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.