Saturday, September 23, 2006

Ask Mrs. Linklater "PARENT POWER" Edition

Mrs. Linklater is painfully aware that she has neglected to mount any recent attacks on the Advice Ladies of America, but re-hab's been a bitch, so sue her.

Alrighty then, let's get out the sharp stick and start poking one of those babbling babes in the eye. Just like riding a bike. Once you get the pedals moving, it's like old times.

Mrs. Linklater, in her infinite wisdom, understands that each generation has its own set of rules. For instance, hers started out requiring hats, white gloves, and a strand of pearls on dates. Then ended up doing drugs in a meadow, stark naked, with roadies for the Rolling Stones. Times change, but parents remain the same. Someone has to act as a reality check during the shakedown period called growing the hell up, when raging hormones can be hazardous to a young person's health. Not to mention anyone standing close enough to get sprayed.

August 24, 2006
Dear Prudence
What do you do when values clash? I know it's up to my husband and me to set the standards in our house, and we always have, but we now have a problem. Our teenage son (17) has started going out with his first girlfriend. He badgers us to let her stay overnight in our house, but we've said no and explained that as long as he is in high school, we don't approve of having him bring home girlfriends overnight. There were a few tantrums in which we were accused of "living in the 19th century" and then a long period of the silent treatment. Meanwhile, he has found a way around the problem. His girlfriend's parents offer to let him stay with them overnight, anytime. We feel they are encouraging our son to disregard the values in our family—something he is very happy to do—and are very upset about their interference. I think we should approach the girlfriend's family about it, but my husband is against that.

Dear Old,
Some parents feel that as long as behavior they don't entirely approve of is taking place under their roof—underage drinking, taping sessions of
Girls Gone Wild—they are in control of it. But these two teenagers are minors, and you have an obligation to set the standards for your son's behavior. He makes quite a case for his maturity: He throws a tantrum, then pouts. As for you, what's the point of having old-fashioned values if you're not going to enforce them? You need to have a talk with the girl's parents. Don't be either defensive or self-righteous; just say your son is not allowed to sleep at their house. Yes, your son will be angry, but what you are doing is not just for now, but for when he is a parent and can draw on the lessons you taught him about standing firm. However, since it is obvious your son has become sexually active, you must have a blunt discussion with him about the necessity of always using birth control. You certainly don't want him to start using your valuable parenting lessons in his senior year of high school.
-- Prudie

Sheesh. Mrs. Linklater is having flashbacks. Why is it, the more things change the more they remain the same? Has there ever been a hormone poisoned kid who didn't want privileges without any of the responsibilities? And taking out the garbage doesn't count. Come on Ma, lemme jump my girlfriend, all the other kids are doing it.

Prudie's trying so hard to help here. Mom and Dad definitely have to have a pow wow with the parents of the girlfriend. But their kid needs more than a finger shaking in his face. Or his pathetic parents pleading with him to be reasonable. He needs Mrs. Linklater's big damn frying pan upside the head.

Okay, Junior, here's the deal: no sleepovers while you are in high school. Period. Not even with your "buddies." In exchange you can live in our house and we will provide you with food, clothing, and let you use the car, as long as you're also home when we tell you, clean up your room and do your chores.

If you insist on sleeping with your girlfriend at her house against our wishes, you owe us $200 a month rent and you're on your own for food and transportation. As for doing your laundry and buying those new jeans you wanted? Sorry, they're not included. Oh, and remember how you wanted to go to college? Not on our dime. Hope the sex is worth it.

By the way Mom and Dad, if Junior turns eighteen during all this, remind him that he can be arrested for all kinds of stuff depending on how far he travels and how young his girlfriend is. If you don't rat him out, Mrs. Linklater will be happy to oblige.

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Ask Mrs. Linklater "MEET THE FOOKERS" Edition

Mrs. Linklater is jumping for JOY. That means a leap of about an inch off the ground. She's a woman and she's white. Mrs. L, while on another mission, found yet another advice maven to rassle, again thanks to a link from Chris at Random Thoughts and Ramblings -- sorry I don't do links here because I CAN'T FIGURE OUT HOW -- OKAY?!!! Anywho this new babe is in Washington D.C. And another blogger, a Mr. RedSneakz -- again no link, but you could Google the guy -- sez he agrees with her as much as he disagrees with her. So that would be what? A ringing endorsement for HALF the time? Outa my way. Lemme at her!!!

Dear Carolyn:

I have been dating Phillip for eight months. I am 29, 5 feet 10, and the smallest person in my immediate family. He is 5 feet 6 and looks a lot younger than his age (30). Yet, he is my soul mate.

Even though I told my family Phillip was small and looked young, they were shocked when they saw him. They immediately started to tease and play jokes on him; he reacted very well and laughed. More than once he looked at me, but I said nothing. I have always been a little intimidated by my parents (long story).

After a full day, Phillip told them nicely that he was getting tired of being a target. My family stopped for about 20 minutes and then started again.

Also, he had been reluctant to meet my family because he felt he would be a burden; he is a strict vegetarian because of a digestive problem. I convinced him that my family would not mind. My brother and his wife brought a casserole over that they said was vegetarian. Another joke on him! Twenty minutes later Phillip had stomach cramps, 10 minutes later we called the ambulance. The casserole had meat in it. Everyone just assumed his aversion to meat was ethical, and my family doesn't understand why anyone would have an ethical reason for not eating meat.

My family feels really terrible about what happened. They blame Phillip and me for not explaining his dietary restriction, but offered to pay the co-insurance for his medical bills. He turned down the offer, saying he blames himself for staying when my family was abusive.

That remark really hurt me. That's not my family! He then told me that he expected his life partner would defend and protect him, and that he lost respect for me. I think he is unforgiving, and he says I need to get my head out of the fog (actually a part of my anatomy).


He's 5 feet 6, "yet" he is your soul mate?

Run, Phillip, run.

"Abusive" is your family exactly. It's a breeding ground for bullies. You don't seem domineering yourself -- maybe because you've been bullied by everyone else. But while you admit to being intimidated by your parents, you aren't able to admit to yourself yet that taunting someone is oppressive, deciding which diet restrictions to respect is arrogant, and mocking someone's genetic outcome is just cruel -- and that these represent the values you call home.

Indeed, you aren't yet sure you don't subscribe to these values yourself. Some vegetarians are more worthy than others? "Yet, he is my soul mate"?

It's notoriously hard to see one's family clearly. It can take time, trauma, both; it can elude you in spite of these. It can be painful. Obviously you love these people.

But when your myopia causes obvious anguish and a ride in the screaming white bus, it's time to get your head out of the fog. I think Phillip has shown willingness to forgive just by giving you a chance to grow up and see his point. Now grow up and see his point. (An apology would be swell, too.) Just be careful; bullies are your comfort zone. You don't want to break with one only to serve another.

Mrs. Linklater gets out her Kevlar. She wants to start at the BEGINNING -- which is where this all went wrong.

When she hears that one loved one is going to meet the other loved one's family for the FIRST TIME, she always asks the same question: ARE YOU NUTS? HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND? Okay, that's two questions.

Mrs. Linklater speaks from too many years of experience. Finally she's learned. She knows she's in trouble the moment she hears "Wait till you meet my Mom!"

Because the first time you meet the family is almost always THE ONLY TIME. It often means the END of your time together.

Are you ready to give up having regular sex? Then don't go.
Are you ready to give up having regular sex? [That's right Mrs. Linklater repeated the question in case you missed it the first time.]


In case you think that sex isn't everything, just wait until it's gone.

No matter how normal you think your family is on any given day, on the day your loved one meets them they will act like complete idiots. Your mother will call your loved one by your ex's name. Your father will too. But only after he insults sweetums poopsie's 1) religion 2) politics 3) career 4) car and, 5) ethnic heritage.

Read Mrs. Linklater's collagen inflated lips: DON'T GO!

Your little brother will fart. You little sister will stare. Your grandmother will use her cane to poke poke poke them in the butt. If you have a neutered dog, he will hump their leg. Your friendly, sweet cat will bite them.

In Phillip's case -- the family started by "joking" about his height. This led to messing around with his food. And finally , they almost killed him.

When meeting the family, remember death is always an option.

Of course, YOU will be helpless to prevent anything. YOU will stand around like a dope because you know this is just a bad dream and it will end soon.

But what's really going to END is your relationship as you knew it. Remember those Sunday mornings in bed? Those Saturday nights on the stairway of a club? Those weekends on the beach? Those holidays in front of the fireplace? Those afternoons at work when you closed the door to your office?

Not any more. Not after they meet your family.

So if you value your sex life -- just say NO.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Ask Mrs. Linklater "CAN'T GET IT UP" Edition

Mrs. Linklater has learned that there are three truths in any troubled relationship. 1) Nothing is ever your fault. 2) You are the understanding one. 3) They just don't get it. Especially when it comes to sex. And isn't that what everything comes down to between a man and a woman -- sex or no sex?

PUBLISHED June 12, 2006 Chicago Sun-Times

DEAR ELLIE: I'm 55, and I'm dating a 50-year-old who can't really have sex. So when he can't get it going he blames me!

He says I'm too aggressive in bed, but I'm not: I'm sensual. Or I stop, as I have a 20-year-old who might walk in. So I have to know where we're at before we start anything.

We have a great time when we hang out. I'm very jealous -- I'm working on that. I really don't look much older than him, but he does look at other women. I know he'd rather be with someone 35, but in reality he can't even handle someone 55.

I told him we should chill for a while, but I miss him. Please tell me what to do.


DEAR ISSUES: Chilling will only give you shivers, when it's goose bumps from sex that you really want. You need to talk to your guy about your mutual intentions.

If you want to be together and also have an intimate relationship, you both need to make changes. He has to stop blaming you and see if there's any medical or other cause for his not "getting it going." You have to learn to enjoy the cuddling and foreplay, and arrange some private time when your adult child is either definitely not home or understands that a closed door means privacy.

As for your jealousy and age worries, get over them, or these will form a bigger obstacle between you. Focus on whether you can get what you both want from each other. If you can't, then cool it completely.

Ellie -- the reason you are trying to fix this mess is?

Mrs. Linklater is getting whiplash. First ISSUES says her boyfriend thinks she's too sexually aggressive. Then she turns around and says she stops in the middle of things.

Next she says they have a great time together. Then she says she's jealous.

Next she says he'd rather be with someone 35. Then she says he can't handle her 55 year old self.

Next she suggests they split up for awhile, but now she misses him. Did we mention he's impotent?

Which brings Mrs. Linklater to her question of the week -- WTF? Only a very lonely, I-have-no-life female would want to stay with a guy who blames her for his dysfunctional machine, looks longingly at other women when they're out, and doesn't seem to miss her when they split up.

Love hurts. Learn your lesson. Move on.

Mrs. Linklater's annual moment of sympathy is now over.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Ask Mrs. Linklater "GENDER BENDER" Edition

As time passes and surgery improves, new problems arise in the world of transgender etiquette, as anyone with a concern for excruciatingly correct behavior can well appreciate. So Mrs. Linklater hereby deputizes herself, temporarily, as a member of the well-mannered in an attempt to put some rules in place for revealing just how extreme one's extreme makeover may have been.

Published June 16, 2006
Dear Abby: I recently met a gorgeous woman I'll call "Giselle." After we had dated for a couple of months and became physically involved, she told me she had had gender reassignment surgery and used to be a man! I was, to say the least, shocked and deeply disturbed.

I did not punch out Giselle as I would have liked to -- which brings me to my question. What is the etiquette regarding physically confronting someone like that? Is it the same as hitting a girl?

-- Distressed in Virginia

Dear Distressed: Because Giselle is now a female, it would, indeed, have been the same as hitting a girl. I have a feeling that she was probably more hurt that you stopped seeing her than any physical blow you might have inflicted. As to the "etiquette" regarding hitting her, if you hit someone of either gender, it is assault and battery.

Good point Abby, dear. Luckily we have the Penal Code these days, since the Code of Chivalry is sorely lacking a paragraph on transgender issues. Unfortunately, the matter in question -- can one punch out a woman who used to be a man -- is clearly beside the point on this occasion as far as Mrs. Linklater is concerned.

Although she didn't ask, "Giselle" should have shared her sex change well before her love interest was ever in the upright and locked position. She was lucky. Most men wouldn't write to Dear Abby to ask whether it was proper etiquette to punch her out.

Apparently her time as a man didn't teach "Giselle" about men. She probably thought that her allure as a fully reconstructed female would overcome any concern her lover might experience once they had sex. Typical female. Haaaaaaa. However, she failed to account for the EWWWWWWWWW factor.

EWWWW, you used to be a man. Did I just have sex with a man? EWWWW. I'm not gay. I'm not. I'm not. I like women. You look like a woman. But you used to be a guy? That is so gross. I don't like being fooled. I feel like a fool. EEEEEWWWWWWWW.

Granted if "Giselle" tells men about her transgender status, she will be almost certainly rejected. Initially. However, she may discover that telling the truth may give men time to think it over, get to know her, and decide her former life doesn't matter. And if it does, she can avoid a bad reaction that could some day end her life.

"Distressed," like most men, would surely run away at first. But the same allure that makes "Giselle" a sexy woman could well bring him back. On his own terms.

Isn't that what sex change operations are all about. To stop living a lie? To become the person on the outside that you feel on the inside? So it doesn't make much sense to start telling more lies after the surgery.

On the other hand, Mrs. Linklater realizes that people will do anything to get laid.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Ask Mrs. Linklater "IS MY GRANDSON GAY?" Edition

Oy vey!! Mrs. Linklater, who has been called a Stealth Jew by M.O.T. was compelled to respond to this letter after seeing it posted at Patrick's Place:

She believes that this travesty of misguided information presages the end of the world in more ways than global warming could ever imagine. Meanwhile, as Mrs. L enjoys her local deli's tasty Presbyterian sandwich for lunch [corned beef on white with mayo], we'll let Abby flail around first with her answer to this ditzy woman's question.

Published June 8, 2006
DEAR ABBY: I have reason to believe that a young man in my family may be gay. (He is 15.) I have been thinking a lot about it lately, and have been wondering if circumcision would cure it. What do you think? -- GRANDMOTHER IN MISSOURI

DEAR MISSOURI GRANDMOTHER: Homosexuality is not an illness, and therefore there is no need for a "cure." I predict that your family will be happier if you accept your relative exactly the way he is, love him, support him, and stop trying to think of ways to cure him. 

P.S. Circumcision is a sacred rte of the Jewish religion. If your theory were valid, then there would be no Jewish homosexuals. And yet, among the successful, gay, Jewish men who are "out" are Harvey Fierstein, Michael Feinstein, Barney Frank, and David Geffen -- to name a few. (Ooops! And let's not forget Isaac Mizrahi.)

Mrs. Linklater would also like to remind Abby that a huge portion of the entire male population of the USA, Jewish or not, is also circumcized, since doctors once considered it the hygienic thing to do, but who's looking?

Speaking of which, Mrs. L was afraid she'd get a gander when a former boss of hers underwent circumcision at the age of 45. Activity of a sexual nature had left him with unpleasantly recurring things that liked living in the uncircumcised area. So he underwent the procedure and returned to work only to describe in anatomical detail every painful pee he had to suffer. Fortunately without photographs. And you wonder why none of us sued. Me. too.

But Mrs. L digresses. Time to tackle today's noxious note from Grandma. Perhaps her location in Missouri is reason enough for circumcision to seem like an option, since she is living in a place where the closest thing to being Jewish may be watching Seinfeld.

Mrs. Linklater is willing to let Abby handle the -- circumcision won't "cure" homosexuality you idiot -- end of it. What Mrs. L wants to know, given Grandma's frightening suggestion and remote location, is just what she thinks her grandson is doing that qualifies as gay behavior?

Is he borrowing your makeup, dresses and heels? Cross dressing ain't necessarily gay, Nana. Besides, think of the fun you two could have hitting the sales and going to Eddie Izzard performances.

Does he talk about feeling like a female in a male body? Gender identity issues aren't usually about being gay either. So don't think of it as losing a grandson, think of it as gaining a granddaughter.

Your grandson may also just be light years ahead of his peers. That preference of his for cut off jeans and sleeveless shirts with shaved armpits is quite continental -- take a look at the husband of the 2006 French Open winner, Justine Henin-Hardenne.
He wore an open collared, white sleeveless shirt, which revealed hairfree armpits when he lifted his long, lithe arms. And that haircut!! But so not gay, just French.

Is he singing lyrics from Les Miz? Probably just preparing for his high school musical. Making flowers out of radishes? Just his Bobby Flay period.

Mrs. Linklater has a shelf full of softball trophies herself, which, if you go by the stereotype, is sure proof that she is a lesbian. Except she isn't. Luckily her own grandmother wasn't entertaining thoughts of removing Mrs. L's breasts to cure her of playing catch in the street.

Like Abby says [Boy, Mrs. Linklater hates it when she agrees with advice people], the only thing any kid wants. especially from their grandma, is acceptance -- no matter what his or her propensity for unusual, outre, outcast, or anti-establishment clothes, music, body art, politics, food, movies, etc., etc. might be.

Pretty much acceptance is all anybody wants.

I'm okay, you're an asshole -- is so late eighties.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Ask Mrs. Linklater "BITCH BITCH BITCH" Edition

Mrs. Linklater is grateful to one of her devoted readers, Chris, who can be found at

He has discovered a new advice blog for Mrs. L to play with -- WE THREE BITCHES --

[Yeah, so sue me because I can't do links. Wait, maybe they do it themselves!!]

Mrs. L stopped by their blog to see what was going on. Imagine her excitement when she found the following excruciating tale of woe. Go there yourself to read how the BEETCH-EEZ responded [BOR-ING] and compare their inadequate advice to the quality shit Mrs. Linklater provides.

May 19, 2006 ONLINE

Hey Bitches!

My husband is 38, I'm going to be 27 soon. We got married about a month after meeting (it's known as the "Lifetime Movie of the Week Relationship" in our circle of friends), and needless to say, his parents were not pleased.

Despite the fact that he'd never been married before, and he had a stable job in the Navy (still does), and he was the most together of all his siblings, they were not happy with his choice. They spoke to me once after we were married, about a week after we had tied the knot, and whatever it was that I had said they were deeply offended and had me in tears about five minutes into the call, causing some friction between my husband and them.

They've pretty much disowned him since then, and in the three years we've been married, they've called twice (and one of those times they had "accidentally" dialed him on their speed dial) and every time it ended in some kind of fracas with his mother in tears and his stepfather threatening to kick his ass.

It's a long back story, and I won't bore you with the crazy details because it's an hour-long story when I tell it to people in person no matter how interesting I think it is, but suffice to say... Neither of us get along with his parents very well.

His stepsister and I get along famously, and we talk all the time, and she kind of plays a middle man with any kind of news she sees fit to print, as it were. Which brings me to my problem (long, I know, feel free to edit me copiously): we haven't spoken to his folks in about two years, and right now I'm seven months pregnant.

His sister knows, hell the whole WORLD knows because it's all I can seem to blog about lately, but we haven't told his parents. I thought maybe we should have said something upon learning of the blessed event, but neither one of us could bring ourselves to waste happiness on these people at the time. And time has flown since then, and we still haven't told them.

. . .[S]hould we tell them NOW, or wait until the baby's born and just send them an announcement like the ubiquitous impersonal christmas card we seem to send out every year?

What I'm worried about is one of two things: that they won't care and things won't change and I'll feel like I wasted my time and crumble into a pool of post-partum whininess, or that suddenly the idea of a granddaughter will bring them back into our lives and they'll want to be involved and I'll have to meet them and things will go south because I don't like them and I probably never will.

I don't want them involved with our child in any way, EVER, because their negativity is too much for me, but I feel that we should at least clue them in that their youngest is having a child. I'm way too emotional to make a rational choice on my own, and they are HIS parents, and we're both at a loss, and I have other more important things that are far more pressing to stress about.

My husband is just as lost as far as protocol goes, if there is any at all, and I'd appreciate any diatribes, advice, or snarkiness you're willing to throw my way because my brain is currently on hiatus.

Stressed For All The Wrong Reasons

First off, Mrs. Linklater takes up Stressed on her offer to "feel free to edit. . copiously." Here are the Cliff Notes:

Dear Bitches: My husband's parents are assholes. He thinks so too. We haven't talked to them in years. Now we're pregnant. Do we have to tell them?

Why do women, yes women, have this need to tell you everything from the color of the flowers on the wallpaper to which way the toilet tissue hangs when they're telling a story? Get to the point already.

Now Mrs. L imparts a nugget from her wonderful world of wisdom. Ready?

Dear Stressed: BABY BLOG.

Your husband's family is the dead elephant in the room. Their stink is on everything. Unfortunately, they're relatives. They won't go away. If you don't tell them about the baby they will come up with new ways to make your lives miserable. If not now, then later.

That's why the best way to deal with these assholes in a responsible, mature manner is to provide information without having to deal with them directly. Have I mentioned a BABY BLOG?

You already used the word BLOG correctly in a sentence. Start another one.

Show pictures of the pregnancy, the ultrasound, the birth, the baby, her first poopy diaper, spit up, smile, etc., etc. Give your husband's stepsister the address of the BABY BLOG so she can tell the entire family, including his folks. Let them comment in the blog. If you don't like what they say you can just delete it.

Is the internet wonderful for family harmony or what?

Now you never have to be in the same room with hubba bubba's folks ever again. And these Grandparents From Hell can watch their grandchildren grow up from the safety of the worldwide web without making you throw up from the stress of having them around.

If they don't know how to use the internet? Too damn bad.

With this one magnanimous gesture -- the BABY BLOG -- you're forever off the hook. Do not waste any stamps to send the evil parents any announcements or make any phone calls to them or ANYTHING ELSE. I will track you down if you do.

If they send a gift [FAT CHANCE] take a picture of it and post it in the blog. Hey, look at this gift we got. Isn't it special? That's all you owe them.

Please be advised that Mrs. Linklater isn't suggesting that you try to make nice and get back with these people. There isn't medication strong enough to handle that. Besides any apologies should come from their end. So don't be leaving the light on for them.

She is simply offering you a chance to take the moral high road. Not that Mrs. L has spent much time there herself. But she hears good things about it.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Ask Mrs. Linklater "FOOD DONATION" Edition

The last time Mrs. Linklater went to a full contact linen, china, and crystal dinner party, where the hostess didn't go to Costco for the food, was the night she sat next to Marshall Field the IVth or Vth [who's counting?], during his marriage to his second or third wife, a blond who kept insisting that Blanc de Blanc was the best champagne in the entire world. And that party was catered.

Mrs. L would give anything for an old fashioned pot luck supper where the guests brought something REALLY homemade. But apparently there's a bunch of food snobs out there who want nothing to do with your grandmother's secret recipe for Arosto Con Cipolle Filanti because they snagged Wolfgang Puck for the night. As usual, our advice maven gets to do whatever she's going to do first. Like anybody can stop her.

Published May 12, 2006 Chicago Tribune
Dear Amy: Like a recent letter from "Frustrated Foodie," I am also irked by guests who insist on contributing to a meal that has been carefully planned. I try my best to incorporate any last-minute additions, but I don't feel obligated to. When guests bring food, I thank them and make a trip to the refrigerator. Sometimes I "remember" their food just in time to send it home with the guests.

-- Philly Food Fan

Dear Fan: Ouch. Several readers have commented that sending "donated" food back home with guests is the way to handle this.

Mrs. Linklater will be with you shortly, as soon as she finishes eating the leftover bread pudding out of the doggy bag she brought home from lunch yesterday. Oh crap, the little plastic container with the whiskey sauce spilled in the bag. Why is it that food that looks so good at the restaurant looks like you found it on the road after you get it home?

All right, a couple of Zantac and we're good to go.

Mrs. L would like to offer an alternative viewpoint to Amy's. Why? Because that's what this blog is all about dildo breath.

Try to follow her logic. If someone spent the time to bring something homecooked to your party, what is the point of giving it back? Because you have so many friends you can afford to lose a couple? Like your palette is so sensitive that you can't bear to allow "guest" food near your pristine platters of pate, polenta, and parsnips in papillon sauce?

Odds are that the men in the crowd would kill for some of that Hungarian Gulash you think is too plebian for your spread. At least FREEZE it. Or, here's a thought. Serve it to your family when you're nursing a hangover the next day. Or find some starving college kids and give it to them. Or call ME.

It's a gift. Accept it graciously, you imperious toads.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Mrs. Linklater Shucks and Jives

Okay okay okay. Mrs. Linklater has been enjoying the warm weather and shirking her duties here as the queen of mean. As proof of her nastiness, one reader went WAY back into the archives of her AOL journal
where Ask Mrs. Linklater began her career in public service, to leave this message: YOU'RE MEAN.

What a chicken bleep. Couldn't even leave a working screenname so Mrs. L could figuratively plant her pointy-toed thigh highs into his or her butt.

But I'm back now. Looking for advice column travesties. See you soon.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Ask Mrs. Linklater "YOUR CHEATIN' HEART" Edition

When does cheating become cheating? Mrs. Linklater once looked at someone else's paper during a test in Latin. Not to copy her answers, but to see if she had the same answers as Mrs. Linklater did.

So is that cheating or just comparing notes? Which makes Mrs. Linklater wonder, is it cheating if a guy has sex with someone else? Or just comparing notes?

And what about porn? Cheating? Or Sex for Dummies?

This little philosophical diversion is designed to get you thinking out of the box, if you'll pardon an expression. Meanwhile, Mrs. Linklater has to leave the comfort of her bubble bath to prevent yet another advice column travesty. There is work to be done.

Margo Howard
Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:06 AM ET

DEAR MARGO: I've been reading your column for years and have noticed that infidelity is a recurring subject. I have a new question regarding this. It is often said that when people cheat, it means they don't love their partner. Does this necessarily mean they love their lover?

If the cheater doesn't leave a partner, this could also mean he or she doesn't love the lover enough to make the decision to live their affair openly. So, whom does a cheater really love?

I am asking because I found out that my husband is cheating on me, but he keeps denying his affair -- even though I've confronted him with irrefutable proof. He tells me he loves me and that I am the woman in his life. I know I'm certainly not. What troubles me most is that he won't leave me or let me go.

I have even told him to fight for his love of this other woman by at least acknowledging the affair. My guess is that if a man is putting his marriage of 18 years in jeopardy, then it means he is madly in love. I would like to hear your opinion about people living ambiguous situations like this.

DEAR LIV: I do not find this situation ambiguous at all. Your husband wants to stay married, for whatever reason, and he wants the girlfriend on the side. As for your proof and his denial, it reminds me of the famous instruction attributed to Fernando Lamas: "Deny, deny, deny." Comedians have embroidered on this line by adding, "Who are you going to believe -- me or your own eyes?"

As for whom the cheater loves, I actually think it's himself. Men who run around are often narcissistic, insecure and looking for excitement. In other words, they are not integrated, mature human beings. For a woman in your position, the decision is whether to put up with his dual life or live on your own.

When you say he won't leave you or let you go, may I remind you that you are half of this marriage, and should you so choose, you can let him go. Good luck figuring things out. --
Margo, decisively

Margo, after your four marriages, why does Mrs. Linklater have to keep bailing you out?

To quote Tina Turner, who knows a thing or two about badass husbands, "WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?" Exactly. Nothing. Zero. Love is beyond the comprehension of guys who cheat. On the other hand, lust is not. It's just that in the dark they start looking the same.

When a husband cheats, it's not that he doesn't love his wife. Or that he loves another person. They are too far up on the food chain for his skills.

He cheats because he's running on empty. The person he cheats with is there to shut out the white noise in his head. The little voice saying LOSER LOSER LOSER.

She's his fifth of whiskey. His line of coke. She's his case of beer and hours of football in front of the TV.

He's like a drunk who feels better after a few. Or a junkie after a hit. Or a gambler on a roll -- like anybody who has an addiction. His drug of choice -- another woman -- masks the symptoms. She anesthetizes the anxieties, fears, and stresses he can't deal with.

She's his escape from the responsibilities of his job, being a good parent to his children, and most of all, being a good husband to his wife.

After being with that other person, usually for sex, oh, hell, ALWAYS for sex, he's okay for awhile until the anxiety begins to take hold again and he's got to have more.

The other woman doesn't get his love. She gets to be his receptacle.

Afterward, he can return to his family and pretend he's a real person. Hi Honey, I'm ho-o-ome.

So he's not lying when he tells the wifey poo that the other woman doesn't exist. Because the other woman is not a person to him; she's his fix. She's his escape from real life.

Time for him to get a reality check. Time for wifey poo to get an allimony check.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Ask Mrs. Linklater "TRAILER PARK" Edition

Mrs. Linklater lives for these advice column smackdowns. Nothing like two women slinging hot, sweaty advice to attract the crowds. So bring it on Miss Ellie. Let's see your best stuff. Because you're gonna lose this one faster than a Cubs' reliever in the ninth.


DEAR ELLIE: My common-law partner's kids, girls ages 24 and 26, never ask me to join them for dinner or outings. Nor do they call their father when I'm around.

They do everything behind my back. This bothers me, but he thinks everything's fine. My similar-aged kids always include him. . .

DEAR MIFFED: Be the wiser adult and lead by example: Get tickets for everyone for something the girls can't refuse, such as a concert. Next, invite his daughters to join you and your children at something casual like a barbecue. Slowly build your connection to these grown children whose distance has been silently condoned by their dad.

If you focus on being offended, this won't change. Show them the benefits of your friendship; get to know them better. They'll eventually see you as the likeable person Dad loves.

Mrs. Linklater smells smoke just in time to poke Ellie with a stick -- poke, poke, poke. Are you awake? Can't you read between the lines? A million bucks says MIFFED is actually a stripper from the Kitty Kat Klub who snagged dear old dad after a particularly fetching pole dance during his company's annual sales meeting. Yeah, yeah, strippers are people too. The tattoos and piercings only add to her charm.

Conveniently, there's no mention about Mom in all this, so Mrs. L is thinking she got dumped once le bustier babe got her hooks into Pop. No doubt the kids are on Mom's side, since children have a sixth sense about two-bit trailer park trash. Is it any wonder they have no desire to spend time with a woman who booby-trapped their father into leaving their mother? Whose presence is like stepping on old chewing gum.

Sure, Miffed can invite the kids to a formal White House Reception if she wants, although White Castle is probably more her speed. As for inviting the young folks to concerts and barbecues, don't expect Dad's daughters to be seen with the likes of her any time soon. Might as well give that "be the wiser adult" stuff a rest.

Mrs. L thinks it's a sure bet that Dad's "common law wife" -- emphasis on "common" -- is pretty low rent.

In general, kids, especially older ones, are usually pretty good about hanging with their Dad's new or used acquisitions, unless there's something that doesn't smell right, And this one's got stink all over it. Covered in gold lame and wearing pink plastic mules.

Unless Mrs. L is somehow mistaken, and Ms. Tank Top Tummy is actually Mother Teresa, there's no way to put lipstick on this barnyard animal. So she should just be glad Dad is sticking with her and end all the whining about him and his kids sneaking behind her back.

Well, that's enough warm and fuzzy stuff for today.

I'm all tapped out.

Ask Mrs. Linklater "LAP DANCE" Edition

Last year Prudence was Ann Landers' daughter. Now she writes under her real name Margo. Apparently advice columnists don't fall too far from the tree. Based on her advice, Mrs. Linklater can confirm that Prudence is out of her tree.

Published November 10, 2005 SLATE online

Dear Prudence,
My husband recently informed me that his friend is having a bachelor party in Vegas on our first wedding anniversary. He asked me to come along, but I feel infuriated and cannot believe he would even consider asking me to do this. I think it is inconsiderate. I feel our first wedding anniversary should be celebrated and honored—alone together—not with a bunch of drunken guys in Las Vegas.

Am I wrong to be angry? . . . I feel his doing this, along with some past actions (looking at girls on the Internet and on dating services) are huge red flags that I am not letting sink in. I need advice on what I should do, and what you think he is doing. I don't want to overreact.

—Wedding Belle Blues

Dear Wed,
What a guy ... so romantic and sentimental. But given that this is his idea of fun, accept the invitation and go to Vegas. It will shock his sox off. . . Granted, this is a counterintuitive move, but your "permission" to attend his buddy's party will give you good-sport points forever. Such a gesture on your part seems wiser than raising hell about his wanting to go. . . Prudie wonders about a guy married only a year who is looking at dating sites. You might want to discuss this with him, and ask him why. . .He sounds immature, at the very least.
—Prudie, alertly

Mrs. Linklater climbs on stage. Oh Prudie, hold my tassels will ya? They get in the way when I'm giving advice.

What's with the good sports points? For what? Hooker heels? Lap dances? Marriage isn't about keeping score. Although that romantic hubba bubba sounds like he wants to score with anyone but his wifey poo. Come on, Prudence, wake up and smell the urinal cakes, he is counting on her to bail on his invite.

Besides, do you really think his bachelor buddy will let any woman that resembles a wife near a single one of their all guy parties? No way a female is getting into those slimy soirees unless she's coming out of a cake or sliding down a pole.

So Miss First -- and it sounds like her Last -- Anniversary should just give her loved one a kiss and send him on his way.

Tell him with a smile that she knows what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Oh, and by the way, Sweetums, if you go to Vegas, stay in Vegas. Because this is no longer your home.

That ought to shock more than his socks off.

Okay, you can return Mrs. Linklater's tassels, now. They just started playing her song.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Mrs. Linklater departs from her usual insightful badinage to introduce the Rutabaga Rules. She will provide a new list every so often, but this re-run from last year will be her first.
Ever since the discovery of romantic relationships, there have been people who have felt compelled to give advice about finding them, keeping them, repairing them, ending them, in fact, pretty much anything you might want to do with them.

So it's only natural for Mrs. Linklater to finally jump on the bandwagon with the Mars and Venus crowd and offer up her own take on things.

Kind of like that new guru Oprah loves, who wrote "He's Just Not That Into You." Is that bleached blond, spiky-haired oracle the next Dr. Phil?

Shouting "Who cares!!!" Mrs. Linklater takes the plunge and throws the Rutabaga Rules into the abyss of public opinion.
The rules according to the rutabaga are a very short guide to understanding how far up you are on the romantic food chain. Any resemblance to an actual relationship is coincidental.

R -- RUN, do not walk away from any guy over the age of twenty-one who still lives at home with his parents. Run faster and farther if he still lives at home with his mother.

U -- UNDERSTAND that if you're divorced, a guy always wants to know how soon you will be having sex. He will want to know even sooner if you are divorced with kids. You might as well be wearing a sign that says, "Just Do Me." If you are a widow, he doesn't want sex, he wants your money.

T -- TRUST me, any guy who didn't finish high school, has trouble spelling, and spent time in a correctional facility is not a catch. No matter how good his tattoos are. There are two exceptions to this rule: Slim and none.

A -- AUDITIONS. Don't do them. If he wants to have sex, ask him if this is an audition or do you have the job. It's always an audition if you have sex before you know his last name. If he takes you to meet his parents on the third date, that's just a trick to get you to audition.

B -- BREAK up with any Bozo who criticizes your body, your hair, your clothes, your job, your house, your children, your friends, family, furniture, food, car, or anything else that matters to you. By the way, constructive criticism is an oxymoron. There is no such thing. Criticism should not be confused with feedback. Feedback is friendly. Criticism is crushing.

A -- A man isn't kidding when he says things like he doesn't want children and he doesn't want to get married. He means TO YOU. How many women have wasted years trying to get them to change their minds. And watch him marry someone else as soon as they break up. Hey, that was stupid.

G -- GET good at stuff guys like. Start with sex and food. Enjoy the practice sessions. Guys love to help you with your homework. For anyone who thinks this rule contradicts any previous rule, give it a rest.

A -- ANY woman who can't spend a Saturday night alone, by herself, without stalking old boyfriends online, or eating a pint of Ben and Jerry's isn't ready for a guy.

Okay, those are Mrs. Linklater's Basic Rutabaga Rules. Your romantic life may not get better if you follow them. But they can't possibly get any worse. These rules, as good as they are, will change from time to time, depending on Mrs. Linklater's mood. You have to stay fresh in this business.

Oh, yes, Mrs. L is sure there is someone who wants to know why they are called the Rutabaga Rules. Long story short:

Once upon a time Mrs. Linklater fell in love. Yeah, who knew. Unfortunately she picked someone a whole lot younger so her chances of having a future with this guy weren't good. Especially since she could no longer be considered for breeding purposes. Let's just say Monica Lewinksy had a better chance of becoming First Lady.

So the time came for him to break up with her and she suffered like all women do. Tears, bags of chocolate, you know the drill. Mrs. Linklater may have a tough shell, but she's made of Marshmallow Fluff inside. Anyway, shortly after everything was finished, over, and they were never going to speak again, ever, he sent her an email. In the email was a request for a recipe for how to prepare rutabagas. Really. And the fire got stoked again, albeit it temporarily.

The experience taught Mrs. Linklater her first relationship lesson of the new millennium [with a nod to Yogi Berra]:

Just because it's over doesn't mean it's over.

Unfortunately there isn't a letter "J" in the Rutabaga Rules so Mrs. Linklater couldn't include this rule.

[Note to anyone clever with crafts: The Rutabaga Rules are suitable for framing if you want to serve them up as a gift to someone you no longer want as a friend.]

Monday, March 13, 2006

Ask Mrs. Linklater ADULT MOVIE" Edition

As usual, as a public service, Mrs. Linklater butts in when she deems it necessary to save people from themselves. Or vice versa. With all due respect to their honorable profession, Mrs. Linklater gives the advice columnists first crack. Age before beauty.

Dear Abby
Published December 10, 2004
Chicago Tribune

Dear Abby: I star in adult films. I am not ashamed of what I do, but sometimes other people's reaction to my profession can be severe.

I am trying to get my 4-year-old daughter, "Ashley," accepted into an exclusive religious day care. The problem is that on the application I am to state my profession, as well as her father's. My husband, "Rex," is also in the adult film industry.

Rex thinks we should just lie. I want my daughter to be accepted, but I know Ashley will be turned down if they find out we lied on the application. What do you think?

-- Tempest In L.A.

Dear Tempest: You don't have to lie. State that you are in the movie business. Just don't mention that the movies you're in are "blue," and cross your fingers that you don't run into any fans.

Mrs. Linklater butts in, if you'll pardon an expression. This reminds her of an article she read about how to choose your stripper stage name -- something young women can fall back on when they find they have to work their way through Harvard Law School.

Your first name should be a pet you once had. And your last name should be a street you lived on. So if you ever see NUDES NUDES NUDES "Featuring Twinkle Drexel" on a downtown marquee, you'll know Mrs. Linklater has a new gig. But she digresses.

My dear Tempest -- even though you're not just a run of the mill stripper who takes off her clothes, but a real star in adult movies, who not only takes off her clothes but performs acts of an explicitly sexual nature -- what we have here is a failure to communicate.

Mrs. Linklater is certain that what Dear Abby really meant to say was -- HAVE YOU LOST YOUR FREAKING MIND?

You are a PORN star. People who send their children to religious daycare do not want to be in the same room with you. But you just have this need to buy some respectability by sneaking your kid in. Did Mrs. Linklater get that right? Of course she did.

Why does this make her think of Jimmy Swaggert starting a brothel to raise money for his church?

Your daughter is an innocent bystander in all this. Don't make her a victim of your self-absorbed stupidity.

Have a nice day.

Ask Mrs. Linklater "NAUGHTY BITS" Edition

DISCLAIMER: Remember Mrs. Linklater is just someone with an opinion. And this one will be like throwing gasoline on a fire. She can hardly wait for the conflagration.

Mrs. Linklater wonders if moms who parade around nude in front of their sons and fathers who flash the family jewels at their daughters think they are performing some kind of public service.

Would they do the same to their children's friends? No. Because it's inappropriate. And, if you want to get technical, illegal. So what makes it appropriate to do the same thing to their children? Because they're family and can't escape?

Mrs. L can't wait to expose these kinds of parents for the buck naked numbskulls they are. But first, the advice giver makes a lame attempt to put lipstick on this pig.

Dear Abby [Jeanne Phillips]
Published October 19, 2005 Chicago Tribune

Dear Abby: My son-in-law insists on walking around naked after his shower. He claims that he must let his hemorrhoids air-dry. This man has four children, three of whom are girls ages 9, 7 and 4. My daughter has done everything from plead to scream to get him to stop this habit, yet he still emerges from the bathroom with the announcement, "Turn your heads, girls, I'm naked!"

What more can my daughter do to get him to understand how potentially dangerous this is?

-- Disgusted in Jameson, Mo.

Dear Disgusted: I discussed your letter with Dr. Stephen Kuchenbecker, a respected colorectal surgeon in Los Angeles. He informs me that while hemorrhoid sufferers are advised not to rub that tender area of the body, they are encouraged to gently "pat" dry or even use a hand-held hair dryer to be sure the hemorrhoids are free of moisture.

It is not appropriate for your son-in-law to parade around in front of the girls. The next time he makes his grand entrance, your daughter and the girls should point at his lower midsection and start laughing. If that proves ineffective, she should buy a long extension cord for her hair dryer, and warn her spouse that if he doesn't dry his hemorrhoids, then she will.

Mrs Linklater is blowing milk through her nose. Here's a dad who ignores the pleas of his wife and daughters to stop putting his private parts on public display -- for whatever reason -- and Abby calls a colorectal surgeon?

Abby, it's pretty clear Dad's an asshead, we don't need a rectal doctor to confirm this. Besides, take away his 'roid excuse and Dad will just come up with another reason to display his donkey kong.

And that suggestion to have the girls point to it and laugh when he comes out of the bathroom. Are you hallucinating? Now he's got them looking at it thanks to YOU.

What is it about THE GIRLS DON'T LIKE LOOKING AT THEIR FATHER NAKED that you and he don't seem to understand?

Gotta play hardball. Next time he goes into the shower, Mom packs up the kids and they leave. She puts a note on the bathroom door that says they aren't coming back until he stops exposing himself AND gets counseling.

If exhibitionistic parents would consider their behavior a form of sexual abuse instead of defending their right to let it all hang out, children in this country might not need so many drugs to control their anxious behavior. Family nudity is particularly heinous when the parents are asked to stop by their children and they don't. Have they looked in a mirror lately?

There can be consequences. Good kids can start "acting out," having anger issues, substance abuse problems, boys attacking their mothers, girls exhibiting sexually promiscuous behavior, or one of Mrs. Linklater's personal favorites, four year olds pooping on the living room rug.

Two years old is usually the cut off time, if you'll pardon an expression, for kids to get a naked gander at the parent of the opposite sex.

Well, now, wasn't that fun?

Ask Mrs. Linklater "BAD TEMPER": Edition

Mrs. Linklater would like to know what it is about men in orange jump suits with their hands and feet in chains that makes them so attractive?

Once again an advice columnist treats this female phenomenon with kid gloves instead of the sledghammer it needs. Thank goodness Mrs. Linklater is around to slap these goofy women upside the head.

As usual our advice giver gets first dibs on this daffy duck.

Chicago Tribune September 2005

Dear Amy: I am 21 years old and hope you'll give me some honest answers. I really trust your point of view.

I am in a relationship with someone whom I love very much. We have only been together for five months, three of which he has spent in jail. I have fallen hard and fast for him! He is very good to me. . .but I am worried about his bad temper.

. . .I am waiting for him to get sentenced to find out when he will get out of prison. When he does, we are planning on living together! He has a history with his temper, but he is working on that now, learning other ways to deal with things that stress him.

-- Concerned

Dear Concerned: Not all people who have a hard-knocks life or grow up on the streets have uncontrollable tempers. I point that out because it is my job to remove excuses Nos. 1 and 2 from your reasoning. Your guy is responsible for his own actions.

Now that I have your attention, let me say loud and clear that you must not move in with him.

. . .You cannot change him. Changing is his job. Talk is cheap, especially in prison, where people have every reason to talk a good game and no way to prove anything.

. . .It's very sweet of you to think that unconditional love, respect and honesty can cure an out-of-control temper, but it just doesn't work that way.

The fact that you think you can perform such an extreme makeover on this guy is an indication that you are not as mature as you think you are. Take your good heart and compassion, and find somebody who is available to reciprocate and give you the life you deserve.

Mrs. Linklater steps away from her Krispy Kreme to offer three words of advice for this young woman: Witness Protection Program.

Oh wait, they don't have things like that for battered women. But you don't think you'll be a battered woman do you? You're too busy writing "MRS. I LOVE A GUY IN PRISON AND HE LOVES ME" again and again on page after page of three ring notebook paper in your trapper keeper. With smiley faces in the little circles you make over the letter "I."

Well, Little Miss One Brick Shy Of A Load, let Mrs. Linklater predict your sorry future:

Loser, I mean Lover Boy, gets out of jail. He moves in with you. So far so good. One day, and it may be the next day or the next month, you're going to do something that annoys him. Like you didn't get him the hot sauce for his eggs fast enough. Something really important.

Suddenly instead of basking in your unconditional love and becoming a good and useful citizen, Bad Temper Boy will turn on you and before you can set his favorite bottle of sauce in front of him and say you're sorry -- because you always have to say you're sorry -- you will become his personal punching bag.

Congratulations!!! Enjoy your FIRST, but not your LAST extreme makeover!

You get a new wardrobe -- lots of long sleeved shirts to hide the welts on your arms.

You get new make up -- the heavy kind that can hide the dark bruises on your face

You get a new pair of sunglasses -- the big black ones that hide your swollen eyes.

It's not a question of IF this will happen to you, my naive nymphette, but WHEN.

Here's the good part. You probably won't listen to your mother. You probably won't listen to Amy. So, you for sure won't listen to Mrs. Linklater either.

No, you will do the stupid, dangerous thing and move in with this bad tempered bastard. Sorry did Mrs. Linklater say BASTARD?
Yes. She meant to. And because you don't want to admit you made a mistake, you'll let him beat you up seven or eight times until one day you call your mom and ask her to come get you.

Unless someone else calls the cops who have to call the medical examiner.

Lotsa luck!!!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ask Mrs. Linklater "MOMMIE DEAREST" Edition

Don't think of this as a re-run, think of it as a chance to let Mrs. L take a nap.

Out of necessity, Mrs. Linklater leaves her lawn chair on the highway to once again prevent another advice column crime against humanity.

Whenever she sees the "M" word in the headline, Mrs. L knows it's just a matter of time before she has to hike up her bra and come to the rescue of someone with a Mother From Hell. Nobody can take on these Monster Moms like Mrs. Linklater. Unfortunately the advice columnist gets first crack.

Published August 26, 2005 Chicago Tribune

Dear Abby: I am not a pretty woman, and I'm certainly not photogenic. Over the years I have been in numerous pictures -- some with family members, some alone on special occasions.

When my family has get-togethers with other family members and/or friends, my mother always brings photographs that show me in the most unflattering poses or circumstances. I have told her this is hurtful and asked her to please stop. She says I'm a "poor sport" and that people aren't laughing at me, just at the picture.

I'm tired of being laughed at, and after 50 years, I think she should stop making me feel bad. Why does she do this, and do you think I'm just a poor sport?

-- Negative About the Photos, Manhattan, Kan.

Dear Negative: You're not a poor sport; your mother has a cruel streak. No one taught her that true humor lies inthe ability to laugh with people rather than atthem.

Because this has been her pattern for 50 years, it's unlikely you will ever change her. However, it may console you to know that by insisting on displaying those unflattering pictures, your mother is revealing more about her character than anything in the photos.

Holy Joan Crawford Eyebrows!!! Mrs. Linklater is here to spoil someone's day, so let's start with Dear Abby.

Abby, is anybody home? Basically your advice to this fifty year victim of a cruel and unusual mother is to DO NOTHING?!

She's already done that for fifty years. If ever there was an opportunity to take this to the next level, it is today!

Mrs. Linklater has one word to cure this wicked witch masquerading as a nurturing parent -- PHOTOSHOP.

No need to resort to a website with Mom's head superimposed over nude photos, although the thought did cross Mrs. L's mind.

A framed photo of her head with the body of a babe in a dominatrix outfit, complete with black bustier, thigh high boots, and a black leather whip is much faster and far less expensive.

You can leave this little momento surreptitiously on the night table, the piano, or any place there are family pictures arranged in a group.

The daughter can make arrangements to visit all the relatives and family friends and leave more copies around their homes when they think she's gone to the bathroom.

Should she run out of money for frames she can just slip one into a family album. Or stick one on a refrigerator that's already full of family photos.

If the dominatrix outfit seems a bit over the top, and Mrs. Linklater can't see how that would be possible, the body of a typical "big-boned" American, frolicking at the beach, is another option for this vendetta, sorry, justified payback.

If there's time, a whole series of photos created with Mom's head on some very scary bodies could be made into a leatherbound album with OUR DEAR MOTHER embossed on the front. Her daughter could leave it on a coffee table at the next family gathering when no one's in the room.

It may take awhile, but slowly, members of the family will begin to notice the unusual photo in their midst and start calling Mom to ask her about it. Or somebody watching TV might notice the album during the get together and run to show it to everyone.

New albums and new photos should continue to appear until Mom is embarrassed enough to end her nasty ways. And write I THINK MY DAUGHTER IS A LOVELY PERSON INSIDE AND OUT a hundred times on the blackboard.

Just so she doesn't completely violate the terms of her parole, Mrs. Linklater's stealth plan to Stick it to Mom also includes assertiveness training and a makeover for the allegedly unphotogenic daughter. Perhaps a new hairdo, makeup and maybe some those da Vinci veneers.

Who knew a life of service could be so rewarding?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Ask Mrs. Linklater "SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE GAY" Edition

Another visit to the vault and look what Mrs. L found:

In honor of the Lutherans' latest rejection of committed gays as members of their clergy, Mrs. Linklater takes out her frustration on the advice columnists because they're such easy targets. The fact that she is not a lesbian or a Lutheran had no bearing on her decision. She just likes to annoy people.

Published August 12, 2005 CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Dear Amy: I have reason to believe that my sister-in-law is gay. My husband (her brother) and I have never discussed her sexual orientation, but we are both accepting of homosexuality.

Because her being gay has no bearing on my life, I largely feel I should never bring it up. However, in a way, if the subject were broached, perhaps she would feel more comfortable coming out, and I would not feel that the topic was taboo around my husband.

Should I bring it up to him or let it continue to rest?

-- OK With Gays

Dear OK: If everything is really OK, then what is that elephant doing in your living room?

I gather from your letter that you are wondering whether you should have this conversation with your husband (not his sister), and I can't think of why you wouldn't. In my experience, husbands and wives discuss all sorts of things that have no direct bearing on their lives, and I agree that broaching the subject might put it "out there" in a way that proves positive.

You: "Honey, have you ever thought that Nancy might be gay?"

He: "No. I don't know what you're talking about."

You: "Well, would it bother you if she did happen to be gay?"

He: "Come to think of it, it wouldn't bother me at all."

See? Now it's out there. Time to move on to other topics.

Mrs. Linklater falls out of her church pew laughing at people who are "OK with Gays." And then obsess about them. What's with that? Even worse, that conversation between a husband and a wife is so not real. Mrs. L has been married. She knows that the dialogue would go way more like this:

WIFE: Have you seen my motorcycle helmet, Honey?

HUSBAND: No, didn't you wear it to the tattoo parlor last week, Sweetums?

WIFE: I thought I did, but it's not hanging in the mudroom with my chrome studded dog collar, Poopsie.

HUSBAND: Well, I can imagine your homicidal frustration, Lovebug.

WIFE: When you get up can you look in the closet for me, My Beloved?

HUSBAND: Certainly, Sweetcakes, I would be happy to.

WIFE: While you're at it, Sugar, see if your sister is in there, too.

See, no need to use emotionally charged words like GAY or LESBIAN. Any thoughtful, concerned sister-in-law can out her husband's butch or lipstick sibling without resorting to blackmail or poison. Or sticking her tongue out and saying NA NA NA NA NA.

Mrs. Linklater also has practice conversations you can use to tell everybody you work with that your boss is performing unnatural acts with No. 2 pencils.

Why libel and slander the people close to you when you can accomplish so much more with rumor and innuendo.

Stop the whining, Mrs. Linklater is here to help.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ask Mrs. Linklater "SEPARATION ANXIETY" Edition

Well, it's been a few days since Mrs. Linklater jumped on her high horse and rode herd on the advice columnists. So it's about damn time she attacked them once again for no reason at all, except that she just loves to butt in where she's not wanted. [FYI -- Mrs. Linklater cannot make this RED type go away. It showed up uninvited and refuses to accept change no matter what she does.]

Amy Dickinson
Published July 10, 2005, Chicago Tribune

Dear Amy: I have a problem. My mother calls a lot and wants me to come over and help with things like her computer, hanging pictures, moving furniture, etc.

I go to school full time and work full time, and I cannot be at her beck and call.

I love my mother to death, but this has to stop. I cannot be everywhere at once. . .How should I handle this?


Dear Frustrated: I know you think this is about household chores, but I think it's about your mom missing you. It sounds as if your life and schedule have recently changed, and your mother might not be adjusting to it as well as you are.

You need to set some boundaries and reassure your mother that you will come to see her--even when there aren't chores to do.

Perhaps you could develop a regular schedule. . .She can save up some of those pesky chores for you, but mainly you can visit with each other. Be firm but patient with her while she weathers this transition. . .she could be suffering from depression or anxiety. If you feel her constant contact is out of hand, talk to her about it and urge her to see her doctor.

MRS. LINKLATER RIDES TO THE RESCUE: WHOA!!! This isn't about household chores or Mom missing her kid.This is about Mom being a complete and utter control freak. And the only way to control a control freak is to take the freaking control away from her.

Luckily, Mrs. Linklater has a twelve step program for just such problems.

So, what FRUSTRATED should do AS SOON AS POSSIBLE is to create some distance between herself and her parental unit.

That is why Mrs. Linklater's first eight steps are to 1. MOVE! 2. MOVE! 3. MOVE! 4. MOVE! 5. MOVE! 6. MOVE! 7. MOVE! AND 8. MOVE!

Not too far from school and your job. But at least an hour away from Mom. Far enough away that you can't run over to the house for stupid stuff. Then, when you graduate from college, you can advance to STEP NINE: MOVE AGAIN!

That's right. Get a new job and MOVE TO ANOTHER CITY. Something at least four hours away is a good start. That way you can do things for Mom a few times a year instead of several times a week.

STEP TEN: Since you probably can't do the move thing right away, just don't answer your cell phone when Mom calls. Press the END button when you see Mom's number come up. It will send her call straight to voicemail. You haven't hung up on her. And no mother has ever been harmed by diverting an unwanted call.

STEP ELEVEN: Get over the guilt. Because YOU WILL FEEL GUILTY. Your mother has signs of world class manipulation skills caused by her separation anxiety and not having a life of her own.

In fact, the first time you divert her call, you will feel so guilty that you avoided your mom you will be thinking about ways to apologize -- for what? Trying to take your life back? Get over it.

Mrs. Linklater feels the need to repeats this step: GET OVER THE GUILT DAMMIT. Sorry, Mrs. L didn't mean to raise her voice like that.

Your mom has been sending you on guilt trips like a travel agent from Hell. Stop letting her punch your ticket.

Finally, STEP TWELVE: Learn to use the word NO correctly in a sentence. No, Mom, I can't come over. No, Mom, this isn't a good time. No, Mom, I'm busy now. No, Mom, I can't do that.

Once you have mastered all these steps and begin to have a life of your own, you will be in the first stages of adulthood.

Soon, you will suddenly feel the urge to invite Mom out to brunch. And soon it will seem like a nice idea to stop by and do all that stupid stuff for her.

And you may even be happy to take Mom's calls. In fact, you may even hear yourself encourage her to call more. Because it's not Mom's idea. It's YOURS.

When that happens Mrs. Linklater will send you a TWELVE STEP certificate of adulthood that is suitable for framing.