Abbey is full of excuses for this one. Someone spends eight years in a country they're bound to pick something up:
DEAR CR ABBY: My husband and I are not big fans of his best friend's wife. "Aracely" is extremely ill-mannered. She never says thank you, didn't even write thank-you notes for their wedding and baby showers, and when we're at a restaurant will loudly announce that the food was "disgusting."
Aracely claims our baby "cries too much." She arrived at my son's second birthday party with a hangover and so much more. She claims she doesn't observe our "Southern ways" because she comes from South America and has been in the United States for only eight years.
We keep our interactions with her limited, but do not cut her off completely because my husband values his friendship with her husband. I told my husband I'm considering giving her an etiquette book, but he said it would be rude. I disagree. I think it would nullify Aracely's argument that she doesn't understand our "Southern" manners. Do you agree that it would be rude? -- MANNERED SOUTHERN GAL
Dear Southern Gal,
Your husbands friends are not your friends. And his friends wives are not your friends. You don't have to be around this woman or invite her to anything. Instead, why don't you allow your husband and his friend to have "playdates" away from you. That way you never have to see the wife, and you can have a few hours to do things by yourself.
The other option is to ask her what good manners are in South America? Or better yet, look it up online. Then, when she does something crass or rude, you can say "In South America, is it true that scratching your crotch at a dinner table is deplorabel?", or some other such bullshit.
And if her husband asks, just say showing up drunk at a kids party excluded her from any future events. Aint nobody got time for dat.
Abby gets about 5,000 letters a day, and chooses three. She claims that she spends eight hours every day reading letters, writing responses, consulting experts, letting the letter sit and then coming back to it to see if she still feels the same way about her responses.
I only read the letters she posts, and then answer them myself. I take about an hour because I have kids climbing on me.
I still can't believe she gets paid for this.
If any of you would like to send me letters and get advice, go ahead. Please, make a donation at the title page if you are so inclined: Even mechanical fortune tellers make a quarter.
And now onto the nonsense from self involved entitled people whining about non-issues! (Original link here)
DEAR CRABBY: I recently went in on a gift with my friend "Ali" for our other friend, "Gena." Ali offered to purchase and wrap the gift, a nice wallet from an inexpensive store. Imagine my surprise when Ali turned up at Gena's birthday party with the wallet elaborately wrapped in expensive designer paper.
At first, I thought she had spent more of her money and upgraded our gift, but when Gena unwrapped the designer packaging to reveal the original wallet we had selected, I was taken aback. It turned out that Ali had reused the wrapping paper from a gift her husband had given her, disguising our present as something it wasn't.
Gena was clearly disappointed. Other guests who had been eyeing it looked excited at first, then confused. I felt our gift wasn't appreciated and we ended up looking cheap. I was at a loss for words. What would have been the appropriate way to handle the situation? Is this normal gift-wrapping practice, or did Ali cross the line? -- FLABBERGASTED IN FLORIDA
So after reading this overblown letter I came to the conclusion that you are not aware that there are people out there who don't have money to put into a wallet.
Second, you gave the gift of a wallet. I got a wallet as a gift. It was made of duct tape. The person had put a lot of time into the gift, decorating it with patterns. It was awesome.
You went to a store and bought an "inexpensive" wallet.
Do you see the difference? My grandfather had an expression: You can't polish a turd. That's what you and your friend did. The act of giving someone something shouldn't be about how well you looked, but how well that gift expresses your feelings towards that person.
Third, your friend lied. She said she would buy wrapping paper, and instead reused some.
Fourth, your friend got something for free and was disappointed. How lame.
Summary: You are all selfish, self absorbed people who lie to each other and depend on group validation. You are miserable and deserve each other. I suggest you go get a better gift and leave it on your friends door anonymously with a note that says "we care about YOU". Then go to your reusing friend and actually talk to her about the situation with an attitude of repentance for outing her in a public letter. Then go volunteer in a soup kitchen and help people who have empty wallets. Idiot.
DEAR CRABBY: With Mother's Day nearly upon us, would you remind your readers that stepmothers are worthy of recognition, too? If one has any regard for the feelings of his or her stepmom, PLEASE make her day by calling or visiting her and telling her how much she means to you. And I don't mean a phone call at 9 p.m.
I married my husband when his sons were in their late teens. Every Mother's Day for 14 years I have been reminded that his sons choose not to recognize me, even though our relationships are very good. (One of them is a stepfather himself.) It's a real heartbreaker, believe me. -- GIVING UP ON WAITING IN OREGON
Dear Giving Up,
Your step-kids are just that. They did not marry you, they had no say in the process, and it's great that they have good relationships with you.
You are not their mother. It's Mothers Day, not Step Mothers Day, and the boys do not have any moral, emotional, or legal imperative to acknowledge you in that capacity. If anything, you are in the wrong for expecting that gift/acknowledgement. You married a man who had kids. How does that make you deserving of anything? You are not their mother. You are an older woman to them. There are real mothers out there that do not deserve to celebrate Mothers Day, why should you be acknowledged?
I call my mother-in-law Mom because she has been more of a mom to me than my own mother. Mother's Day is an earned reward, not some mandatory participation badge because you either squeezed one out, or married into it.
Suck it up, princess. You just want attention for something you had no part in on the premise that you are a married woman whose husband has kids.
For all intents and purposes you are the woman their father bangs. People like you remind me of the story about the hen who bakes bread; you did nothing to help, yet expect a slice.
That's all for today, folks! Be sure to give cards and phone calls to the mothers in your life who actually mean something to you, and not out of some Hallmark social expectation. And send me some comments and/or letters of your own.
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.