pri­vacy no­tice

Tor­mented? Driven wit­less? Fear not, help is just a short let­ter away

ELLE (Australia) - - Contents -


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.


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.

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