Thursday, February 24, 2011

2/24 - Perhaps Soon to Require Counsel?

Here I was thinking that the most interesting case from Monday was the one of the LW with the adopting father, and we have yet another adoption-based letter today. One almost has to give Monday's LW points. To have so many legitimate concerns when a parent adopts and to miss all of them for some petty nonsense about Not Sharing Daddy? It's a bit like the speculation in *A Murder is Announced* that Rudy Scherz could hardly have been aiming at anyone in the dark drawing room if he fired shots and managed to miss everybody.

I wish we'd known whether the LW's mother died during the marriage, divorced or was never married at all. Each raises its own concerns. In any case, I'd be inclined to ascertain before the adoption that it was being chosen of the adopter's own free will and not in response to some sort of coercion. I am less inclined, though, to worry about such things as possible disposition of a late and much loved mother's personal effects than I am to ponder the nature of family blending. Personally I can't bring myself to feel anything on accountn of a blood tie and would question the general standard that seems evident among posters for the treatment of newly acquired siblings/grandchildren/etc. by marriage because I would not necessarily treat a blood relative so. One behaves to a certain standard and if anything closer develops naturally, grand. Perhaps because I don't feel blood ties I may be more inclined than might be entirely correct to over-credit those who find them essential. Ah, well.

L1: Well, apparently here we have in LL1 a follower of the Lady Catherine de Bourgh school of micromanagement, had Her Ladyship had the opportunity of a lodger in the basement. Or perhaps she resembles Miss Marple's neighbour Miss Hartnell, renowned throughout Saint Mary Mead as a great one for being industrious on behalf of The Poor, and for complaining to the vicar about the extraordinary ingratitude with which her efforts generally meet.

I'd ask LW1 why he didn't change quarters at once. He clearly finds something of interest in the situation, whether or not he ever has even a fraction of any intention to take up any offer LL1 might happen to make. And I think there is a good deal of significance in his selection of first question. So many people lead with their best point, or their original instinct, and his is to apologize for being naked in his own rented bathroom when shaving and about to shower. It makes me want to require him to shave while wearing a suit and tie.

There is a course of action open to him if his wife has a spirit of fun and adventure. Given the likelihood that LL1 will make advances, LW1 and W1 might agree on a preemptive strike. The one I like best is for some friend of the couple who will happen to be near LW1's lodging to call in his absence and pose as someone having an affair with LW1. This might stop LL1 from making advances. Or the more fun route would be if she decided to try her luck, and, when rebuffed, attempt to bring about an affair through blackmail, thinking herself safe in the knowledge of an illicit relationship which actually would never have existed. There could be some great fun there, especially if W1 were prepared to act her part.

Moral: I keep thinking of Lady Catherine de Bourgh venturing forth to scold the villagers into harmony and plenty.

L2: I'm a little surprised there is so little commentary about this letter, but it appears that people are far more interested in expressing their personal views on tattoos. I confess it might be rather amusing to cross-examine W2. Especially if she only "eventually" forgave her husband, it would seem rather risky for a child to begin its life so precariously situated. One might guess that W2 wanted a child herself and didn't really care all that much about her origins. It would be a bit much to suggest in Court, but there are likely even women who might consider it a plus to be spared the ordeal of pregnancy, even if they would not go so far as to countenance the affair. But certainly, although in the best light one could paint W2 as similar to Colonel Brandon, who from the best of motives allows himself to be generally considered to be the father of her sister-in-law's daughter, W2 certainly has LW2 properly gelded for the duration of the marriage. I shall accord her the honour due to any successful parent should it so prove, but she does not need my sympathy.

If I feel for anyone, it is BM2. Letting her adulterous lover and her lover's presumably resentful wife raise her child? That strikes me as far from everybody's cup of tea. In BM2's position, I should be terribly worried that my daughter would be raised quite aware of my existence and being filled by both husband and wife with tales of my perfidy. I should fear for the inevitable confrontation on the occasion of the child's majority. And LW2 is treating her ungraciously, when she could easily have just never told him of the pregnancy or claimed it wasn't his and had the child adopted elsewhere. Really, that strikes me as vastly preferably. I don't think I'd actually put her on the witness stand, as I suspect that LW2's unkind assessment might have enough truth in it to prejudice the Jury, but I do hope she at least got a decent used car out of LW2.

The main question, once again, is incredibly lame. Has LW2 really reached such an advanced age without being able to cope with impertinent questions? One wonders how he ever managed to have an affair. As far as D2 is concerned, chances are excellent that a golden opportunity for The Great Explanation will present itself. One presumes they live in the world.

Moral: I keep thinking of Ms Li gloating how her video coverage of the Lawndale High camping trip will get those extreme sports endorsers by the hacky sacks.

L3: Hurrah - I get to cross-examine the Prudecutor! And I am convinced that, even were I to act on a violent impulse leading to a trial at the Old Bailey, were even a single person on the jury so far up the Kinsey scale as 1, I should enjoy a triumphant acquittal after my moving speech about provocation.

Kindly provide, o Prudecutor, the slightest scintilla of evidence that LW3 is heterosexual. It matters not that you completely decline to answer the question, instead (remarkably reminiscent of the response one might expect from Dr Schlessinger) choosing to air your own prejudices. In the course of whatever I might happen to say, I shall not even mention my own views on the practice in question, recognizing their relevance as being virtually or genuinely nil. Secondarily, do you really want to pin your entire prudecution on the slim evidence of its being M3's own parents in querstion and not her in-laws? That's your best point, and it's a remarkably feeble one.


In the first place, should 25-year-olds be dating GIRLS (other than the ones acquainted with Ms Mermaid, who all apparently sought older dudes on purpose as the best way out of their unappreciated home lives)? In the second place, o Prudecutor, do you really want to leave your readers making the obvious inference that in your opinion there is nothing a non-heterosexual descendant can do to be a source of pride or by way of tribute in that line? Has your desire to forget that such a person as Mr Savage existed led you to wipe your memory clean of his venture into child-raising? Are you not usually the greatest cheerleader of regarding adopted siblings or grandchildren as every bit the entire equivalent of a twin or the grandchild long desired and planned for over the course of many long months as the perpetuation of the family name or genes, and willing to punish any and all who do not fall into line with providing full and equal treatment on every count? Have you not even sided with a LW in considering even adoption irrelevant and unnecessary in being willing to urge her to punish her in-laws for not paying more respect to her daughter than their own son, who had not adopted her, and did you not even go so far as to say that that LW's husband became her daughter's father on marrying her?

And I return to my original question. There is no evidence of LW3's heterosexuality or even bisexuality if you want to open that door. You can attempt to rely on the general proclivities of the population at large, but that's really no more evidence than assuming that any citizen of the United States is probably Christian or at least God-believing. If you want to go on anything actually in the letter, the closest you have to an indication is the LW's description of himself as a 25-year-old dude. Now, I cannot say what sort of person you might happen to know who would self-describe as such, but most of those of my acquaintance would likely belong to the community of skaters or others inclined to participate in the X Games (really they ought to be called the Y Games).

O Prudecutor, have you seen such a person, heard such a person or smelt such a person? While Mr White did go on record as wanting to date Ms Cohen during the 2006 Winter Olympics, one would be hard put to imagine anyone wishing less to make a favourable impression on those of the female of the species.

I rest my case.

Moral: I very nearly included, and I wish I had, a Match the Snarks question along the line of: Ms Libby said, "I wish I hadn't told the president of the Sex and the City Fan Club to date a skateboarder. Now she's all upset because he just [blank]ed her Manolo Blahniks."

L4: I was going to address this vital question, but the combination of oatmeal and tuna is making me too nauseous.

Moral: Don't Ask, Don't Tell?

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