Extremely Bad Advice – Unhappy at Mealtime

Dear SJ:  I’m 8 years old. My parents are giving me really bad food and I don’t like it. Like mushrooms and onion soup and stale bread and whole milk. They say it’s good for me, but I don’t believe them. I think they are lying. Should I believe them? How do I get them to give me more of the things my friends have that I like, like pizza and macaroni and cheese and hot dogs?

HANGRY IN HARRISBURG

Answer:
 I’m so glad you asked this, HANGRY. I’ll go out on a limb and say that you’re likely not the only one wondering the same thing.

Who gives a fuck whether you eat your vegetables, right? It’s not like that has any bearing whatsoever on your future life. We all know obesity comes from just eating too much, so I’m sure you’ll figure that out on your own in a couple of decades and be just fine. [Yes, I wrote “fuck” to an 8-year-old. I’m sure he knows that word already. I mean, the kid goes to public school, so he’s probably had that on his spelling list for 2 years. And even if not, you think that pandering YouTuber trying to get past the last level of Super Mario Clitlicker really gives a flying one how old or innocent his audience’s ears are?]

Anyway, here’s what you have to do. You probably don’t remember it, but a few years ago, there was a sure-fire way for you to get any goddamned thing you wanted. It’s called a “temper tantrum”, and by age 2 you had mastered it.

When you want something, just start shouting the thing you want really, really loudly, over and over at the top of your lungs. Don’t bother asking, just demand from the first offense. When they put down a bowl of rice and veggies, but you want pizza, it goes like this: PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA! Don’t stop till you get it. Or pass out trying. If that happens, take a lesson from your future college self: wake up, throw up, and get right back at it.

Want mac & cheese? That’s easy. MAC-AN-CHEE! MAC-AN-CHEE! MAC-AN-CHEE! MAC-AN-CHEE! MAC-AN-CHEE! You didn’t mention popsicles, but what fart-sniffing booger-eater like yourself doesn’t want one every day? PA-SICKLE! PA-SICKLE! PA-SICKLE!

Accentuate your demands by demonstrating your complete contempt for what they’ve already provided. Dump whatever swill they tried to pass off as food on the floor. Stale bread? Wipe your ass with it and dump it on their plate. Onion soup? Looks great in their bed. Mushrooms? Try this: put one in your mouth, swirl it around to get it good and slobbery, then just drool it right into Mom’s purse. Shouldn’t take more than two or three of these incidents to train them in the new order of things.

And remember: when they try to object, you’ve got leverage. They’ll try to say something like “Now, HANGRY, stop misbehaving or we’ll give you a spanking.” Your best, first, and only response is simple, since you’re now old enough to read a phone book and, I presume, have achieved the hamster-level IQ to use a phone: “Do it and I call Child Protective Services on your lazy asses, you bastards. Now where’s my raspberry Ring Pop?”

BEST. ADVICE. EVER! (?)

DEAR ABBY: My middle-aged younger sister is 12 months into a midlife crisis. She has divorced her husband and abdicated her role as a mother, preferring instead to be a buddy to her teenage sons. She has started sleeping around, smoking pot and drinking — a lot. Needless to say, our family is very concerned.

This behavior is nothing like her. When she does take our calls, she lies about what she’s doing. We have caught her doing it, and so far we have just held our tongues. I’m unsure whether confronting her about her behavior would help or hurt her.

I love my sister and always will, but I have lost a lot of respect for her, and our relationship has been damaged. Should I tell her I know she is acting reckless and being dishonest? — HELPING OR HURTING IN THE SOUTH

DEAR HURTING,

First of all, you’ve got my name all wrong. I’m Stephan. But I’m going to overlook that just this once. Because it looks like you have a pretty serious situation on your hands and you are in need of some Extremely Bad Advice (TM). Lucky for you, I’m an EBA expert.

What you’ve described is a classic case of mistaken identity. You’ve put the onus on your younger sister, Hurting, but in reality the problem is you. I suspect it is your life that has taken a turn for the miserable, and you’re just not ready to admit it.

The once-a-week unimpassioned sex with your 31-BMI husband has become boring and routine. What used to be an exciting night of gossip over the card table with your girlfriends has turned into the same old, same old bitchfest about how terrible their husbands or ex-husbands are and how little they’re valued at work and how they look forward to that week’s vacation in Cancun that you’re all still deluding yourselves you’ll actually take this year. And whereas you used to at least get some solace from the soccer games of little Trevor and the Brownie meetings of sweet Katheryn, (oh, remember how adorbs they looked running around in their little uniforms!), they have grown from cute toddlers into insolent, moody teenagers, with all the requisite angst and hatred directed mostly at you.

It’s no wonder you’re looking for an escape route.

But to put the blame on your sister, Hurting, is to miss the point entirely. Can’t you see that, instead of falling victim to the “kids’ happiness first, kids’ happiness only” mentality that has gone viral within white suburbia over the past generation, she has actually found a solution to the problem of her misery? She opened her eyes to the reality around her.  She took the red pill. She woke up and began to live again. And yes, maybe she is covered in goo and completely naive about the impact her decisions could have on her world, but at least she’s trying.

Which is more than I can say for you.  All you’ve got is the same complaints she had but without any of the solutions.

Perhaps you could give it a try. You don’t know what you’re missing. These are not your parents’ midlife crises, where all that happened was an extra dish thrown against the wall at dinner followed by everyone retiring back to their beds to self-destruct in peace, heart attacks at 55 welcomed with relish. No, these days we recognize that when people go off the deep end, it’s signaling something far deeper inside them that is wrong. And no amount of nagging from you is going to solve the problem; it’s for her to either figure out or die trying.

So should you call your sister out for her bad behavior? Only when she’s bogarting that log. Until then, your best solution is to snuggle up to her and her newest boy-toy for a special invitation-only night of fun, remind her that it’s puff, puff, pass, and let go. You’ll thank me in the morning.