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Advice Columns Gone Wrong

March 8, 2010

I really, really love advice columns.  Advice columnist may actually be one of my dream jobs (along with traveling spa reviewer) and I certainly welcome your burning questions. But the only thing I love more than advice columns is miserable people getting what’s coming to them.

The absolute jewel in my day is when self-righteous jerks write into advice columns, furious about some perceived slights and are revealed as total jerks in their own right. Even better is when the advice columnist laces into them. It’s like some sort of perfect cosmic cocktail.

To wit, some of my recent favorites:

Bedbugs by Carolyn Hax
Crazy awful mother-in-law gives her son’s family bedbugs and then complains that they are upset. Bonus self-righteous points for complaining about her “strong” daughter-in-law who makes more money and always gets her way.

Precious Wife in the Workforce by Ask A Manager
A new boss asks his employee out to a lunch to celebrate the holidays, to thank her for a gift she gave him. Wife’s husband writes in asking how his wife should handle this apparently inappropriate situation.

How NOT to Bury Your Wife by Etiquette Hell
This one is a little annoying because the advice columnist apparently agrees with the old biddy acquaintance who was upset that someone moved on in their grieving process before she was ready for them to do so. But the comments make up for it. This one may be a little controversial, but the self-righteousness in the post puts it on this list.  Mainly because the writer thinks it was an etiquette breach.

Mother-In-Law as Spotlight Hog by Dear Prudence
This is the second question on the page. This paragon of selflessness and maternal instincts is furious that someone dared to get pregnant at the same time as her. Yes, it’s her mother in law, but she seems to believe that instead of just wanting another child, Mom got pregnant just to make her miserable.  As an aside, how many baby showers do you think this woman demanded?

Double Standards by Dear Prudence
This particular day happens to be almost perfection, but the two highlights are a woman in her late 50’s who expects perfection from her mates, but not in her self (Prudie’s response is kind of awesome) but the guy that takes the cake is the jerk that writes in to explain why he is so much more important than admin peons. The pile-on responses are great.

Please, send your advice column gems to me. Also, you know – if you have a burning question of your own and want a brutally honest answer, I do that too.

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7 Comments
  1. March 8, 2010 10:43 pm

    Omg the bed bug one GETS ME GOING because I had bed bugs when I was living in NYC and they are legit the worst thing I have ever gone through and I could NOT NOT NOT believe that some woman would think anyone is overreacting by leaving a place that had them. UCH. Anyway.
    .-= Arielle´s last blog ..Mini-me? =-.

  2. March 9, 2010 9:17 am

    I love reading Dear Prudence. There’s always something interesting going on there.
    .-= Kim´s last blog ..Losing Everything Else =-.

  3. March 9, 2010 9:35 pm

    I am honored to be on the same list as Carolyn Hax, my idol!

    Also, I love your new title for my post — “Precious Wife in the Workforce.” I wish I’d used that. That guy was crazy — and he defended himself further in the comments, which kind of made my day in a mean way.
    .-= Ask a Manager / Alison Green´s last blog ..requiring a handwritten cover letter =-.

  4. March 10, 2010 7:24 pm

    Crap, that didn’t work. It’s this:
    http://askamanager.blogspot.com/2008/02/remorselessness-over-lying-on-job.html
    .-= Ask a Manager / Alison Green´s last blog ..requiring a handwritten cover letter =-.

  5. jmkenrick permalink
    August 25, 2010 12:11 am

    I also have to say, I love this one by Dear Wendy. I’m kind of a feminist and I love that she calls this guy out on being more conservative then he’s willing to admit.

    http://www.thefrisky.com/post/246-dear-wendy-my-girlfriend-refuses-to-take-my-name-if-we-marry/

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