Sunday, April 30, 2006

Beware of Onesy Onesy

Onesy Onesy is a dangerous game. It goes like this. Your wifey makes a comment about your mother's gravy, compares it unfavorably to the starchy crapola purchased at the local A&P. You take this without comment, but later that night, you mention in passing that the last time you had dinner at with your inlaws, you practically had to beg for helpings, they are so stingy with portions,how on earth could your family be so flabby. Then the wife hits you up with a comment about the water bill being paid late, just like the way your brother always returns the lawnmower needing gas. To which you reply at least he mows his lawn, which is a slap at her sister who the wife can't deny has a disgraceful amount of dandelions on her front lawn, only it isn't your place to point it out. AND SO IT GOES. Trust me, if you don't stop it, it ends with gunplay.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Sticky Fingers....................I Tell You #1

Ok, If you said she should rat out the person in question you were right....
AND wrong. Because according to the rules of family, unless of course, she was stealing from yours, let's assume not, since nothing was said in the letter, you can go either way on this, it doesn't make any real difference to anyone but you. So you could just decide to MYOB, who asked you, you don't know the whole story, why get involved, let it be. Or you can confront directly and say, I know what you're up to quit it or I'm turning you in I don't recommend this, too complicated, and really namby pamby. Besides you can't talk people into being honest. Or if you bring in the heat, you can either play dumb when people wonder who called the gendarmes or say directly I called the cops, she's a disgrace bringing up my taxes. All of these options are equally fine: do whatever lets you sleep at night.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Sticky Fingers..............You Tell Me #1

Ok all of you, I know what's what, but I can't be there all the time when this or that happens, and you need to rely on your own savvy, which some of you, we all admit, have in short supply. But hey, I'll be a big shot and lend you a hand. Here's the question, you think what you should do with it, and I'll tell you whether you know how to act like you were raised right. (Now I'm not saying you weren't, please this isn't about your mother, it's about you, I keep my own rules, at least most of the time.) How do you advise the poor schmoe who asks me this:

Dear Madrone, I am in a pickle.My girlfriend's best friend's cousin has sticky fingers. I mean we can't go to the store, to a restaurant that something doesn't walk out with her that didn't walk in. Now I'm not a saint, and I have been known to stash the odd packet of Equal from the diner and who doesn't take conditioner and shampoo from the motel, even if you didn't open it, everyone knows they throw those out if you don't.But this one's a real prize, I've seen her lift an entire wardrobe, include matching underwear and co-ordinating press ons. No one says boo to her, her father is on the job. But this can't be right. Should I rat her out? Honestly concerned, Philly.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Meaning of Trinacria

The Trinacria is the symbol of Sicily. It's Medusa in the middle, and for your information, Medusa has been given a bum rap- she's always the bad guy in the stories they tell the kids, but believe me she's not. Which isn't to say that she couldn't turn you to stone, but that's not the whole story. The legs stand for the three corners of the island, but also could stand for kick butt, kick up your heels, and alive and kicking. Or kick off, kick the bucket or kick in the slats. Take your pick.

PS- Medusa is just PO-ed, and she has a right to be. Look it up.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Trinacria

To Be Explained.

Move on.

Dear Madrone, I have done a terrible thing. My cousin's best friend was going out with someone I had my eye on. So I told him that said person was cheating on him. A nasty fight ensued, the relationship went in the dumper, they both married other people and the marriages, I must say were not happy.
One marrige was recently profiled on the front page of the Daily News and the other has given plenty of work to the reporters on Court TV. I am so sorry for what I did. Is there any way I can make up for it? Regretful, Regency Park

Dear Ful,
Forgeddaboudit. Nothing you can do. What did I tell you about regret, waste of time. Let me ask you, did you learn anything? Well you should have, even if it was just that lying is hardly ever the way to go, although sometimes it is. Not in this case. God bless, Donna

PS-Liars annoy me, but sometimes agita is just the price you have to pay.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Free Show

Dear Madrone, My next door neighbor's daughter wears the skimpiest dresses, you can practically see her hoosis, and her girls might as well be uncovered, for all the protection and support she gets from her clothes. This is disgusting. How can I suggest to her mother that she should cover up? Blushing in Flushing

Dear Blushing First off, you sound like someone whose son, or husband, why not, is enjoying the sights a little too much. Be that as it may, you suggest to the mother she cover up by going over and saying I think your daughter should cover up. What you really want to know is if there is any way to make this suggestion without making war with the family next door, well you can't. Because no matter if the mother says I know I know, you'll be breaking rule #1 by suggesting to a mother she doesn't know how to raise her own child. So decide which is more aggravating. The free show or bad blood with your neighbors. God bless, Donna

Monday, April 24, 2006

The big deal about sex

Dear Madrone, what's the big deal about sex? Bamboozled, Boise, Idaho

Dear Bamboozled, Idaho huh? Well first you do not say whether you have had any first hand aquaintaince with the topic, that's one answer. IF you HAVE any actual experience, and just didn't find it all that appealing, that's another. I will answer in general, since you do not indicate why you ask. As far as families are concerned, in the old days, sex was the only way you could make new people for the new families. So THAT was the big deal. These days, if people aren't growing on trees, they will be soon, so sex gets to be more of a hobby, like knitting or model railroads, and you know how crazy people can get about their model railroads. God bless, Donna

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Spare me!

Here's something I wish to be spared- listening to idiots complain about things that can't be helped. For example, it's raining. Can you help this? No. Or the sun is too hot. Can you help this? No. Either way, you get an umbrella, problem solved. Many things in life are like this. I woke up this morning, listening to some jamoke on the radio actually having a conversations with some other palooka talking about making laws to decree what is or what isn't a family. Look, I'm as traditional as the next person, more traditional. I'm so traditional you can set entire calendars by the rules I follow. But I know better than to beat my head against a wall. But here I am annoying myself, complaining about stupidity which has been around a long time, and doesn't seem to be going anywhere fast.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Garter Belts and the perfect world

Something to consider: It will not be a perfect world until men can wear garter belts the same way women can wear pants: Which is to say if they feel like it.

Another thing that annoys me


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Life is not fair

Dear Madrone, I buy the lotto every week, faithfully since I was twelve. I play every lucky number, I pay attention to my dreams, and have promised half my winnings will go to the church. Nothing, Nada, I don't even come close. The lady down the street, who is not the nicest person in the world, plus her front lawn is scattered with the toys of her unruly children and the neighborhood stinks from the droppings of the dog she doesn't leash, SHE hits the powerball yesterday for 150 million. And I just saw on the TV that this is the only time she's ever played, "bought the ticket on a whim." I am gnashing my teeth. Is this fair? Shaking my fist, Port Jarvis

Dear Fist,
My advice is to unclench that fist, and go get yourself a cup of coffee and a nice anisette to dunk and let it go. The answer to the question you asked is no. The answer to the question you didn't ask is that nobody deserves anything, not the good stuff that happens to them, not the bad. It's just what happens. If you think that it actually MEANS something, that you can act a certain way to get a certain thing, good luck with that. God bless, Donna

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Dear Madrone, My boyfriend is a doll face. However, his family whines. All the time. As if the good Lord himself had added an eighth day to creation, just to invent aggravation for them alone. The weather, the cost of sausage, the quality of the plastic with which they protect the couches that they paid an arm and a leg for but weren't worth it. The doctors that prescribe them medicine that they take but does them no good. They don't complain, complaining would mean some backbone, which they do not possess. I love my boyfriend, but his family is already driving me out of my mind. Is this grounds for breaking up? Enough already, Marina Park

Dear Enough,
Tough one. It doesn't sound so good from here. I mean, you are already writing for advice, and he hasn't yet coughed up the ring. Unless you think he is sincerely ready to make a break with the old ways and form a new, more content family with you. In which case, it might be worth a shot. In that case, ask yourself , can you refrain from whining to him about his family? Because can either join in, or resent. Either way you're in a fix. And remember, you will never be free of his family, even if you live a thousand miles away. God bless, Donna

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Heat

Dear Madrone, you're always mentioning the heat. What exactly do you mean by it?? Curious, Santa Ana

Dear Curious,
It's whatever bothers you. Some people don't like being put in handcuffs and hauled away to do time. Other people can't stand it if their next door neighbor, who just moved in and they don't know them from Adam, gives them a look because of the dandelions on the front lawn going to seed. No matter what sets it off, it's ALWAYS better to face it up front, or it comes around later to bite you. God bless, Donna

Sunday, April 16, 2006

I repeat myself

Dear Readers, I have been given gas on the previous subject, but I repeat myself. It is a very common mistake to mix up families and religion. Most of you are thinking about going to church, or temple, or mosque, or whatever, with your kids. That is a good thing to do, helps with all the lessons you want them to learn like being nice to other people, and being honest, and in general cleaning up after yourself when you make a mess. If more families could follow that, then life would be simpler all around. This is an entirely different thing than believing a religion. Now I mean no disrespect to people who actually BELIEVE in a religion, whatever it is,and by believe I mean practice it,which if you're being honest at all, you can say that very few people do. Those people let gothe things of this earth, which means NOT putting food on the table for your babies, or having parties for your father when he turns 80, or driving a nice, safe car with air bags and a really good child seat, and making cookies for the PTA or working overtime to pay for the braces. Those things are what family is about...taking care of each other, as best you can. Religion is all about letting someone else worry about those things. Next time you're in church, look around see if anyone around you is dressed in lily petals, or eating worms. God bless, Donna

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Families and Religion

Let me tell you something right this minute... Whoever put together families and religion should get a medal for brilliant, if by medal you mean kick in the pants and brilliant you mean ridiculous. All the families that pray together stuff.. yeah, families that pray together stay together, but so do families that rob banks and families that win Olympic medals.. it's not what they're doing but THAT they're doing.

Religion is all about the next world, families are all about this one. Period. If you don't believe me, just check whatever holy book floats your boat. Just take one for example, somewhere in the Bible, I recall a bunch of men being told to stop fishing for fish, Ok then, just who do you think was back home waiting for some frigging fish to cook for dinner? and who had to tell hungry little kids that daddy wasn't coming back with any mackerel, or whatever, he was off "fishing for men", which is kind of a code for hanging out with the boys forever. And all this worshipping of virgins...if that isn't detrimental to families, I don't know what is.

I'm not saying you shouldn't have religions, in fact, if you don't have them, you cut out most of your bigger family holidays, but don't get confused by them.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Give me strength.

Dear Madrone, My middle daughter isn't a bad person, I see that she has friends and her own children are polite, and her husband, a real gentleman, even if his family has strange ideas, and a good provider, so no complaints there, even so, when I go visit her, it's like a ton of bricks weigh on my heart. They don't live right, I'm sorry. I don't recognize anything sensible in the way that they arrange their lives...nothing from the way WE do things has remained.
I try my best to hide my dismay, but it's hard to hold my tongue when I see salad being served at the beginning of the dinner, and no pie with the coffee. And don't get me started on the way she lets my granddaughter's hair hang in front of her eyes. How can I prevent myself from saying something harsh? Biting Tongue, Los Alamos

Dear Biting, Oh you can prevent yourself from saying something harsh by keeping your mouth shut, it's that simple. What you need to ask is how you can keep yourself from thinking these things. Because your daughter can read your mind, just the way you can read hers. God bless, Donna

A note to the rest of you: You know how sometimes you think you're getting along Ok, even if some things aren't quite right, and then all of a sudden someone treats you like you don't exist and you're completely stunned, what did you do that was so terrible. The above letter is what you did.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

What about pets?

Dear Madrone, Are pets family? Allergic, Los Alamos

Dear Allergic, Pets are family the same way babies are, except that babies grow up, as they should. People who treat pets like family are looking to stop time, which they can't but with their pets they can pretend. IF a person regards a pet as family, and some do (remember, you can't tell anyone who is or isn't their family) then the rules apply. The thing about pets is that they can't give you gas about the way you treat them unless of course you treat them so bad they eventually run away or turn on you. In this way they are also similar to human family. God bless,Donna

PS. If you are the kind of bonehead who continues to treat a family member like pet, long after babyhood is over, you are in for it.
PPS.About the allergy. If you are really allergic and the person in question still keeps the pet around, it's a message. Get it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Three's a Crowd?

Dear Madrone, You always say that a family is whatever a person says it is.. so does this mean a husband can have more than one wife, or a wife have more than one husband, or there be two husbands, or two wives? HUH? What do you say about that?? Gotcha, Cedar Rapids

Dear Got CHA, Do you know the frigging difference between theory and practice?? For example, in theory, I could be a power forward for the NBA,in practice I can't. Right?? Right. SO it's like this. In theory, a family can start with any of the above mentioned combos..but ALL parties must be content, otherwise power is being used wrongly. And to be content, each party must feel like they are number one. Now in the case of the twosomes, it's simple, each is number one to the other. When you get to three or more, that's where the trouble starts. EVERYONE wants to be number one, and everyone can't be, so someone is either unhappy or lied to. In which case, there is no real family. That's how that goes. God bless, Donna

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

What makes a family?

Dear Madrone, I am having a big argument with my daughter who is stubborn as a mule. She insists that without a man and without even the hint of a child, she can form a new family all her own. This world is crazy, where is she getting this idea? This has ruined more than one dinner. I can't make her see reason. Everyone is going insane, Chestnut Hill

Dear Insane, What have I told you one million thousand times? You can't tell anyone who is or isn't their family. My Aunt Lucia stayed her whole life alone and left all her money to her cat. Nobody was going to talk her out of that one, she said, the cat cleaned itself, and never said a harsh word, better than any man. And yes, I know what you're talking about, you think if you scream at your daughter, it will turn her back to something you can understand, or approve of, but it won't. She can't change your mind, and you won't change hers. Stubborn probably runs in the family. So you either let it go or continue screaming. Up to you. God bless, Donna

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Note to Anonymous

Listen don't feel bad it took you years to figure out what's going on. I've been around the block more than once and I'm just beginning to put all the pieces together!
My advice is now that you know, go buy yourself a nice dress, why not? OR have lunch with someone who doesn't give you agita. Life is too short for most of the stuff people waste their time on.

Let's get this straight.

Dear Madrone, How do I know the difference between who has what I want, and who wants what I have? Puzzled, Altoona

Dear Puzzled Sometimes it astounds me the things people have to ask, because you know what they say about there being no stupid question...well, don't make me laugh. This question is exhibit one. Anyhow, everybody knows this difference, what everybody doesn't want to do is admit it, because they want to be 'nice'. I'm not against nice, but not if it's fake. But let's assume you really have no clue...
WHO HAS WHAT YOU WANT- Is someone who can hurt your family if you don't bow to them.
WHO WANTS WHAT YOU HAVE- Is someone whose family you can hurt if you feel so inclined.

That's it.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Rules (cont)

So, like I was saying, families agree on rules, inside and out, because in order for the family to run smoothly, power must only be used in the interests of justice and safety. When it gets used otherwise, like when a father grabs the newspaper out of the hand of a child peacefully reading it, because he can, no other reason, the child either harbors resentment, and plots to escape or get even, or accepts it and for the rest of his life thinks that he is the kind of person who gets a newspaper ripped from their hands and never says boo to ANYONE. Neither one of these makes for nice conversation at the Sunday barbecue.

These rules however,at times are better off broken. But only for good reasons. Believe me I don't know what those reasons are always depends. If it didn't you wouldn't need me to help you out. But you do.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Let's talk about rules

People don't understand about rules. Some poor idiots think that just because there is a rule, you have to follow it. And this even includes the Rules of Family. (when you break them, you do get heat, what I'm saying is sometimes the heat is well worth it.) Someone ought to talk to them about what's what. Like I'm doing for you. Now I'm not saying you go breaking rules just to be a big shot, that's no good either. Rules exist for a good reason. Which I'll get to.

Back before there were rules, the person who everyone bowed to was the one who could break the most heads. Back then, muscle actually meant muscle. And that was the only rule. You don't like what I tell you, then kaboom, you had a tiger jaw bone brought down on your head. End of story. This went on for a while, until people got tired of being knocked around and figured out that numbers counted. And that you could persuade people with actual muscle that things wouldn't go so well for them if they continued to throw it around.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Let me tell you something

There is something desperate about people who call you on the phone to beg for money. What can I say. You can hang up. You can act crazy. You can agree with them completely about how wonderful and beautiful their cause is, but still say no, even though it breaks your heart. You can ask THEM for money to protect them from any "mishaps" that might occur if they keep up the calls. That's remarkably effective particularly if they don't realize that the local policia will investigate such statements, AH live and learn..

Monday, April 03, 2006

I take pity

Dear Friends,I will take pity on you and explain what exactly is a doormat, so you can judge for yourself.

A doormat is walked on, left in the rain, and smeared with mud and snow, and hardly ever washed. SO if you have been doing someone a favor,and they never pay back in any way shape or form, OR if you lend $1000 even after the last $1000 hasn't been returned, or you say yes, because you want to keep peace, even when you really mean let me first punch you in the nose before I say NO. OR if you don't have a gracious heart, and you resent whatever it is you're doing, maybe bringing the laundry up from the basement, or letting someone borrow your car for the fourteenth time but they don't replace the gas they use, or you smile when you'd rather frown. Once doesn't make you a doormat, but twice can, and after three times you might want to check to see what that is stamped across your face that makes people want to wipe their shoes on you. God bless, Donna

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Are you a doormat?

No one loves a doormat. Are you one? Probably, if you have to ask.