Ask Auntie Linda, Straight Advice from a StraightShooter

Auntie LindaDear Auntie Linda, my mother died about six months ago.  Our family had spent the last year caring for her, but I was the main caregiver.  I never left her house except for a few hours at a time.  Either me, one of my two sisters, or her sister was always at her side.  We didn’t want her to ever feel awkward at getting care from outsiders.  It was a terrible but satisfying part of my life, knowing I was keeping a promise to her long after she wouldn’t have known the difference.  I didn’t want her to die, but thought I’d done my grieving day by day as she declined.  The last two months she didn’t know anybody.  I was so wrong.  My grief is so heavy and oppressive I feel like I can’t get a deep breath.  Every time I take a bite of food or see a sunny day, I am heartsick knowing Mother is gone,  it angers me when people remark that I must’ve relieved.  I don’t enjoy time with my husband, friends, or family.  Is it normal for me to grieve so hard for my Mother.  I don’t want to keep living this way.  Mama’s Girl

Dear Mama’s Girl, The depth of grief you describe for your mother is not usual.  By two months, you should have started feeling some lessening.  Chances are, you have developed clinical depression as a result of the misery of her lengthy illness and grief at her death.  Since you took care of your Mother so long, you lost track of your life.  Talk to your doctor.  Chances are medication will help.  Be sure to stay in touch on your with your doctor on your progress.  It is likely your dose age will have to be adjusted.  You may find it helpful to rate your mood 1 thru 10 daily on your calendar to help you evaluate your progress, since it’s hard to be objective when you have bad days.  Make an effort to do one good thing everyday, especially when you are low.  It will help.  Sorry for your loss.  You will always miss your mother, but life will be good again, just different.  Joy is attainable.  Auntie Linda

Dear  Auntie Linda, I am a sixteen year-old-girl who has never had a boyfriend or even a good friend who is a boy.  I don’t even have a dependable best friend.  My oldest friend often ditches me.  I am so awkward and shy, I’d never talk to a boy for fear he’d laugh at me.  I have no idea how to flirt or make a boy notice me.  I am embarrassed if a boy catches me looking at him.  I just look away, hoping he won’t make fun of me.  I am worried about bullied, so try never to call attention to myself.    I just keep quiet and try to stay under the radar of mean kids.  Sometimes I wonder if I will ever have friends.  Alone and Blue

Dear Alone and Blue, it probably won’t make you feel any better, but many kids are struggling just like you are.  It is hard to judge if people will respond well, but chances are, there  is another shy student near you in school who would welcome a friendly gesture.  You wouldn’t have to smile or even speak.  Maybe just make a point not to look away if you catch their eye.  You can judge from their reaction whether or not they or friendly.  A quiet kid is not likely to ask, “what are YOU staring at?” as a hateful kid would.  Try being just a bit friendlier without making a real gesture.  You sound like a good kid.  Auntie Linda

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Twelve Days of Christmas, a Letter

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Miss Agnes McHolstein
69 Cash Avenue
Beaver Meadow, Col.
December 14 Dearest John:
I went to the door today and the postman delivered a Partridge in a Pear Tree. What a thoroughly delightful gift! I couldn’t have been more surprised. With deepest love and devotion, Agnes
Miss Agnes McHolstein
69 Cash Avenue
Beaver Meadow, Col.
December 15 Dearest John:
Today the postman brought your very sweet gift. Just imagine – Two Turtle Doves! I’m just delighted at your very thoughtful gift. They are just adorable. All my love, Agnes
Miss Agnes McHolstein
69 Cash Avenue
Beaver Meadow, Col.
December 16 Dearest John: Oh, aren’t you the extravagant one! Now I really must protest. I don’t deserve such generosity – Three French Hens! They are just delightful, but I must insist, you’ve been too kind. Love, Agnes
Miss Agnes McHolstein
69 Cash Avenue
Beaver Meadow, Col.
December 17 Dearest John:
Today the postman delivered Four Calling Birds. Now really, you’re being too romantic. They are beautiful, but don’t you think that enough is enough? Affectionately, Agnes Miss Agnes McHolstein
69 Cash Avenue
Beaver Meadow, Col.
December 18 Dearest John:
What a surprise! Today the postman delivered Five Golden Rings – one for each finger. You’re just impossible, but I love it. Frankly, all those birds squawking were beginning to get on my nerves. Love, Agnes Miss Agnes McHolstein
69 Cash Avenue
Beaver Meadow, Col.
December 19 Dear John: When I opened the door, there were actually Six Geese-A-Laying on my front steps. So you’re back to the birds again, huh? Those geese are huge. Where will I keep them? The neighbors are complaining and I can’t sleep through the racket. Please stop. Cordially, Agnes
Miss Agnes McHolstein
69 Cash Avenue
Beaver Meadow, Col.
December 20 John: What’s with you and those f**king birds? Seven Swans-A-Swimming! What kind of a godd*mn joke is this? There’s bird sh*t all over the house and they never stop with the racket. I can’t sleep at night and I’m a nervous wreck – it’s not funny. So stop with those f**king birds! Sincerely, Agnes Miss Agnes McHolstein
69 Cash Avenue
Beaver Meadow, Col.
December 21 OK Buster!
I think I prefer the birds. What the hell am I going to do with 8 Maids a Milking? It’s not enough with all these birds and maids a milking, but they had to bring their godd*mn cows! There’s sh*t all over the lawn and I can’t move in my own house. Just lay off me, smartass! Agnes
Miss Agnes McHolstein
69 Cash Avenue
Beaver Meadow, Col.
December 22 Hey Shithead:
What are you, some kind of sadist? Now there are nine Pipers Piping! And Christ do they play! They haven’t stopped chasing those maids since they got here. The cows are getting upset and they’re stepping all over those screeching birds. What am I going to do? The neighbors have started a petition to evict me! You’ll get yours! Agnes
Miss Agnes McHolstein
69 Cash Avenue
Beaver Meadow, Col.
December 23 You Rotten Prick!
Now there’s Ten Ladies Dancing. I don’t know why I call those sluts ladies. They’ve been balling those pipers all night long. The cows can’t sleep and they’ve got diarrhea. My living room is a river of sh*t. The commissioner of buildings has subpoenaed me to give cause why the building shouldn’t be condemned. I’m siccing the police on you. One who means it!!
Miss Agnes McHolstein
69 Cash Avenue
Beaver Meadow, Col.
December 24 Listen Fuckhead:
What’s with the Eleven Lords a Leaping on those Maids and Ladies? Some of those broads will never walk again. Those pipers ran through the maids and have been committing sodomy with the cows! All 23 birds are dead, they’ve been trampled to death in the orgy. I hope you’re satisfied, you vicious, rotten swine. Your sworn enemy, Agnes Law Offices
Badger, Bender & Cajole
303 Knave Street
Chicago, Ill.
December 25 Dear Sir:
This is to acknowledge receipt of your latest gift of the Twelve Drummers Drumming, which you have seen fit to inflict upon our client, Miss Agnes McHolstein. The destruction, of course, was total. All future cor-respondence should be sent to our attention. If you should attempt to contact Miss McHolstein at Happy Dale Sanitarium, the attendants have instructions to shoot on sight! With this letter you will find attached a warrant for your arrest. Cordially, Badger, Bender & Cajole

How to gift the Finest

imageThe most thrilling Christmas gift I ever got was a red wooden rocking horse, named Rocky. I was so excited Christmas Eve I woke up half a dozen times asking if it was time to get up yet. Finally, about four o’clock, Mother and Daddy gave up the battle. We had to stay in our rooms for eons till Mother got coffee made. When she and Daddy were finally settled in the living room, they let us come in to see what Santa had brought. The tree, lights shimmering beneath the angel hair was breathtaking. Off to one side sat my red rocking horse! It was really bouncing horse on springs. I must have bounced ten-thousand miles on Rocky, the frame jumping off the floor till Mother couldn’t stand the racket and slowed me down.

Santa also brought me some other gifts. I was delighted to see the biggest box of all was for me unfortunately containing a tea set. I was initially disgusted, but later found the plates and cups very useful in my construction projects, excellent for scooping mud and sand for road building. The tea pot came in handy for irrigation. Despite my insistence that I didn’t want one, Santa just couldn’t get it through his head that I really, really hated baby dolls. This year’s model was a hard plastic life-size doll with molded hair. I hated it on sight. The icing on the cake was opening my grandma’s gift and finding her twin. There’s nothing better than two of something you hate! I was worldly enough by this time not to announce to the world that I hated dolls as I opened them, so I am here to tell the tale

Billy got the obligatory cap pistols, holster, and hat. I tried to work up a trade for my twin babies, pointing out we could hang them, then have fine funerals. I almost had him convinced till Daddy heard me trying to get his boy to swap guns for baby dolls and …………..well, it didn’t happen. Phyllis got a fine pogo stick, which worked just great till she wore out the stopper on the end. After that, she hopped around punching holes in the yard till she hit a soft spot and buried up. That could be fun, too.

It was a fine Christmas. Thanks Santa, Mother, and Daddy. Oh yes, except for that stupid tea set and baby doll. I told you I didn’t want one!