Tormented? Driven witless? Fear not, help is just a short letter away
DELETE THE PARENTS
DEAR E JEAN, I’m a 25-year-old newlywed with a mother-inlaw who goes through my stuff, tries to control what my husband and I do, and cries crocodile tears if things don’t go her way. She wrangles to get in between us and cause fights. When we’re dining with friends, she calls us and fakes being sick. She treats my husband and me like slaves – making us do chores for her and drive her around. I’ve had enough! True, my husband and I are living with her (and my father-in-law) while we finish law school, but even my husband is fed up. However, we’re afraid to move because we’ll feel bad. They’re both nearing their late fifties and will soon be needing a lot of help. I feel like we’re abandoning them! – Helpless Daughter-in-law HELPLESS, MY HELIOTROPE Somehow I can’t get excited about in-laws who are a decade-and-a-half younger than myself reaching such a state of decrepitude that they “will soon” need help. Bah! Take them to dinner and tell them you’re leaving. When they start weeping and fainting, explain that they’re so young and fit, they’re probably much more competent to drive you around. Tell them it’s absurd to impose upon them any longer, that you must concentrate on your studies and you look forward to seeing them once every two weeks.
PS: And be so good as to ask your mother-in-law never to appear within my sight.
DESIRABILITY DOS AND DON’TS
DEAR E JEAN, My ex-boyfriend and I run in the same circles, and he’s an asshole! He’s always between jobs, couch surfing, borrowing money, etc, but somehow he still manages to have tonnes of smart women after him. I’m not one to toot my own horn, but I have a great job and a lot of other good things going for me, yet no suitors in sight. I’m fine with that, but I hate that when we run into each other, he always has a romantic
interest, while I’m alone. Externally, I stay composed, even when I see him kissing girls right in front of me. But internally, I’m screaming.
It’s not that I want him back, but the situation is frustrating and, frankly, a bit embarrassing. I’m reaching my boiling point and I’m afraid I might do something insane like grab a guy by the crotch and have sex on a restaurant table just so my ex-boyfriend sees that I, too, am desirable. Do you have any suggestions for how I can cope in a more selfrespecting way? – Miss Swiftly Crumbling Composure SWIFTLY, MY SNAPDRAGON Yes, my love, I have a suggestion. Run and get a pencil, then circle the correct answers to this little true/false quiz, which I call: ALL THAT YOU KNOW ABOUT BEING “DESIRABLE” IS MISTAKEN 1. T or F: A woman alone is always in the best company. 2. T or F: The chick on the back of a rebel’s motorcycle is more fetching than the chick who is the rebel on the motorcycle. 3. T or F: The most attractive heroines in literature never appear on a page without a boyfriend. 4. T or F: Arriving in public without an escort makes you nervous, because you believe the crap that the witch doctors, elders, grannies, pastors and dingbats have been laying on women to control them for thousands of years. 5. T or F: You should grab a guy, or at least kiss one. 6. T or F: A woman without a man appears more mysterious than a woman with a man. 7. T or F: A woman alone is a threat to some, but yet also a symbol of strength and choice – you’re waiting until you find the right one. 8. T or F: You should join Bumble, meet some new friends and enlarge your social circle. Answers: 1. True; 2. False; 3. Frighteningly close to true, but false; 4. True; 5. You can grab a man whenever you like, Miss Swiftly, but this statement is false if you begin grabbing men to make yourself appear more enticing to your odious ex; 6. True; 7. True; 8. Doubly true.