I often wonder what kind of person writes to an advice columnist. I understand that some things are extremely personal, and God know therapy ain't cheap, but come on? Are we really so disconnected that the only way to find impartial practical advice to life's problems is to seek guidance from the newspaper? Sure newspaper advice is great for settling a bet or instructing us as to the proper placement of a second salad fork but some of the questions people ask are beyond comprehension. In fact some stories are so ridiculous it's hard to believe they're real.
Take for example this letter to the Advice Diva, which recently appeared in the local paper.
Dear Advice Diva:
Now that my girlfriend and I moved in together, I am starting to notice her wretched TV habits. Her favorite shows are those bad celebrity reality ones - "Dancing With The Stars," "Skating With The Stars" - you name it and she watches it.
Why is she so interested in the lives of celebrities? Is she unhappy with her life?
Signed - Sick of Celebs
In a misguided attempt to be helpful, The Advice Diva spews some ridiculous pablum about balance and boredom. My answer would have been along these lines:
WHY THE HELL DON'T YOU ASK HER YOURSELF, YOU IDIOT! Good God. Is that really all you can find to complain about? You must be a petty little man. How long has this been bothering you? How long did it take you to finally write to me? How long have you waited for my reply? Do you mean to tell me that you made the decision to live with this women but you don't have the balls to ask why she likes to watch celebrities on TV? Buddy you've got problems much bigger than I can solve. Someday soon you will be a perfect candidate for this service.
Signed: Crabby-Ass Advice Columnist
Sometimes people write in with these far-fetched scenarios that SCREAM for immediate intervention. And yet they feel the best solution is to bare their soul to the whole world through the newspaper. Yesterday, a woman wrote to Dear Abby asking what she should do about the 60-year old married man for whom she is house sitting. Her dilemma went like this:
This morning, I awoke at 6:15 to my door opening. The husband came into my room, said he was cold, and jumped into my bed. He was naked! I told him he was a freak, jumped out of bed, rushed into my bathroom, locked the door and got ready to leave for work. I didn't see him before I left.
Should I call the wife and tell her what happened? I am staying at a friend's tonight because I don't want to run into him again. I no longer feel safe with him there. Should I find a new place to live? I'm 31 and he is in his 60s. Yuck!
Signed: Grossed Out in California
Let me get this straight, a married man, twice your age, sneaks into your bedroom naked, jumps into your bed claiming he is cold, leaving you in fear for your safety, and your first thought is to write a letter to and advice columnist? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND? Do you really need to wait for my permission to tell his wife, and then GET THE HELL OUT? Good God woman, I'm surprised you didn't castrate him.
Maybe I'm not a good counselor.