More great advice

It’s time for me to dispense some of my explanatory powers to the masses.  I’ve got some burning questions from readers that need answering, so let’s get to the inbox:

Dear Jane,

I have a giant sign that says “Barbara Bry for City Council.  She means business!”.  Unfortunately, it is now in my living room.  Do you suppose Barbara wants it back?  Should I save it until the next election?

Signed: UC Political Maven

Barbara, did you put that sign on my lawn?

Dear Maven,

I think I need some backstory here. Are you in favor of Barbara, or did you vote against her?  This is important.  And, how did you get the sign?  Did you ask for it, or did it just sprout overnight on your front lawn?  This is also a factor.

I’m a vicious declutterer, so I’d say chuck it out.  First of all, Barbara probably doesn’t want it back.  If she won (I am assuming she did), she will probably want to change her slogan for the next election.  Maybe she will want to say “Barbara Bry for City Council.  She STILL means business!”  or something like that.  Yes, you could probably modify the sign but these things don’t cost that much, and they are all part of someone’s budget.  You’ve done your part like a good citizen, so out it goes to the recycling pile.

On the other hand, if you didn’t ask for the sign and you don’t want Barbara to win next time around, I suggest you use some spray paint to modify it.  Start with “Don’t vote for…” and then replace the word “business” with “state-wide bankruptcy”.  Your call.

Dear Jane,

When my youngest child recently came out as genderqueer at a family gathering, your mother was fairly nice about it.  This is impressive for an 86 year old woman.  However, she still seems to harbor a suspicion that they are doing it “to get my goat” and “because it’s a fad”.  How can I handle this?

Signed: Living in a New world


Dear New,

You’re getting off light.  This is weak tea compared to some of the salvos I’ve seen her serve up.  If it makes you feel any better, she thought I was a lesbian for 2 years after I dumped a boyfriend.

Anyway, the idea that gender is fluid is a hot potato at most family gatherings.  It doesn’t help to explain that all biologists are well aware there are many more than 2 flavors.  I see your child prefers “they/their, but the pronouns can be fraught.   Also, what about that original first name?  Sometimes those need to be replaced, and that’s not easy either.  Fortunately, as a parent, that’s not your job.  Your job is just to educate and inform the extended family as needed.  For some, you can print this out  and send it in the U.S. post. Sounds like you’re doing great.  Keep up the good work.

Dear Jane,

You people really have to STOP thinking that the stupid Canadians know what’s what…they don’t! How many times do I have to tell you that Canada is not the promised land?  I should know, because I live here!  You think we were so great with the First Nations?  Ha!  Take a look at this!  And the English/French thing is something you’ll never understand.

Signed: Wake up and smell the maple syrup

image source:  Hark, A Vagrant!

Dear Maple,

Lalalalala I can’t hear you lalalala

Dear Jane,

My child speaks in unintelligible words like “I think he’s a plug” and “you’re dragging it”.  The only expressions we’ve been able to understand together are “give me money” and “no.”  How can I fix this?

Signed: Beleaguered Mom


Dear Beleaguered,

Sorry, that’s what you get for sending your child to a public school.  If you had sent your child to a private school, she’d probably have a somewhat better vocabulary by now (I think it works out to $20,000 per extra word).  On the positive side, she’ll be corporate fodder for people with exactly the same vocabulary, so communication won’t be a problem for her, though it might be for you.  As long as she can keep her nose ring from snagging on her crop top, she’ll be OK.

Dear Jane,

I love my dog so much.  My uncle says the dog is not part of the family, but I think she is.  Who’s right?

Signed: Puppy Love


Dear Puppy,

In a way, you’re both right.  That is to say, you are also both wrong.  A dog is a member of the family, just not a human member.  That’s why you can put her in a crate for a few hours so she won’t pee on the furniture and it’s perfectly fine.  If you try that with Grandma, it’s a lawsuit.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *