Thursday, October 7, 2010

10/7 - MUCH Shorter than Usual

I hardly know what to say, finding the Prudecutor's response to L1 so offensive that it may make me consider whether, as has been the case with the series Bones and the writer Regina Barreca, I ought not just to give up DP. At any rate, it has made me determined not to spend all day cross-examining and analogizing everyone to death. Accordingly, today we get a Quickie Version.

L1: I am inclined to take a Biblical tack with this one. Is there not some saying about casting forth the mote from thine own eye before attending to that of one's neighbour? Whatever LW1's husband may or may not be doing obviously has some relevance, but a good and thorough examination of her own state of affairs is in order if she wants to make a confrontation out of this or even just take on the situation in a reasonable manner. What of her own friendships? Can she state with confidence that none of her friends might be regarded by her husband the way she views her kids' unrelated Uncle? There are a great many more Aunts of this nature.

It is unfortunate that this couple has not developed the mechanics for being able to have the I'm Jealous Conversation without it degenerating into Are You Making Me Drop X? That is a concern, the main one in my view. But of course that has to be able to go both ways.

If I were in long-winded vein I might start in on my theory about Social Orientation and how most people are homosocial as well as heterosexual, and how some people might have a more delicate balance of those opposing orientations than others. We don't know that LW1 has a friendship that her husband finds similarly irksome. If she doesn't, she's on more solid ground. But it might be harder for the couple to find an amiable resolution if one of them has a much stronger social orientation than the other.

If I had to make a wild guess, I'd suppose that LW1's husband might well have been socially starved for a period of time - that's common enough, and not necessarily a biggie to resolve. There could be more there, but this is one of those areas where I've seen such inequity the other way that I can't raise much outrage if it's true. But I won't object to Ms Mermaid's giving H1 what he might deserve.

L2: What possible difference does it make whether LW2 is wrong or not? Naturally given the circumstances (s)he is focusing on a point of theoretical rather than practical importance. Maybe later there will be time to address the issue with the granddaughters. At the moment, there are other things rather higher up on the priority list.

L3: Well, why were these people LW3's friends in the first place? Actually, the Prudecutor struck me as being more offensive in this reply than she was on the first letter, but the Prudecution has supplied a useful way to frame the answer. Are these friends genuinely the sort of people who would make hypocritical critical comments while cadging rides (as the Prudecutor apparently thinks is a 100% probability)? If so, then just thank them for convincing you that Rush Limbaugh is right about them and drive off. Problem solved.

Then again, while I would readily accept that the Prudecutor might well have lived all her life without meeting any such people, there are those for whom the moral choices of self and friends form regular topics of conversation. [Reference omitted.] One might establish with LW3 whether the questions and remarks, if not crass and hypocritcal, were only reflections of a genuine and reasonable concern just gone too far or badly phrased (potentially fixable) or if there might be a bit of defensiveness in play as well, perhaps for good reason.

I am having a mental coin flip on this one. Perhaps LW3 just needs to drop the environazis/death penalty uberprotestors. Or perhaps LW3 has found something admirable about them, and has closeted his/her opulent tendencies in order to win their approval. I'm almost sorry to be omitting references this week, because this letter has a flavour to it of the closeted person who has passed for something with great success and feels resentment when he wants to be himself but finds that his friends took his posturing seriously. Perhaps LW3 has convinced them that his/her social conscience is as big as theirs (at least more or less) - maybe there have been misestimations on both sides.

The one example I'll give is of the musical theatre director who made a $1,000 donation to the campaign in favour of Proposition 8, and whose name was listed among the donors. It seems to be a case of his not having realized the full implications. Many people who'd worked with him were upset, and some called overhastily for reprisals. Sadly, he ended up resigning from the theatre in order not to cause it any harm. He made a public statement of support for domestic partnership while reaffirming love and support for his lesbian sister and her [other] rights, and donated another thousand dollars to a gay rights organization. One would hope LW3, if his friends are basically worth keeping, will have a happier resolution.

L4: There are those who really cannot be at peace with the universe unless they are entirely (or nearly so) pleased and delighted with their own appearance. There are those who don't care much in general, and will gladly aim their choices towards the objective of pleasing a partner. There are those who don't care much about a particular point in principle, but would feel that yielding to a partner's preference would equate to being controlled - perhaps a feeling towards which the partner's attitude and reactions in attempting to push a desired choice has contributed.

I have known a number of men over the years who don't particular care about their hair at all as long as it has not reached a certain length. When it does, they get it cut very short for economy. (Personally, I always cut my own hair because I would rather have it look less than optimal than have to cope with the nasty comments I'd be sure to get at the very least about the colour if I ever took it to be cut by anybody else.) My guess would be that LW4 has come off or been interpreted as controlling in her attempts to keep H4's hair from being cut too short. If not, then let LW4 pay for more regular hair care, one way or another.

Well, I still don't know whether this will be my final DP post or not. Sorry for the poor quality.


  1. "What possible difference does it make whether LW2 is wrong or not? Naturally given the circumstances (s)he is focusing on a point of theoretical rather than practical importance. "

    Yes! Exactly! The offending pictures are already posted - not that they can't be removed - so move on and help them through the impending final loss of their mothers.

    Actually, I enjoyed your abbreviated comments. My mind only wandered one time while reading them. Perhaps because I'm not so well-versed on the characters you typically use for reference, I often have trouble following your full thoughts on these letter. Still, even if you drop DP, there are plenty of other advice columnists to parody.

  2. Thank you; I just don't feel like Miss Marple if I don't launch into a series of analogies.

    It's always interesting when there are so many possible questions and a LW manages to find practically the worst one of the lot.

  3. Hrumpole, very insightful and sensitive comments, particularly on LW1. It does seem that that marriage has been on the rock for a while as the LW states that she and her husband only talk about practical matters....

    Men need close friendships as much as women do, it's good for them... and to love your friends and say it, that's good too. But obviously the wife needs to hear it addressed to her as well.

    Also it seems that the husband of the LW has been emotionally repressed most of his life since he couldn't even say "I love you" to his father..... so he might be making up for lost time now.

  4. Thank you, Ms Kati. I still wish they could get through the I'm Jealous conversation, though I suppose I'm still more stunned that apparently about half the board doesn't believe in bisexuality or whatever the outcome was of the discussion to which Ms Libby referred which seemed to reveal that there were two distinct opposing camps on the subject that just weren't going to find common ground. The nearly universal automatic assumption that bi = gay really impoverishes the discussion. I was hoping an actual representative would speak from the B point of view, for which I acknowledge my own deficiency, but perhaps they've all departed.