Thursday, November 30, 2006

Dear Rudence: Masochism Edition

Dear Rudence is a parody of the advice column Dear Prudence written by Emily Yoffe at Slate Magazine. Original post in the Dear Prudence Fray found here.

Well kids, here we are, back again to offer up clues to people way too horribly confused to take a free gift. Today's selection brought to you by the ashamed mother of a bimboid (presumably bubbly, blonde, and boorish), a whiner with abandonment issues, a cuckold with a desire for further abuse, and a terminal klutz wracked by deserved guilt. I can almost feel the space-time continuum straining to maintain its integrity in the presence of the density of the individuals herein.

Dear Rudence,
My 27-year-old daughter seems like a high schooler because of her vocabulary, mannerisms, and inability to comprehend what's socially acceptable. She talks with a Valley-girl accent and says things like "eeww" if you mention babies, sick people, etc. Her younger siblings are more mature than she is and don't like hanging out with her because she boasts about her inappropriate behavior and makes embarrassing remarks to their friends. She does not realize that these things, along with her over-the-top clothes and makeup, make people dismiss her as a dumb bimbo. (She thinks everyone loves her or is just jealous!) She wasn't the brightest student, but did finish college and has always been able to support herself, although I am concerned about her inability to keep a long-term position. I love her to death and am happy that she's responsible enough to take care of herself and seems to enjoy her life, but the lack of progress in her maturity at 27 really worries me. I'm embarrassed by others' reactions to her (something she obviously doesn't pick up on) and don't know what to say to my friends. If I offer guidance, she says I'm critical. Any suggestions?

—Valley Girl Mom

Dear Van Nuys Roadkill,

Rudie knows that most parents have somewhat greater than realistic perspectives on their offspring, often imbuing even the most remedial retreads with qualities that qualify as near superpowers. "My two-month old son can solve a 5x5 Rubik's Cube with his telekinesis." "My daughter can see through walls and hear the prattle of the dead." "My son can absorb all the information contained in a book just by putting it on his head and allowing gravity to deposit the information directly into his brain." "My daughter can stand on her hands while quoting Shakespeare she's never read, doing my taxes on the 1040 form, and playing classical guitar with one foot and a back scratcher."

Trust me, you may think you have a kid of genuinely average intellect, but think about it. Graduating college is no trick or special ability. Showing up is half the battle, and D is still a passing grade. And there are plenty of "Here's my diploma, now what do I do with my Bachelor of Arts in Flipdippery with a minor in Frobbishment Studies?" sorts of majors which require as much effort to obtain as required for a drunk hamster to fall off his exercise wheel and vomit into his food pellets. Maybe she isn't coming off like a dumb bimbo. Maybe she IS a dumb bimbo.

So, perhaps her talents lie elsewhere.

The only remaining place where the Valley Girl accent still enjoys a level of cultural relevance, not surprisingly, is in the glorious San Fernando Valley where it originated... which, by the by, is also the Porn Capital of the United States, if you didn't know it.

Rudie's guess is that her 'superpower', if she is possessed of one, is the ability to suck spherical sports equipment of a specific diameter through a flexible gardening aqueduct of significantly smaller diameter, or perhaps, the ability to use her vaginal walls as a grasping instrument.

If she has gone down this path, her lack of maturity can only be of benefit to her. Maturity often imposes a somewhat reserved and quietly prideful air about a person, which seems to be the last thing a woman needs to be burdened by if her job consists entirely of allowing largely anonymous well-endowed men intimate access to her netherregions, scream on cue according to what passes loosely for a script, and allow the men in question to... ah... relieve themselves on her person.

When she says that people either love her or are jealous, in this light, it does really seem like a true statement. The men in her life positively adore her, and the women are jealous. Wouldn't you be jealous of someone who gets paid handsomely to do easily that which you strive to do in your personal life to have fun?

—Rudie, envy-is-a-bitter-mistress-ly

Dear Rudence,
How nice do I have to be to my parents? I feel silly asking this question at 43, but I'm really struggling to find a balance. I was perpetually neglected as a child. Not the "you didn't come to my school play!" sort of neglected. I was the kid who was actually told I smelled bad by my classmates kind of neglected. I flailed my way through life with minimal parental involvement and direction. I spent my 20s expressing the anger I couldn't give voice to as a child and my 30s trying to forge a happy life so my parents could enjoy my sons. Then I had an epiphany when I turned 40. I realized that my parents are just plain miserable people. They both seem to have narcissistic personality disorder. They want me and my children in their lives with a grasping, needy desperateness, but then they are critical and unpleasant. We live in the same town, and have their only grandchildren—my only sibling wisely lives far away. My parents are with us every Christmas day. I just don't want to do it this year. I want to hang out with my boys and go to a movie if I want. It makes me feel kind of sick to think about my parents being alone on Christmas day, but when I think of having them here, I'm filled with dread. In addition, my best friend is dying, and that's been devastating. Am I a jerk if I blow them off this year?

—Emotionally Exhausted

Dear Options Exhausted,

It might be nice if you'd ask one question per letter. Right here we have a coterie of issues, each of which might, in and of itself, be sufficient fodder for aspiring psychologist's theses. Rudie is wondering, perchance, if you are aware of the Dear Rudence policy? Clearly not.

First clue is free, the second is a dollar, and each subsequent multiplies your running total by 2. For example, if you are in need of three clues, the first is free, the second is a dollar, and the third doubles your total... for a grand total of 2 dollars. Easy, huh?

Relax. Rudie is certain that a person as intelligent and well-adjusted as yourself can certainly come up with enough spare change in your couch to cover the bill.

By the way, the repetition of easily obtainable policy qualifies as your first, and only, free clue. The remedial math lesson counts as your first additional clue. Right now, you owe me a dollar.

CLUE! Current Total: $2
Given the fact that most parents probably do more damage to your average child than any other force in their lives, you don't have to be nice to them at all. "Nice", as you put it, should be a sliding reward inversely proportional to the amount of shit you've taken due to their negligence, stupidity, or plain old lack of kindness. For you, nice, as weak and namby-pamby a word as it is, is probably too strong for the tepid treatment you should be giving them.

CLUE! Current Total: $4
You waited for your parents to take an interest in you, and they did not. Survival instincts, should they exist within you, should probably have given you a strong lesson in the folly of blind reliance on others and the virtue of self-sufficiency. So quit feeling like you've been abandoned at the altar by an unrequited love. They've given you the most valuable lesson they could teach you: don't count on them.

CLUE! Current Total: $8
Neglect is no excuse for not establishing some level of equity with the level of 'civilization' exhibited by your classmates. How much direction does one really need to pick up a bar of soap and a bottle of shampoo in the shower? How much parental training and attention does one really require to slather on a little deodorant?

CLUE! Current Total: $16
Regardless of the amount of psychological damage that your parents visited upon you, you must understand that you spent your 20's, arguably the most happy and carefree time in any person's life, kvetching about it. We all make mistakes, but spending a decade yelling about your awful lot in life regardless of the anger was a biggie.

CLUE! Current Total: $32
This clue comes in the form of an observation:
You spend your twenties bitching about your parents, "expressing your anger", so you spent the next ten forging a happy life for the purpose of making these twits happy. Hmm. Very interesting.

CLUE! Current Total: $64
People who are still having epiphanies after exhausting half of their projected lifespan should maybe place "Coming To Practical Terms With Reality" a little higher on their collective priority lists.

CLUE! Current Total: $128
Quite a few parents seem to end up plain miserable. It seems to come from the idea that their usefulness as people has come to an end the second the kids leave the roost. While this may not be true, old habits die hard, and they've grooved the idea of themselves as perpetual caregivers into their crania so hard that only a palsied neurosurgeon with cataracts would be able to unfurrow that mindset. Yours are doubly engrained of this because they're coming to terms with the unmitigated series of nothingness they gave you as a child. That they are critical and unpleasant has much to do with the aforementioned old habits dying hard.

CLUE! Current Total: $256
Perhaps your remote sibling, in his/her decision to move far away from the parents, has blazed a trail for you here. It's really not that difficult to see. The trees to either side are still on fire.

CLUE! Current Total: $512
How the hell do you manage to feel sick for them being alone on Christmas? You've apparently spent your entire life cloyingly expecting their attention and... well... parenthood... and they've never delivered on it. They have each other, and are perfectly capable of being miserable without you being there and including you in the 'festivities'. Go with the dread. Fifteen minutes into the movie, you'll think it's just the director trying to build suspense and succeeding.

CLUE! Current Total: $1024
Yes, you are a jerk if you blow them off, but you're an asshole if you invite them over. If your incessant whining about the life you've had is even a quarter as truthful as you've thus stated, you are owed a big, fat vacation from yet another in a long line of horrid Christmas bullshit at the behest of your clingy, neglectful parents.

Wow, $1024. That added up pretty quick, didn't it? Well, Rudie does have a soft side, although he's not wont to show it often, but Christmas just brings it out in him... Tell ya what. Rudie'll knock off the 24 dollars and make it an even $1000. Call it a Christmas present. Money orders, cash, certified check, credit accepted. Please remit to [CENSORED BY RUDENCE EDITOR DUE TO EXTREMELY POOR TASTE. PERS. NOTE: RUDIE'S FLOGGING WILL BE MY PERSONAL GIFT TO YOU THIS NOEL.]

—Rudie, quit-it-with-the-cat-o-nine-tails-boss-ly

Dear Rudence,
I'm in my early 30s and getting divorced after only a year and a half of marriage. My soon-to-be ex confessed seven months into our marriage about an affair she had only a few months after our wedding. We spent most of the year in therapy, even though she often said she didn't think it would work. Finally, we decided to divorce amicably using a mediator. Recently, a friend informed me that her affair wasn't a moment of weakness, but a months-long relationship—my wife had moved to another city to start school, and my intention was to follow her there next year. I've been told they have seen each other again. I came to the marriage with a good job, savings, and an expensive apartment. I was devoted to her and supported her while she followed her dream to go back to school. Now I feel like a chump. My original plan for an amicable divorce now seems naive and part of me wants to get the divorce papers signed, tell her she's not getting a dime of my money, and never speak to her again. However, I feel bad thinking about her in an unrelenting and expensive city with a part-time job and a mountain of student loans. Are those the feelings of a nice guy trying to do the right thing, or someone who doesn't understand that this is an infected limb that needs quick and decisive amputation?

—Scared To Be Cruel

Dear Too Stupid To Be Scared,

Let me see if Rudie's got this straight. You lasted a whole year and a half with this woman. You were prepared to split amicably when you found out that she cheated on you once. Then you found out she cheated on you for months and probably intends to get with this guy after all this is over. Now you feel all chumpy. You want to cut her off at the knees, yet you experience guilt at leaving her financially bereft.

Rudie could draw you a map, but Magellan you ain't.

People like you make Rudie want to dip his wang in an aquarium full of pissed off electric eels, piranha, and comb jellyfish, then start banging on the sides, chumming the water, and hitting the occupants with pieces of driftwood.

*CHUM* *CHUM* *ZZZZZZZZTTT!* (flailing and snapping of a feeding frenzy is heard, at the same time lethal poison barbs pierce tender flesh)

AHHHH... all the shocks, searing pain of mascerated flesh, and the wooziness from the impending poison coma have cleared Rudie's head of all the psychic pain your idiocy has induced.

Rudie needs to go to the hospital. You need to grow a spine.

-Rudie, time-to-join-the-rest-of-the-chordates-ly

Dear Prudence,
At work, I accidentally knocked over and broke a beloved, handmade, one-of-a-kind coffee mug belonging to a person I am not well-acquainted with. I apologized profusely and offered to reimburse her for a replacement, though in reality, it could never be replaced. She was quite gracious and told me not to worry about it and that reimbursement was not necessary. Should I accept her graciousness and leave it at that? Or should I try to locate a mug to replace it? I feel awful destroying something that was so obviously loved. I don't know whether to reimburse her, give her another mug, or let it go. What do you think?


Dear Dumbles,

Since Rudie has already sacrificed his "family heirlooms" to the creatures of briny deep for the purpose of excising the pain... a pain caused by being subject to depleted uranium shells of abject intellectual density shot at him by Blinky the Cuckold above... he will have to come up with some other method of ignoring the pain you're causing right here.

Now listen very carefully... are suggesting...
...that you can replace a ONE-OF-A-KIND mug...
...or somehow reimburse monetarily something which is probably priceless in its sentimental value...
...and you are doing this in all seriousness...

Bravo! Rudie didn't think he could be brought lower.

In honor of your dedication to the art of fuckwitry, Rudie will, quite literally, cut off his nose to spite his face while simultaneously giving himself a concussion. This to silence the screaming wraiths of psychological damage that are, right now, driving doughnuts in monster trucks all over what's left of his sanity.

Fortunately, Rudie has available a set of rusty, blunted kitchen shears and a ball peen hammer approximately the same size as a leg of his kitchen table.



-Rudie, ................-ly