Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Paybacks Justice and Vengeance

Dear Readers, There is much confusion about paybacks, which are not to be confused with either justice, a good thing, or revenge, a bad. Now you may think it odd that I have issues with revenge, because many of my people have made quite a good living telling stories about vendettas and their bloody consequences. I'm not saying the stories aren't true, but that they don't have that much to do with how most people, mine or whoever , live.
Vengeance always comes back to bite you. Like the time that my next door neighbor's son Joey stole his best friend Lou's girlfriend,Neesa and Lou told everyone that Joey was a no good, and was cheating on Neesa with Arnie Leola's girl, which he wasn't. Arnie went and cleaned Joey's clock, Neesa who was about to go back to Lou, found out about Lou's lying, realized that Joey would take a hit for her, and married Joey three months later. Lou on the other hand ended up by himself. You see my point.

Friday, February 24, 2006


Dear Madrone, what exactly do you mean by savvy? Curious, Nesconset

Dear Curious, One of my cousin's nephews had a little boy, who as a baby always smiled...like when you brought him in a room full of strangers, complete unknowns, he'd look confused for a second, no more, then he'd smile at everyone, who then said, what a brilliant child and smiled back. This same cousin had another nephew, who had a little boy, the same age, who when faced with the same situation, would fall on the ground, hide his face and kick. One had savvy the other didn't. God bless, Donna

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Dear Readers, people ask me all the time what to do when someone stabs them in the back. Sometimes the knife is long and deep, aimed at the gut and twisted, like when my neighbor Louella (across the street) was sick, and her husband, Mel, who we thought was nice,but turned out to be a rat, had more than dinners with Zilla, the wife of the neighbor in the house next door, who we also thought was nice, but turned out to be a floozie. It wasn't pretty, there were scenes. And sometimes the stab is just a nick, like when your mother-in-law tells her cousin how much of a deal she got you on that used fur from the resale shop at Alexanders, where she works, when you didn't want it spread around that you bought your mink on the cheap.

When this happens, pull the knife out, wave it in their face, make them at least briefly consider the possibility that you are both willing AND able to disembowel them, then put the knife down and move on. And file their face away in the NOT TO BE TRUSTED folder in your mind. God Bless, Donna

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Dear Readers Often you ask me about loyalty. I don't understand how something so basic needs to be explained, but that's the world for you, people don't understand the simplest things.

Loyalty is glue. It keeps us from flying apart.

I'm not saying be an idiot about it, sometimes you gotta cut a person loose, but only under extreme circumstances, and the benefit of the doubt is not a bad thing to give. It's two way street, mind you. I'm not talking about the loyalty of a dog who gets kicked twice a day, and hasn't figured out he has sharper teeth, and 40 pounds on the guy with the shoe. Or that you shouldn't be careful about who rates your allegiance. There is no substitute in this world for savvy. God Bless, Donna

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Proof of Love

Dear Madrone Please settle this argument. My sister says she would rather see her husband happy, even if it was with another woman, and I say, no, I would rather see my dearie dead. Who loves more? No way is he getting away with that, White Plains

Dear No,This question had me puzzled until I realized what you are actually asking. This is not about loving your hubbies, it's about which sister bows to the other. There is no answer to the question you say you're asking, without knowing more. For example, is the dead husband dead after forty years of faithfulness, with grandchildren weeping PAPA PAPA at the bedside, or dead after a shot to the heart made by a 45 caliber gun carried by the loving spouse to the bedroom where she found him with his fancy woman?

In any case, the sister who rules is the one who didn't have to write to ask. God Bless, Donna

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A puzzle

Dear Madrone, I love my family, don't get me wrong, and they love me. If, for example, a dozen armed bandits came to the house I would fight to the death before I'd let them harm a hair on my mother's head, or if my brother needed a kidney and I had one that matched, I'd be at the hospital yesterday to donate. That being said, if I spend more than three nights in the same town with them, I break out in hives, get into car accidents, and on occasion, have said things I later regret. Can you explain this?
Confused, on occasion tormented, Old Forge

Dear Confused, It's simple, you are mixing up like with love. No one in a million years says you have to like your family. Like is having the same taste in music, or the same sense of humor or going to Macy's instead of Lord and Taylor's on the day after Thanksgiving. That has nothing to do with family, that's just finding people who are like you, so you feel good about yourself. You can like all kinds of people for this or that. Family, you don't have to like at all. I mean you can like your relatives, but it's not necessary. God bless, Donna

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Giving Away of Milk

Dear Madrone , I have been keeping company with a fine man, very nice family, makes good money. We are not spring chickens, that's for sure. Both of us have been around the block more than once, in vehicles, that I must admit were less than late model. But this time, I want to do it right, and he wants to do it now. This is a problem for would I not be giving the milk away, and thus preclude the buying of the cow? Not so sad, but not so wise either, Marathon

Dear Not Let me get this straight? Are you the cow? And if so, how did you get smart enough to talk? If you're that smart, you are probably also smart enough to know that by speaking of yourself in this manner, you've already answered the question. Which is to say that cows, milked or not, owned by whoever, are not ever consulted on who their milk goes to and at what price. They have no choice, and mostly just chew their cud, and let the farmers duke it out. God bless, Donna

PS. Which is to say the fact that you even had to ask me in such a way means that the price of milk is too high.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


Perry Como, what a doll. You know I'm right. Frankie had the press, the smooth voice, the fancy friends and the playboy rep, but Perry, now there was a man. He knew the value of family, and he worked it. Dean was a lush, that was no act, Jerry Vale, he could sing, but that was it. Perry was the complete package,the real deal.
He married his sweetheart and stayed married for 65 years, you could watch his show with everyone no matter how young, and all he had to do his grin that boyish grin, and you knew the world was fine.

Ah Pierino! You live forever in our hearts, "til the end of time." God bless, Donna


Monday, February 06, 2006

What's a new family for?

Dear Madrone,
What's the point of new families, anyhow? I don't get it. Why do you keep harping on it? My family's the best, Mohegan

Dear Best, My cousin Alberta's loved her son Marko so much we worried she would have a heart attack if he ever got serious about a girl. And he did get serious, ok he was 43, the girl was a doll, who saw somethng in Marko that the rest of us didn't, and they were going to be married the last weekend in June, it was a while ago, when my father was still alive, may he rest. Alberta did everything she could to get inbetween them, none of it worked, and bingo she died, right at the rehearsal dinner. All because she didn't want her son to create a new family. Here's my point. New families are gonna happen, even dropping dead won't stop it. Marko and his bride got married a year later, had three kids, and Alberta missed it all. Probably did them a favor, but what a waste. God bless, Donna

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Dear Madrone
There's this guy, very sweet, who I have been seeing for quite some time. He's got the look, he's employed with a very reputable shirt factory, and my family approves. But how do I know if what I feel for him is love? Could it be me thinking I should be in love, or maybe that everyone thinks I should be? OR even a weird indigestion? Help me Madrone, he is even went ring shopping with my mother, even though I am not supposed to know that. How will I know what to say when he pops the question? Fizzy in the stomach, Cedar Rapids

Dear Fizzy-
You are fizzy in the head that's what you are. Did you read your own letter? This is what you tell him...NO. Unless of course, love is not one of your requirement for marriage, it isn't always. But if you loved the poor schmoe, you'd know the difference between what you're feeling and a belly ache.
God Bless, Donna

PS. You could marry him just the same, but it will be trouble down the road. But even if you did love him, there still could be trouble down the exact same road. Love is no guarantee of serenity, which is a good thing, otherwise there would be no reason for opera.