Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Sage on "best and worst"

The article to which the Sage is responding may be found here:

The Sage will dispense with commenting on the items mentioned in passing. However, the "pollster" who wrote Prudie had no more a scientific poll than did Prudie. Researchers are well aware of respondents' tendency to give the answer they believe the pollster wants to hear. Even more likely is this to happen when the pollster is personally known to the respondent. Additionally. the phrasing of the question makes a major difference. For instance, the question could have been phrased from "You wash your bra every day, don't you?" to "Do you think it's a big deal if a woman doesn't wash her bra every day?" Both suggest answers, and neither Prudie nor her reader gave us the sampling along with the phrasing of the question.

The Sage is less patient with those who insist that anyone over the age of perhaps 6 needs to "grow up", by which they mean to give up any and all things which children might enjoy, regardless of whether adults might enjoy them or whether they even serve a useful purpose. The Sage wonders how many of these "mature" individuals have given up eating desserts or drinking soft drinks.

Neither does the Sage wish to revisit the polyamory or the prom. The Sage agrees that things things are a matter of personal preference, but agrees that children approaching adulthood certain have the right to express their own personal preferences in lifestyle changes which affect them. It is difficult enough to be a teenager, without adding fuel to the fire from which other youths will ridicule them.

The Sage appreciates Prudie's acknowledgement of her less than stellar answer to the dorm resident. The Sage agrees that a more responsible adult presence is in order in that place, but the resident is unlikely to be able to cause that to happen, short of having a parent who donated a wing to the school library. Intervention by a school advisor of some sort is certainly in order in this situation, both to calm the narc and to control the more flagrant violators.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Exit Sage left, even!

Most of the Seekers http://www.slate.com/id/2237851/ simply need to exit the situation.

1. The Sage assures you that you must never tell this child that Santa does not exist. One might as well claim that the Sage does not exist. Ensure that your son is so convinced of the existence or Mr. Claus, that he enters college still entrenched in this believe. Never permit doubt to surface. In this way, the boy can always trust you to tell him the whole, unvarnished truth as you see it, rather than the ridiculous truths he might hear from his friends or at school, such as the foolish notion that the Earth actually circles the sun, instead of the other way around. Of course, if you could instead tell your son that his father doesn't exist, he might have an easier life. The Sage suspects that "Papa" wanted to get out of buying such pricey presents in the future. Tell the boy that you believe, and that people's beliefs sometimes disagree, but you respect the father's right to believe what he wishes.

2. The Sage believes you should inform your coworkers that when you receive a $75 raise, you will be happy to contribute. The Sage in incensed that such a high figure should be placed upon brown-nosing the boss. In many companies, the total of this gift would exceed that permitted between employers and employees. If the boss encourages this excess, perhaps you should reconsider your position.

3. There is no gift like that from the heart. Since your husband has always been this way, the Sage feels you have little room to complain. However, rather than wasting your time finding a gift to be returned or your money purchasing an item to give away, bake your husband a special treat such as cookies or brownies. If you don't bake, buy some at your local bakery. He might not eat the present, but he will be unable to return them. While he could give them away, it is more likely that they will stay in your home for you, at least, to enjoy. Make sure these treats are something that you like, as well as being something he might eat.

4. The Sage cautions you to consider what you really want. If you want to spare your mother's feelings, then leave things as is. If your mother has a large estate you have been eyeing, certainly let her tell you how you must relate to her. However, with your brother especially, you have every right to be the person you are. Inform your brother - and your mother, if she can take it - that you feel devalued as a person and will no longer accept this treatment. Naturally, you will need to kiss the estate goodbye.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Disbelieving Sage

The Sage is willing to believe many things, but these Seekers may be beyond the Pale.

1. The Sage recognizes your dilemma. Your choices are to continue with a poor housekeeper; to try a new, random housekeeper; or to trust a friend to attempt the job and augment their income, at least on a trial basis. By all means, tell your friends that you don't trust them to do a good job, ask a fair price, or leave your private belongings alone. Then, when they cease to be friends, they should be happy to work as unfriendly housekeepers for even less. Even a one month trial might be enough to make them think you care, so carefully avoid it.

2. The Sage no longer is surprised by who steals what from common refrigerators. Executives usually don't get to their positions by acting fairly or nicely to those equal to or beneath them professionally. Unless the culprit is called out in the act or a security camera is placed in front of the refrigerator, there is no way to accuse anyone and have it turn out well, particularly not someone in a position to terminate the accuser. The Sage, therefore, prefers the bait-and-hitch method of catching food thieves. Leave something in the refrigerator, commenting in ths person's presence how delicious it is, which leaves a non-toxic but embarassing surprise, such as a laxative or bright ink which will be noticeable on the culprit's mouth after the meal.

3. The Sage recognizes your terror in this issue, that you might actually come into contact with someone's germ, which you could so easily hide from it it came in the form of a sudden sneeze, If you have children over the age of 6, post one of them by the restroom in your home to stop each offender coming out of the bathroom without washing to request they complete the task. Be certain to post public health posters about the proper method of washing, usually reserved for food service employees. At work is trickier; perhaps you can borrow the previous Seeker's security camera after her thief has been exposed. How you might use this camera to suitably embarasser the unwashed masses without exposing yourself as the source of the pictures is up to you.

4. The Sage strongly urges you to show your schizophrenic brother your great trust of him. Have him help you polish the knives in your home or clean any weapons, and then ask. Certainly he will be amused at your distrust of him, given the strong lack of any evidence of evil-doing. I certain he would be more than happy to confess to this and many other crimes when confronted like this. With luck, he might even return to his previous state of madness, triggered by your question.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Stuffed Sage

The Sage's parchment containing this week's admonitions was misplaced amongst all the hubbub. However, what was lost has been found. Please refer to this week's Seekers at http://www.slate.com/id/2236537/ .

1. The Sage embraces others' pursuit of a Higher Being. That said, you have the right to your own opinions. Will your boyfriend use religion to control your actions in other ways later in life, such as, "God told me that women should be seen and not heard"? The Sage is certain, however, that your love can overcome whatever barriers this man is placing before you, and that you will grow accustomed to his making edicts which to which you must adhere. When he reallizes that you are too free with your sexuality for him to marry, and he marries the first new woman at his church that he meets, you will be off the hook anyway.

2. The Sage recognizes that most people cannot control what involuntary noises emit from their bodies. By all means, start a campaign to let this woman know how annoying her snorting laugh is. She will then become so self-conscious that she is unlikely to laugh casually again, at least in the presence of her coworkers.

3. The Sage encourages you to lie on your father's behalf, provided that you are willing to support him when he becomes terminally unemployable over this ruse. Employers have not been permitted to "bad mouth" employees for years now, over concerns about legal proceedings concerning slander. However, feel free to go against your own moral code if you feel it will make your father love you.

4. The Sage is aware of the many layers of assistance most situations have before involving the law. Apartments generally have landlords, managers, or superintendents. Unless the brawlers are one of these people, consider turning there first. If you make a recording and enhance it with additional sound affects from whatever horror movie is on television that night, your problem should be resolved permanently.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sage with Turkey

Here are today's Seekers: http://www.slate.com/id/2235694/

1. The Sage applauds your independence, and recommends that you find another Smith or perhaps a homeless Jones to fill in your spot for the in-law's picture. When your fiance discovers how much more pleasant it is to deal with someone who knows how to get along with his family, the issue of appearing in this picture should never trouble you again.

2. No.

Oh, you wanted a Sagely response. The Sage suggests that, by all means, you should encourage this hobby. Perhaps you could organize a Brownie troop, and he could take pictures of each of them in their unmentionable twice a year until they are adults, so that he can modify these pictures just to see what they might look like nude. Be sure to encourage him to offer his services asa babysitter for these girls whenever you are otherwise occupied for the evening. The Sage is convinced he would soon become the talk of the town.

3. The Sage fails to understand why it might be unacceptable to approach someone through a dating site in which he has voluntarily enrolled. At worst, he can tell you he isn't interested or simply ignore you. At best, it saves him that awkward moment of explaining to you that he has terminal cancer. The Sage does wish you to consider your motivations in pursuing this relationship, to ensure that you are not simply misplacing your compassion beyond the environs of your office.

4. The Sage assumes that you already have met this uncle and are not merely over-reacting to descriptions your boyfriend has given you of him. The Sage commends your hospitality and urges you to send your friends Guido and Tiny to meet with this uncle, at least to have them greet the guests entering your home to give them each a proper frisking. The uncle may need to be given an offer he can't refuse to leave his peace-maker at home. Perhaps you know a uniformed officer who could use a good meal on Thanksgiving Day, just before or just after his (not her) shift.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sagely consternation

Today, the Sage address not a Seeker, but the Seeker's wife. Here is the link.

Madame, the Sage applauds your feelings against smoking. The Mystic Cave has a strict no-smoking policy, and the Minions have instructions to escort any Seeker reeking of smoke (of any variety) to the waterfall to shower before approcahing the Sage. However, the Sage did not seek out these souls. The Sage has made no vows to these souls. The Sage, in fact, could go through life entire without ever knowing these souls existed.

You, however, have committed a gross violation of your marriage vows. Even if you wed with the local Justice of the Peace, you promised to be a helpmate to this man, throughout both your lives, for better or worse, until one of you dies or you get a divorce. At the rate you are going, the latter is becoming highly probable.

This man loves you and is trying to honor his marriage vows. However, you have changed the rules, arbitrarily and without any change on his own part. Unless this man did NOT smoke before you wed or claimed to be a non-smoker and only told the truth after the wedding, the only thing that has changed is you. It doesn't matter if his doctor has told him to quit smoking or die next week; this is his choice to make.

Certainly you should have input on this decision, and you are certainly within your rights to do everything reasonable to help him stop smoking. However, it is his body. You may forbid him to smoke in your presence, in the house, or in the car; although, the Sage believes he would agree that if you are not present, it is his house and car, also. He does not indicate that his smoking is cutting your own life drastically short, so that he is intentionally harming you, either.

The Sage agrees with a simple axiom: The only person you can change is yourself. Using conjugal rights as a reward for your husband's compliance with your wishes is simply WRONG. If you really wish him to stop, explain to him why you want him to stop, offer to help in any way to make it easier for him to stop, and offer to change a habit of your own  that he finds unacceptable.

You know you have your own bad habits, and probably several. Your husband married and loves you in spite of these habits. Your actions may be intended to show him that you love him, but are in fact counterproductive. You are adding stress to his life, which in turn makes him desire cigarettes even more.

The fact that you have managed to withhold sex for an entire year indicates to the Sage one of three things: You have another lover; you don't care for sex (at least with your husband); or you have a stubborn streak the likes of which few have seen. Once your husband realizes this, he may decide that, despite his love for you, he is better off alone.

Once he is alone, he'll probably be ready to stop smoking, but he'll also be unlikely to take you back.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sunrise Sage

Today's Seekers may be found here.

1. The Sage is confused, having never met anyone too unattractive to flirt nor too unattractive to be flirted with. Perhaps your understanding of the purpose of flirting is skewed. The Sage sees two alternatives for you. You can begin flirting with members of whatever gender you are attracted to, regardless of how attractive or unattractive the flirtee is, and just have fun doing it. Alternately, resign yourself to the concept that you simply aren't worthy. The Sage has seen many objectively unattractive individuals in deep relationships. Fortunately for their partners, these individuals didn't worry about how they appeared to others, and just went with the flow. However, convents, monasteries, and the like can always use a new novice. Have you considered a position as a Minion in a Mystic Cave?

2. The Sage see no problem here, either. Explain to your in-laws that you wish to host the event this year, your way, or accept that the rest of your life will be spent having Thanksgiving dinner where children are unwelcome and leftovers are unavailable.

[Note to Novices: Where are you finding these flailing Seekers who have no Questions of Import? Have you been trying to sell the Sage's autograph again?]

3. Thank you, Minions, this is more like it. The Sage recommends that you approach your employer with a question. Ask if he would like to have a share of the finder's fee for turning in the perpetrator of insurance fraud whom you have discovered. When he inquires further, explain that it is his office manager who is perpetrating this fraud. This will give him opportunity to explain to her the error of her ways, find a new office manager and perhaps a new wife, and make restitution on his own. If he fails to do this and you likewise fail to report this to someone, then all with this knowledge are considered co-conspirators. Unless you would enjoy having the office manager as your cellmate, you need to act at once. Be sure to document this conversation and your evidence, as you may be told something is being done and then be accused of being the thief yourself.

4. At last, a trule Sage-worthy dilemma. The Sage insists that you make the most of any communication you have with this man. When he shows the least proclivity to communicate with you, as he did in this instance, immediately turn off all media, lock out any children or pets, and close the blinds so that he may give you his undivided attention. Carefully watch his eyes as you speak. If his eyes begin to wander or he begins to squirm, reassert that this is your time and that he must pay heed. Be as insistent as the Sage's computer, which just demanded that it be rebooted, and only appeared to offer an option as to when. Finally, when you have nothing else to add, you may permit him to resume his previous activities. He may, at this point, wish to communicate to you, now that his role as receptor has been exhausted. Indulge him if you wish, but never forget that communication in your marriage is all about what you have to say.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Pinch of Sage

Today's Seekers appear to be a rather youthful lot who are greatly in need of the Sage's great wisdom.

1. The Sage believes that the vibrator is certainly a safer alternative to most partners one is like to find. Ignore what You-Know-Who said; she fears that her own child might bring up this subject and is projecting this fear onto you. The Sage sees some real advantages to discussing this with your mother. Instead of the cheap model with flash around the edges, perhaps your mother would be willing to invest in the deluxe model for you. After all, Christmas is coming. As a nurse, perhaps she will even help you maintain the machine, to ensure it remains sanitary. Above all, her relief that your partner is merely of the mechanical sort might mean she would be willing to extend your curfew.

2. The Sage recommends that you insist on determining this man's fertility immediately. In fact, the Sage is aghast that this was not part of the 83-part questionaire you had him complete before going out with him. Be certain to have him get a complete physical, including genetic testing, along with a complete background check and a financial analysis. Anything less would be tantamount to agreeing to live in poverty with a man who had a vascectomy in prison, and who is supporting his genetically deficient children left over from a previous failed marriage.

3. The Sage encourages you to force your father's hand immediately. Go at once to his home, and explain to your younger half-brother how to set up the various booby traps you once employed, so that he might follow in your footsteps. This act of love toward your sibling should certainly endear you further to your father. Insist to your father that the entire family - there may be additional siblings - simply must be at your wedding in order for you to maintain your facade as a well-balanced person in front of your new in-laws. Don't forget to sit your father and his family next to your mother at the reception, as well.

4. The Sage is confused as to why someone as trustworthy and efficient as yourself has not yet been given the key to the executive washroom. You must remedy this situation as best you can. The instant the workman enters the restroom, bang on the door and remind him to lower the seat when he is finished. Wait at the door and inspect the room when he exits. You can acquire a "grabber" at a medical supply store, so that the seat may be lowered (loudly, of course) if he is remiss in this duty. Then use the grabber to pick up his socks and deposit them with a flourish upon his desk. Announce in a loud yet clear voice that he obvious has forgotten to reclaim his hosery. Inform him that if the socks are no longer needed, there is a disposal bin handy for the purpose of removing unwanted articles.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Simply Sage

Today's Seeker has wisely turned to the Sage, albeit indirectly, for the Sage's great dispensation of wisdom. (The Sage's Minions have repaired this link.)

The Sage recognizes that this is a very important woman in your life. After all, what more can a man ask for than a woman who does NOT lie, cheat, or generally treat you like human excrement? One surely can ask nothing more out of a relationship than to remain unabused.  Lesser Advisors would recommend that you either cut your losses or insist that she get therapy for the problems which affect her shows of intimacy.

The Sage discerns that you that you must insure that you never lose this special relationship. Only being "with her", and not being legally committed to her enables her to leave at any time. You must insist upon a wedding, as quickly as the laws in your state permit. We all know that when someone gets married, all of those annoying or quirky habits only get better, once the need to impress each other has become less imperative. Since you don't want to annoy her nor to hear her complain, you must also purchase a second bedroom suite for yourself, to put into another bedroom. This may require you moving into a larger home, but no sacrifice is too great to bear for such a close, satisfying relationship.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Liberated Sage

It is I, the Great Sage, late of the Fray. As the Oracle is somewhat possessive of the Temple at DelFly, I have returned to the Mystic Cave, from whence I shall emerge to address the dilemmas of variouss Seekers.

1. The Sage cannot understand why anyone would be so unreasonable. You obviously have no sense of compassion for this man, who asks only one simple request of you, that he be permitted to incapacitate you on a daily basis. You must make pennance by recalling to him several other behaviors which you recall from various movies involving horror or torture, and beg him to employ those techniques, as well. Be certain not to make any plans in the future which would deprive him of even a moment of your time, so that he may employ these techniques ass often as possible.

2. The Sage sees a common theme in these Seekers who refuse to  grant others power over themselves. Lesser Advisors (cough *the oracle* cough) might advise you to share only those events upon which you look back fondly. However, the Sage knows that you must use this as a carartic experience. Enumerate every event, thought, mispoken word to which you were subjected as a child, either from your mother or perceived to be a a result of her inability to protect you. When you are finished, be sure to thank her for not being there for you, which surely made you a stronger person.

3. The Sage grows weary of these selfish Seekers this week. Obviously, there is only one solution to your problem. You must immediately tear down your home and build something large enough to entertain these individuals, their significant others, their parents and potential in-laws, and any progeny or the significant others of those progeny which might appear in the future. Do not be alarmed if you are in an apartment. Simply have removed all the other tenants, tear down or rearrange a few walls, and your mansion should be complete.

4. The Sage intensely disapproves of those who would fail to protect the minors in their care. Obviously, you have recognized that these individuals, from whom the child was removed, are in a much better position to protect her than you are yourself. Pack the child's bag and send her to live with these people for six months. If she survives until the visitation is over, naturally she will have learned why these people must remain such an enormous factor in her life. If there are any scars, remember that counselling and plastic surgery can work wonders.