Bad Advice On Tattooed Granddaughters And 20-Year Grudges

Welcome to our latest Bad Advice column! Stay tuned every Tuesday for more terrible guidance based on actual letters.
“I have a 19-year-old granddaughter who has three tattoos and now a ring in her nose. Any suggestions as to what I might say to her to stop the destruction?”
—From “GRANDDAD IN NEW ORLEANS” via “Dear Abby,” 17 February 2017

Dear Granddad in New Orleans,

When a hysterical, emotionally unpredictable young woman such as your granddaughter is hell-bent on destroying property, it can be very difficult to talk her out of it, especially if the property in question is her body and she has fallen prey to the misguided belief that she is the sole owner of it.

The value of a woman’s body is determined by its aesthetic appeal first and foremost in the eyes of her family patriarch, who needs his stock to be in tip-top shape if it is to fetch the most agreeable market price. How can a man such as yourself find an appropriate suitor to which to transfer ownership of his granddaughter if he cannot feel proud of his wares? Certainly your granddaughter would not plaster your haberdashery with graffiti, nor break the windows of your grain mill! And yet here she is, vandalizing that on which you rely not only for income but for your good social standing, all the same!

The value of a woman’s body is determined by its aesthetic appeal first and foremost in the eyes of her family patriarch.

Who looks at a woman and sees a person, rather than the man who sired her line? No one. And so your granddaughter is making your life very difficult indeed by treating your body with such carelessness. Every time someone sees your granddaughter, they immediately and derisively think of the man to whom she belongs, putting your good name and reputation at risk. But while this puts your livelihood in danger, the consequences of your granddaughter’s decision to do with your body what she wishes are much more broad. She must indeed “stop the destruction,” for every time a woman fails to make herself pleasing to the whole of men on earth, she is destroying the nice time that men are entitled to have when they look at women.

Certainly your granddaughter has insulted you, but more than that, she has insulted the whole of your gender. You must call this to her attention at once; if nothing else, it may have the happy effect of causing you to literally see less of this cruel treatment of your belongings.

“Is it legal to not hire somebody because they will be going to college in eight months? I’m highly qualified for the position I was trying to get and when they did a small interview on the phone they said they could not hire me because I was planning on going out of state for college. Is this legal? This has happened to me twice before too so it isn’t uncommon for me.”
— From “Ask A Manager,” 14 February 2017

It most certainly is not legal to decline to hire someone because they expressly intend to leave the job in short order. Employment laws exist to protect people from being discriminated against for their race, gender identity, religious beliefs, and a host of other factors, which of course includes straight-up having no intention of sticking around at the job for longer than it is convenient. It’s appalling that you are being oppressed in this way.

As you’ve undoubtedly noticed, the vast majority of people who outright intend to leave their jobs within a matter of months get hired for every job for which they are highly qualified. That’s why everybody who wants one has a job except for you, a person who has been cruelly mistreated by employers who are obligated to give you what you want because you asked for it. That not one, not two, but three employers have failed to hire you despite your feelings that you should be hired shows just how backwards all those employers are! If you keep applying for jobs that you don’t get even though you want them, you should complain to your local workforce commission — which you may find turns into a fulfilling regular job of its own!

“When we got married 20 years ago, we decided not to invite small children to our wedding. One couple who had a small child at the time made quite the ordeal of how offended they were that they couldn’t bring the child to the wedding. They did not attend.
This summer that child, all grown up, is getting married and we’re invited to the wedding. Are we obligated to go considering how we were treated before our wedding?”
— From ”Wedding Whiners” via Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, 12 February 2017

Dear Wedding Whiners,

While most invitations are merely that — suggestions that your presence would be welcomed at a specific event — this invitation is obviously the second volley of hate, thrown across a generation, and is meant as a summons. Nay, a mortal challenge! Too often, the inveterate wusspants of this world who love and care about each other and their friendships abandon grudges at the five-, 10-, or even 15-year mark in order to move on and have happy, healthy, productive lives that don’t involve punishing innocent people for the behavior of others.

This invitation is obviously the second volley of hate, thrown across a generation, and is meant as a summons.

But not you — no, you and your spouse have bravely nurtured 20 years’ worth of seething anger, carefully and gently caressing it into a ball of glittering pettiness that you are now ready to throw at a person who had no goddamned say whatsoever in how their parents behaved toward you two decades ago. Revenge is all the sweeter when exacted upon someone who is probably just sort of annoyed that Mom and Dad made a whole big stink about inviting these strangers to their wedding.

If you are obligated, it is an obligation not to attend this happy event, lest some errant good cheer and conviviality ruin your plans to die mad.

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