We have a love-hate relationship with syndicated advice columns. As much as we love other people's problems, we hate their solutions! Here, Jezebel neglects her own issues to tackle the most pressing and poignant of everyone else's. You'll be so inspired, you won't know how to repay her. (Hint: Money.)
Dear Amy: Our daughter is a 19-year-old student living in our home. She gets good grades and doesn't drink, smoke or do drugs. However, I recently discovered that her Facebook page has several photos of her posing in a swimsuit that are not exactly in good taste. They're not terrible, just a little disturbing. She is quite good-looking, and the photos make her look self-centered and conceited, and perhaps send the wrong message.
A: Your first problem is that, at the age of nineteen, your daughter is neither drinking, nor smoking, nor doing drugs. When I was nineteen my body was already showing signs of years of — hell, might as well round up to a decade! — drug and alcohol and tobacco abuse, and there's no way you would have caught me in any sort of summer weather attire (let alone lycra) in my Facebook pictures, if Facebook had existed then, which it did not, thank god, or I'd never have made it through, not that I ever did graduate, not that that has hurt my professional career, ha!
ANYWAY, why your daughter is not away at college shotgunning her way to the Freshman Fifteen is none of my business, but since you asked: Why isn't she out right now making bad decisions that will only manifest themselves in a bloated gut and "midterm-related" eye-bags 'round turkey time? The Freshman Fifteen is the only way your attractive daughter will ever learn to hate her body, which is the only way she'll ever learn to hate hating her body, which is the only hope she ever stands of making the realization that body issues are really fucking boring (and hello, predictable!) and maybe she'd better find some new components to her personality.
Without this process, I hate to tell you, the fact that she is not afraid to appear, to the rest of humanity, self-centered and conceited, is a pretty sure sign that she is self-centered and conceited. (God, I miss that word, "conceited." Where did you go, Bruce Patman? I digress.) Anyway, so yeah, she's probably pretty pleased with herself. And for what? She still fucking lives at home, for chrissakes! Kick the little cocktease out. She will thank you after, like, twenty years of therapy. Next question!
Dear Amy: My husband of four years is a wonderful man who treats me like a queen. He has never missed work, does not drink and drive or sleep around. However, my husband drinks two mixed drinks and eight to 10 beers every night at home. This behavior has been going on for at least 12 years. He has taken absolutely no breaks from alcohol. He is very hyperactive, and he displays signs of high anxiety and OCD. He always has to have everything in its place. I grew up in an alcoholic home as a child, so I can't stand to see him killing himself. I used to look upon the man I love with respect and admiration, and now I am beginning to look at him with disgust. What effect does all of this alcohol have on his body? Should I stay with him and hope that he will change, or watch him kill himself? I realize that people with this problem have to want to change, and until then bystanders have to accept it or leave. I feel as if I'm an enabler by accepting this and staying with him.
A: This is a close call. My first instinct is to wonder how fat your husband is, because eight to ten beers and a few shots, while not exactly moderation, is the sort of the norm for some of the fat guys I know, namely the fun ones, which is how we put ourselves in your shoes, which is what good advice columnists do. Also, he's OCD, so he could be drinking just to make himself more bearable, to himself and maybe, by extension, to you. On the other hand, he is OCD, so the fact that this behavior has been going on for twelve years and you are only just beginning to look at him with "disgust" suggests to me that he has recently stopped popping Viagra or cocaine or whatever it took to make it seem like he was still interested in having sex with you. From an OCD person aware that his wife grew up in an alcoholic home, this could be a highly calculated move to drive you to cheat and end the marriage for him, in which case the whole cirrhosis-or-not question is what Joey Tribbiani might call a "moo point", sort of like the way we made that subtle little Friends reference to purposely to remind a certain Angelina-partisan editor of ours how much more "fun" Jennifer Aniston is even despite her OCD (which is why she always ends up back in bed with Vince Vaughn, who clearly drinks eight to ten beers and a couple Wild Turkeys by lunchtime) because that is what true FUN is about, dammit. So I guess the question is, are you still having fun? If not, could you be drinking more?