THE SACRED AND PROFANE MIXER
More of your questions answered by the crabby critic
Dear Crabby Critic:
I’m fed up with my boyfriend. We’ve been together for four years. I’m tired of him not wanting to do anything after he comes home from work. I’m tired of his lack of initiative. I’m tired of the fact that he’s tired all the time. I’m sick and tired that we don’t spend more time together. What can I do to get him to do the things I want to do?
Marlene in Edmonton
Oh, you sexy little love Nazi, you. Sounds to me like you’re just tired of your boyfriend – period. The real surprise is that he hasn’t tired of you…YET! But don’t worry – he will. See, men have a threshold for tolerance in any given relationship. As men, we tolerate a great deal – either because we’re ‘tired’ of the constant conflict and complaining or just because we’re plain diluted into believing that we’re still in love with you goose-stepping vixens.
But get a clue, Frau Hitler. Eventually, the Romantic Reich will come a tumblin’ down! As men – we’ll reacquire our testicles from your gas chamber and decide – hey, you’re not the only sweetheart swastika waving to us from the front lines. When that epiphany hits – baby, it’s Armistice Day. Let freedom reign.
You want my advice – get off your boyfriend’s Messerschmitt long enough for him to take in a silent breath without the aid of a gas mask. I’m sure you’re hardly the perfect little fraulein.
So instead of criticizing your boyfriend for what he doesn’t do – try praising him for something he does do. The old adage is still the best; you’ll get a lot more flies with honey than fly paper. Quit swatting around. Or just move on to the next unsuspecting male for four more years of war. Seriously, you’re not set up for peace time yet. Yodell-ah-hee-hoo!
The crabby critic
What is your opinion on body piercing?
Dave in New Zealand
There’s no denying that in some cultures the piercing of human flesh with various implements has tribal significance. To those societal mores, I make no comment. North America – however – is not such a culture.
Today, body piercing has acquired the rather tactless in-vogue stupidity for wayward youth who think it hip and exciting to make puncture wounds in their skin like some live stock animal being tagged for the slaughter house.
Perhaps I can enlighten you with my opinion by way of a story. Last spring I was doing some gardening in my front yard when I heard the light rattle of chain link gaining on me from behind. We have several families in the neighborhood who have pets, so naturally I assumed the sound I heard was coming from one of them taking their dog out for a stroll.
Not at all. I turned to see a punked out wannabe athlete in his early twenties jogging shirtless toward our drive with two gargantuan nipple rings clanging like a pair of door knockers. They were linked together by a rather heavy bit of chain link glistening in the sun.
With every stride this fellow took the weight of this chain jerked his nipples back and forth like a pair of schizophrenic shock therapy victims conducting an orchestra. It was really quite a freak show and it looked fairly painful. I couldn’t help but stare.
By way of being an arrogant fool, this misguided clod noticed my disapproval and without looking where he was going said, “What’s your problem?” whereupon he missed a space in our walk and fell flat on his chest in front of my drive, knocking the wind out of him.
Not wanting to be unkind I hurried over to this man, helped him up, went in the house and brought back a glass of water and a few bandages for his wounds. You see, one of the rings had been…shall we say…yanked from its tender lobe. Yeeeoowww!
After this fellow recovered he thanked me for my hospitality, then asked why I was staring at him. I replied by inquiring why he had bothered to pierce two of the most tender spots on the human body with a hole the size of a small pencil tip. Neither of us had a satisfactory answer to offer the other.
So when anyone asks me, ‘what is your opinion on body piercing’ I simply relay this story with the conclusion that if I hadn’t been staring at this man he wouldn’t have fallen on my driveway. On the other hand, if he hadn’t been a damn useless fool of a rebel without a clue and staple-gunned his nips, I wouldn’t have had any reason to stare.
The crabby critic
I don’t know where to begin. Last night I attended a wedding reception where my cousin and this girl that he knows I like were. When I approached the table where he and another girl and this girl that I like were sitting he introduced me to the group as “This is my gay cousin.” I was humiliated. Later on he pulled me aside and said, “Hey, no hard feelings…I like her too” but I didn’t want to talk to him anymore. I’m so embarrassed. I’m not gay!!! What should I do?
Alvin in Georgia
Sounds to me like you were outed before you were in!
You were more graceful than I would have been. My scope of response would have ranged somewhere in the vicinity from “what are you trying to pull?” to “I think I’ll beat the living snot out of you right here and now.” Not for the gay comment – but because your cousin knew just how much you liked this girl and thought nothing of destroying your reputation and credibility just for kicks. That’s despicable behavior. I wouldn’t be friends with your cousin any more. Neither should you.
Want my advice? Call this girl up. Better still, see her in person. Come clean with your affections and your sexual orientation and explain that your cousin was just being a homophobic jerk. If she’s any kind of a woman, she’ll be just as repulsed by your cousin’s behavior as I am. She’ll find your ‘explanation’ heart felt and tender. You can win some points here and get to know her better. If she’s not sympathetic to your reply or she just doesn’t believe you or laughs it off and thinks your cousin was a hoot, then – as painful as it may be – let your cousin have her. They were made for each other.
The crabby critic
Is there life after death?
Gabriel in the San Fernando Valley
Interesting question; one that I’m afraid I have no legitimate answer for. Some of the waking population firmly believes in an afterlife; everything from reuniting with lost loved ones that have gone before them, to visions of a white fluffy place with naked cherubs strumming harps; the latter scenario I’ve always found a rather sick amusement for the closet pedophiliac with a Philadelphia cream cheese complex.
But to be serious for a moment – there’s just no proof that either the cherubs or heaven exists or will be waiting for us after we take our last breathes. On a more comforting side – there’s no definitive proof that heaven doesn’t exist! Agnostic nay-saying aside, I believe there has to be something more to the end of life on earth than simply a pine box and six feet of dirty laid overhead.
If you choose to believe the religious explanation of death – then the bodies we inhabit are like great cloaks that our souls wear to make them visible on this planet to other souls. When the body has at last outlived its usefulness it jettisons the soul to a higher place where it achieves immortality as a guardian angel or – if you go the Sylvia Brown route – a ‘spirit guide’.
I may be stepping way out on a hypothetical limb here…in point of fact, I am. But I think if you aim to get to a place where earthly strife is a non-issue, then as sure as Gabriel blowing his horn, you will get there.
That’s the best that I can offer off the top of my philosophical noggin – especially since I cannot back it up with any hard fact-based truths. Sorry. If it’s any consolation at all – one of these days – either sooner or later - I’m going to find out the same answer as you.
The crabby critic
I’m a divorced parent with a daughter who doesn’t want anything to do with me since her mother and I split. I was the one that asked for the divorce. My wife had been unfaithful, though she denied it at the time. A month after I left she married the man I suspected her of having the affair with. I would have thought my daughter would have been bitter at her mother but instead she seems to hate me. She’s even gone so far as to tell me, “You quit on us.” I don’t know what to do anymore.
Brad in Sarasota
This one’s going to sound cold but for the time being I would suggest you leave your daughter alone. Even if joint custody says you get her two weekends out of the month, I would let your daughter to decide whether or not she wants to spend that time away from her ‘mother’.
At present it doesn’t sound like she wants to be within three counties of you. That’s a shame. But I also believe it’s probably the fault of your wife pumping her full of ‘daddy’s pond scum and you should avoid him like the plague.’
Boy, that’s some ditch pig you picked to birth a baby. But now that the damage is done, I’d let the scenario play out on the ol’ farmstead.
Let’s face it – your wife isn’t Susanna of the Mounties or Sweet Polly Purebred. She married less than 30 days after you decamped for less stressful pastures. Right now you’re daughters emotionally wounded and receptive to any explanation for the lousy way she’s feeling. Your wife’s struck the right chord in her and the net result is ‘you’re the bad guy’. But here’s the wrinkle; ma’s awfully busy with stud #2 right now.
She’s going to be investing a lot more time in getting to know him than in babysitting an irrational teen. Eventually, your daughter will recognize that you weren’t the bad guy. You were the wounded party – just like her. She’s going to come around, probably sheepishly and feeling ashamed for treating you like the prodigal bull. When that time happens – the best you can do is to welcome her back into your fold with open arms. Be understanding, as I know you can be and you’ll have ‘daddy’s little girl’ once more.
Just be patient, Brad. I expect great things. More importantly, however, so will your daughter. Don’t disappoint her on that score.
The crabby critic
My brother is taking piano and is really into Liberace. Does this mean he’s gay?
- John in Ohio
Gee, I don’t know. Is he also into candelabras, flashy sequined bathrobes, peacock feather-trimmed fur coats and glitter-toed slippers? (These are stereotypes, I know…but I’m trying to prove a point).
If he is then I suppose he might be. Or he might just be one of those people who, for lack of taste, place velvet Elvis paintings on par with the works of Picasso and Da Vinci.
But you’ve given me little to go on. If your brother is listening to the CDs to assimilate the texture, quality and fingering of Liberace’s playback then I suspect he’s just modeling his own esthetics during his practices on a great master of the piano. That’s called homage – not homosexual!
Are you ever going to get down off your rhetorical high horse and just expect that people are human and will all make mistakes?
Hal in Australia
I never reported to be perfect. Nobody is. I’ve my flaws as much as the next man – but unlike quite a few of my contemporaries, I’ve made a personal commitment to reduce the amount of idiocy I allow myself to indulge in. I respectfully decline to subscribe to our current Machiavellian societal principles of ‘do whatever feels good and whatever you want, even if you have to step on an army of people to derive your own personal pleasure.’
That’s a very sadomasochist world view, if you ask me. If everyone would just stop worrying about having themselves put upon and instead invest a bit of self reflection in how they could stop putting themselves upon others, we’d all live in more harmony than our current skewed state of insurrection critically allows for. You don’t have to be perfect, Hal. You just have to be willing to try for the best that you can be. Prove me right – improve yourself…starting now!
The crabby critic
I think my mother might be bisexual. The reason I say this is that the other day I came home from school and asked my mom if I could borrow some money to go to the store with friends. She told me to get it from her purse. Inside I found a pack of matches from our local Motel 6 with the inscription – ‘thanks for yesterday, Cheryl.’ My family doesn’t know any Cheryl. We’ve never stayed at any Motel 6. I want to confront my mom or tell my dad. What should I do?
Tina in Michigan
Okay – I’ll admit the message in the matchbook sounds mysterious. It’s also a curiosity that the matchbook came from a motel you say your family never stayed at. But have you considered the other possibilities?!?!
Maybe your mother borrowed the matches from a coworker at work and then forgot to give them back. Or maybe she and your father were traveling somewhere together when you weren’t around, stopped to make a telephone call and took the matches from the motel register – not realizing that there was an inscription inside. Or maybe your mother was out playing Florence Nightingale and wanted to thank your mother for her kindness in some small way. There are all sorts of logical reasons for the book being in your mother’s purse. Bisexuality isn’t one of them – at least not one in the top ten short list. I think you’ve jumped the gun on your assessment of your mom.
Why are you so willing to believe the worse about this woman? If she had been neglectful to either you or your father, or was spending a lot of time away from the family that was unexplained, then I’d say maybe you had a bit more to go on. But before you start listening in keyholes, Nancy Drew – I’d recommend being upfront with your mother about what you found. Get her side of the story. Otherwise, your sort of snap analysis without facts to back it up is just rumor bordering on fiction.
The crabby critic
I'm a gay male in an office where it’s not chic to be gay. In fact, a bunch of my coworkers don’t have any problem making off color jokes about homosexuality. So far I’ve pretended that I’m okay with everything that’s going on but last week my boss offered to set me up with his single sister-in-law for the company picnic. I told him to let me think it over. What should I do?
- Gary in Manhattan
My best advice – quit! Not because you’re gay but because you’re gay and don’t want to admit it to your coworkers and are in an environment that is not conducive to your sexual orientation.
In this day and age – and in particularly in Manhattan – I find it shocking that there are still these homophobic enclaves. Nobody should have to put up with that sort of bigotry. Clearly, however, you do. In a perfect world you would come out of the closet and declare your gayness to the steno pool and they would say something like “way to go, Gar’…” and “We’re behind you, 100%.” But that’s not what’s going to happen here and you and I both know it. If you come out you’ll be met with open hostility or quiet rejection – both equally painful and insurmountable obstacles, in my opinion.
Depending how many years you have with the company it might be difficult to quit without first securing another position. So, if I were you, I’d go to the picnic with the boss’s sister-in-law and fake it. Nobody, least of all Sally Blind-Date, will expect you to throw her down for some heavy petting behind a potted fichus after cupcakes. Be polite and enjoy the afternoon.
But right now, start going through the want ads. Make inquiries. Find a place that you can be happy and at peace with in your line of work. You’re entitled to happiness as much as the next guy standing around the water cooler who wants to jump the secretary in the Xerox room. There’s no shame in moving on. There’s also no shame in being gay. The people in your office will never understand that.
The crabby critic
@ The Crabby Critic 2006 (all rights reserved).