Early-Rising Uninvited Houseguest
(taken from 3/15/15 "Dear Abby")
LETTER: A family member, "Bill," likes to come visit in the afternoons and, because he's not comfortable driving in the dark, he always plans to stay overnight. When he does, he wakes up very early, often before 6 a.m.
Bill tries to be as quiet as possible, but we know when he is up. Our dog hears someone moving around and thinks it's time to go out and eat. My husband or I will get up to take care of our dog, but at that point, it seems rude to go back to bed. My husband likes to go back to sleep, but I feel I should get up and entertain our guest. Is it bad manners to go back to sleep even though it is still very early?
Abby advised automatic coffee, but D-Rock goes STRAIGHT to the problem's root:
D-ROCK SAYS: The problem isn't him waking up too early, it's him sleeping over your house to begin with! What you need to do is make the conditions of your home-life unbearable so that he doesn't see your house as a safe haven. There are a multitude of ways you can accomplish this, but the most obvious option is...you guessed it!...hosting coven meetings at your house. Covens are rife with naive and enigmatic women who hate patriarchal society yet very much seek acceptance from society (hence, enigmatic). You will provide them with acceptance (letting them use your home for their meeting) and they will provide the man-hating dogma that is needed to drive "Bill" away.
You must be asking yourself, "How do I find/get in touch with a coven?" The answer is quite simple: Craigslist. Women of a coven are constantly posting s--- on CL. From posting nonsensical (yet poetic) messages in the Missed Connections section, to offering "Cat Babysitting" in the Services section, to selling "Home-Made Incense" in the For Sale section.
The beauty of this plan is that you only need them to come to your house once. Let them know that your relative, "Bill", has an evil aura about him and you need to remove his negative energy from your living space (it's important that you use the terms "aura", "negative energy", and "living space" because witches think they have a link to the spiritual world and use terms like this to make themselves feel ethereal).
Obviously you'll want this special meeting to "coincidentally" be on the same day that "Bill" decides to pay you guys a visit. The trick is to convince "Bill" that this isn't some kind of prank and that you have recently decided to join a coven. If you can successfully make him believe that you hold daily coven meetings at your house he'll think twice about setting foot in there again.
Not Interested Means Not Interested
(taken from 4/1/15 "Dear Prudence")
LETTER: I am a recent female college graduate who was lucky enough to get hired at a fantastic job with great pay right out of college. Everything is going great except for one thing: One of my co-workers who is close in age to me has a romantic interest in me. I am straight. I told her this when she first asked me out, but she will not let it go, and keeps hinting that I should at least “give it a try.” She’s even gone so far as to play a well-known song about kissing a girl. When I called her out for this, she said it was all a joke. She is starting to say that I am a homophobe, which I am not. Our boss is a guy, and I really don’t feel comfortable going to him with this (he’s the same age as my dad), and our workplace is too small to have an HR department. What should I do? I don’t want to leave, but I’m getting tired of her attention.
Prudence recommended e-mailing yourself documentation and going to the boss; here's how you can leave Boss out of it:
SKILLZ SAYS: Let's simplify things for you, writer. This horny colleague keeps coming on to you for one reason, right? She thinks you're attractive. And you have 100% control over that. Remember the Seinfeld episode when Jerry's girl-of-the-moment (the delicious Kristin Davis) found herself drenched in sewer water and Jerry couldn't go near her again? I'm not suggesting you go that far, but here's what you DO do for the next couple of days max:
Those expensive heels you wear to work? How about clogs instead? Everybody finds clogs sexy. And by everybody, I mean...weirdos.
Makeup will have to be sacrificed; replace your Revlon with caked-on jelly you "forgot" to wipe off. If you choose to expose your legs—which I advise against, since they may be attractive—do not, under any circumstances, shave them. (If needed, wait a few days before executing this plan for maximum stubbly effect.)
If your hair is long and beautiful, swap it for the Joe Dirt mullet.
Don't show even a hint of cleavage—any nice blouses you currently sport should take a backseat to giant wool sweaters.
(If temps in your area make that intolerable, giant, baggy T-shirts will also work. Make sure a tomato sauce stain or two is present, and try to sweat thru the pits.)
Lastly, perfume—major no. Try bug spray. Better yet, let your clothes mildew somewhat. You'll also have to leave food stuck in your teeth, which obviously will have to go unbrushed in the mornings. Fart often, and scratch often. Crotch area is best.
I know, I know—what about your other co-workers? Well, you said you don't want to involve your boss, but you never said you couldn't fill your fellow staffers in on what you're up to. Besides, you'll only have to do this at MOST twice. Your "suitor" will never be able to erase Slovenly You from her mind, and she'll cease her pursuit even after you go back to normal. She may even start playing songs about good hygiene! WIN! You're welcome.
Boyfriend Overworks Mouth At The Gym
(taken from 4/6/15 "Dear Abby")
LETTER: My boyfriend, "Luke," and I go to the gym together four to five times a week. Yesterday, there was a man on a treadmill who was sweating profusely. I kid you not, it was coating the treadmill. Luke tends to speak loudly, and he occasionally forgets to turn on his filter. When he saw what was happening, he exclaimed loudly, "That's disgusting." I nudged him and told him he was being rude, but unfortunately, we think the man heard him.
Luke is actually a kind and sensitive person, so he instantly felt awful. This man is a frequent gym-goer and is often there when we are. Luke wants to apologize, but he's worried that if the man didn't hear him, he will have to explain what he said. What are your thoughts?
Abby thought pulling an Elsa and letting it go was the appropriate course of action. But that leaves doubt; Skillz's idea won't.
SKILLZ SAYS: This may well be the easiest answer I'll ever give on this forum.
You and Luke go back to the gym exactly one week from yesterday—the day of the incident, that is—and work out next to The Great Perspiro once again, just like before.
As you two exercise, Luke needs to exclaim the following: "Hey, babe? Remember exactly one week ago when we were standing right here and I said your ass is disgusting? Well, it still is. You need to work out like that guy (points to Sir Sweats-A-Lot). See how much he's sweating? That's what you need to do, or you're dumped. You have 24 hours."
If McDrippy ever suspected Luke was referring to him as disgusting, not only will that terminate said suspicion—he'll actually think Luke admires his sweating. That was almost too easy. WIN! You are welcome.
What's In A Name?
(taken from 4/9/15 "Dear Prudence")
LETTER: Before I had my first child, I worked at an alternative school. I cared deeply for many of my students, and after I left I kept track of how some of themwere doing. Now I am expecting twins, and I am torn about whether or not it would be strange to give one of them the same name as one of my favorite students. I have always liked this name, even before I knew this student. I wouldn't name the baby "after" my student, but the name would always hold some special meaning for me. Sadly, this boy dropped out of school, became a drug dealer, and was recently killed at a young age while attempting to commit an armed robbery. Despite this, I know he was truly a special person who chose a bad path. My husband knew him as well, and although he is not against the name, he isn't exactly for it. Am I crazy to even consider this name?
Prudence gave a sensible enough answer, but she didn't shame you enough. Enter D-Rock...
D-ROCK SAYS: In short, yes, you are crazy; and on more than one account. For one thing, it's unwritten law that you have to give twin children themed names. For instance, the Lopez brothers of the NBA. Brook and Robin are 7-foot men, and were given girls' names. Quite ironic, right? Another example is the Barber twins of the NFL. Imagine how stupid it would be if Tiki's brother was named "Jeff".
The second problem is that it sounds like your husband isn't having much of a say in naming the children. The chosen names of your children should be unanimous between you and your husband. I mean, he might feign indifference, but that's what most guys do. Then comes the day when your husband actually has to call out his child's name (most likely out of anger or frustration). He will realize how stupid he was for not being involved with the name selection as he yells out, "Nigel!" and three snooty butlers within earshot answer his call. You must explain this consequence to your husband and require him to participate.
The third thing that makes you crazy is your insistence that your former student is a special person. Yeah, "special". So special that he couldn't handle school so he dropped out, started dealing, and ended up dying in a botched robbery. He failed at both school and thievery! What a gem of a person!
Look, if you really love the name maybe you can use it for a future house pet. It will probably be more befitting anyway when your future dog spends the same amount of time on earth as your former student. Ohhhhhhhhhhh snap! Too soon?
How Does Dad Applaud Mom's Mothering?
(taken from 5/10/15 "Dear Abby")
LETTER: My wife and I will be legally divorced within a few weeks. We have a 1-year-old son. Although we have been separated for eight months, she is an awesome mother to our son. A man could not ask for a better lady to care for his child. We don't talk about much other than our son. We are no longer in love, but I can honestly say I love her for who she is—the mother of my child.
Mother's Day is here and I would like her to know how much I appreciate all she has done, is doing and will do for our boy. Would it be appropriate to send a quick message expressing this to her? Or should I leave it alone?
Abby gave you the green light to send written appreciation, but Skillz disagrees...
SKILLZ SAYS: We clearly have differing views on showing appreciation—but my view is the correct one.
You "send messages" to your doctor. If you want to show your wife what you think of her parenting—and apparently have never heard of a card—why not re-create the night you made her a parent? Yes, I'm talking about the D. (It doesn't have to be in a box...that's strictly up to you.)
Just because you are no longer in love with someone doesn't mean you can't get naked together—I solicited my baby mama formonths after we fell out of love, and she rarely turned me down. Show up after the kid is asleep, drop your pants, and let your wife know that whatever went on between you two, you value her mothering skillz, and want to take 3-5 minutes to show her how much.
If you need inspiration, find The Office episode where Roy promises Pam "the best sex of her life!" as a birthday gift. Commit Roy's lines to memory and recite them word-for-word to your wife. Just don't forget to replace Pam's name with hers. WIN! You're welcome.
P.S. No offense, but I kind of see why your marriage failed—expressing this much feeling over your ex taking care of your child isn't all that manly. No doubt you cried in the delivery room. And probably at the wedding, too.
Mom Doesn't Understand 28 Means Adult
(taken from 5/19/15 "Ask Amy")
LETTER: I raised my kids as a single mother after leaving my abusive marriage. My girl (who is 28) has been in and out of a few relationships. Recently she was almost going to be engaged to a wonderful guy. I thought the dates were fixed for the wedding.
My girl backed out and to date has not given me a reason. Amy, I am devastated by her behavior. Since making this choice, she has moved out of our house where she lived with her 25-year-old brother.
I gave my adult children a nice home to stay in at almost no cost to them. It hurts a lot that she does not care about me or her brother. It has been several months since she has spoken to me. Friends are her priority.
I love my children and am always there to help them. I send e-mails about how I feel, but advice?
Amy thinks you have been figuratively "strangling" this woman, and she's right. Skillz has more to add...
SKILLZ SAYS: Am I missing something, or are you upset that your adult child is—GASP—living on her own???
How can you "back out" of an "almost-engagement"? Do hunters try to load deer on their truck before they've shot it?
Why are you "devastated" about someone else's relationship ending by their choice? I'm not even devastated when my own relationships end, let alone anybody else's.
How does her engagement ending signify not caring about you or her brother? Tying you to an active railroad would signify not caring about you. Did you stand to gain financially if they wed?
Are these e-mails you're sending going to the right person? If you want a reconciliation with your daughter, you shouldn't be writing the Customer Service department of your local PepBoys. Just sayin'.
This is very interesting, and it's very clear to me what happened: she went out with this guy for about two weeks. You and your son—who both come off as needy and creepy in this letter—decided the two of them should marry AT ALL COSTS and began to pick out rings and dates yourselves.
Your daughter—whose prior relationships likely ended because you and your son creeped the boyfriends out with fertility pamphlets and baby names two weeks into those relationships—saw yet another good man scared away by her relatives and decided to get as far away from you two as possible before she starts trying to push you and your brother together.
My advice: get a dog. Have it "propose to" another dog at your local dog park. Dress them both up in little suits and hats and preside over their "wedding ceremony". Spare no expense, and give them your son's room so he's forced to move out before you screw up any chances of happiness he has, too.
It IS possible to carry out your dreams for your children through your pets...if you have an open mind. WIN! You're welcome.