One Line Wednesdays: Get It Right

Today’s One Line Wednesday™ comes from Dear Abby

Dear Abby:
I am 12 and in the eighth grade. I have thought about suicide many times, and earlier pulled out a knife and almost slit my wrists. If I tell my parents, they won’t believe me. They’ll think I’m making it up to get attention. If I talk to the school counselor, she’ll tell my parents for sure.
I’m afraid of myself when I’m home alone sometimes. Can you please help me? – Afraid of Myself, Pennsylvania


When you slit your wrists, remember it’s down the highway, not across the street


Each week, I select a letter for One Line Wednesday™ and skip the usual in-depth advice and gets right to the point in one word or sentence. Think you can do better? Submit your one line response below.  Who knows, maybe eventually there will be a prize for the best one. 

Facebook Ruins Another Life

Today’s Entry comes from Wayne and Tamara, who need some lessons in Facebook.


A Blight on Society

I need an outside opinion. I have been with my fiancé 10 years. He cheated with his high school sweetheart almost three years ago, before we became engaged. It was one of the most painful times in my life.

[To summarize in one sentence what it took her three paragraphs: They broke up, but got back together a year ago]

Four days ago my fiancé left for a mission to Haiti, and with his absence I learned I missed him and had truly forgiven him for the affair.

Later that evening I updated his Facebook FarmVille game, a pastime he and his daughter love to share daily. As I was going through all the gifts from his online friends so he would not lose points, I came across a message from who else but his high school sweetheart.

It was dated two weeks before, and she wanted to congratulate him on his engagement. She said she didn’t know about it because he didn’t tell her, and that was followed by question marks. I admit I then pulled all his Facebook messages to see if there were more. Nothing.

At first I was jealous, then I found myself wondering why he was still in touch with her after he promised not to. I didn’t get angry. I didn’t shed one tear. I just cannot believe I am here again with the same people!

I removed my ring and placed it in the jewelry box that night. I’m not sure I can get married in the eyes of God when I do not trust him.

Later that night I called my mother. She told me, “We all have to endure this in relationships.” My best friend says I have too much at stake to walk away, but I keep thinking about all the e-mails and letters from before. It’s as though it happened all over again.


Wayne and Tamara take up half their response telling a totally unrelated story about some other woman who basically was cheated on, and cried about it during a speech she was giving 20 years later.  They go on to say:

…You can have ideas of forgiveness, you can talk about setting boundaries, you can parrot the latest jargon in psychology. It doesn’t matter. Betrayal will affect you this way because this reaction is built into us.

We receive letters from people whose spouse was unfaithful 20, 30 or 40 years ago. We receive letters from people whose unfaithful spouse is long dead. They still struggle to cope with agonizing memories.

Your friend says you have too much at stake to walk away. Actually, there is too much at stake to stay.

This is just another example of how Facebook and Farmville destroy people’s lives.  One minute you’re spending real time feeding imaginary animals and plants, and the next you are thinking of backing out of a real relationship because of what essentially amounts to spam. Are you serious?

You say “I found myself wondering why he was still in touch with her after he promised not to.”  What makes you think that?  Your fiancee has no control over which random people he has left behind in his life will show up in his Facebook. No one does.  Based on her general cluelessness, his total lack of response, and zero other communications, it seems  like there has been no contact but her single intrusion. You should do what he obviously did, and ignore and forget about it.

He didn’t tell you about it, but that’s not hiding something from you, it’s hiding a nothing from you.  Yes, people who were unfaithful in the past should be a lot more transparent, but disclosures like this, which are meaningless to him and only serve to make you paranoid are probably best left unmentioned.

I think the real problem is that you discovered this while your fiancee was busy doing missionary work in another country.  I’m sure if he were there, this would be easily explained and be a non-issue.  But since you are alone, it’s left to stew in your mind and make you crazy.

My only advice to you then would be this.  If you can’t handle unwanted overtures on Facebook, the next time your fiancee is off feeding starving children, you let his virtual crops die.


Hip Hop Hooray

Today’s entry comes from the column of Dr. Joyce Brothers

Dear Dr. Brothers: I have met a really cool guy, but we have one thing that is keeping us from going to a deeper place. It may sound silly, but that is our musical tastes. I like hip-hop, and he likes classical music and jazz. The problem is, we could just try to ignore this, but in his free time, he likes to go and jam with friends and go to see various orchestras. So he drags me with him, and I have to sit there and pretend to like it. Should I refuse to go with him? — A.H.

The good doctor prescribes:

Dear A.H.: It is a shame your musical taste is so different when the guy you are dating seems to spend a lot of time thinking about, enjoying and making music. I wonder if he feels as distressed as you do about your lack of compatibility in this area, or if he just hopes you will grow to see (and hear) things his way. It’s impossible to know unless you take the time to sit down with him and discuss the subject. He may think your music is ridiculous and childish, and you may find his boring and incomprehensible. But maybe you can make a deal: You each take a piece or an artist and try to do a little in-depth research about it — reading, listening, etc. — and then compare notes. It may be that you both will find something in the other’s choices to admire.

If worse comes to worst, you could just stay home instead of going with your friend to his music venues. But you’d be missing out on getting to know him on another level, and he surely would come to resent the fact that you don’t really want to grow in your relationship. In fact, I would predict that your refusal to go along would be seen as a put-down of his music and would soon lead to a parting of ways. I am sure you both would be more comfortable with people you could be on the same wavelength with musically, but you can always prove me wrong.

Musical taste is a very personal thing.  I’d be willing to bet that most people would rather have someone look through their porn collection or diary than their iTunes Library. There are more skeletons in my musical closet (Summer Girls by LFO) than I care to admit.

Ever wonder why iPods have headphones instead of speakers?  Because no one else wants to hear your music, that’s why.  I saw someone take a dump in the middle of the aisle on the NYC subway once. I mention this because while there are signs all over saying “Radios Silent”  there is nothing about keeping your shit off the floor.  That right there is all you need to know about other’s opinions of your music (and that New Yorkers value a quiet ride over the inconvenience of having to walk around a steamer during the morning commute.)

I mean really, this is what is keeping you from getting to “a deeper place?” Sound’s pretty shallow to me. It’s not politics or values, it’s music, and most of it is just goddamned noise.  Sure you may not appreciate each others music, but so fucking what? I’d rather listen to audio of my parents having wild monkey sex than listen to a album of.. I dunno something hip-hop.  I don’t even care enough to Google who is popular on the hip-hop scene these days.

Just let it go.  Following Joyce’s advice is a total waste of time. I don’t dislike hip-hop because I’m not educated about it.  I dislike it because it fucking sucks. You like it.  Good for you. You did what is reasonable.  You went to concerts a few times, gave his music a shot, and found it wasn’t for you.  If everything else is great, then let music be something that you enjoy separately.  If he is worth dating, he’ll understand that you’d rather do anything else and not force you to go.

When he jams or goes to concerts with his friends, go out with your friends.  You can meet up later (or before) and spend time then.  Listening to him talk about it for 10 minutes is better than sitting through it for 2 hours.

There is a glimmer of hope for you, considering that 10 years ago, in an attempt to be relevent, the London Symphony Orchestra did an entire concerts of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and The Who.  Maybe you’ll get lucky and they’ll cover “Bitches Ain’t Shit”  but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Until then, looks like yours will be a two iPod relationship.

R.I.P. Maggie

From Dear Abby

Did I do that?

DEAR ABBY: When I was in fourth grade, I was a bully. I remember one girl, Margaret, whose life I made particularly miserable with verbal and physical abuse. Every time I did it, I immediately felt guilty because I saw how devastated and unhappy she was. I knew her pain because I had a rotten home life.

I grew up to be a responsible citizen and loving mother, but as I approach 80, I still wish I could tell Margaret how sorry I am. How do I resolve this? — FORMER BULLY IN ALBUQUERQUE

Abby says

DEAR FORMER BULLY: Because you know Margaret’s age and place of birth, try Googling her….

Abby, did you forget this broad is 80 years old? Teaching my 60 year old mother how to use a mouse ended up with such frustration and verbal abuse that we didn’t speak for a week and a half.  Rather than put Bully through the process of figuring out what a computer, the internet, and Google is, I thought I would help by doing some research.  This is what I found.

From the Albuquerque Gazette, June 5, 1949

Tragically, local girl Margaret Prudence McGullicutty’s life was cut short days after she graduated high school when she took her own life in what the county coroner described as “by far the most horrific means I’ve seen in over 20 years. This will haunt me to my own grave.”  Father, Abe, said “she had her entire life ahead of her, but she was haunted by feelings of worthlessness and shame.”  Adding to the shock, investigators found a blood soaked suicide note that said only, “I’m finally free of her torment”  Family and police are baffled as to who this mystery girl is who drove Margaret to such a desperate act. “She got along with everyone,” said her 6-year-old brother Thomas.  “Whoever this girl is, I hope she lives the rest of her life with the guilt over what she has done, and then rots in hell for eternity.” Funeral service will be held at St. Martin’s Church on Friday.

Well, Bully.  I hope you’re happy.


BR is a Centerfold

From Ask Amy.


The only reason I am sharing this….

Dear Amy:“Grossed out Girlfriend’ didn’t like the nude “art” in her boyfriend’s group house. You answered her question suggesting that she might want to contribute a vintage Burt Reynolds nude centerfold to the household. As a 40-year-old straight man, it’s kind of weird for me to be correcting you about Reynolds’ nude modeling career. He posed for Cosmo, not Playgirl.— The Corrector

is so that I can share this…


You may like the smile, but it's the bearskin rug that makes it art

You’re welcome.

And for the Corrector, the centerfold was published in 1972, when you were 1 year old.  That means you must have Googled it like I did.  For a straight man, yeah, it’s kind of weird.

It’s Always About Her

So the Burt Reynolds post doesn’t really count.  Here is today’s letter:

Dear Dr. Brothers: I can’t tell if my boyfriend is just irresponsible and forgetful,

or if he doesn’t do the things that I ask because he doesn’t value our relationship. He has no problem remembering the scores of every football game of a season, but he can’t manage to remember to pick up my dry cleaning even when I’ve reminded him. I don’t ask a lot of him, and he’s perfectly sweet to me, but he never goes out of his way to please me. Is this a sign that he doesn’t really love me? — S.J.

Everything about this letter screams “high-maintenance bitch.” I’m guessing you’re super hot and are used to having men do whatever you want. He’s probably average and you think that he should bend over backwards to make you happy.  With your attitude, his being “perfectly sweet” to you just boggles my mind.

It’s really hard to find things to do that rise to the level of “going out of the way” when you make so many petty demands and you complain when he doesn’t do what he is told.

You are his girlfriend, not his boss.  He is your boyfriend, not your personal assistant.  Pick up your own fucking dry cleaning. If you don’t ease up a bit, you’ll find out that he’ll reach a point where he’s sick and tired of your shit, will grow a pair and find a nice girl to be with. As the old poem goes:

No matter how charming and how full of class
To somebody somwhere, she’s a pain in the ass

What’s Her Problem?

We’ve got a double header today.

Dear Dr. Brothers: My parents really don’t like my girlfriend. She’s never done anything to offend them or anything, and she’s always really nice to them, so I can’t understand what the problem is. We’ve been together for almost two years now, and they still try to set me up on dates and convince me to break up with her. It makes family dinners really uncomfortable, and it’s embarrassing to have her over at all. How can I get my parents to get over it and start to like my girlfriend? — B.I.

They say that love is blind, and you obviously can’t see what your parents do, but it’s probably there.  Parents don’t like their kids’ significant others for many reasons, but they all simplify down to the same answer: she’s not good enough for you.

You're trashy, dear.

To be honest, I could care less. The only reason I’m answering your letter is it’s an excuse to tell one of my favorite stories that is related to your problem.

When my best friend Paul* graduated college, his parents threw him a party.  They were like a second family to me, and I was there well before and well after the party to help out.  Also there was Paul’s girlfriend, Beth*, who he had been dating for a few months.  She, Paul’s mom, and I were all in the kitchen.  I was wrapping up leftovers and putting them in the fridge.  Mom and Beth were doing dishes – mom washing and Beth drying.  They were doing this in silence.  Just the silence of people doing a chore with nothing to talk about.  I wouldn’t describe it as awkward.  At least not until what happened next.

All of a sudden, Paul’s mom turns to Beth, handing her a dish and says “Maybe you should start seeing other people” Not breaking her stride, she picks up the next dish and continues washing.  Mind you, Paul’s mom is the sweetest women you could meet, and I could not believe what I had so clearly heard.

The oddest thing was not what she said, but the way she said it.  It was as plain and casual as any other friendly advice.  She could have just as easily  said “There is a stain on your blouse.”

Needless to say, their relationship didn’t last long.  I will always remember it as the most polite and tactful way anyone has ever said “you’re not good enough for my son and I want you to go away.”

* Names have not been changed.  That’s how I roll.

Family Values

Today’s entry comes from Ask Amy.

Dear Amy:I come from a very large family — eight sisters and three brothers.

By the time I was 8, my father and mother had both died.

I went to live with my oldest sister (also the oldest child in the family) and her husband and his son. I lived with them until my 18th birthday. When I came home from my after-school job, all of my belongings were on the curb outside our house and the locks were changed. I lived in a rooming house because the other members of the family did not want me to live with them.

Life went on successfully for me and on my 70th birthday, a distant relative told me that my sister was dying of cancer in a hospital in the town I had moved to and she hoped I would visit her.

I had not seen her for almost 50 years. When I walked into her hospital room she cried and then told me that she was actually my birth mother, not my sister. She died the next day.

When I confronted the surviving members of my family, they said they all knew the truth but did not want me in their lives when I was young. I have tried to get close to them but no luck.

Should I forget them and just go on my way?— Ancient Orphan

Jesus Fucking Christ.  The hits just keep on coming.

Pretend for a moment these people aren’t related to you.  They kicked you out with no warning. They didn’t want you around except to tell you on their deathbed that they’ve been lying to you your entire life.  Now try asking your question again without seeming like a complete moron.

Why on earth would you want to have anything to do with these despicable people?  You were lucky enough to escape and avoid them for half a century, and now you want to give them a chance to shit all over your golden years?

The only nice thing they have ever done to stay out of your life all this time. The next time you get a call about a dying relative, ignore it.  If you do go, make sure their last words are “You’re standing on my breathing tube.”

The Angle of the Dangle [NSFW]

Practically none of my posts are safe for work, so you know this is especially graphic when I put the NSFW tag on there.  From Savage Love:

Bigger Dick than you thinkI’m wondering whether you have any thoughts on the male tendency when sharing “naughty” photos to go straight for a close-up shot of the penis. Representative Anthony Weiner’s tweeting disaster has brought to mind a number of recent cases where high-profile men—such as Kanye West and Brett Favre—sent other women similar shots in an apparent attempt to seduce them. However, the response I’ve heard from women to such offerings can be summed up as “Ew, yuck!”

Do you have any insight on why some men think this sort of overture would work?
Totally Confused Female

Dan says:

… The cock-shot overture doesn’t work on most women, I’ll grant you, but the sort of guys who send cock shots aren’t interested in most women. They’re interested in the sort of women whom this sort of overture works on. And the sort of men who think only with their photogenic dicks—and not all men are that sort—figure the quickest way to determine if a woman is that sort of woman is to send the cock shot.

Guys are fascinated by penises.  In fact, I’d be willing to bet that more men checked out Weiner’s weiner than women.  It’s their favorite toy, and every guy thinks that their dick is a gift from god, and cannot help sharing it with the world.

That is not advice, though. That is common sense.  The real advice missing is not why guys take pictures of their junk, but HOW.  Chances are if you are a guy who wants to send willing (and un-willing) members of the opposite or same sex pictures of your junk, at least do it right.

The LAST thing you want to do is grab your camera, look down, and snap away. To explain why, I need to introduce to you the concept of foreshortening and is the main reason why you think your dick is shorter than it actually is.

I've provided the hand, you imagine the penis

Foreshortening, what any decent art school student can tell you, is quite literally a matter of perspective.  Foreshorenting means the size of an object’s dimensions along the line of sight are relatively shorter than dimensions across the line of sight. It also means that the object appears smaller as the distance from the object increases. What the hell does that mean?

It means that if it’s your dick, you’ve got the worst view possible.  You only see it from the top down from about 2 feet away.  The effect is worse if your erection is curved or angled upward. From your perspective, all the length is lost because of the angle. When you see it with your own eyes in 3D, your brain can mostly account for the effect, but a photograph is two dimensional.

This is why incidentally, most men when they see other dicks in the locker room or wherever (no judgement here) feel they don’t measure up.  There’s no such foreshortening effect, so very often it’ll look as though the other guy is slightly better endowed.  It’s not your dick size that is at issue, it’s your eyes.  Look at your own junk in the mirror, and notice how much bigger it looks.

So, what is the best angle?  Well, I can’t tell you, but I can show you.  Just kidding.  First, put the camera down and learn to use the timer. Taking a picture from the side or underneath will maximize the length.  To enhance the girth, slightly point the head toward the camera.  Find the angle that works best for your shape and size. He may have shown poor judgement all around, but I’ve seen the Congressman’s dick shot.  He at least got that right – the picture follows all the rules. It’s obvious he’d done that before.   Those you send it to may not be any more receptive, but at least they’ll be saying “My GOD” rather than “EEW”

One Line Wednesdays: How About “Hey Y’all”

Today’s One Line Wednesday™ comes from Dear Abby

Dear Abby:

How does one address a letter of complaint to a company? I don’t feel inclined to begin with “Dear” anybody. My mom would have used “Gentlemen” or “Dear Sirs,” but that seems antiquated. “People” seems silly, and “To Whom It May Concern,” pompous. Have you a better suggestion? Diane in Burnaby, B.C.

Stop worrying about how to address a letter that no one will ever read.


Each week, I select a letter for One Line Wednesday™ and skip the usual in-depth advice and gets right to the point in one word or sentence. Think you can do better? Submit your one line response below.  Who knows, maybe eventually there will be a prize for the best one.