Friday Feedback: You're Doing it Wrong

Dear Robin:

You might want to reconsider your advice to Sam in San Francisco, who is unmarried at 42.  I would have liked it if you had explored better ways for him to meet women and maybe told him to see a shrink about his commitment issues.  It just isn’t normal for a man his age to not be married yet so I think you missed the mark on your advice to him.  If he ends up alone when he dies I’m sure he will wish he had led a different life.

-Anonymous

Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for your thoughtful analysis of my advice to Sam, which can be seen here:42 and Still Single: What’s Wrong with Me?  Sam and I chatted quite a bit and his real problem isn’t meeting women, it’s meeting the right women.  The very fact that he wrote to me asking if something is wrong with him would seem to belie your assertion that he has commitment issues, as does the fact that he has had several long-term relationships under his belt (and you know his belt buckle reads “under this buckle is a unit that fucks like a champ”).

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Your letter is illustrative of exactly why Sam feels out of place: you (and society in general) expect him to get married and have a family, and if he does not, you label him with “commitment issues.”  Sam does not have commitment issues, he just hasn’t met the right woman yet.  Sam is a very dynamic and hard-charging person with myriad challenging work obligations and it will take a remarkable woman to partner up with him so I am not surprised he hasn’t met her yet, even at his ripe old age of 42.

Unfortunately for Sam, and as I mentioned in that blog, I am taken.  Perhaps you are available?  Or perhaps you recognize Sam and you are a woman he has scorned, in which case it certainly is easy to suggest he needs therapy for his “issues”…therapy that perhaps you should be seeking instead.

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As for dying alone, I’m afraid that’s a walk most of us take on our own, regardless of our marital status.  We came in alone, we go out alone, and in the time between, many of us choose to be solitary.  I see nothing wrong with that.  Getting married solely to avoid dying alone is a profoundly shortsighted act of extreme stupidity.

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What really frightens me is the idea of dying with someone you don’t care for by your side, for example a nagging unloving spouse who treated you like shit during the marriage and now sits at your bedside playing the victim as you try to get on with the business of getting the fuck away from him or her for good.  

I would hate to think Sam’s last thoughts would be: “Great, that bitch is going to even ruin death for me.  I hope to God there isn’t an afterlife, and if there is, I hope they have divorce court.  Fuck, I should have listened to Robin.  Too bad she wasn’t single.  Oh well, here we go, into the light…”

Either way, thank you for your comments.  Perhaps Sam himself can chime in by leaving a comment and let us know who gave the better advice?  

Not that I’m competitive. I’m totally not, ask anyone.

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-Robin

Dear Robin:

What is going on?  You haven’t been writing as much as before.  What’s up with the radio pitch?  What happened to that potential job in Portland?  Your faithful readers miss you and love your blog so don’t give up now!

Sarah

Dear Sarah:

I’ve gotten a lot of emails like this lately and I can’t tell you how much it means to me.  Well, I can tell you, but it would take too long and then someone would complain that my posts go on for too many words and then I’d get a case of the sads.

Here’s an update: I can’t tell you anything.  Yet.  I am working on a redesign of the website with an expert and I hope to have it launched within a couple weeks.  I am still developing my radio/podcast idea and working on a guest spot on a radio show – more on that later when I have it nailed down.

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If a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush (ouch – a pecker in the bush and not the good kind!), I guess I’m waiting until I have my fingers around that little tweeter’s throat before I make any announcements.  I would hate to go off half cocked and be embarrassed that I wasn’t able to make anything happen.  

Regarding my recent dearth of writing, I will be explaining that in a later blog.  For now, it remains private as I develop exactly how I want to frame the conversation.  Until the big reveal, I encourage you to imagine all sorts of exciting things have been happening to me.  I won the lottery!  I’ve landed a television show!  I have a recording contract!

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In all seriousness, thank you for continuing to follow my writing.  I hope I can keep you entertained for days, nay, weeks to come!

-Robin

Dear Robin:

What is the stupidest thing you’ve ever done, besides pretending to be a person who can tell other people how to live their lives?

-Anonymous

Dear Anonymous:

Again with the Anonymous!  Are you all the same person, or are there many of you out there?  What did I ever do to you?  Wait, don’t answer that.  I’ve done some pretty horrible things in my day, so let’s just assume I slept with your husband on your honeymoon or something along those lines.

What is the stupidest thing I’ve ever done, besides this blog?  I’d say going to law school, or the guy I dated while enrolled in my first year there.

What is the stupidest thing you have ever done?  I know the stupidest thing your father has ever done, and that’s not being satisfied with the blow job your mother was offering for $10.00 a head.  He just had to go for the full meal deal…

-Robin

Dear Robin:

Enjoy Christmas this year – or at least please try.  You have a lot to be thankful for.

-REDACTED

Dear REDACTED:

You are right.  And I am really trying to get into it this year.  Tomorrow I will join the other half of the Originals 2 and his lovely bride as we seek a tree to cut down in celebration of Christ’s birth (which actually probably really happened in the late summer or fall but I’m not one to split hairs on matters of religion, seeing as all the hairs are covered in bullshit and that would be gross to touch).

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The other thing I am doing to make the holiday more fun and less stressful this year is inviting everyone over to our house on Christmas, all day long.  The open house will commence at 10 a.m. and will continue until we can go no longer – I’m guessing midnight.

Everyone is invited, and that means YOU!  There will be food, music, drinks, laughter and love, but no scheduled eve

nts such as “brunch” or “dinner” or “fighting about the past,” which is my personal favorite and usually happens around 8:30 pm, depending upon alcohol and food ingestion.  

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Too much alcohol: sure to fight.  Too much food: too tired to bother.  It’s finding the exact right ratio that makes it an evening worth remembering.  If I get it just right I will eat and drink enough to imply plenty with the right words, looks and tone, but not enough to actually be called out on anything.  

That’s the AskDesCamp Stealth Fight Method (patent pending) – you won’t even know what hit you until it’s too late and you’re tucked in bed, pondering: “I wonder what she meant when she said this was the best gift I ever chose for her?”

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(This is a must-have in my world)

Neil Young said it best: “My life is changing in so many ways.”  It’s time to accept the past, relish the present and embrace the future and all it has to offer.

Of course, the next line in that song is “I don’t know who to trust anymore.”  But we’ll just pretend it isn’t.

Happy Happy, everyone!

-Robin

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. John Meaney

    You said it well. I’m still reeling from “It just isn’t normal for a man his age to not be married yet…” WTF? According to whom?

  2. John DesCamp

    This is the best piece you’ve written. Now, interpret that!

  3. The Yetti

    Agreed John Meaney. Never married in ones 40s makes one a freak, yet divorce(s) under ones belt is normal? Fuck that. It’s a bummer to be looked at strangely for not jumping in to a legal situation I wasn’t 100% sure of. And let’s not fool ourselves, marriage is only the LEGAL part of a serious relationship.

    1. askdescamp

      Great point, and thank you for making it.

      >

  4. Chicken Little

    Dear Robin,

    I, too am a fan of lists….

    1) Was that first comment a real one???!!!

    2) My guess is that people that constantly suggest other people seek “professional help” are in fact the ones that need it themselves. Why would they talk about it so much? Who does that??

    3) Why is that everyone is fixated on being “spot on” or missing the mark”???!!! Unresolved target practice issues if you asked me.

    4) I really enjoyed this post. It was funnier than shit.

    5) All of the “Anonymous” people live in “Nowhere”… Which is the same statement I heard over and over and over again as a claims adjuster…. “They came out of nowhere”- there are a SHIT load of people that live in “Nowhere.

    6) What are you making for Christmas dinner? My family is all fucked up- I speak to some of them, but not others, and they all can’t seem to get it together- even for one day a year. All I wanna do is get fat and happy and drink wine.

    Dearest Regards,

    CL

  5. Elvina Bergmann Kallett

    Dear Robin,
    Forget about remaining in your state. It’s high time all of you relocate to the Gulf side of Florida…Tampa Bay area perhaps…
    Lottery, radio, television, and movie deals abound here.
    AND…don’t forget, HSN is here too–who knows–with your creative talents you can get on there as well!
    Cheers to you! Darn…we’re going to have to miss the 25th open house. I’d like to be there when you let it fly after that right mix of alcohol…cuz you ‘re so restrained otherwise.
    ~Elvina

  6. Ali Whiting

    Love the Carlin quote!

    Screw anonymous (not literally). Anyone who can be a critic but not stand behind their words with their name is pathetic anyway

    Goldie Hawn is my idol. Living with Kurt without a piece of paper for many years. Presumably happy. Who needs the state in bed with them anyway?!

    Hope all is well. Don’t get the doldrums. It really is just anothet day, another dinner party.

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