Q. Ungrateful at Thanksgiving: I am a single, 52-year-old woman with no children, and most of my family is estranged, so I do not spend holidays with any of them and it has been that way for many, many years (and it is OK). Every year around holiday time, I get an invitation to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner from people who "figure" that I may be alone for the holidays. That is a kind gesture, but I never hear from them for the rest of the year ... ever. I don't want to sound ungrateful, but I am offended and feel like a charity case when I get these invites. If they really cared about me or considered me a friend, wouldn't they want to know how I am the rest of the year? I graciously turn them down, but I always feel that it is more for them than me because people like to feel like they are helping the "needy" and they feel warm a fuzzy this time of year. Am I looking at this wrong?
A: Would you stop being such an ungrateful bitch? Please? I'm repelled from here. Its nobody's job to invite you to anything.
Q. Thanksgiving: Last Thanksgiving, with five days' notice, I whipped together a homemade meal for my husband's extended family--adult siblings, their visiting friends, mother-in-law, etc. At the time, my son was 9 months old, and this involved shuffling my family's schedule and getting up at 4 a.m., but I was happy to do it. The result? They complained about everything while in my house. Some food was too dry, other food was too salted, and why did I serve X side dish instead of Y? Our choice of TV programming was awful, the size of our TV garish, yadda yadda yadda. Lesson learned. And now here it is again, just days before Turkey Day one year later, and suddenly I am being asked if I would host since we are the only siblings with a house large enough. My answer? No. Husband supports me in this. So, are we being rude? The in-laws are acting as though I'm Yoko Ono and just broke up the Beatles.
A: "Sorry, I'm only inviting people over this Thanksgiving who don't suck ass. Maybe next year."
Q. Intelligence and Relationship Future: I'm in a very happy relationship with my girlfriend of about six months. I'm studying in law school right now. I come from a very well-educated family and consider myself to be pretty bright. I've had a really tough time admitting this to myself, but my girlfriend--whom I love very much--is honestly just really simple-minded. On pretty much every other front, she seems perfect to me: We get along really well, we have a great time together almost always, and she has a really laid-back, happy-go-lucky, stable personality. In this sense, she's almost a perfect counterweight to my own neurotic, introspective, and quasi-OCD tendencies.
Friends and family members have expressed their surprise that I'm with someone who seems so different from me in intelligence. My question is, will this difference eventually cause serious problems in our relationship? Am I setting myself (and her) up for some problems later on just by continuing to ignore this intellectual mismatch that exists between us?
A: Hey, sounds like your relationship with your dog--everything is peachy keen except that he's a dipshit. Why don't you do something interesting and marry the dog instead before you fuck off and die?
Q. Sister-in-Law and Her "Friend": We always spend the holidays at my wife's parents' house, which in years past has not really been a big deal, however, one of my wife's sisters recently divorced her husband and moved in with a friend who was also recently divorced. My wife and I are assuming (I know, I know ...) that my SIL and her friend are now a lesbian couple. I have made it very clear that IF that is the case, then I will not attend the holidays, nor will I allow my children to attend. My standpoint is that homosexuality is morally, ethically, and spiritually wrong. My MIL and FIL say that I am overreacting.
A: Trolls are not welcome here.
Q. Help! Advice on Gift-Giving: I am a knitter who is knitting socks for my son's preschool class. I intend to give these socks as Christmas gifts this year. I am keeping them a secret as I would like them to be surprises. The only one who knows is the teacher as I needed her help getting the kids' feet sizes. My question revolves around the note I am going to include with the socks. Of course it will include washing and drying instructions (cold water and low heat); however, I am stumped about how to ask for the socks back if the kids don't like them, so they can be redistributed. Now, I don't really want the socks back for my own son; I would like the socks to go to someone who'd actually wear them. What would you do in this instance?
A: We've had some stupid problems in this column so far but this one takes the crown. It's a gift, and you can't indian give it, and the recipients could use it for their semen socks and you should shut up and be happy.
Your son doesn't like half of those kids. You're wasting your time knitting for them. You might as well do something useful and give a random stranger a blowjob.
Q. Game-Show Winnings: I was lucky enough to become a contestant on a game show and ended up walking away with some money. Now that my family has seen the show, they are bombarding me with requests for money or gifts, saying that I owe them for what was provided for me while I was growing up! Don't get me wrong, I appreciate and love my family. I did not become a millionaire or win enough to really affect my lifestyle. I had planned on trying to take a dent out of my college loans with the money I won. How can I tell my family that they are appreciated without paying them with my winnings?
A: You'll be dead and buried someplace they'll never find you within weeks if you don't spend it all on a bodyguard. Have him deal with it.
Q. Texting During a Movie: I'm sure you get these kinds of questions all the time, but I need your guidance! This past Friday night, I went to see the new Harry Potter movie. The theater was sold out--the majority of the audience arrived at least an hour early to get in line. I ended up seated next to a girl who texted throughout the entire movie. It was awful! The light from her phone and the "click-click-click" of her BlackBerry keys was incredibly distracting. I really wanted to say something to her, but I thought it would be too awkward to have to sit next to her throughout the rest of the movie. Is there any polite way to tell someone they're being impolite?
A: "Bitch, you better cut that shit out before I cut you."
Q. Skeletons in the Closet: I can't believe I am in the position to ask advice about such a drama-filled question, but this is what my life suddenly looks like. Last week a young woman got in touch with me saying that she was my husband's daughter and that she had been trying to have contact with him but that he did not respond. She sent me e-mails that confirmed her story, and I approached my husband about it. He explained that he had signed the birth certificate but that he did not believe that he was the woman's father (based on the timing of the birth) but that he wanted to support his girlfriend at the time. My question is two-fold, I guess. First is: What the hell was my husband thinking not ever telling me about this? How am I supposed to deal with him? Secondly, what is his obligation to this woman? She thinks he is her father (and he has not told her otherwise). I suppose a paternity test would be in order, but to what avail? She also mentioned in her e-mail to me that she was looking for money to help her pay for university. Whew.
A: You're fucked. Fast-track a divorce and take as much of his money as you can before she gets hold of it.
Q. I Feel Bad That I Don't Feel Bad: Recently my grandmother died. I helped my parents go through the preparations for the visitation and the funeral. However, while at the visitation at the funeral home, people kept walking up to me assuming I'm broken up about her death and have been crying. Here's the issue--I'm not sad at all. It's two weeks after her funeral, and I haven't cried once. I sat down after she passed and tried to think of all the happy memories we had together--and I couldn't come up with anything. I felt so disingenuous sitting in her funeral while everyone was crying. She was a fine person, I guess. She made many choices concerning her children (my father) that I wholly disagreed with when I was old enough to understand her decisions. (I'm in my 30s now.) Without airing all of our family's dirty laundry, she stood by her husband as he verbally and physically abused their children. She also said things to my mother and uncles as she grew older that were incredibly hurtful. This sounds terrible--but is it OK not to be sad that she's passed away? I don't have any warm memories to speak of with her.
A: Cunt of a woman dies and you don't care... not seeing the problem here.
Q. Text Messagus Interruptus: With the popularity of cell phones and text messages, I'm sure my problem is not a unique one, but I need to know how others deal with this issue. My husband seems to think it's OK to text his best friend 57 times a day--from the time he wakes up in the morning to the time he crawls into bed every night. He texts good morning before he even says good morning to me, he texts while he's on the toilet, he texts while we're out shopping (Yesterday, we were out shopping for a home improvement project, and he texted his buddy to tell him what we had bought and how much we had paid before we were even out of the store.) I made a comment that no matter where we go, it seems as though "X" is always right there with us. When they're not texting each other via cell phone, they're e-messaging one another online. It's come to the point that whenever his phone signals a new message, I cringe because his attention is immediately drawn away from whatever we're doing or talking about. We've been interrupted while having dinner, driving in the car, walking the dogs, sitting on the sofa, watching a movie, having sex--you name it, and his buddy is right there with us.
A: Your husband is a homosexual.
Q. Destination Weddings: Some advice on how to send regrets without telling a family member she's out of her mind to ask us to travel a long distance at great expense so she can get married at a beach resort out of the country. For a three-day weekend, the cost is prohibitive just for the resort. I ruled it out before even looking at the flight costs. Very few relatives on my side of the family would be able to swing it, her parents included, which makes me wonder if the groom's family is making it possible. If so, good for them, but they didn't offer to help with my expenses. Since they requested no gifts because they know destination weddings can be a burden, but did provide links to a couple registries because some family members "insisted," I'll probably make a donation to a charity in their honor instead. (I know what charity the bride would prefer as her brother is a cancer survivor.) The bride and groom are saving on one thing; they're staying at the resort for their honeymoon so at least they won't have to travel twice. The rest of us are asked to spend well over $1,000 a couple for three days at a resort I'd never go to on vacation. Stuff like this just makes me all the happier my husband and I eloped and made phone calls after the fact. Just never thought this relative would grow up into "that" kind of bride.
A: That's a stupid question of which the answer is "Sorry, can't make it, have fun!" Trust me, given that you're a nosy blowhard by nature they won't be sweating it.
Q. Baby Schedule and House Guests: We have spillover house guests for the holiday, some of whom might be sleeping in our family room, as well as a 3-month-old. Normally (on the weekend at least) baby and I get up around 6 a.m., he eats, and we have about 40 minutes of play time in our family room before he falls back asleep. He gets back up around 8-8:30 for another bottle, and then we engage in the day. I've been pretty clear that I'll try to keep him quietly entertained in his room for that first session of play time, but after he gets up for the day, I would like not to worry about keeping him quiet or tiptoeing around people. Is it rude for me to say I expect those sleeping in the family room to be awake at that point in time so we can utilize that space?
A: You sad excuse for a homeowner... it's your house. You decide. If they don't like it they can sod off because its plainly not your problem.
Q. It's an Office, Not Apartment: I have an odd problem. I share an office at school with another female, second-year graduate student. She has expressed a desire to move out of her apartment and into a van. While I do not see the appeal, I am fine with this arrangement if she is safe. Recently, I learned more details of her plan, namely that she will be sleeping every night in our office and only store her things in a van. I do not want her to live in our office. I expect it to be a place where I can work when I need to, not have to worry about entering, and where I will have my own desk and space. I already have trouble with her respecting my space/desk, especially when I am not there. How can I tell her that living in our office cannot be her housing plan for next semester and keep the peace as we will still have to share the space?
A: Before she has a chance to move in, let the right people know there's a single young crazy girl living in a white econoline with no windows in the back, plenty of attachment points, and all her stuff. Hope your new office mate is more your speed, but if not repeat as necessary.
Q. Thanksgiving: I work at an elementary school with a very needy population. There was a raffle for a full Thanksgiving dinner, in which all PTA members were entered. I won and donated it to a needy family at my school. My mother is now furious with me. She thinks I should have given it to her. My parents are well-off, have a fully stocked pantry, and have never asked me to contribute anything to their Thanksgiving feast in the past. I now feel like I shouldn't stop by for dinner on this or any other occasion. Any advice on how to deal with this? Thanks!
A: No one will be sad when your mother dies.
Q. Thanksgiving Split: I have been married for six years. We have spent every Thanksgiving with my family because it is the only holiday that my entire family (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) gets together. My husband's family (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) gets together for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year, my father-in-law asked my husband if we would spend Thanksgiving with them. I told my husband that I would be willing to leave my family's event early and arrive at my in-laws at 4 p.m. My husband said absolutely not; he wants to eat dinner at his parents' house at noon, then we can go to my family's event (they are eating at 12:30). My mom had hand surgery two weeks ago, so she needs help, which is why I want to go to my family's house first. My husband said I'm being unfair, and if we separate for the holiday, he plans on taking our 3-and-a-half-year-old and our 3-month-old. I told him over my dead body. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it has caused a huge rift between us. Should I go to his parents' house first? I feel like we will be seeing these same family members in three weeks for Christmas, where we will not be seeing my family again for another year.
A: who gives a shit about the kids? Obviously, you pick the less lame of the two and tell him you're going to your mom's and you're taking that kid too. What's he going to do? He had every chance to set terms before you took the lead. Nobody cares about your dopey kids except you, and nobody's Thanksgiving is going to be affected if you split up except yours. In conclusion, would you please fucking relax?