Wherein Mrs.Linklater leaves her favorite spot, standing in front of the refrigerator with the door open, to tell advice columnists they're full of shinola -- a public service she performs at her own expense.
At the request of Homeland Security, Mrs. Linklater has been keeping her opinions to herself lately. Staying out of trouble becomes a full time job when you're sixty-eight and living on borrowed estrogen. Just keeping her new hips bright and shiny can waste most of the morning. [Amazing who keeps asking to take them out for a test drive.] Meanwhile, the silly siren calls of the yadda-yadda sisterhood [plus Dr. Phil] have been making so much noxious noise lately, Mrs. L feels compelled, once more, to revisit her old haunts and hand out some serious bitch slaps. Time to restore order around here. Needless to say, she's rounded up one of her usual suspects, that madwoman of monumentally annoying advice, Dear Abby herself. So put on your Spanx, Abarama, and LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!
6/25/12 DEAR ABBY: I just celebrated my 80th birthday at a party with 22 of my dearest friends. I also invited my daughter-in-law, "Sydney," and her mother.
The problem is, I didn't invite my 8-year-old granddaughter. I explained that I felt she wouldn't enjoy herself with all of us senior women. Sydney disagreed.
I then suggested perhaps it would be better if I had a dinner party for the entire family the following evening (on my actual birthday) at a fine dining restaurant. In retaliation for my not inviting my granddaughter, Sydney declined the dinner invitation, although all other family members attended. My "punishment" was not to receive a birthday present from her.
Was I wrong not to invite my granddaughter to a party with my 80-year-old friends? -- TRIED TO BE CONSIDERATE
DEAR TRIED: I don't think so. You were being considerate of your granddaughter's feelings. Had she attended, she would have been bored, and one of your guests or her mother and grandmother would have had to entertain her. Frankly, it would have been a distraction from the celebration. That your daughter-in-law would be so petulant as to "punish" you for making the intelligent choice you did indicates that she has some growing up to do. You owe no one any apologies; Sydney does.
Just a minute, Polident breath. Mrs. Linklater knows in her heart of hearts that the rest of the world thinks you've struck a winning blow for the rights of a bunch of 80-year-old biddies to sit around and drink Baileys until they're falling off their walkers -- without having any annoying grandchildren around to witness the frightening spectacle. On the other hand, Mrs. Linklater will bet her granny pants that this little episode has NOTHING to do with a child being bored. And everything to do with a grandmother who can barely tolerate children. Which is why Mrs. Linklater is so sorry that this selfish, mean-spirited senior citizen couldn't invite her granddaughter to one of the few birthday parties she has left -- especially if the young girl's mother was also invited to provide adult supervision. Unless this eight-year-old girl is tattooed and pregnant, Mrs. L is thinking she would have made a charming addition to the occasion. And considerable entertainment for the guests. In fact, the generous, kind, and always caring Mrs. Linklater would have bought her own granddaughter [if she ever has one] a lovely new dress to wear, perhaps some new shoes, a cute little purse, and a pair of darling white gloves, with a special request that she be Mrs. L's personal helper on this momentous birthday. The experience would create a memory so wonderful, it would last all her life. [Mrs. Linklater almost made herself cry with that one.] How fun for the little girl to bring the guests their plates of cookies or pieces of cake in between their endless Irish coffees and Long Island iced teas. Seriously, what grandparent wouldn't be thrilled to show off a young granddaughter of any age to her friends!! Apparently, not this one. From where Mrs. L sits, snooty old grammy can take her friends and shove it. Sorry, Abs, the "family party" sounds like a lame attempt to keep the kid away from the really meaningful birthday gathering. Mrs. L sides with Sydney, the granddaughter's mom on this one. Even though Sydney sounds like a royal bitch in her own right. But that's for another day.
Like almost every other advice columnist, Mrs. Linklater has absolutely no training whatsoever in psychology, except for the basic psych course she took in college her freshman year. Aced it by the way.
However, Mrs. Linklater grew up with a father who was a Freudian psychoanalyst and there was nowhere to hide. Every behavior was Oedipal, narcissistic, or psychosomatic. Her mother also drank the Kool Aid -- in between housework and dinner, she was analyzed [7 years, three times a week] by a famous female psychoanalyst, Therese Benedek. So Mrs. Linklater got hit from both sides. While other kids just lived their lives, hers was subject to unsolicited interpretations, albeit at the family discount. To paraphrase Socrates, the unexamined life was not an option.
Despite this, or because of it, Mrs. L's friends have often called asking her for advice. Even when her own children weren't speaking to her. So one day, she just said, "F**k it" and started writing this blog.
Mrs. Linklater finds it necessary to point out that this blog is for entertainment purposes only. It is not a substitute for paying a licensed therapist $200 an hour to say "tell me why you feel that way." So if you actually think she is some kind of trained professional or anything, stop right now and leave. Go away. It's not safe for you here.