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.