Ask Auntie Linda, Straight Talk from a Straight Shooter

Auntie LindaDear Auntie Linda, I am a sixteen-year old girl. There are four of us children.  My parents insist we attend church services with them twice on Sunday and on Wednesday night.  If one of them is sick or can’t go, we all still have to go.  We have to line up the seats like a bunch of dopes and sit together.  I hate going to this crazy church and don’t share their outrageous beliefs.  This isn’t even a regular church, my grandpa just stands around in in old store on Sundays and lectures us about how to act and what to wear.  It’s mostly about women leading men into sin and “thou shalt not……”  I wouldn’t go, but if I stay at home I have to go to church.  I love my mother and the little kids, but could do without Dad if I had somewhere else to go.  What is a kid supposed to do if their family makes them go to a “nut church.”  Hate it!

Dear Hate it!  It depends entirely on what kind of “nut” things the church believes.  If your church is involved in sexual, psychological, emotional, or physical abuse, this goes beyond the limits of acceptable.  No one should be forced to have sex or be suffer abuse.  The role of religion is guidance and edification not control.  You may have to put up with the churchgoing until you are on your own if there is no abuse involved.  If you feel a line is being crossed, talk to someone outside your family or church.  Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda, With the Christmas season coming up, I realize again I don’t have normal feelings.  I have never felt love and attachment for anyone or anything.  I have felt angry if I have been mistreated, but that is a measurable emotion, since it involves breaking a rule.  When I see couples together, or people expressing affection toward a child or an animal, I feel mystified.  I have no more desire to pet an animal than a brick.  I don’t feel sad or lonely; I just feel nothing.  I do what is right, but I feel no need to share with anyone.  I follow society’s rules, but don’t feel involved.  I do a good job at work everyday, eat dinner at the same place every night, watch TV or listen to music.  I am pleasant to my neighbors, because it helps life go smoothly, do don’t have any desire to know them.  I exercise to stay healthy.  When I hear people getting fired up about things, I wish they could be reasonable.  Am I the only person who feels this way.  Maybe a Machine

Dear Maybe, I am sure you are not.  I am glad you aren’t happy and live a good life.  Many people don’t do that well.  Auntie Linda

A Martha Stewart ChristmasDebra by DeAngelo/iPinion Syndicate

 

 Martha%20Stewart%20At%20HomeA Martha Stewart Christmas

Dear Santa:

I rarely ask for much. This year is no exception. I don’t need diamond earrings, handy slicer-dicers or comfy slippers. I only want one little thing, and I want it deeply.
Christmas Present
I want to slap Martha Stewart.

Now, hear me out, Santa. I won’t scar her or draw blood or anything. Just one good smack, right across her smug little cheek. I get all cozy inside just thinking about it. Don’t grant this wish just for me, do it for thousands of women across the country. Through sheer vicarious satisfaction, you’ll be giving a gift to us all. Those of us leading average, garden variety lives aren’t concerned with gracious living.

We feel pretty good about ourselves if our paper plates match when we stack them on the counter, buffet-style for dinner. We’re tired of Martha showing us how to make centerpieces from hollyhock dipped in 18-carat gold. We’re plumb out of liquid gold. Unless it’s of the furniture polish variety. We can’t whip up Martha’s creamy holiday sauce, spiced with turmeric. Most of us can’t even say turmeric, let alone figure out what to do with it.

OK, Santa, maybe you think I’m being a little harsh. But I’ll bet with all the holiday rush you didn’t catch that interview with Martha in last week’s USA Weekend. I’m surprised there was enough room on the page for her ego.

We discovered that not only does Martha avoid take-out pizza (she’s only ordered it once), she refuses to eat it cold (No cold pizza? Is Martha Stewart living?) When it was pointed out that she could microwave it, she replied, “I don’t have a microwave.”

The reporter, Jeffrey Zaslow, noted that she said this “in a tone that suggests you shouldn’t either.”

Well, lah-dee-dah. Imagine that, Santa!

That lovely microwave you brought me years ago, in which I’ve learned to make complicated dishes like popcorn and hot chocolate, has been declared undesirable by Queen Martha. What next? The coffee maker?

In the article, we learned that Martha has 40 sets of dishes adorning an entire wall in her home. Forty sets. Can you spell “overkill”? And neatly put away, no less. If my dishes make it to the dishwasher that qualifies as “put away” in my house!

Martha tells us she’s already making homemade holiday gifts for friends. “Last year, I made amazing silk-lined scarves for everyone,” she boasts. Not just scarves mind you. Amazing scarves. Martha’s obviously not shy about giving herself a little pat on the back. In fact, she does so with such frequency that one has to wonder if her back is black and blue.

She goes on to tell us that “homemaking is glamour for the 90s,” and says her most glamorous friends are “interested in stain removal, how to iron a monogram, and how to fold a towel.” I have one piece of advice, Martha: “Get new friends.”

Glamorous friends fly to Paris on a whim. They drift past the Greek Islands on yachts, sipping champagne from crystal goblets. They step out for the evening in shimmering satin gowns, whisked away by tuxedoed chauffeurs. They do not spend their days pondering the finer art of toilet bowl sanitation. Zaslow notes that Martha was named one of America’s 25 most influential people by Time magazine (nosing out Mother Theresa, Madeline Allbright and Maya Angelou, no doubt).

The proof of Martha’s influence: after she bought white-fleshed peaches in the supermarket, Martha says, “People saw me buy them. In an instant, they were all gone.” I hope Martha never decides to jump off a bridge.

A guest in Martha’s home told Zaslow how Martha gets up early to rollerblade with her dogs to pick fresh wild blackberries for breakfast.

This confirms what I’ve suspected about Martha all along: She’s obviously got too much time on her hands. Teaching the dogs to rollerblade. What a show off.

If you think the dogs are spoiled, listen to how Martha treats her friends: She gave one friend all 272 books from the Knopf Everyman Library. It didn’t cost much. Pocket change, really. Just $5,000. But what price friendship, right?

When asked if others should envy her, Martha replies, “Don’t envy me. I’m doing this because I’m a natural teacher. You shouldn’t envy teachers. You should listen to them.” Zaslow must have slit a seam in Martha’s ego at this point, because once the hot air came hissing out, it couldn’t be held back. “Being an overachiever is nothing despicable. It is only admirable. Never lower your standards,” says Martha.

And of her Web Page on the Internet, Martha declares herself an “important presence” as she graciously helps people organize their sad, tacky little lives. There you have it, Santa. If there was ever someone who deserved a good smack, it’s Martha Stewart. But I bet I won’t get my gift this year.

You probably want to smack her yourself.

You may repost anything I write, as long as you include my byline:
By Debra DeAngelo/iPinion Syndicate

Christmas Nightmare with Evil Larry

christmas-santa-boy-define-goodMy brother just called to remind me of his troubles with our cousin Larry, the bane of his existence. Larry was probably the only reason I had to be glad I wasn’t a boy when I was a kid. Thanks for that, Larry. Larry was fifteen months younger than me, falling right between me and Bill in age. Back then, our families had lots of overnight visits. Poor Bill was stuck sleeping with our cousins Larry and Tory, both power bedwetters. Though it was remarkable that Bill hadn’t wet the bed since he was a baby, when Larry and Tory visited, they both arose in the morning accusing him of drenching them. He still recounts the horrible sensation of sleeping between them, feeling that initial warm, then slightly stinging feeling that quickly cooled to the shock of awakening in a puddle. It must have been awful for kids who wet the bed to have to sleep over in the days before protective pants. Thank goodness for the advances that saves kids’ precious dignity and pride today.

However, Bill’s major complaints weren’t about the innocent concern of Larry’s bedwetting. He was a malicious kid, who reminded me of nothing more than a rat. First of all, no one wanted him around. Secondly, his personality revolved around his urinary habits. Not only did he wet the bed, he ran around with his pants unzipped so he could sneak up and pee on other kids. The fastest kid around, he normally escaped before we could catch and mutilate him. He didn’t seem to need friends, his social needs seemingly satisfied by his constant meanness. We used to joke that he would wind up on the Pea-Farm, the local penitententiary, which he certainly did.

One Christmas, Bill managed to slip into Mother’s walk-in closet and discover his major Christmas gift, a magnificient electronically controlled car. It was huge, probably more than two feet long. He’d turned on the light and was quietly playing with it in the closet when Mother sought him out and caught him in the act. She played out her big guilt act, “I hope you enjoyed yourself, because you’ve just ruined my Christmas. I am taking that car back tomorrow!”

Of course, Bill was just sick with guilt and loss, like he was supposed to be. On Christmas day, he was overjoyed to find the wonderful toy sitting under the tree, after all. Since Christmas fell on a Sunday that year, the kids couldn’t miss church that day of all days. He didn’t get to play with it then, just admired it and put it away till after church. Mother stayed home to get Christmas dinner going. Daddy stayed to make sure she did it right. The invading hoard of relatives descended before we got back. Though we had carefully locked all our loot away, the evil Larry had gotten a hair pin and picked the lock on Bill’s door. He found his precious car apparently just as he’d left it, except, when he tried to run it, nothing happened. When he turned it over, all the wires had been snatched loose from their connections. The only time he’d gotten to play with it were those few guilt ridden minutes in the closet.

More about the evil Larry later. There’s far too much to end it here.