Bad Advice On Letting Your Old Sick Parents Die Alone And Miserable

By The Bad Advisor

flickr / Fouquier ॐ
Welcome to our latest Bad Advice column! Stay tuned every Tuesday for more terrible guidance based on actual letters.
Dear Willie D:
Not to judge, but my best friend has been seeing a married man for five years. Now she’s pregnant, and wants to keep the baby. In so many words, I told her that she should get an abortion, but she has decided to keep the baby. How can I convince her that if she has the baby, it will ruin her life and cheat the baby of being raised by two loving parents? She doesn’t care about ruining the guy’s marriage. That’s why I didn’t mention how it would affect him. She thinks he will be with her after his marriage ends.
— ‘Not To Judge’ from Ask Willie D., Houston Press, 26 October 2017

Dear Not To Judge,

What a kind and caring friend you are to approach your bestie with such a powerful disinclination to judge her when you tell her she should end a wanted pregnancy because you think her entire life is going to go to shit because she has made a series of decisions you definitely have no opinion on—whatsoever! Few on earth would be able to restrain themselves from judgment in this situation, but you, unique among humans, are so deeply non-judgmental in your pronouncement that your friend absolutely must have an abortion because you believe she is ruining a theoretical child’s life that your open-mindedness is likely to be visible from space.

Just because you’re not pregnant and not fucking this married dude doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have the final word about what your friend—who is pregnant and is fucking this married dude—should do with her body. Cajoling and coercing people into making reproductive decisions against their will is a very smart and thoughtful thing to do.

People love to be treated as if they fell off the turnip truck yesterday, and your friend will appreciate being told that she is bad and wrong and making the biggest mistake of her life in a loving and non-judgmental way. Be sure to emphasize your amazing ability to see into her specific future, and your friend will be impressed with your intimate knowledge not just of the fruit of her womb, but of the entire landscape of her life.

Your open-mindedness is likely to be visible from space.

Take the time to remind her that two-parent households always produce good people and single-parent households always produce bad people, an objective true fact from which reality has never and will never deviate — she’ll appreciate learning that single parenthood is often challenging and stigmatized, a concept she may never before have encountered. Just be sure you tell her that she’s a huge failure who is doing an awful thing in the most neutral tone possible, or she may disregard your advice.

DEAR ABBY: My parents are in their late 60s and suffer from multiple lifestyle-related illnesses. Although they had every opportunity to make healthy changes, they chose not to. I live on the other side of the country, and I am busy with my career and family.
I love my parents and accept our relationship for what it is. However, I do not feel obligated to disrupt my life and upset my children to be with them as they die slow, painful deaths. If their illnesses were not directly related to their own poor choices, I might feel and behave differently toward them. Knowing it won’t change their behavior, should I tell them why I won’t be with them for what appears will be prolonged and terrible deaths? 
— ‘SADDENED BY THEIR CHOICES’ from Dear Abby, 2 November 2017

Dear Saddened,

Definitely tell your parents that you intend to abandon them in the hour of their demise! They’ll really appreciate it and you’ll feel great about reminding a couple of 60-somethings that they will soon die in a hell of their own making, a fact that will be a big surprise to them. Absolutely tell them that they’re going to die alone, at length and in agony, because you don’t approve of their lifestyles. Do it sooner rather than later, so you can spend the maximum duration of the long, perfect, healthy life that you are 100 percent guaranteed to have appreciating the fact that you told the people you love and accept that their terrible deaths are their own fault.

Dear Amy: I have a relative who when he is invited to a family celebration (whether it is a christening, Holy Communion, confirmation or wedding) always shows up empty-handed (no gift).
We know that he is not financially secure, but on the other hand I would not consider him in need of welfare.
Nobody expects him to give a lavish gift, but to me showing up with nothing is rude. I would rather have him respond that he cannot attend the event than show up empty-handed.
What are your thoughts about this situation? 
— ‘Perplexed in New York’ from Ask Amy, Washington Post, 20 November 2017

Dear Perplexed,

It sounds as if your impoverished relative entirely misunderstands the spirit, as it were, of these religious rituals. No one gets christened for the hell of it — quite the opposite! — and no christening is complete without a sizeable haul of gifts which honor the spiritual weight of the day.

Whether at a wedding, a first communion or a confirmation, gifts symbolize the beautiful bounty that Jesus so often spoke of when he implored his followers to acquire material goods in order to secure their places in heaven. To arrive empty-handed at one of these celebrations is to disrespectfully imply that the gathering itself, and the convivial and familial goodwill that comes from sharing meaningful religious traditions with those we love dearest, is the point of these activities.

If this literally poor man can’t at least show up with a prepackaged array of cheap rip-off colognes stuffed in a used birthday sack, he needs to stay home and leave the festivities to the truly devout such as yourself.

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