cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
Note: I changed the subject line a little to make it less pejorative. I'm also kind of stuck on the trigger warning, so I'm just going to call it a general clusterfuck and point to the subject line.

Points to subject line )
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
Q. Stolen kitchen dreams: I’ve always loved cooking and design, so when I told my best friend about my dream stove, she must have known I really had a special place in my heart for it. Imagine my surprise when I found out SHE had bought my dream stove before I could save up for it! Needless to say, I felt incredibly betrayed. I’ve basically been giving her the silent treatment for the better part of a year. To make matters worse, she acts like she has no idea why I’m so mad at her! My anger and hurt have gotten so bad that our friends called a meeting for us to talk it out, but I don’t want to hear anything from her unless it’s an apology. What should I do?

A: I don’t often find myself wishing that a letter were fake, but I sure hope you’re just some bored internet denizen inventing dramatic stove-related scenarios to entertain yourself. I’m not surprised your friend has no idea why you’ve grown so cold and distant. If one of my best friends suddenly gave me the silent treatment for almost an entire year, the type of stove I had recently purchased would not even make the top 100 possible reasons why. It would fall below “She has been possessed by the evil spirit Aku from Cartoon Network’s Samurai Jack” in terms of plausibility.

Your friend has purchased a stove. That is the only thing that has happened in this story. She has not deprived you of your ability to purchase an identical stove in the future. She has not taken the stove that is currently in your kitchen out of your home. You are still able to cook and design things to your heart’s content and have not been harmed in any way. This is straight-up Dr. Zoidberg “this is bad and you should feel bad” territory. You are being extremely unkind for extremely silly reasons and should immediately apologize and amend your behavior. If she forgives you, count yourself extremely lucky.
rosefox: a stethoscope on a manuscript (story hospital)
[personal profile] rosefox
[personal profile] cereta graciously gave me permission to briefly and tastefully promote my writing advice blog here. It's called Story Hospital and the posts are usually much too long to share here in full as the community rules require. :)

Today I have a guest post up that was written by two autistic writers, Corey Alexander and Rose Lemberg, in response to the question "Can I be a good writer if I'm autistic?" (Spoiler: the answer is YES.) I hope you will take a look at the blog and especially at that post, and share them with anyone you know who might benefit from them. If you enjoy the blog you can follow it right here on DW at [syndicated profile] story_hospital_feed.
eleanorjane: The one, the only, Harley Quinn. (Default)
[personal profile] eleanorjane
(From here.)

DEAR CAROLYN: My 11-year-old daughter is going through a phase right now of extreme, black-and-white thinking. Right is right and wrong is wrong. This is challenging sometimes.

My mother-in-law loves to host but it’s pretty obvious she buys entire meals pre-packaged from a grocery store chain and passes them off as hers. The adults just pretend we don’t know.

Earlier this week my sister-in-law brought this up in a joking way and she, my husband, and I had a laugh about it. Well, my daughter heard this and confronted us about Grandma’s cooking. We tried to explain to her that it’s a kindness not to say, “You didn’t take the garbage out so I saw the takeout containers.” My daughter replied with, “So when you told Grandma her potatoes tasted good, it was a lie?”

She is right, really. We all sort of lie, and so does Grandma.

My daughter told us in no uncertain terms that she will not pretend that Grandma cooked the meal. She is also rather frosty toward us for our willing participation in this, her word, charade, and asked, “What else has Grandma been lying about?”

My husband thinks we should just let this play out, and that our daughter will not be able to look her grandmother in the eye and actually say this stuff. I am almost positive our daughter will say this stuff, and maybe we should warn his mother. Any advice?

We All Sort of Lie

DEAR WE ALL SORT OF LIE: Off the record, please don’t correct your future journalist/scientist/prosecutor too successfully.

On the record, the most important thing here is your daughter’s socialization. You can accomplish that whether you warn Grandma or not — because the consequences of not warning her just aren’t that dire, and because your mission is unchanged regardless. Your daughter has forced you to defend beliefs you probably haven’t examined for a long time, if ever, as kids do so mind-blowingly well.

So find a way to justify your approach to honesty that withstands scrutiny … or admit your daughter is right. “It’s a kindness” is fine as far as it goes, but where specifically are the lines between cruelty and kindness, and kindness and deceit?

Whether you tip off Grandma or let her startled face be part of your daughter’s education, the next dinner will be instructive for your daughter.

So, yeah, I’m giving you nothing. Tell us how it went!
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
Dear Carolyn,

I am at my wits' end with family drama. I will spare you the very long and ugly details and start with the most recent heartache.

My husband's daughter from a previous marriage invited our son and his wife and 2-year-old to spend the weekend with them since they were going to be in town for a wedding. His wife accepted. My husband has been estranged from this daughter for over two years. She lives down the street from my husband and me.

When my son and his family arrived, they went to lunch with my husband and stayed through the evening with us. It was a lovely time. Our little granddaughter even went into "her room" and told her dad she wanted to sleep in her bed. It was cruel to see her cry when she had to leave and go to my stepdaughter's house.

My husband is furious. His feelings are crushed and he is angry they would subject her to such nonsense. My husband feels they have been disloyal to him by staying with his estranged daughter.

I have expressed to my son how I felt about his staying with his half-sister. Not because of her so much as how wrong it feels to me to not stay with us. After we are dead and gone, he will have time to stay with his half-sister.

My first thought was to leave town before they got here so I could avoid the whole ordeal. Now, my husband and I have hurt feelings, plenty of tears to go around, and lost sleep over this.

Heartbreak seems to follow wherever my stepdaughter is concerned. I don't want to alienate my daughter-in-law because she will cut my granddaughter out of my life. How can I manage to keep the peace and not "betray" my husband in the process?

-- C.

Your argument, recapped: It's your stepdaughter's fault that she wants to spend time with her brother. Except the part that's your daughter-in-law's fault for saying yes.

Maybe you won't like it in those words, but that's what you're saying -- and it's impressive that you're able to present this without attributing any drama to the man who was "crushed" and "angry" and suffering "tears ... and lost sleep" at the "ordeal" of witnessing the "cruel" and "disloyal" "nonsense" of a child "subject[ed] to" ...

[theatrical pause]

A planned visit to her aunt's house.

After spending an entire day with you two.

Drama, thy name is Grandpa.

I can understand your powerful incentive not to see this; even thinking it opens you to accusations of betrayal from your wounded husband, no doubt. And more tears and sleepless nights and garment-rending and whatever other tactics he uses to keep you emotionally at his service.

But the longer you remain faithful spokesbot for your husband -- or for Stockholm Syndrome -- and declare with a straight face that your son can't sleep at his sister's house until you're dead! (you really said that!), the more soul-rebuilding you'll need when you see the view I've got from here: that you've been devoured by your husband's narcissistic fantasy world.

Even if I'm way off, your family dynamic is still way off. Please find a well-recommended family therapist and go. Just you. Unspool those "very long and ugly details."
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I've been dating a guy for two years. He has his late mom's wedding rings. He always said he would use them if he ever proposed to anyone.

Well, he proposed to me last week. Last night he informed me that he had let his ex-girlfriend of 10 years wear the rings because she loved jewelry. It made me sick to my stomach, and made his proposal not mean anything to me.

I told him it would be like me giving him my ex-husband's wedding band to wear. He doesn't understand because he didn't use them to propose to her, but to me that's beside the point. They were on her hand. [Emphasis in the original.]

I told him he should have given me the option of wearing the rings or having him buy my own set. He thinks I'm just supposed to be OK with this. Am I out of line feeling the way I do? -- TARNISHED IN TENNESSEE

DEAR TARNISHED: I don't think so. To say this "guy" lacks sensitivity would be an understatement. Are you sure you actually want to spend the rest of your life with someone so clueless?

When he allowed his former girlfriend to wear his mother's wedding rings "because she loved jewelry" rather than because they were planning to marry, the symbolism of bestowing them vaporized. If you do plan to go through with it, "suggest" he buy you ones or use the stones from his mother's rings in a different setting for a ring you will enjoy wearing rather than feeling like Secondhand Rose (third-hand, actually).
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: The husbands of both my two daughters asked for my blessing prior to asking my girls to marry them. I felt what they did was respectful and it was very much appreciated. My wife felt the same way when I relayed the good news to her.

I believe this courtesy replaced what in the "olden days" was a request for permission from the father rather than a blessing and, in my opinion, is more appropriate. If I am correct in my assumption that "permission" has evolved to "blessing," I wonder if it would have been more appropriate for them to have asked my wife and me together for our blessing. Your thoughts? -- PROUD PAPA

DEAR PROUD PAPA: Men asked permission of fathers to marry their daughters in "olden days" because the daughters were considered property. They could not marry without their father's consent. Thankfully, those customs are long gone -- in western society, at least. Please stop second-guessing your sons-in-law, who both seem like gems to me. Many couples today forgo the courtesy altogether.
minoanmiss: Minoan lady watching the Thera eruption (Lady and Eruption)
[personal profile] minoanmiss
This is the one which sent me on today's Advice Column Adventure. Another doozy. Abortion in this country, good grief. Read more... )
minoanmiss: Naked young fisherman with his catch (Minoan Fisherman)
[personal profile] minoanmiss
Here's the That Bad Advice take on this, but with a link to the original as well.

“Our neighbor, ‘Harvey,’ is a homosexual and frequently has various men stay at his house overnight — sometimes more than one at a time.

Here’s the problem: We have an 11-year-old son, and though Harvey is nice to him and a good neighbor to us, should we keep our son from any association with Harvey? My husband doesn’t seem to think there’s any problem, but one can never be too safe when it comes to protecting your children.”

—From “Sleepless in Seattle” via “Annie’s Mailbox,” Creators.com, 25 April 2017


Dear Sleepless in Seattle,

You cannot be too careful when the homosexuals are so close at hand. One never knows when a little errant gay is going to hop over the fence and lodge itself in the heart of your pure, heterosexual flowerbed. There is only one reason a gay man might have people staying overnight in his home, and it’s elaborate sex parties filled with promiscuous raunchery, a behavior unique to gay people and in which straight people have never engaged, and even if they did engage in such behavior, which they would never do, it is completely fine because straight people never do creepy things.

You say that Harvey is a kind man and a good neighbor who has given you no reason whatsoever to question his character or intentions with your son, but it’s probably an elaborate cover for his plot to do a whole load of gay stuff in the front yard the next time your son is taking out the trash, because gay. Banning your son from any interaction with Harvey will ensure that he remains blissfully unaware that gay people exist and will have the added bonus of in no way piquing your child’s curiosity as to why he is suddenly forbidden from making eye contact with that guy mowing his lawn. Teaching your son to shun and fear one particular gay dude is a thoughtful plan that is guaranteed to keep him safe from harm for the rest of his life.
minoanmiss: A detail of the Ladies in Blue fresco (Lady in Blue)
[personal profile] minoanmiss
This one is a doozy. I'm putting it behind a cut. Read more... )
minoanmiss: Theran girl gathering saffron (Saffron-Gatherer)
[personal profile] minoanmiss
My mother recently remarried, and her new husband has a young daughter. My stepsister spends most of her time with her mother, but she spends some weekends and holidays with her dad and my mom. My mother was a decent parent (I’m 22), but she has always been self-involved and insensitive. Whenever I spend time with her and my stepsister, I notice my mom acting in ways that were hurtful to me as a child. I feel I have some responsibility to protect this kid, but when I broach the topic, my mother gets very upset. Should I back off and commiserate with my stepsister when she’s old enough? Or is there a way to talk about this to my mom that will let me help the child in a more immediate way? Name Withheld


Have you made it clear that what you are saying is based in your own experience? If you’ve already done so and she hasn’t changed her behavior, I’m not sure it’s worth insisting. Take consolation in the fact that your stepsister spends less time with your mother than you did (and has her own mother as well), and that you’ll be around to talk it through with her later.
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I'm starting to worry about my boyfriend's relationship with his mother. He's deploying at the end of the month. We have been friends for a long time and dating for a year. He's 31 and lives with his parents. We had just gotten a place together prior to finding out about his deployment.

The problem is, his mother comes over constantly, and she waits on him hand and foot. She tags along to his sporting events and cheers him on as if he's a 6-year-old. If he's hungry, she rushes to fix his food and brings him lunch while he's working. She makes all of his doctors' appointments for him and is on his bank account. She also texts me to find out where he is if he has been out of touch for a few hours.

She has taken a lot of time off work to spend with him. I hardly see him alone anymore because he's constantly with her. At the beginning of his deployment, he will be in Texas for a month. During that time he will get a week off. He told his mom the dates of his time off prior to telling me, and she booked a flight for the entire time! This means I will have no alone time with him or time to say a private goodbye.

I love him very much, but this whole mom thing has got me second-guessing everything. Abby, is this normal? -- COMING IN SECOND

DEAR COMING IN SECOND: No, it's not normal. It appears that when your boyfriend was born, the umbilical cord, instead of being severed, remained securely in place.

I hope you realize that if you should marry him at some point, you will be getting a husband who never learned independence, and you will be expected to take up exactly where his mother left off. Your problem is not that you are "coming in second," honey, it's that he appears to be already married -- to Mom!

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