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.