Welcome to Gilda Sue’s Mail bag!
This column first appeared in The Bleu Stockings (A Rogue Woman’s Guide to Un-Perfection), and I’m tickled pink to carry on the tradition here.
Y’all, ask me anything at all about anything at all: Love, sex, beauty tips, grammar conundrums, car trouble, religious dilemmas, politics, medical issues, pet problems, dating, childrearing (those last two are often the same, I know). And I’ll answer.
Just leave your question, or any old comment here. And don’t worry. It’s gonna rock!
“So, Gilda Sue, my daddy calls our female British African-American mail deliverer ‘the colored lady mail man,’ which I’ve told him is practically illegal, but he won’t listen to me. What do I do?”
Well, hon, this is complicated, for sure. Acknowledging the sex parts of a federal worker can be fun, though confusing, but is really playing with fire. And referring to the racial heritage of a federal worker, especially one (even one?) with a foreign accent is even more fun and confusing, but you are correct. It’s totally illegal. Isn’t it? Well, it almost is. Anyway, do whatever you can to get your daddy to avoid the problem of sex, and nationality all together (and race a little bit) by training himself to say “Mail Person of color.” It’s practically the same thing, but, oddly enough, it won’t lead to you visiting him in the pokey. At least, I don’t think. Not yet. And the pokey is for suckers. Trust me. Good luck!
I look forward to hearing more from y’all! Don’t be strangers!
Visit me at GildaSueRosenstern.com, y’all!
Y’all, we have another return visitor here on Gilda Sue’s Mail Bag. It’s Frimunt! Hey, Frimunt!
“Dear Gilda Sue, your response to my letter helped, but only for a minute. You made death seem less scary, but, honestly, I don’t really want to die. Not yet. It’s just that the bullcrap of life just keeps piling on. One of my very best friends has turned out to be about as deep as a post-it-note, the career I’ve worked so hard for is not what I hoped it would be, and my marriage to the love of my life is falling apart. I’m a mess over it all. What do I do? Help! Oh God!”
First, let’s be honest about this word,”friend.” You likely only have one, hon, and it’s probably not the one you spend most of your energy on. Tell the last person who showed enthusiasm for whatever it is you’re up to how much she rocks, and redefine “best friend.”
Second, careers are for suckers. Do what you love and do your best to pay the bills. Everything else is damn icing on the cake.
Third, the married folks I know say that marriage is fraught with ups and downs. Most say it’s got more downs than ups. If your marriage is having more downs than ups, congratulations, bubbee! You’re on the right track!
But, honestly, hon, all this pain is your own fault, and it can be avoided if you just cared a little less. Really. All that fiery passion is the source of all your heartache, and you’d do well to snuff that out. Just snuff it!
Now, have a super short cry. Then push it down, bottle it up, and keep moving.
Welcome back to Gilda Sue’s Mail Bag. This week, I have another letter from our old pal, Father Patrick Fitzpatrick of the Sister Mary Frances School for Underage And Guileless Boys in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Hey, Father Pat! The Father writes,
“Gilda Sue. I always wanted to learn to speak in tongues, but there’s not even an elective for that in Catholic Priesting School. Do you know where I can take a class?”
Well, hon, wouldn’t learning to speak in tongues be like learning to be a midget, or an idiot savant, or a CNN legal commentator/television hostess with over-large nostrils, and a permanent scowl born of self-righteous indignation, a fixation on celebrity lawsuits, and a passion for hearing yourself talk (in tongues or otherwise)? Even if you could actually learn such a thing, you might find it’s not as much fun as it sounds.
Once I had nothing better to do to fill the void in a super-long, hot summer (which is the very predicament in which you seem to have found yourself, Father) and I took some Continuing Ed classes at the Lake Tar Monkey Community College. Their Language Arts Department offered up what looked like a rockin’ “Yiddish for Gentiles” class. (Not as easy as it sounded. I got a C). And The Home Ec Department teamed up with the Psych Department to offer “Mixology as Fixology” which was a sort of group therapy in the kitchen. As it turns out, being creative and busy (not to mention tipsy!) did help some folks take their minds off of their troubles, like rocky marriages, abusive childhoods, or frowned-upon sexual urges that they still can’t “pray away” even after all those beatings by nuns and years of boring Seminary. I actually didn’t really need the therapy part. I was just bored and thirsty, which is not a real-real good combo, by the way. (Grade-schmade! I just remember that that class was the birth place of the “Chicken Salad-infused Drambuie-tini,” and that it was a damn blast. I’m now also remembering that I was escorted off campus grounds on more than one occasion during that class, but for the life of me, I can’t remember why. Or by whom. Or to where.) Anyway, maybe the Pawhuska Community College offers up something similar.
Good luck, Father Pat! And let us know how that goes.
Bye now. Keep those cards and letters coming!
This week’s query is from The Love of Pete. But don’t be fooled by the “Pete” part. There’s no way this was written by a man. Oy!
The Love of Pete writes:
“Gilda Sue, my brother needs me to help him with his marriage, but I’m too busy with my own marriage and my kids to help. How do I tell him to stop drinking and get a damn job already without hurting his feelings?!”
Hon, though the truth can be real-real hurtful, sometimes we just need to say it. “The truth shall set them free,” as Lynyrd Skynyrd says.
There’s an old adage that tells us, “if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.” But my bobeshi taught me that that is for suckers. She always told me, “if you can’t say what you mean and mean what you say, then don’t say anything at all.”
And Pete, here’s something that only you (and maybe Sherlock Holmes, or even Dr. Phil) can ever know for sure, but it’s worth investigating: Is it possible that your concern over hurting your brother’s feelings is just a disguise for your fear of being vilified by him, or being disliked? Being disliked isn’t as bad as you might think, by the way. I find it’s often way better than the alternative, especially if that alternative involves keeping my mouth shut (as you might well imagine). And, anyway, to quote another great Skynyrd tune, you might ask that schmendrik brother of yours, “what have you done for me lately?”
Now, shouldn’t you be changing a diaper, Sherlock Holmes-ing what the heck your family wants for supper, or Dr. Phil-ing the corn out of someone’s nose? Pour yourself a double tall Drambuie-tini (light on the vermouth, heavy on the tini). Block/hide that brother on your facebook. Then text him to stop drinking and get a damn job, already.
This week’s missive is from Nikki. Remember Nikki from last week? The gal with the little red and pink hearts dotting both I’s in her name?
This time Nikki writes:
“Dear Gilda Sue,
Thank you for printing my letter. You seemed too angry to answer my question about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. But I’ll go ahead and answer all of yours.
- The reason I care about those two shlubs is that I live in a Cambodian orphanage, and I want those two shlubs to adopt me so I can live in Hollywood, where the prostitution is more like a metaphor than it is a literal nightmare/day-to-day necessity/”lesser of two evils” sort of thing.
- And yes, I do sign all of my letters with little red and pink hearts dotting both I’s in my name.
- It only takes about three seconds longer to do it. I’m sorry you don’t like it, but it cheers me up, and my Christian Children’s Fund sponsors in America say it makes them feel like they’re really getting something for their $34 per month.
- No, I’m not thirteen. I’m eight.
Have a lovely day.
Oy, y’all. I feel like such a schmoe. I’m real-real sorry for my attitude on the last Gilda Sue’s Mail Bag. Instead of pushing my own personal frustrations deep, deep down, and burying them in a Drambuie Rickey as I’ve always advised, I let them creep into and taint my work as your on-line confidante and real-real concerned counselor. That is super unconscionable. It won’t happen again. Probably.
Nikki, please accept my apologies. To answer your question, I have no idea if Brad and Angelina will ever get married. But it looks like if they can get themselves to New York tout de suite, it’s now LEGAL!
(Note: My responses to the other two missives from last week, though, still stand. I offer no apologies there.)
Cheers, y’all. And have a rockin’ week!
Here are all of this week’s queries. The whole kit and kaboodle. All three:
“Dear Gilda Sue,
Will Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie EVER get married? They are AMERICA’S! SWEETHEARTS!”
That’s from Nikki.
Nikki, hon, when I first started reading your hand-written letter, I found myself wondering, “Who on Earth actually gives a hoot about those two shlubs?” But by the time I got to your signature, with the little red and pink hearts dotting both of the I’s in your name, it all made sense. Jeez-Louise, Nikki! Is this how you sign all your missives? How long does that take you? And how old are you anyway, thirteen? (Christian Bale, by the way, is totally married.)
“Dear Gilda Sue,
What time is it?”
I’d say it’s time to stop being such a smarty-panties, Mr. Smarty-Panties McGhee. Oy!
“Dear Gilda Sue,
I just don’t understand PEOPLE!”
That’s from Jiminy in Hollywood, California.
Jiminy, honey, judging from the tone of frustration in your words, my guess is that you do understand people. You see people for the bunch of ignoble and facile schmucks they really are: ingrates, opportunists, phoney-baloneys, and lemmings. You just need to face the fact that you don’t like people all that much. And who can blame you?
So that’s it. That’s all the mail I got this week. Jeez. Can we step it up a tad, y’all?
This week’s Mail Bag pick is from a Charlie Perkins in Georgia. Charlie writes:
“Is it wrong for me to wear tube socks and high heels? My niece and nephew say that it is. Some people point and laugh at me, especially at the beach. I think that it is both fashionable and comfortable. I told my niece, ‘There is no rule book that says that men cannot wear women’s shoes.’ Tube socks add a masculine touch to my day wear. Some people just don’t get fashion. Don’t you agree?”
Oy, Charlie. I had to turn to some other folks for some help with this problem of yours.
Super-brainy literary icon and extra-terrestrial humorist Mark Twain once wrote this:
“We are all alike on the inside.”
By this, I believe he means that we all need love, we are all seeking something of substance that makes life worth living, we all have skeletons in our closets, we all crave more Drambuie than Rabbi Spiderman thinks is good for us, and, though our many prejudices may keep us from acting like it most of the time, we all agree that we probably are all alike on the inside. He means that it’s really the OUTSIDE that matters.
So, fashion is important, hon. Real-real.
Now the rightness orwrongness of those tube socks is debatable. Here are quotes from two other famous brainy folks:
“Are right and wrong convertible terms, dependent upon popular opinion?” ~William Lloyd Garrison (abolitionist and feminist)
It doesn’t seem as though Garrison knows the answer to this, but I do. It’s “of course they are.”
“The only correct actions are those that demand no explanation and no apology.” ~Red Auerbach (National Jewish Sports Hall of Famer and basketball coach)
I think Coach Auerbach would read your long-winded query and advise you to keep that beach attire in your closet. Right behind those skeletons.
But, Charlie, I once wrote this:
“If it feels real-real good, just damn do it!”
So. Do with all of that what you will. Just remember, sunscreen is essential when frolicking on the beach, but bossy nieces and nephews are for suckers.
Thanks for your letter, Charlie. Y’all keep ‘em coming. Leave a comment here or at The Gilda Sue Rosenstern Computer Internet Show.
This week’s letter is from Frimunt.And that’s this person’s name, y’all. Not a town. And I’m not sure if this Frimunt is male or female, but no matter. My answer will be the same, regardles.
OK. Frimunt writes,
“Dear Gilda Sue, I have lost faith in my dreams, my family, my friends, and my religion. Everything and everyone around me seem to lack the depth and substance that make life worth living. I’d kill myself, but I’m afraid of dying. What should I do?”
Well, Frimunt, hon, thanks for giving me a little break from all the tough questions. This is simple, because you are on the right track. At least half-way.
Y’all, the world is totally full of meshugeners and putzes wading around in ankle deep waters volleying hollow and meaningless banter at one another and dressing it up as thoughtful discourse, whether it be on the broad public forum or in seemingly intimate, personal relationships. But, as for being afraid to die, oy! That’s just crazy.
Hon, first of all, death is a lie, and once you realize that, it stops being so scary.
Here’s the thing, bubee. I grew up in a small town and once I could buy my own bus ticket (or secretly borrow some money from my mama’s purse to buy my own bus ticket), I moved as far away as that bus would take me, and I never went back. Now, when I left, those people in my home town didn’t think I was dead. Well, actually, my bobeshi did think I was dead for a few days, and she’s never forgiven me for giving her such a scare. But my point is that I wasn’t dead. And though it is possible for me to return to my hometown, I’ve just never had a reason to do so, which is why I left in the first place. I moved forward. I changed residences. And that’s all “dying” really is.
Disclaimer, hon: Neither Rabbi Spiderman, Father Fitzpatrick, or Pastor Grizzle agree with me on this. And, I don’t claim to know what the forwarding address will be for you, but I feel fairly certain that whatever it is, you should definitely not be afraid of to “die.”
So, no worries. Thanks for your question, Frimunt, and happy trails!
I’d like to answer a missive from German Joe Pulver in Berlin. (I KNOW!)
German Joe asks,
“Can I have a pony???????????????????????”
Well, hon, I realize you are a speaker of a foreign tongue, but oy! In American the saying is “have a cow,” not “have a pony.” And my advice to anyone struggling with how to deal with feelings uncomfortable enough to make him want to break down and have a cow is to just stop. Stop and take a deep breath, hon. And push it down. Take those feelings and push them deep, deep down. Smile. Indulge in a Drambuie Margarita, or a red wine spritzer, or any legal “drug” of your choosing. Then indulge in a second, even a third. Surf the computer Internet for videos of dogs befriending whales or of Nancy Grace falling off of her roller skates into a group of tot mom groupies, and follow that down the rabbit hole until you fall asleep. It works for me. It’ll work for you.
Thanks for your letter, German Joe.
”Gilda, I’m trying to learn how to be a tougher, more grounded person, rather than be such a hot mess. Where do I start?”
OK, I looked up some words on the computer Internet.
“Tough” is defined as “durable, tenacious, and lusty.” But, also as “callous, stern, and harsh.”
“Grounded can mean “mindful, and wise.” But, also “beached.” Like a dying sea creature.
Drambuie is Gaelic for “the drink that satisfies.” But some folks use some other words, like “never in a million years!” or “you’ve got to be kidding me! People actually DRINK this #*@!!?”
And, I think it’s important to point out that the good folks at Drambuie don’t really care which one you are, as long as there are enough of the former buying their drink that (apparently only sometimes) satisfies to keep them in business, and to The Devil with the latter!
Do you see where I’m going with this, Liz?
Hon, I suspect what you are really looking for is the inner strength to do whatever you damn well please regardless of what folks might think, which must just damn rock! I mean look at Barbara Bush. Oy! Well, I’ll bet she looks in the mirror each morning, as she drapes those gigantic pearls around her neck with the confidence that defies reason, and chants the mantra that every successful woman lives by: “Pleasing everyone is for suckers.”
Nobody, not even Drambuie, can please everyone.
Now, Outlaw Farmer asks,
“What the heck is a hot mess?”
A hot mess is bad, as far as I can tell, though it is apparently, by most counts, also considered sexy, which most folks think is good. So, once again, perspective is key. You can’t please ‘em all.
In sum, rock on, Liz! And damn give yourself a break.
Y’all keep your questions coming! Leave a comment here or see me at The Gilda Sue Rosenstern Computer Internet Show and leave me a private missive. I look forward to hearing from you!
Hello, lovelies! Welcome to the first Bleu Stockings installment of Gilda Sue’s Mail Bag,where y’all can ask me anything you want. Anything at all. (I KNOW!)
Our first missive is from Father Patrick Fitzpatrick of The Sister Mary Frances School for Underage and Guileless Boys in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. The father writes:
“I’ve been following your advice with regard to dealing with uncomfortable feelings, and I’ve just been pushing them deep, deep down. It almost works. But not really. I fear there will come a day when I will actually have to face my demons. And if what all these protestants are saying is true, that day is fast approaching. Judgement Day could be as close as next Saturday, May 21st! What do you think?”
Oh, well, I guess I should’ve gotten to that a tad sooner. Sorry, Father.
A) I assume, when you say “these protestants” you mean this guy that I found on this CNN site, right?
So then, B) What I think is, no, I don’t believe this Judgement Day thing is going to happen, hon. At least it isn’t going to happen last Saturday. And if that Rob Bell is to be believed, it won’t really matter if it does happen last Saturday. Or any Saturday, for that matter. And they write articles about him in Time Magazine and stuff! (I KNOW!)
But more important, hon, is thirdly, or C) If those uncomfortable feelings keep bubbling up to the surface, you do need to deal with them. And you may need to admit you need help, which is sometimes real-real hard for folks. I find that a hot Drambuie-tini with a chocolate-caramel swirl garnish always helps me.
Bottoms up, Father Pat! (And by that, I just mean “cheers,” okay? Oy! )
Keep your questions coming, folks. Leave a comment here or at The Gilda Sue Rosenstern Computer Internet Show. I look forward to hearing from you!