The team at DFO is committed to brightening the world with insights, observations, and dick jokes. This mailbag feature is just one more way in which we extend our mission beyond football to the rest of life’s broad and multi-chromatic palette. Fantasy football questions still welcome but by no means required. If you have questions and need advice, email email@example.com. New inquiries will be supplemented by DFO and Celebrity Guest Columnist advice in response to inquiries to other advice columns. We’re going to aim to be funny but respectful to everyone no matter what. Unless they’re Packers or Patriots fans. BrettFavre’sColonoscopy is not a licensed therapist nor does he hold an advanced degree in psychology, social work, or any of the cognitive sciences. He is an enthusiastic young-ish man with an overpriced education and an unabiding love for dispensing good advice while being incapable of applying it to his own life.
Thanks to all who bravely and boldly asked questions on the post calling for advice requests as well as via the firstname.lastname@example.org inbox. I’m genuinely excited to launch this new iteration of the DFO mailbag.
Here’s a confession: I’m practically obsessed with advice columns. When I was a kid, I read Dear Abby and Ann Landers regularly, long before I knew they were twin sisters and that their descendants were capable of next level pettiness. (Sidenote: I will absolutely watch the shit out of this movie) I still regularly read Dear Prudence, Savage Love, Dear Sugar before it stopped running–virtually anything that google’s algorithm pushes my way or that ends up in a local newspaper when I’m on the road. There’s something about people opening up to a stranger to say, ‘hey, I have this problem, I don’t know know where to turn; can you help me?’ that I find riveting. I think it’s that it hits that sweet spot of making me feel for the plight of others while occasionally letting me feel superior to my fellow human beings. And sometimes it makes me think I can do a little bit more to help others, even if I don’t have all the answers. So with very little further ado, it’s an honor to be able to judge your life choices.
Our first submission comes courtesy of a recluse in North Cakalaky–
Dear New Abby,
What is that on your index finger? And what is that SMELL??
Thanks, KH, for being a short-time listener and long-time commenter. That smell is the smell of WISDOM and what you see is merely your mind’s eye projecting small insects onto things in your field of vision. And by “mind’s eye,” clearly I mean “opiates.” Tip your dancer, and avoid five team parlays.
Next comes a bit of a curveball, or as Nathan Peterman calls it, a perfect pass:
So yesterday, I left the bar and saw a Packers fan wearing a #69 (nice) jersey. I unrolled my window and yelled “Go Bears” and he responded by yelling “Fuck You.” I kept driving with a smile on my face. I hope that guy dies. Anyway, what is the best kind of steak to grill?
First of all, good for you for celebrating the Bears winning the NFC North for the first time since 2010. I, for one, am very excited that a lights out defense and cromulent quarterback play have returned to the greater Chicagoland area. As for your newfound friend possibly from “the good land,” fuck that guy for not being a good sport about his team being a dumpster fire. I hope he chokes on a sausage at the Brat Stop.
Speaking of meat, there’s a key question of what you’re willing/able to do to the steak beforehand in order to give you my $.02. If the answer is basically nothing, then I’m a big fan of taking a nice porterhouse, bare bones seasoning it with salt, pepper, some onion and/or garlic powder, maybe a little Lawry’s and then getting the great flavor of the steak on its own. Plus you get the two different bites at the tenderest meat near the bone, and if you’re feeling real manly you can gnaw on the bone after you’ve finished cutting and eating like a civilized person. That’s good eats.
If you’re down to prep, then take a skirt steak and marinate the shit out of it. I’m particular to a home recipe marinade that includes soy sauce, oil, copious amounts of garlic and fresh ground ginger, and some sherry. Leave that in the fridge over night with some not too lean skirt steaks and then you cook that shit on the grill alongside a fuckton of onions and serve medium rare or GTFO. That is my preference for grilling steak, though resident chefxpert yeah right may expand / argue otherwise in the comments.
I guarantee that CBS is too dumb to feed Trent Green a steady diet of pudding to keep him happy, wealthy, and whatever the closest thing to wise is in his CTE-addled mind. BUT not unlike Trent Green’s synapses, I want to take this question in a different direction.
How do you decide whether or not to let your kids play football? This question has suddenly become frighteningly common to those of child-bearing/rearing age, whether or not they have had or are expected to soon have offspring.
Honestly, it’s a tough question. I played football throughout high school and despite 92% of coaches and 83% of teammates being absolute douchenozzles, I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. Not just the usual rah-rah bullshit about team spirit and bonding and life lessons, but it was also fucking fun as hell. And it did teach me a few things. Some of them were about how big of idiots other people were, how to push myself beyond my preconceived limitations, how to get blown up trying to pull and pass block on a goddamn rollout, and all sorts of skills I’ll never use again. You know what I miss the most, though? Hitting. It’s socially acceptable violence, and relatively controlled violence. It did toughen me up a little, and I fucking loved it.
And yet…fuck the evidence is strong that the CTE risks are from the small repetitive hits, the ones where my brain was bouncing around every time I threw a block. Not to mention the standing ovation-less hits that Kevin Everett, Ryan Shazier, and so many others have had to deal with. Is it worth putting kids at risk for the thrill of competition? Is it even going to matter by the time I have kids old enough to make this choice? Will the NFL fully transition or fade away if interest in full contact football evaporates from the pipeline of free trainees high schools and the NCAA have been churning out? My nephew is about to start playing in a flag football league, and if organized football is glorified 7 on 7 until and/or through high school, that’s probably a good thing for the brains of those I care about. Bah, I guess this is the maybe question, though let’s be honest–Lady BFC has a strong fucking veto waiting for me if I’m pushing for a yes in a (hopefully more than) few years.
Let’s shift gears and switch it over to a non-DFOer question. Let’s see what Ask Amy’s readers have sent her way this week:
Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I have been together for 29 years. We get along well, and always have, although we don’t communicate very well.
Here’s my situation: Five years ago he had an affair with a girl we know. It lasted for a year. We’re trying to get through it. He talks to women online. Some are from other countries. They talk about sex, and he even sends them money.
I am devastated, but he seems to think it’s not cheating. What do you think?
Amy’s advice is not bad here, and she’s right that it doesn’t matter if he’s “technically cheating.” The type of people who want to get into semantics arguments over what is and isn’t cheating also think anal sex doesn’t count for losing your virginity. But let’s be real honest about what’s happening here, Devastated: your boyfriend has cheated on you a helluva lot more than he’s told you about, he’s still cheating on you, and he’s paying camgirls for whatever the fuck it is people pay camgirls for (attention? to feel even lonelier? to see where sharpies can go?). He’s not going to leave you for some hot young Romanian thing because that woman will never touch his penis, but he’s also not going to cut this shit out or quit trying to dip his quill into other inkwells. But he might be (or might already be) paying for some strange, too. To borrow a phrase from the legendary and aforementioned Dan Savage, DTMFA (dump the motherfucker already). Or if you don’t want to, then open up the whole relationship so you can get some other dude to pay you more attention than he is. Either way, don’t expect to be un-devastated by someone who is (poorly) playing the field, virtually and likely in reality.
Pivoting back to queries from the DFO clubhouse–
Winning a heated argument over your spouse: worth it?
Uf. This is a grey area–
/DOOR FLIES OPEN
“HARF HARF DID SOMEONE START TALKING ABOUT MY SPECIAL AREA AGAIN? I SWEAR IT ISN’T GREY.
THE BEN DOESN’T UNDERSTAND THE QUESTION. HOW DO YOU LOSE AN ARGUMENT WITH YOUR WIFE? SINCE WHEN ARE WOMEN ALLOWED TO DISAGREE? WIN EVERY ARGUMENT AND AT LEAST ONE SUPER BOWL SO NO ONE WILL CARE HOW SHITTY A PERSON YOU ARE.
OKAY, THE BEN HAVE TO GO ICE OWIES TO BE READY TO PEW PEW THE FOOTBALL”
/DOOR FLIES SHUT
DonT, this is one of those classic Betty White’s undergarments questions. As Horatio noted, if you’re arguing about something stupid, who cares who’s right? Listen, empathize, and let it the fuck go. If it’s actually important, well, still listen and empathize and try and figure out if you can find common ground somewhere. If you can’t, take a deep breath and try to figure out why it’s so heated.
I had a professor in school that used to say, “when I get mad, I take a moment to ask myself ‘is this causing genocide? And if it isn’t, then I let it go.'” I fucking hated that guy and thought that was totally useless advice.
When it comes to relationships and particularly sticking around relationships with someone you’ve committed to, I generally don’t think there are that many real dealbreakers, but if you feel passionately about something AND it’s important, then you have to advocate for yourself. It’s never worth winning an argument solely for the sake of winning. That’s sociopath behavior and we should all be better than that. But if there are real issues that are leading to real fights and impasses, then you have to figure out if there is a path to resolution, if someone can let things go, or if things are overheated and will always stay heated, in which case it’s possible things have run their course. I’m a big believer in trying to help make others happy. But if it’s coming at the cost of your own happiness, shut that shit down. It’s not even about the argument, it’s about living your best life as much as this crazy blue marble permits.
What is Pompoir and how can I get my girlfriend to do it?
Congratulations on making me Google something. Apparently pompoir is when nobody moves during coitus but a very talented woman basically squeezes your penis inside her vagina until climax. I think you probably need to pay an advanced pro for that. More importantly, I think you’re more likely to get the answer than me, so report back to the group please.
Alright, let’s get an actual Dear Abby letter in here:
DEAR ABBY: Have you ever heard the saying, “A daughter is a daughter all of her life, but a son is a son ’til he takes a wife”? Our son and his family have never spent a single Christmas Eve or Christmas Day with us during the entire 17 years they have been married. A Thanksgiving with them is very rare. They live an hour away. We and his in-laws live in the same small town, but they spend every holiday at the in-laws’. Their children have no memories of us on the holidays. When I talked about it with our friends, they said they have the same problem. All of their sons go to their daughter-in-laws’ parents’, too. With the holidays coming up, I hope you may have something to say about this. When we spoke to our son about it, it just caused bad feelings. — SAME PROBLEM IN MINNESOTA
Hooo boy, let me tell you, I have thoughts.
/DOOR FLIES OPEN
“Hey, Jeeeem, let me tell you something about sons. Sometimes you put all your love and time and money and private quarterback tutoring and spleen repair doctor funds toward making your son a success, and they still may not amount to jack squat. This is a non-specific example, not necessarily a real world one, but you just have to accept that sometimes life hands you everything you need to build a Lamborghini, and you somehow you still make a soapbox derby car that doesn’t have a steering wheel and immediately crashes into a fire hydrant. What I’m saying Jeeeeem, is that if your son doesn’t want you at Thanksgiving, that might be a blessing in disguise.”
/DOOR FLIES SHUT
Dear Lord. Obviously I’m not Jim Nantz, I don’t give a flying fuck about azaleas or Phil Simms. But to expand, there’s a Jungian concept called individuation that I am not qualified to talk about in detail. But as I understand it, one key part of realizing your self is separating from the child-parent dynamic and turning inward to learn more about yourselves. Usually that entails leaving a bit of the child self behind, which is often an occasion for mourning for both the child and the parent. The parent, though, can often see it as a betrayal for the individual to leave that old world behind.
What I’m getting at, SPIN, is that your son’s life no longer revolves around you. That’s not a bad thing, but it may be a hard thing to accept. He (and your daughter-in-law) may still love you, but their day-to-day doesn’t depend on you. That also means that they don’t see things through the same lens as you. Perhaps the problem isn’t that they don’t want to spend time with you but that his wife’s parents hate you. Or more charitably, perhaps they think YOU don’t like his wife’s parents and so they take on their own burden of spending holidays apart and carving out other time to see you. My (unsolicited) advice is to ask the question of if it’s possible to merge the holidays and alternate hosting between the three of you, but to do it non-judgmentally and prepared to accept a no. There’s a chance your son wants to live his life in a way that you are a background character, and that is actually ok. It doesn’t diminish your value or the importance of your sacrifices to raise him, and we’d all be better off if we could let go of our expectations of others and be pleasantly surprised when their interests and desires align with our wants.
Truthfully, my guess is that you’re a giant overbearing pain in the ass and this is the parent-child equivalent of ghosting. The advice still stands, though, and I would encourage you to be charitable and forgiving to both your son and yourself as you cope with whatever feelings of loss and grief are inevitable with such a realization should it come to pass.
And finally, but unsurprisingly…
How do I get my long-distance girlfriend to do anal?
This one is easy. You have to let her do you first.
Thanks for reading, ‘riting, and recognizin’. See you around the DFO clubhouse!
Have questions? Boss getting you down? In-laws moving in without your permission? Looking for the right way to quit a fantasy football league? Email email@example.com with your questions, and spread the word!