Welcome back to Gilda Sue’s Mail Bag. This week, I have another letter from our old pal, Father Patrick Fitzpatrick of the Sister Mary Frances School for Underage And Guileless Boys in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Hey, Father Pat! The Father writes,
“Gilda Sue. I always wanted to learn to speak in tongues, but there’s not even an elective for that in Catholic Priesting School. Do you know where I can take a class?”
Well, hon, wouldn’t learning to speak in tongues be like learning to be a midgets, or an idiot savant, or a CNN legal commentator/television hostess with over-large nostrils, and a permanent scowl born of self-righteous indignation, a fixation on celebrity lawsuits, and a passion for hearing yourself talk (in tongues or otherwise)? Even if you could actually learn such a thing, you might find it’s not as much fun as it sounds.
Once I had nothing better to do to fill the void in a super-long, hot summer (which is the very predicament in which you seem to have found yourself, Father) and I took some Continuing Ed classes at the Lake Tar Monkey Community College. Their Language Arts Department offered up what looked like a rockin’ “Yiddish for Gentiles” class. (Not as easy as it sounded. I got a C). And The Home Ec Department teamed up with the Psych Department to offer “Mixology as Fixology” which was a sort of group therapy in the kitchen. As it turns out, being creative and busy (not to mention tipsy!) did help some folks take their minds off of their troubles, like rocky marriages, abusive childhoods, or frowned-upon sexual urges that they still can’t “pray away” even after all those beatings by nuns and years of boring Seminary. I actually didn’t really need the therapy part. I was just bored and thirsty, which is not a real-real good combo, by the way. (Grade-schmade! I just remember that that class was the birth place of the “Chicken Salad-infused Drambuie-tini,” and that it was a damn blast. I’m now also remembering that I was escorted off campus grounds on more than one occasion during that class, but for the life of me, I can’t remember why. Or by whom. Or to where.) Anyway, maybe the Pawhuska Community College offers up something similar.
Good luck, Father Pat! And let us know how that goes.
Bye, now. Keep those cards and letters coming!
This week’s query is from The Love of Pete. But don’t be fooled by the “Pete” part. There’s no way this was written by a man. Oy!
The Love of Pete writes:
“Gilda Sue, my brother needs me to help him with his marriage, but I’m too busy with my own marriage and my kids to help. How do I tell him to stop drinking and get a damn job already without hurting his feelings?!”
Hon, though the truth can be real-real hurtful, sometimes we just need to say it. “The truth shall set them free,” as Lynyrd Skynyrd says.
There’s an old adage that tells us, “if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.” But my bobeshi taught me that that is for suckers. She always told me, “if you can’t say what you mean and mean what you say, then don’t say anything at all.”
And Pete, here’s something that only you (and maybe Sherlock Holmes, or even Dr. Phil) can ever know for sure, but it’s worth investigating: Is it possible that your concern over hurting your brother’s feelings is just a disguise for your fear of being vilified by him, or being disliked? Being disliked isn’t as bad as you might think, by the way. I find it’s often way better than the alternative, especially if that alternative involves keeping my mouth shut (as you might well imagine). And, anyway, to quote another great Skynyrd tune, you might ask that schmendrik brother of yours, “what have you done for me lately?”
Now, shouldn’t you be changing a diaper, Sherlock Holmes-ing what the heck your family wants for supper, or Dr. Phil-ing the corn out of someone’s nose? Pour yourself a double tall Drambuie-tini (light on the vermouth, heavy on the tini). Block/hide that brother on your facebook. Then text him to stop drinking and get a damn job, already.
I’d like to answer a missive from German Joe Pulver in Berlin. (I KNOW!)
German Joe asks,
“Can I have a pony???????????????????????”
Well, hon, I realize you are a speaker of a foreign tongue, but oy! In American the saying is “have a cow,” not “have a pony.” And my advice to anyone struggling with how to deal with feelings uncomfortable enough to make him want to break down and have a cow is to just stop. Stop and take a deep breath, hon. And push it down. Take those feelings and push them deep, deep down. Smile. Indulge in a Drambuie Margarita, or a red wine spritzer, or any legal “drug” of your choosing. Then indulge in a second, even a third. Surf the computer Internet for videos of dogs befriending whales or of Nancy Grace falling off of her roller skates into a group of tot mom groupies, and follow that down the rabbit hole until you fall asleep. It works for me. It’ll work for you.
Thanks for your letter, German Joe.
”Gilda, I’m trying to learn how to be a tougher, more grounded person, rather than be such a hot mess. Where do I start?”
OK, I looked up some words on the computer Internet.
“Tough” is defined as “durable, tenacious, and lusty.” But, also as “callous, stern, and harsh.”
“Grounded can mean “mindful, and wise.” But, also “beached.” Like a dying sea creature.
Drambuie is Gaelic for “the drink that satisfies.” But some folks use some other words, like “never in a million years!” or “you’ve got to be kidding me! People actually DRINK this #*@!!?”
And, I think it’s important to point out that the good folks at Drambuie don’t really care which one you are, as long as there are enough of the former buying their drink that (apparently only sometimes) satisfies to keep them in business, and to The Devil with the latter!
Do you see where I’m going with this, Liz?
Hon, I suspect what you are really looking for is the inner strength to do whatever you damn well please regardless of what folks might think, which must just damn rock! I mean look at Barbara Bush. Oy! Well, I’ll bet she looks in the mirror each morning, as she drapes those gigantic pearls around her neck with the confidence that defies reason, and chants the mantra that every successful woman lives by: “Pleasing everyone is for suckers.”
Nobody, not even Drambuie, can please everyone.
Now, Outlaw Farmer asks,
“What the heck is a hot mess?”
A hot mess is bad, as far as I can tell, though it is apparently, by most counts, also considered sexy, which most folks think is good. So, once again, perspective is key. You can’t please ‘em all.
In sum, rock on, Liz! And damn give yourself a break.
Y’all keep your questions coming! Leave a comment here or see me at The Gilda Sue Rosenstern Computer Internet Show and leave me a private missive. I look forward to hearing from you!
Hello, lovelies! Welcome to the first Bleu Stockings installment of Gilda Sue’s Mail Bag,where y’all can ask me anything you want. Anything at all. (I KNOW!)
Our first missive is from Father Patrick Fitzpatrick of The Sister Mary Frances School for Underage and Guileless Boys in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. The father writes:
“I’ve been following your advice with regard to dealing with uncomfortable feelings, and I’ve just been pushing them deep, deep down. It almost works. But not really. I fear there will come a day when I will actually have to face my demons. And if what all these protestants are saying is true, that day is fast approaching. Judgement Day could be as close as next Saturday, May 21st! What do you think?”
Oh, well, I guess I should’ve gotten to that a tad sooner. Sorry, Father.
A) I assume, when you say “these protestants” you mean this guy that I found on this CNN site, right?
So then, B) What I think is, no, I don’t believe this Judgement Day thing is going to happen, hon. At least it isn’t going to happen last Saturday. And if that Rob Bell is to be believed, it won’t really matter if it does happen last Saturday. Or any Saturday, for that matter. And they write articles about him in Time Magazine and stuff! (I KNOW!)
But more important, hon, is thirdly, or C) If those uncomfortable feelings keep bubbling up to the surface, you do need to deal with them. And you may need to admit you need help, which is sometimes real-real hard for folks. I find that a hot Drambuie-tini with a chocolate-caramel swirl garnish always helps me.
Bottoms up, Father Pat! (And by that, I just mean “cheers,” okay? Oy! )
Keep your questions coming, folks. Leave a comment here or at The Gilda Sue Rosenstern Computer Internet Show. I look forward to hearing from you!