Saturday, December 06, 2003

Dear Abby, You Suck.

In what may become a semi-regular feature,

Each day, I make a point of reading my horoscope, an advice column or two, and try to do a crossword as well. They're one of my forms of fun. My routines have had a rough time of it these past few years. Sydney Omar, the Washington Post's source on the horoscope died in January 2003. His replacement, is well a joke (and in the field of astrology, that's really saying something). Seriously, I had a horoscope tell me a toaster was in my future. In June of 2002, the writer of Ann Landers died. Now, Ann was an advice columnist extrordinaire. She lifted her readers up and empowered them when needed and smacked them down when appropriate. The Post replaced her with Dear Abby- interestingly written by "Ann"'s twin sister. Well, Abby is no Ann. There was only one competent advice columnist in that family, and she's now dead.

Take, for instance, today's letters:

Dear Abby:

I am a freshman in college and live in a dorm with one roommate, "Mary." Mary has had a boyfriend for two years. I'll call him "John." John goes to school a couple of hours away and visits Mary on weekends once or twice a month. This usually isn't a problem for me, as I can plan ahead to go home for the weekend, or go out with friends so Mary and John can have the room to themselves for a few hours.

Yesterday, on short notice, Mary told me that John was spending the night. I frantically tried to make plans to be "elsewhere," but nothing worked out. I told Mary I'd camp out in our dorm lounge, but she said not to worry because John was dead-tired and wanted to go to sleep right away. After he arrived, I sat at my desk doing homework on my computer and listening to music with headphones while Mary and John watched TV in bed.

When I glanced over at them a half-hour later, they were having sex! I didn't know what to do. I tried to ignore them and continue "studying," but it was very distracting to have my roommate and her boyfriend "going at it" five feet away. When I woke up this morning, they were doing it again! I pretended to be asleep until they went to breakfast.

Mary has never done anything to embarrass me before. Talking about the incident would make me extremely uncomfortable, but I know something needs to be said before John visits again. Should I talk to Mary -- or just pretend this nightmare didn't happen?

Anonymous Roomie

in a Well-Known College Town


Take the bull by the horns. Tell Mary that although you are open-minded, you're not a voyeur -- so in the future, she should take that X-rated show elsewhere. It may be embarrassing, but if you don't speak up, the situation will become even more embarrassing. It's your room, too, and what your roommate did was inappropriate and disrespectful.

What Abby should have said: You should have gone over and sat down on your roomie's bed. Disturbed them, interrupted them. And then reacted in mock horror/ surprise when you realized. Tell them you're shocked and were sure they weren't up to that, not with you there and all. Assure than that you are mortified for them. "I am so embarrassed for you." Problem, solved and solved.

Or try

Dear Abby:

Please answer this quickly. There is no one else I can talk to. I am a devout Christian woman, prominent in my church and have an impeccable reputation. My late husband's family treats me with respect and generosity.

I was unhappy when "Henry" and I were married and I wanted to divorce him, but the man I was having an affair with at the time would not leave his wife for me. In spite of being devastated, I was also blessed because Harry died a short time later. I have been free now for 10 years.

I love my freedom and the relationship I have with Henry's family. But recently I have begun to wonder if I should confide in my brother-in-law, "Rick" (who is getting a divorce), that I was unhappy enough with his brother to have had affairs much of the time we were married. It might make Rick feel better about his own "mess" and possibly bring him closer to me.

Should I open my heart to him? He thinks of me as a sister.

Unsure in Charleston, S.C.


Your brother-in-law thinks of you as a sister because he is under the impression that you were a faithful and loving wife to Henry. If you shatter that illusion, you will spoil the relationship you have enjoyed so long with your former in-laws.

Since you feel a compulsion to confess, confess to your spiritual adviser. Confession is good for the soul, but in your case it should be completely confidential.


Abby doesn't do too bad here, except she forgets to call this woman out. A devout Christian woman with an impeccable reputation? Impeccable only because nobody knows the real you. Devout? You cheated on your husband multiple times and stayed in the marriage for the sake of said impeccable reputation. So, you sin like crazy but show up in church every Sunday.

And I do hope your deceased husband was abusive- it's the only thing which would make up for your joy in his death. The family is great, it's just your husband was in the way. If only you could have your cake and eat it too. From what I see, you have trouble accepting consequences for tough choices. Grow up already.

In short, your life is a lie. You start opening your mouth, it's all going to unravel. Are YOU actually willing to risk that? Everything I see says nope.

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