List of the Week: Dear Mom, Here’s Why I’m Still Single

Dear Mom,

Today, thanks to the wonders of the internet, I went on what is, by far, the worst date of my life. That’s bad news for me and worse news for your desire for more grandchildren, but wonderful news for the readers of Fantastic Manliness. Normally I would just summarize the experience with “I don’t think we’re going out again,” but in this case that won’t suffice. Because I love you and because I try to post one of these lists at least once a quarter, here are the reasons why I have no future with this woman: Continue reading

Dear Dear Prudence, Volume VI

The therapist who has been helping me rebuild my memory after my horrible hot air balloon accident has informed me that I used to have this blog.  Dear Dear Prudence appears to be a regular feature, so I’m writing another one.  Wear a helmet when hot air ballooning, kids!

Every week Slate, an online magazine that’s a lot like if Reason was written by the editors of Cat Fancy, runs an advice column called Dear Prudence.  Written by D.C.-based Emily Yoffe, the column is similar in format to Dear Abby (ask your librarian) and covers a range of topics such as manners, etiquette, familial relations, and of course how to deal with ill-conceived sexual decisions.  At least one of that last one makes it into the column every week.  Drink when you hit it.  We here at Dear Dear Prudence like to take another crack at the questions she has been posed, so that the people who ask them may have the benefit of a second opinion.  

Dear Prudence,
After seeing several friends go through bitter and prolonged divorces, my husband has decided that he wants us to have a postnuptial agreement. He explains that our marriage is a “limited liability partnership” with no “out clause” and that he wants to put a “stop loss” in place, as if our marriage is one of his stock market trades. He says he doesn’t want to go on in this “contract”—meaning our marriage—unless I sign a postnup. We have been married four years and have a toddler son. We live in a state that says assets should be divided equitably in a divorce, but the postnup he offers would give me only 20 percent of his financial assets and he’d keep the house because he owned it before we were married. We both work, though I make two-thirds of his income. I consulted an attorney who says my husband’s proposal is “total B.S.” and I shouldn’t sign. My husband says if I don’t he will serve me with divorce papers. He adds this has nothing to do with his feelings for me or our son, and would prefer to continue living together even if we do divorce. I love the life we had together and don’t want to lose it. We even had been talking about having a second child. But he is obviously more worried about protecting his growing wealth than he is about our family. I just don’t know what to do. —To Sign or Not To Sign? Continue reading

Hey, Wha’ Happened?

If you watch as much PBS as I do, which you probably shouldn’t, you may have heard that Fred Willard would be hosting a spinoff of Antiques Roadshow in the near future.  Antiques Roadshow was that show about experts appraising estate furniture at convention centers around the country.  Once an episode someone’s grandmother’s candle holder would turn out to have been carved from a unicorn’s horn and be worth six figures.  Remember when your mom turned into a hoarder in 2002?  That was because of Antiques Roadshow.

Fred Willard is really funny.  He was great in Best of Show and A Mighty Wind, easily the funniest person in both films.   His show is titled Market Warriors, and it doesn’t really matter how it’s different from Antiques Roadshow because you probably checked out when I said “PBS” and are skimming this article for bolded words and links.  Tits!  You’re welcome.   Continue reading

Dear Dear Prudence, Volume V

I gave up posting for Lent.  As penance, a fresh Dear Dear Prudence, to be shared by you and the almighty.

Every week Slate, an online magazine that’s a lot like if Harper’s was written by the editors of Entertainment Weekly, runs an advice column called Dear Prudence.  Written by D.C.-based Emily Yoffe, the column is similar in format to Dear Abby (ask your librarian) and covers a range of topics such as manners, etiquette, familial relations, and of course how to deal with ill-conceived sexual decisions.  At least one of that last one makes it into the column every week.  Drink when you hit it.  We here at Dear Dear Prudence like to take another crack at the questions she has been posed, so that the people who ask them may have the benefit of a second opinion.  

This week (hah!) we hear from a woman whose husband’s only flaw is that he is a terrible father and probably impossible to live with, a guy who doesn’t want us to know he’s thinking about cheating on his wife, and a huge jerk.  Sounds about right.

Dear Prudence,
I hit the jackpot with my husband. He treats me like a queen, cleans the house, has a successful career that allows me to be a stay-at-home mom, encourages me to have evenings out with girlfriends, etc. We’ve been happily married for 10 years and have two wonderful children ages 5 and 7. My concern is that while I know he loves our children, he doesn’t enjoy them. He was raised by an obsessive-compulsive-type mother who still vacuums twice a day. He barks at the kids if there’s a sock lying around or a toy on the floor. He yells if he has to ask them twice to do anything. When he gets home, he wants to tell me about his day while I’m cooking dinner. The kids sometimes interrupt, which drives my husband crazy. They hate to be left alone with him because he’s “grumpy.” He thinks, wrongly, that they are naughtier than other children, and I feel defensive that he’s criticizing the way I’m raising them. My mother says he parents the way he was parented and he turned out great. I’m going away with some girlfriends, and he’s said that “things are going to change” and he’s going to “fix the kids.” I’m secretly afraid of him trying. Should I just accept that he’ll always be hard on them? The kids are the only thing we argue about.
—Dad Dilemma Continue reading

See? There IS Room For Improvement!

Yesterday I explored some practical steps the Catholic Church could take that would make going to Mass less of a chore.  According to the Associated Press, I’m not the only one thinking outside the box here.  Apparently a suburban Cincinnati parish has established a drive-thru for Ash Wednesday, otherwise known as National Find Out Which of Your Coworkers Are Catholic And Mean It Day.  Traditionally, parishoners attend a Mass during which a cross is drawn on their forehead with the ashes of combusted palms which are also somehow significant.  I don’t really have the whole picture, my family were some serious cafeteria Catholics.  This church is willing to save you the trouble of getting out of your car to get your forehead marked.  From the article:

An Ohio church is offering a drive-thru Ash Wednesday blessing for parishioners pressed for time or reluctant to come inside the church for the Lenten observance.

The Rev. Patricia Anderson Cook of Mt. Healthy United Methodist Church in suburban Cincinnati offered the ashes Wednesday evening for people of all faiths beginning around 5 p.m. in the church parking lot. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Christian season of Lent, which concludes after 40 days with the celebration of Easter, and the faithful traditionally have a smudged cross drawn on their forehead.

Bridget Spitler, the church’s secretary and building manager, said the church had received a lot of positive feedback for offering the drive-thru ashes.

It’s a good start.  The Church really should do everything it can to make worship as convenient as buying a bag full of McChicken sandwiches.

(ABC News)

List of the Week: 10 Ways to Fix the Catholic Church

Add a countdown clock and buzzer: Sure, we all know how long Mass is supposed to be, but to have an actual number on it can really make the whole thing less of a chore to sit through.  If the Father feels like going long on the homily, it’s gonna cost him some recessional rites time.  If he doesn’t get it all in before the buzzer, well, that’s on him.

Put a crossword in the program, and if you finish it before Communion you don’t have to stay for the last song: There will always be the people who attentively listen for the entirety of Mass, sing along to every song, and quietly hope the piano keeps going for all seven verses of the recessional hymn.  Those people are dorks.  Everyone else will likely spend Mass periodically zoning out and thinking about what they plan to do afterward, or what they did the night before, or how ugly the baby in the front row is.  Those people probably aren’t really getting the message, so offer them a carrot – make a crossword puzzle where everyone who completes it has this week’s message or lesson subliminally processed through their head.  In exchange for getting it done, they can go home right after Communion.  I think that’s fair.

Continue reading

Dear Dear Prudence, Volume IV

We haven’t done this since 2011, kinda like everything else on Fantastic Manliness.

Every week Slate, an online magazine that’s a lot like if Nickelodeon The Magazine was written by the editors of Highlights for Children, runs an advice column called Dear Prudence.  Written by D.C.-based Emily Yoffe, the column is similar in format to Dear Abby (ask your librarian) and covers a range of topics such as manners, etiquette, familial relations, and of course how to deal with ill-conceived sexual decisions.  At least one of that last one makes it into the column a week.  Drink when you hit it.

On this episode we provide questionable counsel to a man whose girlfriend has kissed other men in her past (gasp!), a woman whose in-laws never learned how to be adults, another woman whose prankster husband almost killed someone, and a graduate student whose problem doesn’t matter because graduate students are literally the worst people on Earth.  Let’s get slap happy!

Dear Prudence,
My girlfriend and I are in law school together and have been dating for six months. Things are getting serious—she is the love of my life. Her best friend is getting married this spring, and my girlfriend is the maid of honor. I was excited to attend this wedding as her date. However, she recently confessed that she had previously made out with three of the groomsmen, including the best man who will walk her down the aisle. I was completely taken aback by this. She said who she made out with in the past isn’t really any of my business, but she wanted to tell me so I wasn’t in the dark at the wedding. I’m pretty upset. She said I should consider how she feels, having to participate in a wedding along with these guys. That makes sense, but those are the repercussions of her actions. Should I go to the wedding and be uncomfortable watching her walk down the aisle with someone she’s kissed before, who is still in love with her? Or should I just skip the whole thing and save myself some emotional trouble? Continue reading