Thursday, November 17, 2011

11/17 -Still Ill, Thus Brief

This week one may witness an attempt to dispose of the letters as quickly as possible.

L2:  LW2, what on earth makes you think you're such a special snowflake? Count yourself lucky, dear LW2. For many people, if not most, the holidays provide miserable experiences in the form of visits with relations who don't quite meet a generally recognized reasonable standard for being dumped. Of course, this would not prevent those of true steely resolve from avoiding them, but people will be sheep and then bleat about it afterwards. As for what to do at the time in question, it seems the ideal time to read a lengthy work of history.

L3:  LW3, why add the most telling piece of evidence to the catalogue of sins as if it were an afterthought? LW3 strikes me as the sort of person who would be right at home in The Lion in Winter. The lead complaint is rather a weak one, followed by a stronger objection to car waxing. I shall recuse myself for the portion of the question concerning car waxing, which borders too closely on the technical. And finally, as an aside, comes the real bomb, that H3 thinks F3 would date him if he were single. What sort of revelation is that? I'd advise an instant divorce, except that I don't like either LW3 or H3 enough to think that either party deserves to be allowed to part.

L4:  Wouldn't it be delightful to use LW4 and LW1 in a remake of No Exit? I'd advise LW4 to regard problems in light of their difficulty rather than their magnitude. I'd also advise LW4 to watch Metropolitan, with particular regard to how Tom is finally persuaded to set aside his "principled stand" that he shouldn't go to any more deb parties because of The Less Fortunate by Nick's argument that, to many people, Tom himself is TLF. But back to the point of difficulty-versus-magnitude, many smallish problems with limited impact are rather more difficult to solve than various more serious and permanent problems, such as, say, leglessness. Recall Hercule Poirot in The Clocks finding three pieces of orange peel in his umbrella stand, or Miss Marple's occasional references to Miss Wetherby's gill of peeled shrimps.

L1:  LW1 comes across as if (s)he expects life to be like Gossip Girl, with herself as some sort of Queen Bee whose glory and magnificence fills others with awe and deference, or perhaps Heathers with herself as the interchangeable chief Heather, or maybe some cross between the two. (Only one gender-indefinite is used as the letter seems to meet a preponderance-of-the-evidence standard even if it falls short of beyond reasonable doubt.) I am at least provisionally willing to accept her assertion about her hard work. But there is a definite air here of Eau de Zero-Sum. I also get a sense of the skit from when Chris Evert hosted Saturday Night Live, in which Nora Dunn portrayed Martina Navratilova, following Chris from one new post-tennis career to the next, always with the claim, "I missed the competition!" (Stefanie Graf - and those who like such things should search out her picture in character as Smurfette for this Hallowe'en - might reasonably have taken issue, but so it was.)

But now I get to tangle with the Prudecutor, always the best part of any week. Why on earth not convey to others that LW1 works so hard to maintain her good looks? Many women make quite a system out of doing exactly that. It can be cloying when overdone, but for some it's workable. And the Prudecutor's assertion that her looks should look effortless? Entirely wrong. If people, particularly women, are going to spend all that time on their looks instead of on less patriarchy-pleasing accomplishments, it is doing the world a service to make that readily apparent. For instance, to use a generally male example, there are people who actually find those with a body-builder-like appearance unattractive, as such a person clearly exceeds the maximum gym time such a chooser would find acceptable. But at least built-body types are usually only too pleased and proud to appear just as they are, which saves everybody time and effort. Imagine the repetitive disappointment of going on a dozen first dates with people who seem quite as one would like only to find out time after time that each averages six hours a day in the gym.

As for what LW1 should do (besides go cry to LW4?) - accept human nature? make as much quic money as possible and invest it soundly before it's too late? start her own company? (I am not really trying all that hard to care.)

Moral:  "I talk people and you answer back in provinces." "They get mixed up."

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