DEAR JERKASS: My fiancee and I share a credit card that was opened under my name. I use it for gas and household or family needs. She uses it for personal things such as buying dolls for her collection.
I was informed that I will no longer be able to use the card after the last statement we got. (I had spent more than $100 on gas for the month.) I feel I am using the card for the purpose for which it was intended. Buying things that aren't for the family but for her personal enjoyment wasn't our agreement.
I'm not sure how to approach her about this without it becoming an argument. She has a spending problem.
I recently found a job, so I contribute financially to the household. This is something that has been thrown in my face every time we talk about money. I want to see the statement so I can compare who spent how much on what, but when I ask to see it, she gets defensive. -- IN THE DARK IN MICHIGAN
Toss her to the curb. CLOSE OFF THE CARD FIRST! Make sure all accounts are locked off to her and that she has no access to you financially BEFORE you break up with her. Change passwords to online accounts. The gas bill. EVERYTHING! Pretend like everything is fine until then, and don't waiver.
I speak from experience: my ex spent our shared line of credit taking a trip to Peru and stuck me with the bill right after we broke up. A guy I work with broke up with his girlfriend while away on business and she cleaned out his account.
She's spending your money and not letting you see the bill? That's lying, fraud, theft. Three strikes, she's out. Just the fact that she tries to use your personal success as a way to obfuscate her own misdeeds should be reason enough.
DEAR JERKASS: I recently took my children to spend a week with my mother-in-law, "Bea." Three days after we arrived, my husband flew in to join us. The next day, Bea handed me a hotel room key and told me to take as many of the children as I wanted, but I could not take my husband because she never gets to spend time with him!
I told Bea I was offended, and that I should not have been invited if it wasn't a "family" trip. As I was packing to leave, my mother-in-law left and spent the rest of our visit in the hotel herself while my family and I stayed at her home.
My husband has now told me that I will not be "allowed" to visit her again, and when she visits us next, it will be just him and the kids because I make his mother "uncomfortable." Must I stay away as he says, or should I pursue keeping myself included when they visit my mother-in-law? -- MOM OF FOUR IN MARYLAND
What a see-you-next-Tuesday. Tell Queen Bea-otch from now on she can see her son and that's it. Cut her off from the kids. And tell your nitwit mother-loving husband to get his head out of his ass and cut the imbilical cord. What unmitigated bullshit.
Make sure she knows that she is not welcome in your home, and if your husband objects, then tell him making you leave was an apron-string decision and he better figure out who he's sleeping with at night! Fuckin momma's boys.
That bitch can take a flying leap off a tall building.
Normally I would advocate communication, but this kind of childish garbage implies that she wouldn't listen to you if you tried.
DEAR JERKASS: I'm a 13-year old boy who loves to play baseball and football. Because of my hard work and dedication over the years, along with the help of my coaches and my dad, I'm pretty good at both sports.
The issue is, my mom does not support me and repeatedly tells me I'm not good at either one. When she says it, it cuts my heart out.
My parents have been divorced since I was 2, and Dad has always done everything for me. Even though he gives me encouragement, it still stings when Mom tells me I'm not good. She constantly says negative and bad things about my dad that I know are not true, but when I defend him she goes crazy with rage. What can I do to get her to stop being so negative? -- VERY DISCOURAGED IN TEXAS
Cut that bitch out of your life. Seriously. If she tells you she loves you, she might be lying, and even if she isn't, no self respecting mother would do or say what she has.
She may have given birth to you, but she isn't acting like a mother. I suggest finding a strong female to see an example of what a good woman should be, so that you can gain perspective and not harbor ill feelings towards the opposite sex, or think that all women are like that.
DEAR JERKASS: I'm 17 and a junior in high school. My family has recently been hit with hard times. We lost our home and are living in a motel, and I am struggling with depression. I haven't attended school since last September. However, I am feeling well enough to the point where I'd like to start attending school again.
I would be willing to take more than six periods and, if necessary, I would be willing to attend summer school. I want to graduate from high school, but I don't know if that's possible.
My mother has never been OK with any decisions I have made, so I don't know how to tell her. I don't want to disappoint her, but I do want to do this. Any advice you are willing to give would be appreciated! -- ANONYMOUS GIRL
DEAR NORMAN BATES,
Why would you want to make proud the person who is never okay with anything you want to do?
When I was a teen I wanted to be a chef. I ended up with a twenty minutes of being screamed at for wanting something so stupid. I never became a chef, yet I still maintain a love for food and gastronomica.
You're old enough to get a part time job. Libraries offer free internet usage. I suggest you get your own motel room, take online courses and go to night school. It will take a lot of hard work, and it will be rewarding. Then become successful. But make sure you cut them out of your life. No one needs that negativity.
But get the job and the place to live before you cut them out.
DEAR JERKASS: I am pregnant with my third child. There has been a large gap between baby No. 2 and baby No. 3. With my second child, my husband and I were just starting out and used hand-me-downs. But now we are established and can purchase items to suit our preferences.
Many well-meaning family members and friends have started inundating us with hand-me-downs (some ask first; others are just dropping things off). I really don't want any of these items. However, I don't want to seem ungrateful or rude because the well-wishers seem so excited to give me these things. The way I was raised, I have a hard time turning down offers such as these. How do I kindly tell these people I don't want their hand-me-downs? -- CONFLICTED IN PHILLY
You kindly tell them that you don't need anything, and that you are donating anything you get to charity, because that's what you did with the clothes you already had.
Simple. You answered your own question in the letter you sent. Man, you're stupid.
DEAR JERKASS: My fiance, "Todd," and I just became engaged and are starting to plan our wedding. The problem is his father is remarried to a terrible woman. Todd grew up with her, but he can't stand her, and I feel the same way.
I gave her a chance, but she got drunk -- something she does often -- and insulted my mother. Obviously, my mother and Todd are my priorities.
Todd and I do not want her at our wedding because we're afraid she'll get drunk and make a scene, but how do we manage that? How do we make it clear that we love his dad and want him there, but his wife is not welcome? -- NERVOUS BRIDE-TO-BE IN FLORIDA
DEAR ENGAGED TO A JELLYFISH,
Todd needs to do this, not you. He needs to go to his step-mother and tell her straight up that he doesn't want her at the wedding. If he wants to have his father there while he talks to her, so be it. He needs to tell her that her actions are what have prevented her from going to the wedding. That if she had behaved like an adult, and not just an aging teenager with a chip on their shoulder, then she would have been included in the wedding.
Depending on how far away the date of the wedding is maybe, just maybe, you would be interested in making a deal: if she can go to enough Alcoholic Anonymous meetings (or an equivalency) then she might be allowed to go to the wedding. AFTER she aplogizes for what she has said.
Here's the problem, though. Some people should be drunks because at least they pass out. If she sobers up there is still the chance she's going to be a bitch. If you make a deal and at the wedding she gets drunk, have a few of your more burly relatives ready to eject her.
There comes a time when you need to cut people out of your life. The wedding is going to be the least of your problems. His father is family, and family is going to be there long after you get married. So it may come to cutting them out of your life entirely. Is Todd ready to do that for you? Are you ready to ask that of him?
Here's the hyperlink.
DEAR JERKASS: I was recently told by a neighbor that if he wasn't married, he would make a pass at me. It made me feel kind of bad, especially the next day when I saw his wife.
My niece said I shouldn't feel bad because it was a compliment and I should be glad I still attract attention at 60. My feeling is, if you think about it -- it's infidelity.
Am I wrong or too stringent in my thinking? -- OLD-FASHIONED LADY IN OREGON
If it's something he won't say in front of his wife, then it isn't something he should be saying.
Men, compliments should be directed to your significant other, or to fine pieces of woodwork. Possibly your children. If you are complimenting another woman, that means you are looking at the other woman. And if you are looking at another woman, you might be having thoughts about that other woman. And that's where you need to close your mouth, pucker it up, and give your sweety a kiss.
Because fucking around doesn't make you a man. Fine, males look. Men don't cheat. Real men save their best words for their partners. Real men don't just keep their words, they keep their words for their significant others.
Here's one for ya!
DEAR JERKASS: I have been seeing my boyfriend for five months. He still has some of his ex-girlfriend's lingerie in his dresser. When we first got involved, he showed it to me and asked if I wanted any. I said no thanks.
Now that I'm more invested in the relationship, I'd like him to get rid of it. He is currently out of town, traveling for a month. Would it be inappropriate for me to throw away these "trinkets" without consulting him? -- SETTING BOUNDARIES IN ARIZONA
It is completely innapropriate for this guy to keep trinkets from past lovers where you can see them. From his perspective, he might be thinking that he's being honest in having past relationships, but he's not thinking about how if you break up your dirty laundry will literally be out for show.
And that's what is happening here. It's good to know a little something of a persons sexual history so that you don't get herpasyphalitaghonorheaids.
On the other side of it, it is not okay for you to throw those bloomers out, regardless of your feelings for them. I've said before, and I will say ad naseum: communicate. Talk to each other. Tell him exactly how the pantaloons make you feel and ask him to at least get them out of the bedroom or into storage.
Getting rid of the items won't get rid of any thoughts he may have, though. And if he's leaving things like that around for you to find, it might be a set of false breadcrumbs making you think it's leading to an honest relationship, when really he's hiding a giant porn stash with stuff the Marquis De Sade would blush at.
In conclusion: talk to him about it. You'll know exactly how you feel about him after. You should be getting a slightly creepy vibe if he gets really angry. Also, don't write to advice columnists.
I'm not even going to post the link to where I got this. Enjoy!
DEAR JERKASS: When I read the letter from "Undeserving Title of Mommy" (March 4), the pregnant woman who was saddened by the fact that she's expecting a baby boy instead of the girl she had hoped for, my heart went out to her. I was reminded of something I had read about, a condition called gender depression or gender disappointment.
In the cursory search I did, it was almost always described as what this mother seems to be feeling -- disappointment, sadness, guilt, etc. Unfortunately, this condition isn't widely discussed, in much the same way that postpartum depression isn't talked about. However, from what I've discovered, the writer is far from the only woman to experience this.
Many women describe their feelings about gender disappointment on parenting websites. This may be a good start, opening a discussion for this woman on what she is feeling. She should also consider talking to her doctor to find out what resources may be available to her as she works through this.
I hope she finds the help she needs. I wish her well. -- CONCERNED IN NEW MEXICO
DEAR WROTE A LETTER TO GET ABBY'S ATTENTION,
That was three months ago. Are you telling me that you fish-hooked on this one article for three months?
The condition isn't discussed because most peoples reaction is basically what I'm going to throw down:
If you are more concerned with what you want, than taking care of what you have, you should have your child taken away. The only thing worse than a negligent parent, or even an abusive one, is one that dislikes their child based on something it cannot control.
We've all heard the horror story of the psycho murderer who's mother dressed him up in girls clothes because she wanted a girl. So no, I don't think it's wrong for people to treat this "gender disappointment" as the scummy thing it is.
I wanted at least one daughter. I'm still happy I have three boys, and at no time did I ever think "Well let's flush this one and try for one I want".
Most of the time all these feelings will pass as soon as the mother holds the baby in her arms. That's another reason why it's not looked at as much as post partum.
So get over your hangups ("I was abused and I don't want a girl because they might be abused!" You make precautions in life. Boys get molested, too. Take what you know and use it to protect your kid, not give them emotional hangups).
If the fear lasts after you've given birth and blows into post partum, get therapy. I'm not being sarcastic about that.
What you should be worrying about isn't the gender of your kid, but the fact that it's going to try to squeeze its cantaloupe head through something the opening of a lemon.
Here's the source.
DEAR JERKASS: My fiancee and I work full time. We are trying to save for our wedding and a deposit for a house. The trouble is, after paying rent, bills and day-to-day expenses, we are left with next to nothing.
I played poker when I was in college, which generated a nice income during my late teens and early 20s. A few months back, I decided to pick it up again and found a group of people who like to play. Since then, I have been playing four hours two or three nights a week, and it has generated an extra monthly income of $1,000 to $1,500. Our finances have improved a lot.
There are nights my fiancee wants me to stay home. She says if I had a part-time job, she would understand why I couldn't stay home on the days she asked. But to me, poker IS a part-time job, and it pays more than anything else I could find in this area. I play the same set schedule every week, so she should know what nights I need to go in to "work." What do you say? -- ALL-IN IN VIRGINIA
Sure, gamble a couple of times a week. Justify it by saying you're making money. What about when you start losing? How are you going to explain it then...
Maybe you could compromise: sit down and talk over finances, really look at what you are saving your money for (you don't need a $50,000 wedding), what your actual expenses are month-to-month, and set a timeline for your "other job". Tell her that if you are still playing poker in five months then she can leave you for being stupid and keep the money you've saved.
Sounds like a good gamble, doesn't it? Know why? Because if you fuck her over she'll be able to dump your sorry ass and start off fresh instead being dragged down by your lies.
Here is a link for you. In it is a hundred different ways to save money. Maybe if you are smart, you'll show this list to your fiance and you can find ways to save money TOGETHER. You know, like in a relationship.
Judas' Advice Column
This is where I take a Dear Abby column, and add my own brand of advice. I started by calling it Dear Crabby, but that's taken and JERKASS seems more fun.