Getting the kids liquored up: It's up to the parents to decide for their kids (though the ones at college may balk, it's not like they should be wanting to get lit around the folks). It's up to you to say, "If I were your dad, I would totally be cool with you having a little champagne."

Cheap tippers unite!: Why is it that tipping discussions bring out everyone? If your delivery person sucks, call their boss at the paper's circulation department before Xmas! Problem solved! Then you may tip happily instead of whine about the crappy job they're doing! And you, Menlo Park, why not just move your frickin car a skoshe instead of getting dirty? No Edison are you!

People and Xmas equals hell: Don't show up, like the woman says. If you need this, you need it. And your husband needs to be at the forefront of your combined resolve.

Photo girl: Oh, that's precious.

After this chat, I will be giving my paper delivery guy a bigger tip than normal. I can afford it, and I'm proud to do it, and now I realize what hard-hearted and clueless (hellO MENLO) people there are out there.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

From My LOLcats

Dir Proody,

Mai ex-boifren who left me when I was preggers wif mai kitteh son, tell that kitteh that there is no such thing as Santa Claws. But mah kitteh, he ask me for konfurmashun. I no want kill holidae magik! But I no want heem not trusstin me, neether. Whu I do nao?


Dir Toyland,

Ur ex-boifren, he sound not so good, laik bad tomcat. All I say is, if u kill heem, u can be tellin' ur kitteh mebbeh there ain't no daddicat neether, and then the loss of the feeling of majical goodnuss is the leest of kitteh's problems.

Dir Proody,

Mai fatcat of a boss is sayin' all us little guys haff to give heem $75 for a prezzunt and we go celebrate Catsmas at big fancy restaurant wif kaviar and kreem. But I is a poor kitteh who can barely buy a teensy bit of catnip for mommicat. Whu I do nao?

Poor widdle shnookums

Dir Widdle,

Ur boss I can get behind. Whai u not try becoming boss? Then all give tribyoot to u. To haff this, it takes skeel and a mercenary spirit. Which u no haff. Until u haz it, u r pwned.

Dir Proody,

I get mai hubbicat a gift, and he no laik! Evry tyme! Whut I get heem nao?


Dir Gifted,

U get him a smack in the fayse, that whut u gift heem.

Dir Proody,

I haz a gay, and I iz happi wif it. Mai mommicat and teh other kittehs in mai litter not laik mah gay so much, tho. They say if I come for Catsmas, I gotta act laik I laik pussy. But pussy? DO NOT WANT. I go there or I juss chill wif mai reel frens, all teh other stray catz?

Fabyooluss cat

Dir Fabyooluss,

U gotta be u. If u got cat class and u gotz cat style, except when u iz at ur mommicat's, stay wif ur stray cat buddiez.

Proodycat owt.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

From My Orbit

As usual, original letters can be found here.

LW#1: Your ex is kind of an a-hole, I will give you that, if your version of events is correct and, totally unprompted by the child, he just decided to take a dump on the fantasy that is Santa Claus.

On the other hand, by age 8, I think it's appropriate for kids to start discovering the boundary of fantasy. That is, at some point, they can't be thinking there are fairies and unicorns and Santa and his merry band of toy-making slaves, er, elves, and flying reindeer. But that's not all! There is the dark side of fantasy! Witches, evil powers, the devil, goblins and demons. Learning that those creatures don't exist, and that mankind basically creates its own hell with no supernatural prompting, is a lesson that is important, sad and at the same time reassuring one.

Think back on your own Santa revelation time. Mine was pathetically late, as I had "heard Santa's deer" on the roof during a period of skepticism/hypothesis testing one Christmas Eve and I was good until about 11 or 12, when finally I had to face the fact that elves did not make Fisher-Price toys, Fisher-Price did. Also, the time I didn't tell my parents I lost a molar and the Tooth Fairy didn't come and I threw a fit at the breakfast table, blubbing and declaring, "YOU LIED TO ME!!!" I was the sort who was not one to let the fantasy go, you know?

The point is, we all put this in context eventually. Usually within a few hours or days. Kids are actually quite resilient, and are better at taking in news than people give them credit for. What they really want to hear is that you will protect them, that they are safe, and that their trust is not completely misplaced. And I'm pretty sure that all of us who had loving parents were able to get over the blow, especially if our parents were sensitive about it and not caustic (like your ex) or mocking.

Also, I suggest that your last q: "What's there to live for when you don't believe in all the things that make a moment special?" Needs to be readjusted. I mean, you hear it all the time: Santa is not the be all and end all of Christmas. It's about family, love, religious faith, seeing light return to the world after a dark period, knowing that the worst is over. There are so many things that make every moment special, and the more your child knows about those things, and values those things over something make-believe and materialistic, the better off he'll be.

Best of luck!

LW#2: Everyone chips in $75 to buy the boss a present? What? Isn't he the one making the bank here?

Honey, I feel your pain. This sounds like a crazy situation. I suggest you find someone more experienced who you consider reasonable at the office and say, "Here is my problem: I live paycheck to paycheck and I can't pony up $75 for the boss. I'm not even ponying up $75 for my own mother. I don't want to be looked at poorly for this, but I am, in fact, kinda poor." I mean, first, get your arms around this thing and see if you're not reading overly-dramatic expectations into it. Because Jeebus, there is a recession on and I can't imagine the boss is really such a dingleberry that this is the kind of thing he expects at such a time, especially knowing his own workers' salaries. (OTOH, he has been accepting this, so that puts him in a messed-up light, too.)

Another recommendation I'll make for you is to read Elizabeth Warren's "All Your Worth." It is a book about budgeting that makes it *real* simple. And I'd tell you to start reading Michelle Singletary's comments on the Washington Post website. She is the "Color of Money" columnist, and although her philosophies are occasionally on the religious side, she has good advice in general. Because it sounds like you need some budgeting help in general.

LW#3: Give him a gift card from here out and he can use it to buy gifts for others. He's obviously got some kind of compulsion that you can't help at all. The only thing you can do is quit giving him meaningful gifts, because it turns his rejection of them into a rejection of you. So stop making your gifts to him about you, like the charity donations Prudie talked about.

Also, maybe you could ask him to research the best couples counselor in town, because obviously there is some chip in his brain he is bypassing and he could use someone professional (of his choice) to help him access it.

LW#4: Your mom sure sounds like some shrink. One wonders about the damage she may have inflicted on her non-straight patients. In fact, the whole drama of avoiding any personal questions to you basically undermines all her claims of competency.

But back to you. I think there is nothing wrong with spending the holidays with people who accept and love you for who you are, and I think there is nothing wrong about putting it this way to your family. It sounds like they are not ones for candor, but it is badly, badly needed in this circumstance.

That said, there is no reason to stir up drama about it. In fact, approach it as a logical conclusion of their rejection of you, say that you, too, wish your relationships could be closer, but you just can't get there because they don't want the truth from you, and until they accept who you are, they'll always be at arms length. Keep it brief, then step aside and let THEM make their own choices.

You are in one sucky position, but let's be honest — you didn't ask to be put there, and the people who did can undo it.

Best of luck.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

From My LOLcats

Dir Proody,

Me an mai hubbicat be rich! We haz cheezburger, I be washin mai bras even when I not wear them, and we haz naice litterbox for which we haz a maid. But our frens, they iz poor! Mai hubbicat tell them we pay them to kleen litterbox, but I sez no, this is krazy talk! Frens do not kleen litterboxes for frens! Too much informashun! Hao I maik them not see mai poop?

Mai shizz, it akshually do stink, but I don't want frens to kno!

Dir Shizz,

If ur frens are cat, tell them they don't need money anywai, all they need is nachural-born witz. If ur frens r hyooman, wai u frens with them? They are SPOSED to be kleenin' ur litterbox. If ur frens are dawgs, they will probally eet ur poo and not change the litter. Just a warning.

Dir Proody,

Mai fren be takin' lunches owt the company fridge. Whut I do nao?


Dir Komfuzzled,

It not wrong for a cat to taik what cat want. It wrong to get caught! I recommend ninjas.

Dir Proody,

Aftur mai cowurkers use the litterbox they no lick their butt. Hao I put up with such nastiness?


Dir Butt,

Sadly, u can no maik anybody lickz their butts, and u can no lickz their butts for them or u be actin laik a dawg. I recommend bringing in a profeshunnel groomer to the office to catstigayte and shave the non-lickerz.

Dir Proody,

Mai brother, he has a schizo. I think this one tyme he kill a hitchhiker we picked up. He in group cat house nao, gettin drugs. I ask heem about this cat and whut he do to heem?

I iz faykin it

Dear Faykin,

I knos u r parrot from kompleat lakz of imaginayshun. I knos u watch a lot of "Dyagnosis Murdur" with ur old ladee keeper from ur sad sorry cage. U kan't plai a plaier, and I am ultimit CAT PLAIER.

Also, ur ISP, I haz it. I haz dispatched invizibul ninja cats to kill u, u fayk LW. I will be eetin ur wings tonite, fried, in a little cheese sauce.

U be watchin' ur back, but itz too layt for u!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Short bits

As usual, read em here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2009/11/30/DI2009113002922.html

I gave him tix and he's taking his brother, not me or the kid: P-dawg, it ain't hockey. It's the nFl. Okay, well, the damage is done. Next time give him something he has to do with you or the kid. Although the b-day thing was kind of harsh, perhaps you should have said, "We'll have such an awesome time for my b-day" for the hint he truly needs.

A parent will not attend: They're both invited, and it is their obligation to quit being so childish and start doing right by their kid. Of course, you can only explain this to a certain degree to them, because either they'll already know and behave appropriately, or they'll never understand why other people come first and they'll continue to be douches. Since we're talking a 15 year plus history of douchiness, let's just imagine that this won't work out and so sonny boy should pick his favorite. Or none.

Vegan: Okay, this is a fake question. Because #1: NOBODY asks the vegan to host a meaty holiday and #2 NOBODY asks an unmarried person to host either. I do not quite know why, but this is the breaks. Just say, "My way or the tur-kay," and they'll find someone to take on the duties. Although I think it'd be neat to experience a vegan holiday or wedding meal, not everyone is as open as I am.

Make Bake Sow or Grow gifts: I can't believe Prudie thinks these are the words being drawn from a hat, not relatives' names. Good morning!!!

I'm working in the break room: Get one of those cardboard things that the talkative kids used to have to have on their desk in class. Remember those? Like a box with one side cut out. Write, "Can't talk, I'm working" on it.

Husband wants to give nephew braces: There are few better things to have than straight teeth, but this should be something his parents deal with. This is what you do when you have a kid.

NFL not NHL: I know, right!

Celiac: Sounds simple, but it leaves Vegan eating a plate of tofurkey and nothing else.

He was married but I broke up with him: Dude, he was so unhappy he was willing to stay that way. What does this "larger estate" have to do with anything? I am confused. Besides, it was a long time ago.

I gave BIL a check: Well, she SHOULD have known as his wife, and he SHOULD have turned you down if he couldn't tell YOUR SISTER about your generosity, not matter what "your reasons" are (compulsive spending/gambling aside). But tell your triflin' family no now. Call them triflin'. You wil feel like Michelle Singletary.

They are so rude they won't eat vegan? Yeah, I know. And yes, I know about tradition. Can we quit worrying about this now? If these people are willing to tear their family apart over veganicity, they'll do it regardless.

Gifting wife demands a (whole) birthday weekend?: Hey, there! If your birthday falls on, say, a Wednesday, do you come home from work then celebrate your b-day and go back to work? OR do you wait until the weekend to do something special? It's not about taking up a whole weekend, duh. It's about planning your night out/hangover responsibly.

Elaborate diplomatic divorce maneuvers: Sheesh, it should be all about the bride. No, really, it SHOULD be after hearing about these demanding divorcees.

No "Bless Yous" here: Bless you does not mean "Jesus Bless You" or "Ganesh Bless You." It is more like, "you poor thing!" So use it freely and easily. I am worried about your exacting standards. Loosen your corset laces.

Mean Girls: Why are you bothering?

No sex, please, I'm chronically ill: This is very confusing to me. You are fine with your life, but are worried that you're upsetting men by rejecting them? Geez, it's none of their beeswax why you wouldn't want to boink them. Prudie, her secret is total lack of desperation, total lack of interest.

PEOPLE GROW UP: I am with you. Preaching to choir.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

From My Orbit

As per usual, original letters here.

LW#1: You ask if it is okay for you to hire your struggling friends to clean your beautiful home. Well, no, it's not a good idea. You were right! You win the argument!

However, the LOLcat is out of the bag because your husband is apparently not savvy about this sort of thing at all, so if the offer is rescinded, you'll both look like jackasses (and he'll probably indicate that the blame is yours, so you look like a biznatch). So now you're kind of stuck, and I guarantee you that if you don't think the regular housecleaner is the bestest in the world, a couple of kids with what you call a deficit of ambition (but likely a whole barrel full of entitlement), will probably not meet your standards either.

So I have a philosophy, and while it's not "friends and money don't mix," it is, "When a friend or family member asks for a loan, consider if you wouldn't mind losing that money with a happy heart before you pony up."

I think you're going to have to cultivate a happy heart for what is to come, though.

But while you're at it, look around for other jobs for them so they can leave off cleaning your house and do something with their time and talents.

LW#2: Sometimes people who are charming and have big, important careers have a kind of a danger-seeking streak. I think sometimes being successful in high-pressure fields almost requires a certain amount of personality disorder. A healthy amount, so to speak. I would reckon your friend has a little bit of the adrenaline rush when she's pilfering lunch, if not in some other fashion through her work (yeah, your honesty alert antennae should be perking up), or possibly a little shoplifting of minor items. The signs only make it more thrilling for her, I bet.

I've also found that people making the "best" salaries to sometimes be completely inconsiderate of other people's property. So I can't say I'm shocked or befuddled.

Obviously, the correct way to address this would have been for the discoverer to have shouted out, "YOU ARE SO BUSTED!" at the moment of discovery. That way this would have bypassed the gossip route and just come out into the open.

You might want to send her an email apprising her that she has been busted and word is getting out. This lets her get out in front of her own personal PR disaster, because let's face it, if she's talented, her career shouldn't evaporate, but her pride should. She needs help before she's after more than baby carrots and yogurt, and you might not advise her this directly, but just state how shocked you were to learn that she was responsible for such petty, malicious acts, and that seems completely out of character to you. Those are kind of buzz words she can use to guide her search for a therapist.

LW#3: Your company must be the very last one in the US that has not installed health department flyers about handwashing, cough covering (with the elbows people!) and general hygeine maneuvers to avoid the plague. I mean, flu.

So go ahead and hit up your local health department and download a couple of these handy flyers, print them out and post them yourself.

If not, encourage your HR people/boss to have a "come to Jesus talk" about handwashing and swine flu and taking time off if you feel sick plus 24 hours of non-NSAID-treated fever. (See? My company is muy on the ball! They even handed out bottles of hand sanitizer!)

If they have already done all this, then rest assured you cannot change the habits of your disgusting pig coworkers without tearing into a bathroom rant ("I AM IN THIS OTHER STALL AND I HEAR YOU NOT WASHING YOUR HANDS, PEGGY SUE! OR "PIGGY SOO-EEY!") that will humiliate everyone and ruin relationships, then just stick to food that is separated by toothpicks at buffets.

Also, whether you like it or not, every single surface is coated with contagion in this world. Most of it is benign. Every inch of your skin holds an estimated 50 million bacteria on it! In fact, fully 10 percent of your body weight is not you, it is bacteria! Millions of viruses float in a single small pitcher of water from any outdoor lake, sea, river, etc.

I just say this to give you some perspective, because you will never be able to get fully liberated from bacteria, just as you will never become fully liberated from coworkers who do not share your sense of urgency about handwashing. You shouldn't let it turn you into a full-stop jerk.

LW#4: This is the best fake letter ever. You hit a trifecta of high points: Abuse, mental illness, hitchhiking. All we need is to stick not doing it for Jesus in there and you would have had the fake LW sweepstakes all wrapped up.


Folks! PSA for you! Virtually no schizophrenics, even in their sickest, delusioniest states, kill or even harm other people! They are of greatest danger to themselves!

So, let's assume you are telling the truth (though you aren't, because that's what I do here). What you do is you go down to the halfway home and ask your brother what really happened to that hitchhiker. Because if there are other people around and he's on the drugs (which tend to make schizophrenics a little something more than spaced out), it's probably a good place and time to ask.

Prudie obviously has no imagination, aside from the thumb-charm. Who's to say he didn't choke out that hitcher at the park and dump him in the river? And yeah, settle down, because if your brother is the sicko you're making him out to be, he would not be able to conceal the body effectively. The crime would have been discovered. Another clue that your letter is 100 percent grade A bullpucky.

But I have to say, I am really pissed at you for this letter. You are exploiting a stereotype for your little thrill. Schizophrenia has touched my life and the lives of people I do and have loved, and a lot of people who read the Dear Prudence column. Those of us who have known schizophrenics or still know them are aware of the difficulty of treating this disease, of the extreme vulnerability our loved ones have, and their families, who suffer immensely, not because of abuse, but because of stigma, of difficulty handling the day to day of a person who is not on medication.

Schizophrenia is a terrible disease. Sure, there are violent schizophrenics, but there are many, many, many more people who are really suffering from the disease and the stigma of schizophrenia. Please, future fake LWs, try not to exploit an already over-exploited group with this sort of nonsense.