I have an addiction to reading advice columns. I don’t know why, since between the dumbass questions people send in and the often dumbass answers they get in return, I usually end up irritated. After reading today’s Dear Prudence columns I tweeted this:
“I have decided that 80% of advice column letters could be answered with “You’re a dumbass”
And I swear I’m right. Here is a sample of some of the letters, and my responses to them:
Q. Stripper for a Daughter: I had been struggling to make a living at my job for a few years now and decided to apply as a bartender at a local strip club. After a few days of working there, the manager said he was low on girls for the night and asked if I would like to dance for the night. I was a little hesitant at first but decided it was just one night. I ended up loving it and made around $800 in a few hours! We talked, and I became a dancer overnight. This was about a year ago. The other night while doing a set, one of my parents’ friends comes up to the stage and asks for a VIP dance. The entire time he was telling me how he wants a cut of my earnings to stay quiet and not tell my parents what I am doing! I either have to come clean to my parents (who are VERY religious and would disown me), quit my job and get further in debt, or start paying this guy half of my nightly earnings.
A: Let’s set aside the fact that A) what this guy is doing is possibly illegal, and B) You are an adult and can work wherever you want and focus on this: If you take a job that will make your parents DISOWN YOU if they find out, and do so close enough that a family friend can walk in and see you, then you, my dear, are a dumbass!
Q. Gay Parents: My son is in second grade and a classmate of his has “two daddies.” My son wants to go over to his friend’s house to play, but we are nervous about this. I know my opinion is probably unpopular, but it is still my opinion: I do not know if this is a good environment for my son at his age. We do not talk about topics like homosexuality in our home. We do not want to field questions yet about these kinds of topics; we want him to be able to just be a kid instead of dealing with complex sexual issues. His friend plays at our house and he is a very nice boy, but eventually his “daddies” will want to know if my son can go to their house. How do we tactfully tell this couple that we would prefer if their son plays at our house? My sister thinks that I will just have to “get over it” and send my son over there. But isn’t it my right to monitor environments and control influences for my children? I fear that children in modern society are exposed to far too much far too soon—what happened to letting kids just be kids?
A: Really? You are a dumbass.
Q. Grandchild’s Baby Name: My son and daughter-in-law are expecting a girl in the next 10 weeks. They announced their baby name, and I find it rather distasteful. My daughter-in-law has been an avid Gone With the Wind fan and is using Scarlet as the middle name. The first name is a traditional girls’ name. I told my son, privately, that I think it is wrong to use a name like Scarlet as a middle name because her character in the book was not something a little girl should know about or aspire to be. My son told me that a middle name is hardly even used, usually just an initial is fine, and their daughter will be known by her traditional first name. Should I talk to my daughter-in-law about this?
A: Are you for real? Because if you are, then you are a dumbass!
Q. Losing My Self Respect: I got married and moved to the USA. I love my husband. I used to be independent, and used to always believe in equality. I believed that husbands and wives have equal rights. But my husband becomes abusive occasionally. I told his family and my family about it, and they keep telling me that I should find ways to avoid situations which cause him to get that way. The problem is I have to be careful giving my opinion now, because anything could lead to an argument and then could get physical. I don’t want to leave him, because most of the time he is a good person. But I’m torn between my principles, self-respect and dignity, and letting myself down to avoid him getting mad at me. What is the right way to tackle this?
A: If you don’t stop listening to your dumbass family and leave this idiot, then you are a dumbass.
Q. Semi-Famous Blogger Crosses a Line?: My daughter is in second grade and is good friends with a girl whose mother writes a blog that has extensive readership. I read her blog and she is very careful to never mention any of her daughter’s friends by name or post their photo. However, she posts her daughter’s photo and writes blog posts about her frequently. In the past few weeks, my daughter and some of their other friends have started wanting their parents to write about them, too. I think these girls are at the age where female competition rears its ugly head and they are jealous that their friend is broadcasted on the Internet for lots of people to see when they are not. Is this something I should bring up with this girl’s mother? If I were her, I would want to know that my actions were causing some friction between young girls.
A: WTF? Let me get this straight – this blogger respects the privacy of others and doesn’t do anything offensive or unkind? So basically, what you’re saying is that her success makes you feel inferior? Say it with me now: DUMBASS
Q. Daughter’s Adoptive Baby: I have been reading you for ages. My daughter is a very successful businesswoman, a senior vice president at a company you would recognize. She is also 37 and single, sacrificing a personal life for a professional one. Lately she has been exploring the option of adopting a foreign baby and being a single mother. I tried to explain to her that celebrities make this look far more glamorous than it actually is. I told her that she chose a career over a family quite some time ago and trying to have both now is going to be extremely difficult. She got upset and told me that what she is doing is perfectly normal. My husband and I are divorced, and I know how hard being a single mom can be. How can I explain this to her differently?
A: Hi – I just spoke with 1957 and they’d like their antiquated, dumbass attitude back. Dumbass.
Q. Housekeeper: This is a problem I am sure a lot of people would love to have. My boyfriend and I are in our late 20s and we both have good salaries. We talked about moving in together and we are fairly compatible. But here is the thing: He has a housekeeper. (That sound you hear is all my girlfriends rolling their eyes.) I do not think we need a housekeeper. Two people keeping a two bedroom apartment clean should be manageable. He thinks that if he hates to clean and can afford to pay somebody else he should. While I can’t see anything outright wrong with that, part of me feels like he is indulgent and immature. I don’t like to do a lot of things, but I do them anyway. He told me that if we let the housekeeper go then I will be totally responsible for all the cleaning. I think that is also unreasonable. Why can’t he just pick up after himself? What if we can’t afford a housekeeper in the future? Will he have any idea how to be self-reliant? Is it so wrong that I think we should be responsible for keeping such a small space clean?
A: The guy is willing to pay for a housekeeper and that’s a problem? I can find 35,624 women in the next ten minutes who would happily take this problem. You big dumbass.
See? I should totally be an advice columnist! Send me a question – I’ll solve all your problems. Or just call you a dumbass. One of those.