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/or 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.
Merry Christmas to everyone at DFO! I hope it was merry and bright and that any family members that tried to convince you that President Trump actually knows what he’s doing were quickly stricken with unfortunate food poisoning. I, for one, am still “working remotely” from our wang-iest state and trying very hard to drown out that guilty voice in my head reminding me to finish my expenses before the end of the year. Or to, you know, do actual work. In the meantime, it was a Christmas/Festivus/Kwanzaa miracle that people actually wrote in this week. YAY! So be like the cool kids and write in. Remember, drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments below if you (or this person you know) has an issue you’d like addressed. In the meantime, to the advice dispensing!
Let’s start formally—
Dear Miss Downton Abby:
Rupert is a valued employee, but he refuses to iron my undergarments on a regular basis. Yes, of course they are washed and folded-but they are not pressed! Should I write him a strongly-worded note, call him into my library and upbraid him or destroy his family? I eagerly await your reply.
Dearest Explorer of Fine Malted Spirit,
It is with great regret that I must inform you that the destruction of a servant’s family for failure to iron your unmentionables is a privilege reserved for the current occupant of the White House. However, I believe that even though the proliferation of “right-to-work” policies has not pervaded Canada as much as in the United States, Rupert is likely an “at-will” employee, meaning he can be terminated without cause. Any number of undergarment enthusiasts would clamor for a chance to press your drawers. Interested Applicants may contact Sir Scotchnaut directly or submit resume, references, and a brief cover letter summarizing their qualifications and fetishes to email@example.com.
Our next letter comes in from a different part of Canada, but has broader geographic implications–
I now have to travel to shitty small towns for work. As you are a ridiculously frequent traveller how do you make shit holes better?
Yes, it’s true that my travels, especially the last few years, have crossed over into the realm of the ridiculous. When you’re not in charge of where you’re going and how long you’ll be there, you have to figure out what’s most important to you and what you can control. First and foremost for me is arrival/departure time. If a place is a real shithole, I want to get in and out as quickly as possible. That means making your airport experience as enjoyable as possible. At the risk of sounding like an Up For Whatever #brandwhore, I’ll put in a plug here for the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card, which includes Priority Pass lounge access. Because I’m in airports constantly, it’s a huge difference maker to be able to go into a random lounge or, even better, get $28 credit to airport restaurants/bars.
Secondly, when it comes to the stay itself, if it’s a short trip, don’t even unpack. You just arrive, go do your work thing, find a good local watering hole and GTFO. If it’s a longer trip, do the opposite. Make nice with the hotel staff, check in LATE so they may have given away the room they had for you and only have suites left, and go beyond the front desk clerk for the bartender’s restaurant recommendations. If it’s a one horse town, don’t bother leaving the hotel, and consider traveling with bitters and little bottles of vermouth etc to turn any minibar into a full bacchanalia for one.
Oh, and if you are going to be there for a while, lower expectations and go talk to a human. Nothing is more pleasantly surprised than eating dinner at a bar in the middle of nowhere and having a small portion of your faith in humanity restored through a genuine conversation/connection with a stranger.
But keep an eye out because sometimes they’re hookers, and it’s not worth it.
Looking around the rest of the interwebz, even though it is not the most recent Dear Prudence column, I had to take on the title question from the post My Husband and I Blew Through $3 Million. Now We’re Broke:
My husband and I met working at a major tech company. He left with more than $2 million at age 36. On the outside, our life looks great. But he hasn’t worked since we got married nearly 20 years ago, and as a result, he’s blown through all our cash. I knew he was selling off stock but was unaware of the extent until a few years ago. I never expected he would not work again. Now he resents watching colleagues advance to senior roles, making good money, and working on exciting tech products. A few friends are starting to retire. That would have been us, too. But now we’re in our 50s with no savings. I’m a best-selling author, and my early books netted nearly $1 million from book sales. Today, I still hustle for editorial projects. He claims he couldn’t work all those years because he was too busy setting me up in my writing career. He has been helpful, no doubt about it. But I never asked him to forgo working for years. Now he’s deeply depressed. He keeps me up at night bemoaning how he’s a loser, and messed up his life, and I should leave him, or blaming me for it. I’m exhausted the next day but work on various projects—while he sleeps all day—and then the cycle starts again. I haven’t sold a book in years, and I know it’s partly due to the stress.
We have a second home that I inherited a few years ago. He’s pressing me to sell it so we have some cash. I really don’t want to sell it. I know we’ll blow through the cash in a couple of years, and then we’ll be in the exact same position. That house is the only asset that I have in my own name, and knowing that I have a potential place to land if we split up is all that’s keeping me sane. He refuses to get counseling. He has started to reach out to places to apply for jobs in earnest, but at his age, with a résumé gap of 18 years, I’m worried it’s too late, especially for the kind of jobs he’s after in the tech industry. He would never consider getting a “normal” job, like working retail or as a bartender, as he’d be embarrassed if his colleagues ran into him someplace. I really feel that I need some therapy, but I know we can’t afford it. I’m now seriously considering abandoning my writing career. I’ve been applying for jobs in part to get us health care, since we have to drop ours, as we can’t afford it. But since I also haven’t had a traditional job, it’s been a real challenge for me, too, and incredibly depressing. Friends tell me to leave, but I genuinely love my husband. He’s a smart guy who can do just about anything. He’d actually be great working for a company. But he doesn’t believe it. The negative voice in his head has become too strong and his ego is too fragile. What am I to do?
Hooboy, hard to muster up a whole lot of sympathy here, as Ortberg generously does in going right to being helpful, suggesting tough conversations about finances, financial planning, and solo or joint therapy. But first, someone in that household needs to have a reckoning on HOW THE FUCK YOU BLEW THREW $3M AND WHY YOU’RE JUST NOW STARTING TO THINK ABOUT DOING SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY!
/DOOR FLIES OPEN
“Did somebody say something about how to blow through $3M? Cuz I got ideas. But first, does anyone want to buy this football off of me so I can buy a sandwich? I’m thinking I could sell it for either $375 or maybe a share of a new t-shirt company that let’s you design and print t-shirts while you’re wearing them. We can call it “Rocket Burns” or “Teed Up Titties” or “Please Buy a Shirt So I Can Make Car Payments.” But for real, anyone can blow through $3M as long as you’ve got agents taking a cut and you stop really making money and you keep investing in things you get pitched on the street. I mean, how do you say no to a guy with an easel and a laser pointer? Shit, I think that noise is someone coming to repo my car, I gotta run!”
/DOOR FLIES SHUT
Yeaaaaaah, I mean, Rocket did have a point. It’s really damn easy to blow through money when you’re not bringing any in and have no idea how much is going out. So as hard as it is, you have to a) stop the bleeding and stop ANY unnecessary purchases; b) assess where money has been going and where any of those outlays can be reduced or eliminated outright; and c) take a look at how to increase income. The whole “I can’t take a menial job” thing is such utter bullshit. So is “I can’t sell the second home.” Do you want to impress some jagoffs from the country club or have better options than to eat cat food when you turn 60?
And again, “as a result he’s blown through all our cash” is not a QED statement. One can stop working and not blow through $3M, particularly if one invested, I don’t know, ANY of it. Not to infringe on BeerGuyRob’s turf, but those who do not learn history are condemned to repeat it is not just limited to genocide. Figure out how you spent the money, go earn some even if it’s in increments of $10/hour, and fix yo shit.
As long as I’m on my soapbox, I don’t know how things are up in America’s hat, but financial literacy in this country is embarrassingly non-existent. I would venture that greater than a quarter of Americans have no idea that paying the minimum payment on your credit card means carrying a balance plus massive interest on the rest and that paying it in full means that it’s interest-free no matter the APR. Similarly, the concept of net vs gross and how it applies to your salary vs expenses. Or one of my biggest pet peeves, how taxes actually work. The fact that people think it’s better to make $900,000 than $1,000,000 because the government takes more of the latter are unaware of how marginal tax rates work. If Congress were to pass a 50% surtax on income above $1,000,000, it would only apply to income beyond that first million. Not grasping that basic fact is part of why poor people vote Republican. That and racism. Teaching this stuff in school wouldn’t solve all the problems but it would go a long way.
Before we get back to the DFO clubhouse, let’s go to an even earlier December Dear Prudence since it’s just so good–
My husband’s fantasy life: I discovered this weekend that my husband belongs to a website for people whose spouses or partners cheated on them. He posts there frequently, and he’s talked about our children, our financial struggles, and my infidelity with my boss. The thing is: I’ve never cheated on my husband. It’d be one thing if he’d created a fictional persona for this website. It’d still be misleading and a cause for concern, but the things he writes about our marriage are lies. A few times he takes an argument we had in real life and filters it through the prism of a man whose wife cheated on him.
I’m so upset. I haven’t talked to him yet, and part of me wonders if there’s a reasonable explanation. Why would he invest time creating this false portrait of our marriage? He’s never expressed concerns about my boss to me, and I’m not even that close to the other man. I could use some perspective: How concerning is this discovery?
Hoo-boy, this is a doozy. Let’s start with the obvious: it’s a fairly concerning discovery.
/DOOR FLIES OPEN
Fairly concerning? I don’t see what the big deal is here. Sometimes, when a man and a woman want to get down, they get down. It doesn’t matter if you’re single, married, polyamorous, somebody’s mother, whatever. Like Miles Davis used to say, a hard dick ain’t got no conscience. I say live and let live, or fuck and let fuck. Peace.
/DOOR FLIES SHUT
That was about as relevant as a Shaquille O’Neal diss track. Again, communication is the key here. Leaving aside how you discovered this not-so-secret life your husband is describing to cuckolds (because that’s going to derail the shit out of the first half of this conversation), if he’s using real names, it’s a huge fucking problem no matter the why. So you have to sit down and discuss what you found and ask what’s up. Maybe he has a secret fetish for cuckolding. Maybe he stumbled across the site and wanted to fit in. Maybe he thinks you did cheat on him with your boss and got real fucking carried away. Maybe he wants to be a writer and didn’t want to try out for DFO. None of this shit matters if you two can’t talk about it and figure out what’s going on here. So start as nonjudgmentally as you can but be prepared to defend yourself and eventually leave him if he’s been using you and your family to elicit sympathy amongst strangers while alienating your affection. It’s ok for people to have outlets, but not at the cost of having open and honest communication at home.
Speaking of, as you may remember from the first edition of Mouth Flies Open, ballsofsteelandfury posed a question about “pompoir”, something I’d never heard of prior to his submission. Well, balls being an A+ student and all went back and did his own supplemental research. Let’s see what he shared:
As those that followed the wikipedia link you posted know, pompoir is a step above kegels. The purpose is to develop the vaginal muscles so that they can manipulate the erect penis while inside her without any thrusting or other body movements. It comes from the Indian traditions that brought us the Kama Sutra and Sting boning his wife for five hours.
As for how to get your significant other to do this, you have to appeal to what she already likes. If she loves to workout, this is a great new routine she can try. If she’s curious about new sexual techniques, you are a lucky man and she’ll be receptive to trying this. I’m lucky in that I have a certain someone that’s both of these things, so I approached her in the casual, “hey, check out what I just read about!” manner. So, she’s game. The added plus is that the man can be part of the training sessions, too, so it’s fun all around. I shall report on progress as the training sessions continue…”
To help your dirty minds with the visual, balls clarified that his special ladyfriend is a blonde latina, which led to us deciding it would be a great beer name–SoCal Blonde Latina–A fiery blonde ale with a kick of spice in the end. If any of you home brewers want to pay us royalties for the idea, we’re game.
That’s it for this edition of Mouth Flies Open, the DFO advice column. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions, and spread the word!