9.24.2005

Oogling Orfeoes

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Dear Aggie,

I don't know what I can do to help my friend. She and her fiancee called it off 4 years ago and she is still not over him. It's almost like this happened yesterday! He is a musician, a really hot picker that I know Aggie has heard of, and he keeps an online journal on his band's website. This is where my friend discovered that he married someone elso last month!!
Oh dear....

She hasn't dated anyone else since the breakup... oh... there have been some attempts but nothing sticks. She does have a few lingering crushes that come and go on a few other hot guitar players, but I'm afraid nothing is going to pan out with any of them.
The only one who's not a little scary is 7 years younger than she is, and seems to prefer women much younger than himself -- and he's so hot there's going to be a steady supply of them. Besides, these guys can all get the message pretty quick that her torch is still lit for Mr. Newlywed.

She's in her late 40s, so it's not like she can spare all this wasted time. I am certainly not to one to be the Love Doctor as I am screwed up for life in that department. Do you think there's any hope? Should I suggest drugs or hypnosis?

Love,
Tech Sass

Oh dear.
Girlfriend is under the sad disillusion that guitar players are Regular Guys.
Guitar Players are Musicians.

Whereas quite a few nice men play guitar, almost no nice guys do it for a living.
(there are a few, very few exceptions to the rule).
It seems a classic case of her being hung up on an IDEA of what she thinks she wants, and attempting to fill the mold she holds in her head with something like "The One That Got Away."
All the while hoping He'll Be Back.

But he did get away.
He is over Her.
I mean -- hello! Married another woman -- and didn't even think to notify the ex personally?
Your friend is so far off his emotional radar she could be on the Moon.

There is a strong possibility he will never directly confront the ex-fiancee because as a rule...
The typical guitar player will charmingly still dangle some worm of hope to keep a girl thinking something could happen, rather than brutally cut her heart out and feed it to his stable of sex kittens for "treats".
That's what lead singers do.

Please keep in mind that it is the J-O-B of an entertainer to appeal to the opposite sex.
Point of fact -- it's the top reason why boys pick up guitars in the first place.
And -- once fully engaged with the guitar -- maturity in every other area is arrested.

But -- your friend has a fixation on guitar players.
Perhaps she is a music aficionado; perhaps she imagines a jet set life style as part of the coterie of *the group*. The cold reality is that Musicians are feckless and reckless by nature, not to be trusted, and very, very poor risks for the long term relationship.

This is not what little girls train for with their Barbie doll play.
Ever see a "Guitar God Ken" doll (complete with scale Stratocaster?) Hell no.
He'd be doing Stacie and Trixie behind Barbie's back, with Skipper lying for him.
He'd probably screw Skipper too, if he got the opportunity.. "I didn't know she was jailbait, I swear..."

The problem with Musicians or what I prefer to call, Stud Puppy Syndrome is that their very most appealing attribute, their "fun" quotient, is also their tragic flaw.
Sure you can get them neutered so they aren't hounding after every bitch they get a wiff of -- but it makes them useless as Studs, you know.
and there are many, many ways to castrate a male besides under anesthesia.
Trust me on this. I have been guilty of the surgical steel tongue myself and gelded quite a few ponies in my time -- but that's another story. Guitar Players are deeply attached to their testicles ["The Boys"] and don't give them up without a good deal of sissy-mary screaming and thrashing around. Most usually run away when their roaming days are threatened to be tied off.

It's instinctual. Nothing personal.
which is the bigger problem, the subtle problem.
it's Never personal.
It is the extremely rare guitar player who thinks of another human being with the same adoration he reserves for his guitars.
it could happen.
and flying monkeys are gonna zoom from which orifice?..

As for the new wife -- I wish her the patience of a saint, the forgiveness of a mother -- and the intestinal fortitude of Mahatma Gandhi to weather the emotional starvation and physical abandonment she'll endure during the touring / recording / and genial whoring around of her husband.

I think the problem is best summed up in the Saul Bellow quote -- "A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep." For whatever reason, your friend in this period of time needs these tissues of belief as training wheels for the rest of her existence.
It's a crutch. It's a totem. It's the Magic.
she is, in other words, "elf-struck".

there's nothing you can do -- and if you take steps to try to bring her to her senses, it will be a case of you deciding what's right for her, not your friend deciding what's right for her. she's 47 years old -- and a mostly functioning member of society?... "Flow gently sweet Afton, disturb not her dream..."

I assume, since you are an intelligent gurl -- girlfriend has brains too. Perhaps the prickly awareness her friends are humoring her will get her to take action.
Or... perhaps the only thing that keeps her from emptying the medicine cabinet with a vodka chaser is dreams.
Believe me -- I have my little EJ fixation and it's saved lives a few times. Just because it's entirely fantasy based with no shred of contact between physical bodies doesn't make it less of a crutch.

however --
if 10 years from now she says, "Why the hell didn't you do something to wake me up and fix me?!" you are well in your rights to punch her in her face. Just once.
and tell her to hold still and do a major wind up into it.

~A.A.

9.22.2005

Sex -- the woman's side...

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I need some serious advice! I have a date with a man tomorrow night - after only exchanging a few emails. His deal is that he likes to move quickly into having sex as long as he feels that a friendship is possible (wink wink). But the ironic/scary thing is that I am seriously considering it. He is very upfront about it so he hasn't misled me in any way. I feel that I am in an odd situation - having not been with a man in MANY years - make that 15. So, part of me wants to just get it out of the way - so that it is not a big deal if I meet someone I really like. Another voice tells me to just wait (I've waited this long) until I do meet someone I really like. I never used to think about this kind of thing until I 'met' S*** - I blame him! So, so you have any words of wisdom?

Isn't it strange how women are conditioned to feeling there Must Be More to a relationship before they'll consider having sex with a man -- whereas most men will have sex with anything that strikes their fancy. And yes -- I do mean, A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

This can't be stressed enough.
Of course it always will be the females discretion -- after all, the obligation of motherhood is hers alone regardless of whether the male is compelled to take an interest in his offspring's life.

However...
There comes a point in a woman's life where progeny are no longer THE pressing concern: whether through menopause (lordy I hope it doesn't take that long for the majority!) or a conscious decision to take the issue of birth control into her own hands and act as an independent agent, much like men do their whole lives. (I'm sorry. Fatherhood is a conditional "duty" that depends on a moral sense rather than a biological one. I am not dissing men -- it is just that a man drops his seed and can wander back to that field 15 years later to find his child 14 years old -- whereas a woman has at the very least gone through a physical cycle of pregnancy for 9 months -- regardless of whether she has taken responsibility for that offspring. Motherhood is forever. Just thoughts ... I digress.)

Here's a question -- if it were possible for you to go to Nevada, say -- and select a male *escort* (legally) to have guilt free, near anonymous intercourse with; knowing that there would be NO complications of emotional involvement or obligations to even know the guy's real name (we can assume he's a pure stud puppy and had a vasectomy as well as all his shots and screened free of viruses!) would you be comfortable (besides the squirming of doing something so radically different) and OK with that?

If you are -- go ahead and use this guy for a flesh spike.
If you aren't -- don't merely put yourself in a position "Just because" you're wondering if you're going to be in dry dock the rest of your life.

Accept responsibility for your sexuality -- don't make it contingent on the progeny values that root the traditional Patriarchal female sexual script. You are more than that.

Value yourself. It is a radical idea, since all women tend to see ourselves priced and sorted through the male system of selection.

You may genuinely only be feeling these stirrings because you long for the physical connection with S*** to complete the emotional and intellectual pathways you two energized within you.
so you will settle for a proxy. (hey! just like men do!)
You may on the other hand be feeling these things because you are a hoochie mama finally shed of being a goody-two-shoes looking for a hot load and "see ya around, fella" bit of exercise.

Whatever you do -- be aware of what and why you're doing it and have an honest discussion with yourself.

Personally -- This guy who is so upfront about sex first is playing far too steep a game for you, in your neophyte outing of getting back into the swing of being a dating, datable person. Allowing him to impose this rule on you (which you inherently agree to abide by when you accept the date) gives him all the power.

If you want to adapt his terms for selecting your own next applicant "Hi I'm Kathy and I like to move quickly into having sex as long as I feel that a friendship is possible (wink wink)." I like those odds better.

I hope you don't find any of what I wrote offensive.
I'm sure some of it will feel like a poke in a raw wound with a hot poker.
think about the cauterizing effect!

hope it helps,
~A.A.

8.11.2005

People, people who need people...

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Dear Aggie,

Do you think it's strange that some of my best friends are lights on a computer screen? How crazy is that? (How pitiful, really?) I belong to several other groups and in one, a person was banned. I miss the conversation with that person and the group seems flat, now. I'm new here, but there seems to be some interesting personalities. I'm not sure I even have a question. Just wanted to talk.

Fifi

Fifi,

How crazy is it that I'm answering a non-question?
Talk away.

as for missing a person who was banned from a group... that person still exists outside of the group and so do you. YOU could even start your own group for people who have been banned from groups you belong to. (there's an interesting subculture, to be sure.)

Most of the people I consider friends are on the Internet as well: it's because on the net we tend to hook up with people who share our passions (and obsessions) with a direct jack-plug connection, so it is at once far more intense and less subjective to the eddies and currents of daily activities and distractions.

The phenomenon of limited friendships has taken on an instant gratification factor because of the immediate response of electronic communications, but people have enjoyed "Pen Pal" friendships for ages.

Unless my Dear, you are actually "friends" with the little glowing lights on the screen. I am rather fond of the color cerulean blue, but I never hear from it.
And after that balmly weekend we shared in the Keys, you'd have thought I'd cross it's mind!

~A.A.

Homophobia: is there a bigger waste of time and energy?...*

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Dear Aunt Aggie,

I am contacting you because my good friend Bell, said you could help me. I have a pen pal and I don't know if it's a woman or a man. I'm beginning to develop feelings in that direction, but am afraid it might mean i'm homosapien or sexual... or one of those long "ho" words. Ho ho's were always my favorite snack cake, now I'm reluctant to eat one... Do you think that means anything?

Sincerely,
Terrence Hoosgla


Dear Terrence,

I blame your parents for giving you an ambisexual name, first off. Damn silly people couldn't name you Marvin? So now you are forced to sign your name "Terrence" to ensure gender identification? sheesh.

However -- before getting your panties in a bunch over whether or not you have "rights" to go into a homophobic snit, why not simply ask your pen pal some gender specific questions? Make it a "fun Quiz"!

as for a reluctance to eat Ho Hos .... Terry dear, maybe your pancreas is trying to tell you something completely unrelated to your sexual urges. Eating Ho Hos is not good for you -- and you should only eat the singular variety using a little device known as a "dental dam".

~A.A.

*Thanks to Comedian Ron White for the title.

Business is Business

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Dear Aunt Aggie,
So hoping you can help me. I work for an advertising agency and my dept. has develped a promotion, that is well on it's way to being very successful. The problem is one of the men who works with me has taken this idea and posted it on his web site.

Aunt Aggie, this idea was developed in my company and any comments regarding this should come thru my office. By posting this on his web site, the insinuation is that it's his idea and his property.

What is your advice on how to handle this?
Fiona

Fiona,

Have you spoken to this man? Called him into your office, perhaps with his website on your Monitor, and told him that this idea is not his to make free use of?..

Bring up the words, "Copyright Infringement", and the sincerely regrettable (put a sad frown on your face and shake your head from side to side) "I really hope I don't need to get the legal department involved, here."

You now look like you are trying to be his buddy, but also putting the company first.
If he tries to reason with you that it's "Just an idea anyone could come up with" ask him if indeed he was the one who came up with it. After that --

You don't need an advice columnist, you need a lawyer.

~ A.A.

Off Color Confuzzled (Orange You Glad...)

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Dear Aunt Aggie,
I have a loyalty problem. I want to be politically correct and still exhibited some ability to think for my self. I often run into logic and reality problem with this goal. Your discussion on bigotry brought this confusion to a front for me.
When I was reading the list I was doing pretty good till I got to this area or reasoning.

You will not eat certain foods or consider going into certain areas of the city because, "That's for those sorts of people."

My thought are; You bet. I live long and prosper. Victory and survival is for a very directional runner. If we go out to party, you best show some stereotyping skills.

And, I hate boiled chitlans, and I don't care who thinks that is good food or why.

Guess I didn't pass this one.
You have ever uttered the phrase, "I wouldn't want my daughter to marry one."

Honest Aunt Aggie it was Calija ,a wooden Indian at Applebuns. And right in the peak of rush hour.

Let's be real, there are a lot of things I would not want my daughter to marry. Werewolf's, Vampires, Cops, Stunt drivers, Evil Kanevile dare devils, little Nicky. Big Red, that guy that stuffs corn up his noes for attention and that crazy girl down the street.
Matter of fact I am not going to marry them either. Marry...Define.
I don't think so. See, now I got a problem with tradition.
This thing could snowball...is that a good or bad thing ? in one situation you have fun throwing it, and in the other it crushes you.

I reject all thing I don't like equally. What ever 'They' are.
And I like thing I just shoulden't. Guilt. guilt.confession.. mean spirited movies.
I wouldn't want to make one! but, I watch and scream in horror.
I am reasonably confortable with that as human condition.
I am at liberty to like or dislike who or what ever I please, and I would prefer not to be condemned by hypocrite or saint.
It is against my religions.
It is that whole goose and gander thing. It good for a quick cop out.


After all this time I am totly confussed by statements made in this line of conversation.
Logically, I do not have to like everything or every one. This is not lion shall lay down with the lamb yet.
If that lamb lays down with that lion ...it is to be eaten.

So, I guess a am a little bigot and shall reap the wrath of public rejection for politicaly incorrect thinking> Because; beast that I am, I do not want to live with meaner beasts.
Only mean like me.

What does bigot mean?? Define. Now be real here on earth.

Maybe I am not bad at all. Perhaps, I am just naturally an ego centric maniac.
What then? Who loves me for who and what I am? Humm...Mental heath..Ka Ching.

Where have I gone off base?

Off Color Confuzzled

Dear OCC,

Didn't mean to get your stem in a twist. Bigotry is the dismissal of an entire group of beings based on general assumptions, and usually inapplicable to the individuals who seem to have found themselves grouped together.

I say to really hate somebody, you have to know them.

Taste, it is said, is formed on the basis of a thousand distastes.
You are not obligated to enjoy chitlins.
Not wanting your daughter to marry a junkbondsman who's done time in the big house is a reasonable prejudice where the burden of proof (i.e. worthiness) lies on all individuals -- and is essentially HER decision.

Being a saint is overrated, as is the romaniticized lawlessness of being a sinner.

My personal code is that being myself (which generally means insufferably opinionated and snotty) with a few close friends is my reward for being on good manners with everyone else. Hypocritical? In the strictess sense, you betcha. Welcome to the adult world.

Keep using your head.
Political Correctness by rote is a dangerous thing.
Thinking and living your own life accordingly is what makes being in the USA a worthwhile thing.
Enjoy it while you can.

~A.A.
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Aunt Aggie,
Thanks so much for that clarification. My stem feel much better, and I scored a lot better on the ok fruits list. I feared I might have to pluck my leaves or something punitive like that.
It is pretty hard to stay four star and hold a balance.
I am really happy that I don't have to eat chitlens.
I really didn't want to be a bigot even if I wasn't sure what that meant. I figured it had to be pretty bad because people always yell it at each other. Perhaps we could work on that opinionated thing next. As far as peoples go...all the peoples are wonderful.
You Aggie, are truly a treat. And your point of view is pleasantly sound of mind. I enjoy good clear thinking. I might have to make up problems just to come a visit.
I am accustomed to those who are in quest for true enlightenment and reaching for the higher Self. I just kind of wanted to take my time with this transcendence trick. Maybe a few more go around here on planet earth.
I still have a little sinning I would like to do. I like it here..
Thanks again for hearing me out.
~OCC

6.02.2005

Mail bag II

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Dear Aunt Aggie,

Thanks for the reply. This aunt recently sent me an incredibly bigoted email -- "You Know you're a Ghetto Christian..." I really had to bite my tongue. But you're right. What's the point?
*sigh*
Blueberry

Dear Blueberry,

They serve who stand as illustration of the Peter Drucker credo (adapted from Theodore Sturgeon) "90% of people exist so you can better appreciate the other 10%". If only so many of them didn't.

Here's an email you can forward to your Aunt.. anonymously, of course.

You Might Be A Clueless Bigot if you....

[1.] Have plenty of time to tell other people what you think is wrong with the world but no time to "invest sweat equity" to organizations trying to make the world a better place.

[2.] most of your firmly held beliefs are passed on verbatim from talk radio...

[3.] ...or have essentially been the same ones you've held since junior high school.

[4.] Anything with the name "Our Lord Jesus" on it has to be good, if not sacrosanct.

[5.] You will not eat certain foods or consider going into certain areas of the city because, "That's for those sorts of people."

[6.] You have ever uttered the phrase, "I wouldn't want my daughter to marry one."

[7.] You are certain without any doubt you are going to heaven and you are equally as sure about the people who aren't.

[8.] You feel the only good songs were written for organ accompaniment.

[9.] You can tell at a glance everything you want or need to know about another person and only "listen" to them to confirm your snap judgement.

[10.] You forward emails that are "funny" because they make fun of a group of people you do not belong to and have no other point.
Unlike this one.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
just off the top of my head, but whaddya think?...

~A.A.
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Dear Aunt Aggie,

I tried to send my brother & his wife a goofy dog ditty fw. I was told I need to fill out a form so they could receive my spam. Web tv can't seem to get me to where I need to go. Would you mind asking them to put me on the guest list?

Signed
Technically challenged, but tasteful in her forwards.

Dear Tech_Chal_Gal

Speaking of Ghettos... The "webbies" are second class citizens on the order of a bastard attending a family reunion. Web tv was bought by MSN -- and promptly seemed to be regulated into a techno-limbo.

What is especially...tedious (to use a tasteful word) is that Web tv users can't access half the benefits of coming into the fold of Brother Gates Omnipresence.

I do need to point out that your brother probably has his Firewall and SPAM-eradicator program set on Ultra Paranoia. Better pick up the telephone. You may even need to *ugh* write him using a dead tree and ballpoint.

I swear to all that is Holy and Hygenic if people were as cautious in their sexual encounters as they are about deploying security programs to their precious PCs...[rolls eyes].

well -- we'd all be using Apple if we were really intelligent enough to merit eternal life, wouldn't we?

~A.A.
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Dear Aunt Aggie,

Recently I met this women on line and kinda develop a thing for her. The problem is, I'm not in a position to do anything about it. She's getting upset with me, because she thinks I'm playing games with her. One minute she's telling me what a bozo, I am (and I don't blame her) but the next minute she tells me what she would do to me, if we were in bed.

I know I should distance myself from this woman, but there's something about her that keeps me coming back for more. It isn't just the hot talk. She's a very funny and smart woman. What can I do to let her know, I would if I could.

Sincerely,
Kenny DeWitt

Dear Mr DeWitt,
Since in your own words, you are "not in a position to do anything about it" but at the same time you cannot bring yourself to just shut it down (you are obviously enjoying the attention, even when she calls you a bozo) why not gamble with the fact this intelligent woman with a sense of humor would understand just that?

On the other hand -- perhaps in your mind there is more going on than what is actually there. Do you feel if you are point blank honest her reaction might be, "Whoa cowboy! Just because we're flirting doesn't mean I'm looking for an extended contract?" That would be embarrassing, wouldn't it?
You know what? You both laugh -- and you get over it.

IF I may be so bold (and am not presuming on the quality of your Machismo) try talking to her about "the relationship": guys have a right to ask you know; this isn't just the private torture jurisdiction of females.

~A.A.
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Dear Ag (ok if I call you that?)

Just had a rather embarassing experience and need a little advice from the female point of view. For the past year, there is a girl in my office that has been flirting with me. As much as I would have liked to take it a step further, I don't fool around with the women I work with.

During an office party last week, I had a few too many dips in the punch bowl, one thing led to another and the next thing I know, we're in my office on the verge of having a hot session on my couch. At this precise moment, the overhead sprinklers connected to the fire alarm went off. It was a sobering moment, to say the least. Having thrown our clothes under the desk, (they were dry) we ducked into a closet, dressed hurriedly and exited the building.

There stood my whole office staff, drenching wet and here we were in dry clothes. The rumour mill started immediately and both of us have been the subject of a lot of wisecracks. My question is... how can I quell these rumours and put a stop to all of these speculations?

Sincerely
A.T. Toppe, CEO

Dear Mr. Toppe, CEO --

Well now -- you got caught high and dry; and speculation is rampant on what the two of you might have been doing ... that you were, indeed, doing?

it seems God does have a rawther burlesque sense of humor, doesn't She?

Continue with your complete denial of the truth. You ARE the CEO -- if your underlings don't like your version of "the miracle of the dried garments" perhaps they are in need of a reminder of the numerous well paying employment opportunities easily found elsewhere -- which should cause all rumour and speculation rumblings to return to their normal levels of being beneath your notice.

~A.A.
and you can call me any lil ol' thang you'd like to, sugah.

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Dear Aunt Aggie,

For some time now, I have suspected the guy at the dry cleaners was wearing my clothes. I now have proof, but the cost to me is high.

Last week, left a sport coat there and picked it up this morning. Took the bag off, threw it on the bed and was in the shower. I hear a scream from the bedroom. Jumping out of the shower, not even stopping to grab a towel, I find my girlfriend holding the jacket in one hand and a piece of paper in the other hand. It was a phone number and several rather lewd remarks, about a repeat performance.

Of course, my girlfriend isn't listening to a thing I say (don't blame her) and she procedes to trash my apartment (I'm running around necked trying to stop her) Then she storms out the door. Hurriedly, I get dresses to go after her and find she has sprayed painted my jaguar.

I don't really need any advice, but wanted to write you a note... before I land in jail. Am on my way to administer a well deserved a** kicking to the responsible party. Wish me luck.

Ed Banger


Dear Mr. Banger,

Anyone who has ever made the mistake of not emptying their pockets before dropping off an item at the dry cleaners knows what happens to ephemera that goes through the dry cleaning process. I had a best friend who's cherished autograph from a guitarist was stupidly left in an inner jacket pocket -- and the dry cleaning staff missed pulling it out. If you do happen to have a good dry cleaner -- your stuff gets returned to you in a plastic bag with your name on it. Soooo...

If indeed the jacket was fresh from the cleaners (and why should I doubt your tale?) there is no chance a legible note of any kind could have survived dry cleaning.

ergo -- somebody wore your jacket before you picked it up.

As for the maniac who went ballistic and vandalized your possessions -- not to mention -- HELLO!? She's going through your jacket pockets on the sly looking for lord knows what? She has some serious issues.

Nobody is so good in bed you can dismiss hysterical theatrics and wanton destruction.

Your girlfriend is a moron. Do you really want to run the risk of breeding more morons that'll call you Dad and want to borrow your car?
~ A.A.
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Dear Aunt Aggie,

I'm in one of those dreary situations that seem so easy to solve, when's happening to someone else. I am divorced from my childhood sweetheart, with whom I have several children. We are still good friends and worked together to raise our children, even if we both have found someone else. The fellow she dates is a really nice guy and we are as friendly as one can be in that type of situation.

For the past 5 years, I have lived with a woman with marriage in the back of mind, when the time is right. She models jewelry for a large department store chain and travels, constantly. I have plenty of opportunity to see other women, if I was so inclined. But I'm not. I've reached a point in my life, where I want to work seriously on my career and spend the time she is away, doing just that.

The problem is... she is jealous of my ex. She resents every phone call I get from her and if the occassion arises that I have to check on the children, I catch hell for a week. Don't suggest I take her with me, because I don't trust her not to start trouble.

In every other way we are compatible, but I'm at my wit's end with this. Any suggestions?

Mike Rohsopht

Dear Mr. Rohsopht,

This woman is a convenience for you -- she travels alot. When she's home I'm sure the sex is just dandy, but other than that she's a diamond studded high mantenance B-!-T-C-H who does not want you to have any contact with your ex-wife and current children. She punishes you for having the audacity to take anyone else's life into consideration, other than her own?..

Don't think it's all her fault, either. You are no prize. If you want to concentrate on making your career happen and actual attention and involvement with a real person with real feelings is so far on the back burner that occasionally playing house with a model is your idea of a relationship (well, until she opens her mouth) that might lead to marriage: you are an idiot.

I could see where the two of you, in your mind are compatible -- you surely do deserve each other. My advice to you is to shut the hell up and buy her something to placate her.

Oh, and do tell the kids that Daddy can only deal with their lives when his girlfriend is out of town.
They'll understand. Evil Stepmother prototypes are in all the cool fairytales, right?

~A.A.
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Dear Aunt Aggie
I have this real Aunt Agnes who is rather hard of hearing. Sometimes it is so bad that when you say something as simple as How was your day today? She hears "Now whadya play today" She is a casino-aholic. She will then start complaining about how her last day at the casino was. What she played, if she won, who was there (hordes of the gray wave ride the bus to the casino don't ya know). This happens so often, that she hears casino talk in every conversation, I am at wits end in how to talk to her without her discussing her gambling addiction. Do you have any suggestions?


Tired of garbled gambling talk.

Dear TGGT,

So she's a gambling addict, is she? Has she lost her home, hocked your car, and is she pursued by bent nosed ruffians who tie her walker legs in knots?..

My dear TGGT -- real addicts do not discuss any aspect of their addiction unless it is with others of their ilk. It is not a form of inverse snobbery so much as the only reality they CAN grasp is the reality of their fix-ation. It sounds like your Auntie has found a niche for herself with the other blue hairs, and she's got the added bonus of selective hearing that guarantees her she'll be left to her own devices, the silver fox.

Your dear old Aunt Agnes sounds like she's living the lifestyle she wants: if you can't play along, then buy her a bucket of quarters and send her back to the slots.

~A.A.

5.18.2005

Why d'you think it's called "University"?

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Dear Aunt Aggie,

I really like all the wise advice I hear from you. I think it is good sound advice and I would like to apply them all. Or at least I think I should.....I fear conforming to 'other peoples' standards.
IF I made all the necessary changes to reach the stage of enlightened being that is being offered by so many schools of wisdom.; Would I still be me?, what of this small self with only one life to live??
Who shall I let live it???
This being with her earthy balances and dualities is pretty important to me just now. We share skin.

Many Me of diversity

Dear Diverse,
Don't fret over change. The body completely replaces all it's blood cells in the space of a three month period. I am not the same person I was before I read your letter, and I will be a different person yet when I turn off the computer and go to bed. But I am still me.
As you are always you.

You are right: there are many schools of wisdom -- but who says you only get to enroll in one or two in a lifetime? Or that you have to graduate from them with your brain set in concrete?
Each and every one of us is the only truth we will ever know.
If you are alive in the moment, truly experiencing; seeing-hearing-touching-tasting-breathing what every moment has to offer -- you are enrolled in the Cosmic University of NOW.
Shoot for the Dean's List.
On graduation day you get to shake hands with yourself.

keeping to the School motif...a brief discussion of Karma.
here's my theory -- and keep in mind it is *just* a therory:
The Universe is our University where we enroll for many lifetimes to further our soul's education towards Enlightenment.
I think "Karma" is the individual course of study we sign up for before entering this lifetime.

More than half the troubles we have are that we aren't given a schedule of our classes -- so we end up making a mess of things -- wandering the halls , attending interesting lectures, but failing to get course credit and missing the Deans list due to THE UNIVERSAL LACK OF DIRECT COMMUNICATION BETWEEN FACULTY AND STUDENT BODY!!!

how can we be predestined to do anything -- if we don't know what, where, (with) whom, why, how we get from point A to point B?

isn't destiny, infact -- hindsight? An observation humans make to rationalize the choices that brought us to where we are right this minute: with a "good" or "bad" spin to the tone as you raise your hand to explain:
a. that you didn't get a chance to study last night
b. that you're pretty sure you saw this material last semester
c. 'the dog" ate your homework
d. Hope there's extra credit assignments -- you need all the applicable points towards graduation you can get!

Truly -- we're never out of school -- the classroom dimensions just keep getting bigger, more complex.
I wonder how many of us are in *Special Ed.* / Remedial / Summer School -- and on the flip side of that -- who's in the Advanced Placement Excelerated courses?...

~A.A.

Blueberry in the Ketchup

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Dear Aunt Aggie:

I have an aunt who married my dear uncle after his first wife died. I’ve never met her, but she sends me the worst kind of right wing republican pro-war christian spam out there, most are mass mailed. A previous one asked for prayers for a certain soldier who was fighting, and I quote, “the enemies of God (the Iraqi insurgents)”. One of them I got this week had the subject line “ACLU Morons” and claimed that the ACLU wanted the crosses from federal cemeteries removed, and that the email should be forwarded around as much as possible. It has been debunked here:
http://www.breakthechain.org/exclusives/aclucross.html.

She tells everyone that she is a poet, and here is a page dedicated to her poem:
http://www.alighthouse.com/pope.htm.
She is not even catholic! Then today, she sent me a cute joke about a man who used the word “penis” as a password, and it was rejected because it was not long enough. She claimed that she also sent the joke to her preacher and that it wasn’t really dirty. OK, now my head is spinning.

My dilemma is that my fundy dysfunctional relatives (which is pretty much all of them) don't know I’m an agnostic atheist secular humanist anti-war liberal. I try to steer clear of these people as much as possible and see no point in ever bringing it up.

Am I headed for trouble here, or on a highway to hell?
Should I just lay low until they all die off ?

Blueberry in the ketchup

My Dear Blueberry --
First -- Take comfort where you can get it -- your Uncle married this woman after your Aunt passed; so #2 is a "step-Aunt" at best. Doesn't help with the rest of the nuts on the family tree, but somehow ...ok maybe less comfort there than if she were a singularity.

You cannot reason with people who are so fundamentally mislead that they pass along mass SPAM as if it were something anyone with blood flowing freely through their grey cells could possibly enjoy.

That she is so clueless about the penis joke is indicative of a lack of consistency on her part -- what she is doing is looking to you Blueberry, as an acknowledged "smarty" to give her a feeling of validation and inclusion.

I'm afraid I have bad news as far as keeping the peace: you should lay low and not fight back (unless you decide to get pro-active and political in your outer-life: then and only then is pissing off and alienating the relatives the cherry and whipped cream on the political beliefs sundae).

This is a bit cowardly but it also takes into account that YOU have a life; and the right-wing clueless lemming Aunt is so desperate to be recognized as worthwhile, that should you reveal yourself as diametrically opposite her assumption of what is right and good in the world she will take all of her empty piddly pathetic time and FOCUS on fixing you: because being in the Moral Majority means she is right and you are wrong.
Regardless of the fact that you are the thinking un-numbed brain in the equation.

Now you really don't want to become her mission in life do you?

You are not going to hell -- you are being polite, which is more than I can say for your Aunt.

Remember that having good manners are not about your personal comfort, and if your smile begins to slip in the face of all that Red State ketchup --
keep in mind you live your own life, have been doing it for some time -- and being a blueberry is a very good thing to be.

oh -- and for your amusement, here's a recipe for...
alternative ketchup.

BANANA KETCHUP

Ingredients
1/2 c Golden raisins
1/3 c Coarsely chopped onions
2 lg Garlic cloves
1/3 c Tomato paste
1-1/3 c Cider vinegar
4 lg Very ripe bananas, peeled and cut into chunks
3 To 4 cups water
1/2 c (packed) dark brown sugar
1 1/2 ts Salt
1/2 ts Cayenne pepper
1/4 c Light corn syrup
2 ts Ground allspice
3/4 ts Ground cinnamon
3/4 ts Freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 ts Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 ts Ground cloves
2 tb Dark rum

Combine the raisins, onions, garlic, tomato paste and 1/3 cup vinegar in the container of a food processor, Process the mixture until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large, heavy saucepan.
Add the banana chunks and another 1/3 cup vinegar to the food processor container. Process the mixture until smooth.
Transfer the banana mixture to the saucepan.
Add the remaining 2/3 cup vinegar, 3 cups water, brown sugar, salt and cayenne pepper.
Bring the mixture in the saucepan to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.
Reduce the heat to low and cook the ketchup, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/4 hours.
If the ketchup threatens to stick to the bottom of the pan at any point, add some of the remaining water, up to 1 cup.
Add the corn syrup, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and cloves to the ketchup. Cook the ketchup over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes longer or until it is thick enough to coat a metal spoon.
Stir in the rum.
Remove the ketchup from the heat and let it cool a few minutes.
Force the ketchup through a fine sieve to strain it, pressing down hard on the solids.
Remove the ketchup from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
Store the banana ketchup covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

~A.A.

5.16.2005

Visiting the summer of 1969..?

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Dear Aunt Aggie,
I was recently weirded out by a picture of my husband taken when he was a 15 year old (he's 50 now). The bizzare thing is -- it IS my hubby, and I love him very much and he turns me on just as he is -- but there is just...I don't know... SOMETHING about how darn adorable he is as a boy: it's like they're two different people and I have a crush on the kid?!

Now I've been noticing other boy-guys... but mostly to compare them to the picture ... it's just THAT picture... I can't get that picture out of my head!
No, we don't have kids -- I would hope I wouldn't feel like this about my son if I had one... but I wonder....

Is this one of those weird things I shouldn't think too much about?
or am I a pervert?
I feel kinda pervy...
(Unsigned)

Dear Un ~
It would only enter into the realm of "pervy" if you accosted actual 15 year old boys and made them act out intimate scenarios with you.
THAT would be pervy spelled f-e-l-o-n-y.

You've taken a perfectly pleasant facet of your husband's life and magnified it into an obsession. I assume you didn't know him when he was this age and that's spurring on your fascination.

Of course this particular picture of this particular 15 year old is going to have a profound affect on you! You are in love with this man -- and there is the beginning of the man he would become present in that picture, yes?

Now what you can do is talk to your husband -- NOT about the fact he's got competition with his own 15 year old self, there is not a blue pill in the world potent enough to defeat the down of a man being mortally aware he's not a kid anymore -- it seems you are beguiled by the mystery of your husband's youth: so ask him questions about it... ask where the picture was taken, what he thinks he might have been doing before and after... if you want to fantasize yourself into the story (at any age, this is just a fantasy after all) go right ahead.

When you truly love someone, paradoxical as it seems, age and time are irrelevant. You yourself tell me this is the case when you say "it IS my hubby, and I love him very much and he turns me on just as he is". You love who he is right now, you loved him yesterday, and very likely you will continue to love him in the future.

Healthy well adjusted people fall in love with all of the Other.
Get to know the boy he was -- and love the whole lot, more.

~A.A.

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