Wow, it really sucks that Trump is the POTUS, right? He is really terrible on so many levels and different ways. Worse still is that Mike Fucking Pence is next in line, and the two are supported by morally destitute members of Congress like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. It is really, truly awful knowing that these are the people in power: the kind of guys who would probably strangle me to death with their bare hands if they thought they’d get a dollar for it or get to pass a bill to hurt LGBTQ* folk.
Anyway, the reason why I’m writing this post isn’t just to vent my spleen and remind everyone of the heavy blanket of dread that they carry around. (Everyone who reads this blog anyway.) I’m hoping, in however small a way, to reset the low, low bar that Trump regularly slides under. We’ve become accustomed to how horrible he is at everything and his supreme selfishness. When you see headlines that read, “Trump Did [X],” “Trump Says, ‘[Y],’ But Scientists Disagree,” “Trump Surprises Staff by Declaring [Z],” it all runs together, and when he’s marginally less bad, people are starting to call it “presidential behavior.”
So instead, I’d like you to think of Trump’s behavior through the lens of people who write to advice columnists. (It’s a stretch, I know, because Trump hates asking for advice.) The people who write advice columnists are usually looking for someone to say that a) they’re right or b) they can get a divorce; the advice usually is to a) stop what you’re doing, b) stop hanging out with awful people, and/or c) have a real conversation with someone like an adult. Though sometimes, the advice columnist will publish something and the advice is, “You’re a terrible person, and I hope your family, friends, co-workers, and strangers are safe from you.” That’s the kind of letter writer Trump would be.
The following are some examples which I’ve modified to better fit the kind of situation a person who isn’t the POTUS would be in. I’m also choosing to “write” Prudence because Mallory Ortberg is lovely.
A family in my town recently became gold starred. I didn’t want to say anything to them, but then a bunch of people pressured me to call so I did. I thought it was fine, but apparently the pregnant widow of that guy was really upset. Her friend said that she was, “curled in the fetal position crying,” and the guy’s mom said, “Not only did he disrespect my son, but he disrespected his wife and me and my husband.” They’re obviously wrong, and luckily I have friends on my side who dragged the widow’s friend for making what I said public/making up what I said.
I guess what I’m asking is how do I make sure that I’m not the bad guy here and get them to shut up? Look I did my bit, and I deserve props for taking the time at all.
Stop Your Crying, I Called Didn’t I?
Obviously, the only response is of the “OMG you’re horrible!” kind. Imagine if you actually stumbled upon that letter among the stuff about having trouble getting over your ex and getting your roommate to stop eating all your food. That shit would go viral over how horrible this person is. You wouldn’t be like, “Wow! Sounds like a that bereaved family should be more understanding! What a feud!”
I run a property management company, and we recently took over some properties. Things were going pretty well until two big hurricanes hit one of our island properties within a month. It got nasty. Lost power. No water. Roads are out. People dying. That kind of thing.
Here’s the deal. Can I maybe just not repair all that damage? Look, I didn’t even really know that I was responsible for it until after the hurricanes hit. No one reads all the fine print, right? If I had known, maybe I’d just have gotten rid of it or something. It’s full of poor, brown people who speak Spanish, so you know how they were “taking care” of it. (I mean, I don’t because I did’t know I was responsible for it, but you can assume, right?) I’m not sinking money into something just because people had problems before I came along and now they’re worse and life threatening. They’re saying I’m responsible for some of the repairs because I’m legally tied to them through the contracts I signed. Can you believe it?
The silver lining is that I can give back. There’s this guy that gave me money in the past, and I can make the tenants pay him for finding subcontractors instead of them going directly to the contractors themselves. It’s a lot of money, and I feel good about getting this sweet deal for him. But beyond that, I’m hoping that if I give a bit less than the bare minimum they’ll either figure it out or die trying. Either way, it won’t be my problem, but I can say I did my best.
What are your thoughts?
A good advice columnist would note what this letter leaves out: that there’s no complaint about inability to pay, just unwillingness to do so.
This is ancient history by now, like, five years ago, but my dad didn’t like my step brother. He assumed this kid was in cahoots with my step mom’s ex. My dad would mock him to his face, accuse him of spying and telling the ex about him, and took away his car and money he earned through part-time jobs to be able to keep an eye on him at all times. My step brother was, well, essentially, under house arrest in the shed, but that’s such an ugly way of putting it.
Anyway, five years passed and, I figure, forgive and forget, right? I know my dad only wanted what was best for me and for himself. I can’t say I blame him! That kid had a different biological dad and he didn’t look like us! And he could speak more than just English. I mean – well – what else could we do? You just can’t trust someone like that! We couldn’t be sure.
I suppose I should get to the crux of my question. I’m getting married soon, and my fiancée has a child with her ex. I’m thinking that even though my dad apologized to my step brother, there might be something to how he handled things back then. I admire my dad a lot, and think the best thing I can do for my own safety is to lock my step son out of the house more or less permanently. We’ll see how things go. I get that he’s, well, a child, and can’t buy his own house, groceries, clothes, pocket watch, yet. But maybe, well, maybe the shed is good enough if push comes to shove? I can’t have that kid in the house. I don’t know what he might do.
Do you think I’m in the right here? I know I do.
Just Watching Out for #1
(For those who don’t follow the link, the letter above’s about Trump saying the Japanese internment camps weren’t a stain on our country’s history and hey, why not ban muslims because that kind of profiling totally was fine before! MURICA!)
This was supposed to be a cathartic exercise, and maybe it was a little, but man, that was also terrible. I do not recommend trying to write anything using Trump’s reasoning. Like, go buy a pumpkin spice teacup poodle or whatever instead.
Thanks for sticking with me to the end, folks. As your reward, I searched “pumpkin spice teacup poodle” and found this: