Welcome to Friday Feedback, our nearly-weekly changing of the blog’s diaper and wiping and powdering of its ass.
This week’s FF is scant as I haven’t been writing the usual amount due to radio time, travel, and working on the massive and highly-professional January relaunch of AskDesCamp.com. Funny how the hate mail slows to a trickle when you don’t give the people anything to become enraged about!
Let’s start with Brian, who may or may not have been challenging the advice I gave to “Bill” in this week’s golocalpdx column, My Wife is Addicted to the Internet. If you don’t have time to read, I’ll give you a synopsis:
Man works hard, wife doesn’t work, man comes home from work each day to wife on the Internet for hours, no sex, kids gone, wife refuses therapy. I suggested insisting upon marriage counseling and cutting off the money, plus strongly considering divorce if she wouldn’t work on the marriage.
Then get divorced. She will get better internet service, a new laptop, the house, a new car, 1/2 your investments…and you’ll still be paying.”
I think Brian’s point is that either way this guy is screwed unless the wife embraces improving the marriage and spending quality time with her husband. Unfortunately for many spouses out there like Bill (let’s be real, most of them are men), this is all too true.
Brian, I agree with you that Bill will keep paying and paying, but at some point you have to say “enough is enough” and start a new life in hopes of finding a partner who doesn’t just view you as an ATM.
Once we pass family law reform, men and women in Bill’s position will have a fair shake at a new life without the burden of carrying the very heavy load of a non-working ex. Get involved! Help us make it happen!
Next up in place of critique: a personal question for me from “Kristin.”
I’ve been getting a lot of these lately and I’m thinking about creating an occasional “Robin’s Toxic Discharge” (ew!) feature in which I divulge highly personal and/or embarrassing information about myself upon request by a reader. Expect those portions of the blog to be designated an EPA Superfund (web)Site before long.
I loved your advice to the bedbug sister. I’ve read you since you started and I’m starting to get the distinct impression you aren’t a fan of the holidays. What’s up with that?”
Kristin, thank you for reading and for sharing your love for Merry Christmas! Bedbugs, Anyone? This one was fun to write because it combined two things I loathe the most: Christmas and bugs.
My trepidation about this time of year is based upon several factors including: the incredibly complicated and trying logistics of broken, reorganized, and growing families; anxiety over spending and what to buy; feeling left out of parties over the years; the commercialization of what purports to be a Christian holiday; and having a god damned dead tree in my living room dropping its stupid pine needles everywhere and blocking my fabulous view.
It’s been surprising to me that some people are really put off by my inability to fully embrace the Christmas season. I made Herculean efforts last year to get into it but sometimes all the best fakery in the world can’t change your heart or motivate others to understand your issues and help you change your holiday perspective.
I don’t blame anyone for my holiday aversion – it’s just the way I am and I have a few friends who feel the same. The best card I ever got at Christmastime was from one of my favorite people and it said:
“Ho ho ho.
“I fucking hate Christmas.
“But I adore you.”
We met during the holidays and instantly bonded over our shared dislike of December 25th, so being a grinch clearly can serve to bring people together, just as reveling in the joyous spirit of Noel can do the same.
Lastly, my Darling Readers, I wanted to share with you an email I received from “Dan.” Dan must be telepathic, because he managed to send me a supportive and upbeat message just when I needed it most, and best of all it was titled “Hey, Fabulous!”
I feel like I’ve known you for much longer than I’ve been reading your blog. You could be the sister I should have had. Truth be told, your writing style, sense of humor, and general brilliance puts me in mind of a 50/50 mix of my best friend and I. We’re fantastic and brilliant, so I don’t often need a great deal of advice.
I read your column for the supple feeling of schadenfreude I get when I see how really messed up some people seem to deliberately make their lives. Sure, my heart goes out to some of your submissions, those who are being hurt by stupid or mean people around them, but others really just need a solid thumping with the clue-by-four of common sense.
I stumbled across your blog this past weekend, and have been spending as much time as I have to spare catching up on back posts. I am impressed and heartened by your post modern feminist warrior stance on life. So many vapid American princesses have made today’s feminism about privileged victim hood that I rarely get even a chance to have an intelligent conversation with anyone of the ovarian persuasion about any topic that speaks to gender issues, lest I risk losing my prior meal.
Also, I would like to encourage you to censor yourself a little less. I know your managers told you to be nicer to people, and to stop swearing, or at least stop swearing so much. I think you over corrected a little. America is more than ready for an advice columnist who has a written voice more in keeping with the vocabulary of the majority of people’s day to day.
Thanks for being brilliant!”
Dan, I had to edit your letter a bit for space, but I want to tell you how much it means to me, especially since I’ve been feeling slightly south of fabulous lately. Every time I receive a message like yours I know I am on the right path and will find the success I dream of soon enough.
As for the censoring, you are going to have to talk to my managers about that. I am under strict orders to stop indiscriminately dropping F and C bombs lest I alienate advertisers and programmers. However, since you are so sweet and you really buoyed my spirits this week, I will tell you that you are the fucking shit and I love you.
I’m totally stealing “clue-by-four” from you, so if you have a problem with that call my dickhead lawyer.
OK folks, I’m off for a run. Don’t forget to send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and have a wonderful weekend!