Wants To Be A Stay-At-Home Husband
(taken from 9/15/14 "Dear Prudence")
LETTER: My wife has an annual income of more than $400,000. My salary is roughly one-tenth of that, with no prospect of going much higher for the rest of my working life. Both of us work equally long hours. Although we could live very comfortably on her current salary, she insists that I continue to work to contribute to family finances.
We have two young kids who are cared for by a nanny, and another lady comes in regularly for domestic help. It actually makes better sense financially for me to be a stay-at-home parent, but my wife will have none of this. I don’t understand why she insists that I work when she has a stable and high-earning job, compared with my stressful long hours for low pay. Every week I’m tempted to just quit my job and let her deal with it.
Prudence more or less took your side, questioning the wife's right to "make" you work. However, D-Rock has another (correct) view:
D-ROCK SAYS: Quitting your job and making your wife just "deal with it" is such a pussy move. You reference yourself as a husband, so I'll take it that you are indeed male; although I do question your manhood. Allow me to outline what will happen if you do decide to quit your job without reaching a consensus between the two of you.
First, your wife will grow resentful and eventually seek (and be granted) a divorce. At the custody hearing, the judge will reward your wife with full custody of the children. You will get weekly, SUPERVISED visits with your kids, and will slowly die inside due to a lack of familial contact. Soon thereafter, you will reach a level of desperation in which you dress as an old Scottish woman and, through a series of complex ruses, be chosen as your children's nanny.
Further complexities will arise as you find yourself having to juggle two lives. You will ask yourself if this was all worth it as you struggle to keep your real identity hidden while also cock-blocking your ex-wife's new boyfriend. Inevitably your true identity will be discovered by all, but instead of the semi-sweet ending from that Robin Williams movie (R.I.P.), you will find yourself in prison.
The good news is that you will no longer have to dress like a woman. The bad news is that your fellow inmates will treat you like a woman, nonetheless.So, I think the smart move is to have a serious, deep conversation with your wife about your options. Maybe instead of giving up on employment altogether, you can find a less stressful job that you would enjoy. You can even go back to school and pursue a new career path. Or move to a part-time job and split your time between work responsibilities and home responsibilities. Any of those options have got to be better than butt rape, right?
Neighbor Needs To Childproof Her Driveway
(taken from 9/25/14 "Ask Amy")
LETTER: My husband and I have three teenage boys. We have lived in our upper-middle-class suburban neighborhood for 20 years.
Our neighbors moved in about eight years ago. They have three children, ages 10, 8, and 2 1/2.
Over the years, we have found the mother in our garage, sitting on our driveway, and allowing her children to play in our garage — which is not childproof.
The kids have wandered into our home; one of the kids was found asleep on a neighbor's porch; the toddler wanders the neighborhood unattended. We live on a cul-de-sac, but the street is busy. The little guy is constantly out in the street, mostly without a parent. He also wanders into our yard with our two dogs.
All of the kids throw sticks at our dogs and taunt them (we have an invisible fence).
My problem is that the parents are inattentive. I have talked to the mother about the little one wandering, but nothing has changed.
Amy, my three boys are new drivers. There are also two additional new teen drivers in the cul-de-sac. What can we do to get this family to understand they need to be more attentive? They are educated professionals. We cannot seem to get them to respect boundaries and take care of their kids.
Amy suggested you work on educating your young drivers, but she skirted around the real issues. I won't:
SKILLZ SAYS: I'm kind of taken aback by the casual way you mention her and her kids trespassing not on, but IN your property more than once. How is that not your biggest concern? Why are you worried about their safety and not the fact you're being burglarized on a regular basis? Or that you're letting you pets, who are counting on you for protection, get taunted and assaulted?
Listen, these parents aren't inattentive—they're scum, and the only way to fight scum—especially well-off scum—is to become scum. You need to do to them exactly what they're doing to you. Throw sticks at their pets, or kids if they don't have any. Have them find you on and in their property—having sex. Or at the very least, self-pleasuring. A final idea: instead of the little wuss dog I'm sure you've got, you're gonna need to upgrade to a pit or a German shepherd. One good scare will keep them away for good and if it doesn't, THAT'S when you filp out and chase them away with a bat, pretending to not know who they are. WIN! You're welcome.
(And for Christ sake, lock your shit UP and get the scum the hell off your property should they trespass again instead of writing an advice letter.)
Toxic, Bickering Parents Worry Young Adult
(taken from 9/14/14 "Ask Amy")
LETTER: My parents are in their late 60s and early 70s, and to say they “bicker like an old married couple” would be a huge understatement. It feels as though every other word that comes out of their mouths is full of hate for each other. Every little thing either does annoys the other to the point of yelling and screaming. My father is disabled, and I, 23, still live at home to help him with day-to-day stuff, taking care of the house, etc.
I’ve tried telling them it’s both of their faults, that if one isn’t starting something, it’s the other. But that just leads to more yelling and finger-pointing. Both have made the empty threat of wanting to move out (knowing that neither could make it alone). They’ve never been physically abusive to each other (nor do I believe either has the strength to do so), but the yelling and name-calling is there constantly. How can I stop this mutual abuse and bring some peace into our house? Honestly, I just want to move out.
Amy suggested you move out and buy a book on toxic parents.. You COULD do that, or you could take D-Rock's tasty advice...
D-ROCK SAYS: First of all, are you sure this isn't some elaborate ruse by your parents to get you to move out? Ok, ok, with that aside, there are a few ideas that come to mind.One idea, which is old and tired (like your parents!) is to sit them down together and go "marriage counselor" on their ass by making them role-play each other. By allowing them to see how the other perceives him/her, they might have a better understanding of one another.
Once they find that mutual respect again, they should stay out of each other's way. Heck, they might even re-kindle something and start bumping uglies on the regular again. Which sucks for you because you are living with them (if you don't already have them, noise canceling headsets are all the rage these days). My second and most favorite idea is to introduce chemical warfare to this battle. The weapon of choice? THC. Delivery method? Food (or in street parlance, "edibles").
Obviously, in order for this plan to be successful, you must operate covertly and with precision. Several factors come into play here, such as timing and snack supply. It takes about 30 minutes for the THC to take effect* and you want them together in one place during all of this, so keep a bag or two of Doritos within arms reach (if one of them leaves the premises to get some Taco Bell...mission failure). Ok, so now that you got them baked, you gotta stir the pot (honestly, no pun intended).
Incorporating old home videos or a wedding album into the mix should get things moving in the right direction. And don't lose hope if this doesn't fix the problem the first time. It may take multiple instances to get their attitude adjusted.
*according to my anonymous source
Our Foster Kids Are Gone. How To Explain?
(taken from 9/18/14 "Ask Amy")
LETTER: My husband and I have been foster parents to a sibling group of three young children for the past year and a half. We found out that despite hopes of adoption, the children will be leaving us, which is heartbreaking.
We live in a small town where everyone knows one another's business, and I am dreading the inevitable questions that we will be asked about the kids' departure everywhere we go.
We are not "career" foster parents and only became licensed to take in these children, so I've never had to deal with this sort of thing before. Any suggestions on how to deal with the nosy but well-meaning masses?
Amy suggested you be short and sweet with your answer, and defer to "pain" if the nosies press. Here's another option:
SKILLZ SAYS: Whenever a nosie comes up to you inquiring as to the whereabouts of your kids, you can simply say "What kids?" Continue feigning a total lack of knowledge as to what they're talking about. This will A) establish in their mind that you might be nuts, and they'll leave you alone (hopefully spreading the word to their fellow nosies) and B) give yourself a bit of personal amusement to distract from missing the kids.
If anybody approaches you with proof of the kids' existence—photo, video, etc.—at that pont you admit the "truth": those kids were actually your employees. They were helping you produce discount (insert believable business undertaking here) but had to be let go once their complaints about "rights" and "safe conditions" grew too loud. WIN! You're welcome.
My Husband Won't Show Affection
(taken from 9/16/14 "Carolyn Hax")
LETTER: My husband is not very affectionate. He never has been, but I never considered it a deal-breaker.
Since we married in 2012, I have been wanting more affection, and we’ve talked about it many times. He says he is willing to be more affectionate, but he never delivers. As a loyal reader, I know the next step: This is who he is, and he isn’t willing to meet my affection needs for whatever reason. So, can I live with this?
The answer is yes, because I would rather have him in my life than leave him over this. But, I’m having trouble getting over the feeling that, if I had known all this when we first started dating, I may have made a different choice. How do I reconcile that?
Carolyn suggested you confirm whether or not this is a dealbreaker, and asking your husband what can be done. Here's another theory:
SKILLZ SAYS: You contradict yourself repeatedly in this letter—he's "never been affectionate" but if you'd known this "when you first started dating..." WTH? How did you not know this when you first started dating? Weren't you THERE?! Oh, of course not. This is 2014; you probably courted each other via some chat room or something.
Let's give you benefit of the doubt for a moment, and assume you meant he was affectionate early on—but then it faded. You may have a shot at restoring the kisses and cuddles and hugs if you do exactly as I say: From now on, when you come home from your job grooming dogs or conducting autopsies or running a two-hour Zumba class...take a shower. Not just on that one night per week you're horny—every night. Weekends, too, even though you "don't have to go anywhere."
I know you're scratching your head (possibly spraying debris left and right) trying to understand how that could possibly help but trust me...it will.
You see, men like women that smell good. We can get past physical and intellectual shortcomings...but we can't get past funk. Start cleaning yourself regularly, cozy up in hubby's arms as he watches TV, lay off the nagging and WIN! You're welcome.
Friend's Son Keeps "Practicing" On Me
(taken from 9/15/14 "Dear Abby")
LETTER: I have a friend whose son is in sales, and he asked to give me a presentation. My friend instructed me that I was under no obligation to purchase anything; he just needed to practice it. I complied and didn't buy anything he was pitching.
He has now contacted me again to do another presentation because he has changed companies and wants to "practice" again. I dislike sales pitches and I'm also very busy. Ordinarily, I would just say no. However, because he's my friend's son I am unsure how to respond. Can you give me any suggestions?
Abby suggested you take the direct approach but since you seem to lack the spine for that, we feel a tad more creativity is in order...
SKILLZ SAYS: Go ahead and agree to the presentation. Make sure no one else is home on the day you're scheduled to receive the pitch, but leave your car visible in the driveway and the door unlocked.
Here, you have one of two options—you can stage a burglary in which you've been "knocked out" amongst a ransacked house, or you can stage an overdose with a spilled bottle of pills scattered nearby. Make sure to be sprawled out near a window where you can be seen from the outside.
I'm gonna assume your friend's son has a soul, otherwise he wouldn't be so hell bent on getting his sales pitch right. If he does indeed have a soul, he will not bother you ever again about "practicing", especially if you lay it on thick how much it would remind you of your "ordeal". WIN! You're welcome.
(Obviously, if you or someone you care about legitimately fell victim to burglary/overdose, you may do well to ignore my advice and I apologize for any insensitivity. But it's still a great idea.)
D-ROCK SAYS: First of all, of course you dislike sales pitches! Everyone does! For goodness sakes, your friend isn't asking for your help because he thinks you love sales pitches! Having said that, I see two other options. The first is to barter your time for his labor. You mentioned you are a busy person. Gotta run to the store for milk and eggs? Your car in need of a wash? Do your gutters need to be cleared? Put that bitch to work! If your friend's son really wants your time, then he needs to work for it. You are Mr. Miyagi, he is Daniel-san. He might not be able to fight the Cobra-Kai after all is said and done but he might be able to convince John Kreese to buy that timeshare in Connecticut.
The other option is to pawn him off on someone (or something) else. All he really needs is to practice his spiel over and over again. What's the difference between him talking to you and him talking to your 88-year-old neighbor, Mr. Finklestein? Or your dog Rufus? There are many homeless people out there looking for someone to talk to (or yell at nonsensically). Besides, it will do him good to expand his horizons.