By The Bad Advisor
Welcome to our latest Bad Advice column! Stay tuned every Tuesday for more terrible guidance based on actual letters.
“I am very close with my oldest sister. Her daughter is planning to marry a woman many years younger than she.
I don’t believe in same-sex weddings, nor do I have any desire to attend this wedding.
My children feel the same way.
The wedding is out of town, with many expenses involved.
I hate to travel and have many obligations in town, including owning my own business.
Amy, my sister is not taking ‘No’ for an answer!
How do I get out of this wedding without creating a rift in our relationship?
— From “Want to Stay Peaceful” via “Ask Amy,” Washington Post, 5 June 2017
Dear Want to Stay Peaceful,
God, what is people’s deal with this stuff? Everybody gets so hung up on being told that they and their loved ones are not full and valuable humans who deserve the same rights and privileges as everyone else! Here you are, just trying to be a huge bigot who doesn’t “believe in” people being in love with the people they are in love with, and your sister and her family aren’t cheerfully acquiescing to your odious and narrow-minded views. It’s your right to express disdain and hatred toward others for experiencing basic human happiness in their partnerships without being questioned or challenged on those beliefs by people who should accept your discriminatory dogma with sunny dispositions and leave you in peace to express abject disgust at the very idea of their romantic fulfillment.
It’s your right to express disdain and hatred toward others for experiencing basic human happiness in their partnerships.
Bearing a manifest abhorrence for others because of their sexual orientation shouldn’t preclude you from enjoying all the happiness life has to offer — happiness you are owed because of who you like to bone down with, and happiness your niece is not owed because of who she doesn’t.
If you want to avoid a rift, simply show your sister and niece this letter. You may end up with something more like a gaping chasm — a relatively peaceful one.
“My husband, his father, grandfather and great-grandfather all share the same first name, which is ‘Andrew.’ We hope to carry on the tradition if we are blessed with a baby boy.
My husband’s first cousin and his wife have just announced they are having a baby boy and will be using Andrew as a middle name. My husband isn’t upset about it, but I am. My husband’s cousin claims he simply wanted to name his son after his great-grandfather, but I feel like Andrew isn’t his name to use. Am I overreacting? I don’t feel right about using the name now if we are blessed to have a son. Am I being selfish?”
—From “IRKED WIFE IN NORTH CAROLINA” via “Dear Abby,” 2 July 2017
Dear Irked Wife,
When the stakes are as high as those you’ve described here, there’s no possibility of your overreacting. If your husband’s cousin gives his child the middle name that you might give to the child you don’t have, the consequences could be terrible, such as a person having a middle name that is the same as the non-existent first name of a person who doesn’t exist. From there, things could snowball into the unthinkable, such as a person having a middle name that is the same as another person’s first name. After that, who knows? We’ll all probably start marrying our dogs.
You should have everything you want, exactly the way you want it, and if anybody else gets a thing that is similar to the thing you want, it means you can’t have it, because no two people can have similar things lest those things inherently lose value because two people are enjoying them. Things are only good if they belong to you and only you. Plus, a name as striking as “Andrew” — the Bad Advisor is simply dying to know where your family came up with this curiously unorthodox moniker — is going to draw outsized attention to any person who carries it, and the person who was meant to carry it is the little boy-child blessing that you might definitely be potentially blessed with for sure because it is a thing you want very badly, which the universe in general is pretty good about delivering up to people.
Bad Advice On Calling Women ‘The Mrs.’
It is a sorry thing that this young bride continues to entertain fantasies about self-determination.
“My significant other and I work at the same company but in different departments. I have been experiencing envy in a way that is detrimental to our relationship. She is young, been working here for four years, and has seen a promotion and outrageous raise every year she has been here. She has a relative in a high position at the company and has had the chance to work with certain people who have given her more opportunities than most here.
I have been struggling to get out of my entry-level position for two years to no avail. Long story short, last year I wanted to apply for a new position within the company but was blocked for political reasons, and she got the job with no prior qualifications other than being familiar with the company and the person who hired her. She is getting all the skills, knowledge, salary increases, and networking opportunities to set her in a promising direction, while my own boss seems to be doing everything she can to prevent me from learning anything (while at the same time praising my work). It has caused a bitter rift between us, and I’m not sure how to handle it. I know leaving this company is a step in the right direction, but now I see my significant other as the competition, and it frustrates me to no end that she is ‘winning.’ I worked hard at a graduate degree at an Ivy League institution while she went to a humdrum state school.
I know that if the universe were a fair place, our situations would be reversed, but it isn’t. How can I work toward letting this go before it ruins what we have?”
— Via “Dear Prudence,” Slate, 27 June 2017
Dear Relationship at Work Problem,
Ivy League educations are supposed to insulate those who deserve success — that is to say, people who attend Ivy League schools — from the kind of humiliation you’ve endured at the hands of your girlfriend, who has had the gall to excel in life despite her unsavory history with public education. There is a finite limit on how much money, professional achievement and happiness two people in a relationship can have, and your girlfriend is hogging your share! And not just your share, but the share your education entitles you to by virtue of the name on your diploma! An Ivy League education is a lifetime guarantee that you will never be unhappy or professionally unfulfilled, and you seem to have entered into some kind of topsy-turvy universe wherein a consortium of bitches have conspired to wrest everything the world owes you from your righteous grasp. Think of all you could do in life — Earn money! Learn skills! Expand your knowledge! Meet other humans! — if these two women weren’t standing in the way of literally all of it, leaving you powerless to escape their vicious clutches.
And to add insult to injury, your girlfriend is gaming the system by daring not to make herself the small and insignificant little go-fer she ought to be, content to let her little lady-garden — herbs, maybe? Nothing too adventurous — be nurtured by the reflection of light that should, by right, be shining on to you, because you went to a nice school. Alas, the problem in your relationship is not yours to let go of, but hers.