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.


  1. Many praises again to The Sage.

    I was surprised at the restraint you showed on your reply to the sex teacher.

  2. Both girls were victim of this monster. The Seeker was not quite aware that she, too, had been victimized, as she is merely "collateral damage." The important thing is to be rid of the parasite, while caring for those impacted by it.

    The Seeker, at least, is able to recognize that boundaries have been crossed. However, if encouraged to aid in this contrivance, she may begin to doubt that any wrong ever occurred. Better to help her concentrate on helping someone she cares about - her friend - than on caring about someone who has misused them both.

  3. Again, much sagesse from the Great Sage!

    Only one point: Shouldn't the LW who want to disinvite her/his daughter's best friend because of a shrinking table consult with his/her daughter first --otherwise this daughter will surely write to Prudie something like:

    "My parent wants to disinvite my best friend for whom I have as much affection as I would for a sister. We grew up together and share as deep or deeper a bound as the one I have with my brothers. She is part of my family as far as I am concerned. So if after all those years she's no longer invited, I'll wont attend either and go spend Christmas with her and her kid" (and then there's also the possibility that the daughter is in a romantic relationship with this friend, and her parents don't have a clue...)

    As for moral obligation, it's something that you feel within, so it's variable. If it were me, I would feel morally obligated to keep on inviting them, but then I have an exagerated sense of my own obligations so I can't provide a yardstick except to say that if I was the daughter I'd be mightily upset.

    (I also use my dining table as a buffet so it's infinitely expansible)