02 October, 2011

Dear Abby and John Prine, and an existential dilemma

John Prine and Dear Abby totally deserve cupcakes. And John Prine has written a song about Dear Abby!

I've heard this song before this year, probably, but I really started loving it this summer, and I can't tell you why.

And I must now digress to tell you that I have a whole list of foods that I like that I can not adequately explain why. It's not long, and hopefully I haven't forgotten anything:

Fresh crab

These foods are totally weird to me. I can not really describe what it is about them that I like. Or the flavor.

Anyway, this song, basically parodies the Dear Abby advice column of my youth.

Dear Abby: I have a problem.
Dear Reader: Really? You think that is a problem?

In actual fact, the writers of Dear Abby are always WAY more classy. Sympathy or advice, whatever seems like it will help the most. Stating the obvious is totally endorsed, and probably even helpful, considering it is not clear that the people asking for advice know it all yet.

But lately, Dear Abby has stepped it up a notch.

I don't actually read the column often enough, or I might have noticed ages ago. Who knows. But in a column approximately two weeks ago, she answers two letters.

Dear Abby: Whoops, my wife's old boyfriend made a video of some of their private time together. Does she need to know?

Dear It's Private: Yes. And she will also want to know how you found out.

Dear Abby: I was mad that my husband withdrew from me and I did something I am ashamed of. He just found out. Now he actually says he wants to leave me, instead of just acting like it. Please tell everybody else to learn from my horrible example.

Dear Wife: Yeah, and maybe now you can find out why he withdrew, if you don't already know. It's not like you've got anything else to lose, and marriage comes with a commitment of investment of effort, in case he didn't know.

YOWZA! Way to go, Dear Abby. Way. To. Go. I totally want to say BaZINGa here, like Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory does, but, frankly, that is what Dear Abby is already saying as she writes gems like the above. All I can add is: Job. Well. Done.

Hopefully. I think some men can handle a little gentle criticism, some of the time. Don't we all want that to be part of the world we live in? People who want to be married should learn the best way to get it right, and women are not excepted from this expectation.

Composing this article has made painfully aware of one of the dynamics of some of my existential dilemmas.

Arguing is more stressful than pretending to care.

Pretending to care is less admirable than pretending to help.

Pretending to help is less satisfying than actually helping.

People don't always want help. I am one of them. HELP!

Please Please Please don't argue with me.

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