In 25 words or less? You can write to me as anarcissie at gmail.com if nothing else will assuage your curious curiosity....

On Ask Polly: Should I Cut My Abusive Mother Out of My Life Forever?

I had some similar problems with parents and some other near relatives. I cut them off for a time. Later, I decided to behave in a correct, civil way, rather than in either a particularly affectionate or hostile manner, as long as the other parties did not get too out of hand. That is, I would be polite and considerate as long as I was not confronted with open insults, violence, or other forms of intolerable behavior, and I would always be ready to let (most) bygones be bygones if the other parties seemed to want a fresh start. This is what I would advise for the marriage and other significant ceremonial occasions and important events. One does not have to treat a parent as a buddy or even a friend if they do not act the part, but one can still treat them with respect.

In my case things went along reasonably well for a while, and then sadly deteriorated, but I am glad that I gave a better possibility a chance while I could.

Posted on July 30, 2014 at 1:03 pm 2

On Ask Polly: I Want to Get Laid But I'm Afraid of Oppressing Women

@dietcock@twitter -- Indeed, I had the idea that the letter might have been carefully constructed to point out that, in terms of sexual attraction, what many women say they want, and what they actually respond to favorably, are two different things. It's filtered through contemporary gender-politics discourse, but doesn't depend on it. Something very similar could have been written in the depths of the 1950s using different symbols and markers. This seems odd, because generally women are less delusional about life situations than men. Maybe it's the hormones?

Posted on July 28, 2014 at 1:00 pm 0

On Ask Polly: I Had a Stillbirth and My Husband Totally Lacked Empathy

@Dave Gottwald@facebook -- I'm just going by what they told me back in the Dark Ages. In the most contemporary usage, I think you're correct; sympathy has become something they have a card for, a remote sense of pity or obligation. Hence, I suppose, the rise in the use of 'empathy' to fill the semantic gap.

Posted on July 8, 2014 at 4:25 pm 0

On A Photo Tour of Williamsburg's Latest Real Estate Travesty

So what, they're getting the money.

Posted on July 6, 2014 at 7:13 pm 0

On Ask Polly: I Had a Stillbirth and My Husband Totally Lacked Empathy

Empathy is knowing what others feel. Sympathy is feeling what others feel. The husband may possess empathy; he lacks sympathy. This is going to be a serious and ongoing problem in a marriage; it is not a misstep or a mistake. The friendship of the husband for a psychopath is further evidence. Unless the LW has another life and simply uses the husband for fertilization purposes, she probably needs to restructure her situation.

Posted on July 4, 2014 at 12:05 pm 0

On Human vs. Citi Bike: New York's Secret Struggle

You could probably make it lock with a large enough hammer.

Posted on June 3, 2014 at 2:10 pm 1

On Ask Polly: I Survived a Hard Life, But I Never Learned How to Be Normal

The LW sounds like an exceptional but 'normal' person who got a lot of bad breaks and overcame them, in which case she should not have any severe problems in the future.

However, she might be an Extraterrestrial. For us Extraterrestrials, being on Earth with human beings at all is kind of a tough break. One of the difficulties is never feeling at home or at ease among humans, who are oddly unevolved when in areas like tribalism, violence, willful ignorance, and so forth -- qualities appropriate for knuckle-dragging subprimates, not intelligent beings. In that case, what she must do is keep on the lookout for fellow Extraterrestrials. Many of them will have encountered similar difficulties with humans and will need her help. Others may have been more successful and will be able to be helpful and friendly without trying to take advantage or get over on anyone. For an Extraterrestrial, it is important to try to establish and preserve relationships with other Extraterrestrials because in this alien world, they are our only home.

Posted on May 27, 2014 at 12:11 pm 0

On There Are Fewer Idiots In America Than You Think

Because people (and fakes) have Facebook accounts doesn't mean they look at them any more than they look at Twitter. Jabbering and one-liners become wearisome pretty rapidly for most people.

Posted on February 10, 2014 at 11:47 am 0

On Ask Polly: I Am Obsessed With My Boyfriend's Evil Ex-Girlfriend—And Her Blog! (And Their Dogs!)

@nyc121212 -- 'Female' is a bit clinical but to me it doesn't really seem to carry the frightful weight of moral opprobrium you're trying to load on it.

Posted on January 24, 2014 at 9:26 pm 0