Bad Advice On Secret Baptisms And Wedding-Gift Tantrums

By The Bad Advisor

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Welcome to our latest Bad Advice column! Stay tuned every Tuesday for more terrible guidance based on actual letters.
“I’ve been seeing this woman, ‘Becky,’ for six months or so. We met through a mentorship program for underprivileged teens. She’s a lawyer and incredibly smart. I write for a music magazine. We have a great time together.
But — and I know this is going to make me sound like a jerk — I can’t get over her terrible taste in movies, music and TV shows. I don’t own a television, and I only dedicate precious free time to critically acclaimed shows. She watches, you guessed it, reality TV.
We have tried taking turns picking out movies to watch, but I’m miserable watching rom-coms, and she’s miserable watching the heavy films I pick out. It doesn’t seem like a good time for either of us.
I collect vinyl and enjoy discovering new music from independent artists (which is part of my job, after all). She listens to pop stuff that might as well be nails on a chalkboard to me.
Annie, what do you think? Can we ever make this work?”
— From “Dinner and Definitely Not a Movie” via “Dear Annie,” 27 December 2016 (h/t @petridishes)

Dear Dinner and Definitely Not a Movie,

Before she dispenses with the advice, may the Bad Advisor first congratulate you on not owning a television! What an interesting and unique quirk, illustrative of your unparalleled flair for cultural appreciation. You don’t own a television! Sir, don’t tell us you also own a very high-quality Rothko print, or the Bad Advisor shall be forced to swoon.

Alas, what a quandary for a good-hearted but unavoidably cultured gentleman of refined tastes such as yourself! Here you struggle, enjoying life’s finer pleasures with the scant handful of similarly minded male vinyl enthusiasts who read Pitchfork Dot Com, longing all your days for a female companion worthy of your aural prowess. And to come up empty, with a brilliant career woman who spends her free time volunteering with children and listens to popular music like some kind of craven spit-sandwich in heels. What heartbreak!

Sir, don’t tell us you also own a very high-quality Rothko print, or the Bad Advisor shall be forced to swoon.

That you’ve made an effort to include this lady lawyer in your interests is nothing short of admirable; few of her kind would dare attempt to net as formidable a catch as a dude who writes for a music magazine, and she ought to be rewarded for her pluck. Alas, you’ve likely already bestowed upon her as much of your sweet dick as you can afford to waste on a repulsive ignoramus whose cultural interests are bad because you, a man so singularly gifted that you shop at record stores, said so.

“I recently celebrated my marriage with an amazing wedding! We had the best night of our lives, and so many guests told us it was the best wedding they had ever been to.
While enjoying reading cards and opening gifts, we were shocked to find 35 of our 140 guests did not leave a gift. We have racked our brains. Was the gift table too hard to find? Are they planning on sending a gift? Were some gifts stolen?
The probability of this is low as the area was secure and well-supervised. The table was a little tricky to spot, but the venue wasn’t that large.
We are honestly feeling hurt. As an aside, my husband and I paid for the wedding ourselves and many of our friends knew this.
Several people have suggested discussing this directly with the offending guests. This is a really tricky situation, but that number is so surprisingly high.
Any advice on how to approach this sticky situation?”
— From “Baffled Bride” via “Ask Amy,” Washington Post, 3 January 2017

Dear Baffled Bride,

The most respectful way to cry at someone until they buy you what you want is to do it either before you get to Toys ‘R Us, or in the car on the way home.

“My niece has a 1-year-old son. Neither my niece nor the baby’s father is religious, and they have chosen not to have the baby baptized. My sister, the baby’s grandmother, while not wanting to impose her beliefs on the parents, comes from a generation when even couples who were not demonstrably religious usually had their baby baptized.
I know it would comfort my sister to know this ancient ceremony had been performed. Since my sister watches the little boy at her house, would it be wrong for us to organize an informal baptism — just holy water and a couple of prayers? We don’t feel we need to have an officiant of any religion present and, of course, we would not tell the baby’s parents. Would this be appropriate?”
—From “MORTIFIED IN MONTANA” via “Dear Abby,” 3 January 2017:

Dear MORTIFIED IN MONTANA,

One of the best ways not to impose your religious beliefs on new parents is to just go ahead and do it anyway, because your religious beliefs are the only correct and important ones, and because the deity you worship uniquely and specially picked your specific version of your religion as the correct one. Out of seven billion or so living souls on planet earth, God was like “That lady in Montana fucking nailed it.”

One of the best ways not to impose your religious beliefs on new parents is to just go ahead and do it anyway.

New parents are notoriously and unreasonably finicky about people doing shit to their children that they have expressly said they did not want, and since you personally hold the key to this child’s salvation in your hands (what a relief!), go ahead and do your secret religious ceremony and lie your ass off about it.

After all, who among us does not remember the classic Biblical scene of Jesus and the little children on the mountain? As the wee ones gathered ‘round his robes, truly the Lord saideth to them: “Do not fucking tell the truth about shit you don’t want to get in trouble for, and verily the kingdom of heaven shall be yours.”

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