Saturday, December 18, 2010


The Sage apologizes for the unavoidable delay in advising this week's Seekers. Technical difficulties made the Mystic Cave inaccessible. However, this advise has been waiting in the wings until access was restored.

1. First today (or rather, last Thursday) is a Seeker whose boyfriend refuses to propose marriage until the Seeker has taken a lie detector test to prove that information about her past has been completely true.

The Sage concurs that the past cannot be undone, nor should this gentleman feels as if he were somehow betrayed by your behavior prior to being involved with him. This is provided, naturally, that those occurences do not affect him. For instatnce, a child for whom your are responsible or a communicable disease which might impact him are very much his business.

The Sage is curious about two things, however. First, the Sage wonders why you are not capable of asking him to wed you, since it does need to be by mutual agreement, unlike in the days of yore. More importantly, the Sage wonders why you wish to be tied to someone who has proven his distrust of you in such egregious ways. Are you prepared for him to be uninvolved in any future pregnancies, until the child is born and a paternity test may be performed? What you should do depends, of course, on what you want for the future; however, the Sage sees no happiness ever after within this union. Even employers are generally prohibited from require these tests as a prerequisite for employment.

Be that as it may, since you seem intent upon this marriage, take the test, learn to grovel, and have yourself surgically sterilized.

2. The second Seeker's father has multiple medical problems resulting from poor health habits.

The Sage would remind you, your siblings, and your mother that no one can force an adult to do something they do not wish to do, unless serious threats - such as an Uzi pointed at them - is involved. Rather than giving your father the usual Christmas (or other holiday) gifts this year, collectively purchase him and extra large coffin a tthe local funeral home, to be made available immediately upon his demise. When he objects, notify him that none of you wished to waste funds on a gift he would be using for less than a year.

3. Today's third Seeker is required by her employer to contribute to charities of the employer's choice and to increase this deduction each year, even though the cost of the company medical insurance is also going up.

The Sage recommends that you inform your employer that from this date forth, all of your charitable contributions will be of your own choosing. You should add gently that it is illegal to require or even to intimate that is is necessary to contribute to any charity in order to preserve one's position. Should this invoke the employer's ire, remind him as well of the carious "whistle-blower" laws which forbid termination of employement based on reporting of illegal activitiies. The Sage is not a lawyer and cautions you that each of these laws may depend upon the size of the company, so be certain to consult an attorney before this confrontation.

Barring that, perhaps you can find a "coyote" who will smuggle you south of the Rio Grande, where at least the cost of living is far less.

4. Today's final Seeker has recently graduated from colleged and secured a position in another city. The Seeker's parents immediately moved into a smaller room with no guestroom and seem to have limited the Seeker's visit to their new home.

The Sage understands your uncomfortable feelings of being cast out of your childhood family. However, the Sage also recognizes your parents' feelings of new-found freedom and unwillingness to continue to treat you as their child who is merely away at college. Apparently, your parents are still revelling in the ability to go to the kitchen for a late night snack without having to don a robe first, and have been waiting for two decades to be able to have sex in the living room without worrying about your walking in. Moving into a smaller home was a gentle way of telling you that you no longer live with them. As you are now self-supporting, consider securing a room elsewhere for these visits to your parents' home. Remember that, while you will always have a place in their hearts, their house is no longer your home, and you should not feel entitled to the same privileges there as when you were still their dependent.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Enraged Sage

The Sage will dispense with the usual caustic directives for this week, as the individuals involved are sufficiently caustic on their own.

1. The first Seeker in line today is a child in a private school, whose favorite teacher is molesting one of the Seeker's close friends.
You have said, "I feel he's abused his position of power over Bee." This is correct, and the Sage strongly believes that Bee is neither the first nor the last girl with whom this will happen. Had you seemed a bit more vulnerable, he may even have tried his wily ways with you. The Sage urges you to report him at once. Bee will be angry, but it is the right thing, both for her and for any future potential victims. (No, you need not admit that you were the "snitch.")

2. The second Seeker has been receiving Chirstmas wish lists from every family member, on orders of the mother-in-law, who believes gift cards are inappropriate, even for those mourning the loss of their firstborn.
The Sage would like to remind Seekers everywhere that gifts are a privilege to receive, not a requirement to give. Ignore or delete the lists and this woman's orders and proceed as you had originally planned. She will know of your plans when the gifts are opened.
3. The third Seeker has had the custom for many years of inviting her daughter's best friend and family to Christmas festivities, as the other family has no in-state family of their own, and wishes to end this custom due to the growth of her own family.
The Sage agrees that you have no moral obligation to invite anyone with whom you do not wish to share your holiday. However, at a minimum, you must discuss it with the now uninvited guests, rather than simply not issuing an invitation. If possibe, offer to have them visit for a short time before or after the meal, so that everyone will get time with those without whom the holiday may not feel complete. The Sage also wonders if you have ever heard of a device known as a "card table".
4. Today's final Seeker has 4 great-nephews and great-nieces, three of whom are infants. The Seeker wishes to continue to contribute to the college fud of the oldest - whose mother has always been gracious about gifts received, and givegive nothing to the younger children, whose parents have been less gracious.

The Sage understands that you may have been distracted during the conversation with today's second Seeker, and will therefore reiterate what is pertinent to your situation. Gifts are a privilege of the recipient, not an obligation of the giver. Give what you want to whom you want. If your sister or the other children's parents complain, explain that you have personal reasons to be more generous to the one child. You need not explain that the personal reasons include the other parents' rudeness. Ignore lesser Seekers who would tell you how to spend your own money. If the other parents cared about you for other than your financial resources, they'd have been closer to you in teh past.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sage-remental advice

Today's Seekers are all a-dither regarding celebration - or not - of Christmas, wiht one Seeker unsure of how to act parental. The Seekers may be found here.

1. The first Seeker wishes to know whether her sexually unfulfilled husband should visit a dominatrix.

The Sage is aware that the Lesser Advisor miscontrued your actual question. Rather than asking whether he should make these visits, you are asking whether he should be permitted to do so. If you are already able to control your husband's actions even when he is not with you to conform to your desires, then he is already married to one. You might ask yourself whether either conforming to his desires or dissolving the marriage would be less expensive than his regular visits to a professional.

2. The second Seeker has been lying to avoid telling her daughter's grandmother that the grandmother's multiple accidents make her ineligible to drive with said child in the vehicle.

The Sage will make the rare recommendation that you provide the whole truth. Inform the dear lady that you trust her with your child - until an automobile is involved, on grounds of her driving record. Suggest that she have her eyes and ears test. If nothing is discovered which can be easily remedied to improve her driving abilities, set your foot down as a parent and tell her absolutely no to transporting your child. Better yet, have her son explain it to her. Perhaps he will understand that the welfare of his child is more important than confrontation avoidance. In any case, perhaps it is time for the licensing agency to reconsider her driving privilege, if this has not happened already.

3. The next Seeker is a non-Christian who has unsuccessfully complained about the company's religiously based Christmas festivities.

The Sage suggests that you fight fire with fire. Rather than having a discreet display of your own faith or practices, go all out this year. For instance, Hannukah has already begun, but you might stil bring an enormous Mennorah to work, place it just outside your cubible or unavoidably nisible to those passing your office, with candles sufficiently large to burn the entire time that you are at work each day. Play music of the holiday or festival which you do celebrate loudly enough for everyone in the office to hear, but not quite loudly enough for anyone to make out any of the words, unless the songs are not in English. When management comes to ask you to tone down your celebration at work, innocently proclaim that you believed this was encouraged, based upon the activities already being endorsed by the company.

Ignore Lesser Advisors who feel that religiously-based activities, as opposed to secular ones, are perfectly acceptable in the workplace, just because they eventually end.

4. The final Seeker for today worries about offending in-laws who wish to celebrate Christmas by treating the Seeker and spouse to a trip which they do not relish.

The Sage see no dilemma here. Tell them simply that you appreciate the more than generous offer, but are unable to make the trip with them.

Lesser Advisors need to recognize that destination weddings require the guests to pay their own travel expenses, and therefore are not comparable to this issue.