An Award-Winning Disclaimer

A charming little Magpie whispered this disclaimer into my ear, and I'm happy to regurgitate it into your sweet little mouth:

"Disclaimer: This blog is not responsible for those of you who start to laugh and piss your pants a little. Although this blogger understands the role he has played (in that, if you had not been laughing you may not have pissed yourself), he assumes no liability for damages caused and will not pay your dry cleaning bill.

These views represent the thoughts and opinions of a blogger clearly superior to yourself in every way. If you're in any way offended by any of the content on this blog, it is clearly not the blog for you. Kindly exit the page by clicking on the small 'x' you see at the top right of the screen, and go fuck yourself."

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Well, Hold Onto Your Pampers and Swaddle Me Timbers, It's... DEAR APRON!

I know, I know, this blog post is a desperate attempt by me to hold onto my pre-fatherhood acidic wit and caustic disdain for all humanity, to prove to you that I have not lost my mettle or my resolve to junk-punch Middle America as it searches vainly for wholesome advice to its banal problems and quandaries.

So? Sue me, bitch. And, after you're done doing that, get a load of...


I'm a 25-year-old woman with no future. I am the youngest of three daughters. My parents are divorced and my sisters are both married. Mom has no income of her own, so it's mainly me.

I have come to realize that I'll never be able to have an apartment of my own or fully live my life because of her. She's controlling and always finds a way to make me feel guilty about going out or enjoying myself. I have never had a relationship because she has always found a way of sabotaging any relationship I'm in.

I think she's bipolar, but she doesn't believe in medication or that it's even real. I feel as if I'm being forced to take care of her, and when I finally have a chance to have a real life, it will be too late.

I have discussed this with my sisters, but they haven't helped. I'm very depressed and don't know what to do. If I bring this up with Mom, she gets angry and won't talk to me for days. Please help me find a way out. -- TRAPPED IN CHICAGO


I've got to say, the first sentence of your letter absolutely takes the fucking cake as the single best, most awesome-sauce-coated opening line EVER.

Eh. Vah.

"I'm a 25-year-old woman with no future."

Just look at that, standing there alone, all by itself sort of... hanging there in a gentle abyss. Isn't it glorious, my dears? I just keep reading it, over and over again, loving the way it sounds on my tongue.

So. Good.

And not just limited in its wonderfulness to the context of this advice letter. I think you should use it as your calling card on pretty much every document you compose. Certainly it should be used to commence:

Greeting cards

Christmas letters

Employment cover-letters online dating profiles

Fundraising appeals

Thank you notes

E-mails to insurance companies, mortgage lenders, bill collectors, utility companies, etc.

Suicide notes

WHICH, quite neatly, actually brings me to my suggestion for you. Most people with absolutely no hope, who identify as "trapped" and are looking for "a way out" at some point consider taking their own lives.

Just a thought!


I recently found out that my boyfriend of three years -- the only man I have ever been with -- cheated on me with a woman I thought was a good friend. I love him and have decided to take him back and fight for what we had. He assured me that he wants to be only with me, that what he did was "stupid" and he has learned his lesson.

Apron, although I have forgiven him, I can't bring myself to forgive her. I have never been someone who holds a grudge, but I have so much hate for her that it scares me. I did get professional help, but it didn't work.

I don't want to be like this. This is not who I am. I'm worried about how I might react when I see her. I can't avoid her since we work in the same industry. Why can I forgive him but not her? -- MOVING FORWARD IN TEXAS


I'm not sure that "MOVING FORWARD" is the right pseudonym for you. How about "GON' CUT A BITCH"?

Seriously, though, your intense feelings of hatred will never be ameliorated until you cage fight this slut whilst the both of you are slathered in Newman's Own Mesquite (with Lime) Marinade. It tastes great and it's only 180mg of sodium per 1 tablespoon serving. I would strongly suggest not only selling tickets to the event, but also live-streaming it as well so maybe you can make some money off your boyfriend's infidelity.

Oh, wait-- sorry, he didn't have anything to do with it. He just lay there on the grass clutching his erect cock with this naked hussy tripped and fell on top of him while tripping through the daisies.

See you in the ring.


My friend and I have a massage therapist, "Shelby," whom we hire on a regular basis because she does an excellent job. However, it's hard to get a completely relaxing massage because she likes to talk the whole time.

What's the nicest and most polite way to inform Shelby that we prefer peace and quiet so we can enjoy the massage? -- RUBBED THE WRONG WAY IN COLORADO


Do I even need to say anything here?


My marriage has been on the rocks since 2008, when I caught my husband talking to other girls online. He swore he would never do it again and I trusted him, only for it to happen again and again. We have a 2-year-old and I'm pregnant with our second child.

He has now placed another ad online stating that he's a single dad. I am torn. He keeps telling me he loves me and wants only me, and he doesn't know what's wrong with him. He is bipolar and not taking meds for it. He promised this time he will get help and try to get better.

This is the fifth time he has placed an ad or chatted with other girls online. I don't know if I should call it quits or keep trying. I love him and want us to be a family, but I don't know how much more I can take. -- TORN IN CALIFORNIA


You should definitely keep trying. Marriage is a sacred institution well worth fighting for, even though homosexuals are trying to desecrate it by fighting for their right to be treated as equals and get married themselves.



Anyway, back to your particular issue, keep working at it. I'm sure you and Single Dad have a really bright future together.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

For the (t)Win

"We depart as two,
Wee-hee, wa-hoo!
And return as four,
No less, no more."

That was the Facebook status update I wrote on Wednesday as my wife and I prepared to leave our home for the hospital to commence our induction. The twins, it seemed, were running out of room in my 5'0" wife's womb, and they weren't going to cook till today-- their scheduled due date.

Returning as four almost didn't happen.

They almost kept our little girl at the hospital due to jaundice. Hyperbilirubinemia, they call it. Thanks to my stupid blood type, our daughter's red blood cells were breaking down and a substance called bilirubin was forming, and she had that tell-tale yellow tint to her skin. So, on our first night together as a family, they took our daughter from us and sent her upstairs to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for phototherapy.

There was talk of sending me, my wife, and our son home, and keeping our little girl.

It's a funny thing. You meet someone for the first time and, instantly, you can't bear to be separated from them. The thought of going home as three, and not as four, ripped me apart inside, and it did that and more to my wife, whose insides were already ripped apart anyway. A very sympathetic nurse pushed our discharge time back hours upon hours so they could test our daughter's bilirubin number to see if it would go down before we absolutely had to be kicked out of the hospital and, finally, it did. And we left as four.

Our tiny house is positively crammed with Fed-EX boxes, cards containing beautiful sentiments, gifts, diapers, burp-cloths, impossibly small socks, and the uncommonly sublime smell of babies (just changed babies, that is).

They say you lose a part of you when you become a parent, and that's true. I'd like to say that I don't mind that loss, because I'm so in love, but that's not true. Well, the I'm in love part is true, but I do mind the loss. I think that's what I was mourning when I broke down and cried hysterically on Sunday-- or Monday night-- I forget which. On my knees in the living room, sobbing hysterically, inconsolably, shaking, clutching at my wife as if I were adrift in the Atlantic and she were a life-raft. And, really, she is. It is her ceaseless love and support that keeps me afloat, that keeps me rising at 3am to stumble blindly about the house and change diapers and feed children and do the dishes and take out the recycling and miraculously find time to get a haircut from the man who gave me my very first non-mommy haircut.

Our son is gaining weight. Our daughter is losing her yellow. My wife is amazing me at every moment. And I am still here, a piece of me lost, and the gains are just beginning.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Sentimental Man

"I am a sentimental man,
Who always longed to be a father.

That's why I do the best I can,
To treat each citizen of son of Oz
As son or daughter.

So, Elphaba, I'd like to raise you high,
'Cuz I think everyone deserves the fly.

And helping you with your ascent,
Allows me to feel so... parental.

For I am a sentimental man."

That's how my favorite song from "Wicked" goes. Yes. I'm a 31-year-old straight guy, and I have a favorite song from "Wicked". Wanna fight about it?

My favorite song from that show is not in the "Wicked" Easy Piano songbooks that pony-tailed tweens used at creative arts summer camps for a few years so that they could sing "Popular" and "For Good" at low-budget showcases and talent shows the world over.

"A Sentimental Man" didn't turn into a smash hit, and it isn't very memorable, or complicated, or vocally or musically interesting either, I suppose. It isn't particularly long, so it's easy to forget. One minute and seventeen seconds, the way Broadway legend Joel Grey does it anyway. Back when I worked in the creative arts, I tried to find the sheet music to the song so I could sing it at an outdoor cabaret, but I couldn't locate the music. So I sang Eric Idle's "The Galaxy Song" from "The Meaning of Life" instead.

That's life sometimes.

It's funny, because "The Galaxy Song" is a funny song, about the dimensions of the universe and the insignificance of our mortal toils and foibles, and it's sort of a modern interpretation of a patter song, the type I love to sing in G&S operettas, and, to many folks who know me, that's the sort of song they might use to identify me. But I think, to those who really know me best, "A Sentimental Man" says more about who I am, what I feel inside, how I operate, what I value and what I long for most.

Tomorrow night, at 7:00pm, my wife and I are to arrive at the hospital so that she can be induced. If all goes as it should, the twins should be making their appearance on Thursday the 15th. And my life will change forever. Because, of course, it will no longer be my life.

Well, that changed some time ago, I suppose. On October 22nd, 2006, under a chuppah covered in radiant sunflowers, I married my best buddy. A girl whom I turn towards in the car or on the couch or in the bed and sometimes just look at, because I like the way it feels. I like to look in her eyes, or at her cheeks, or her lips, or her chin. She's shorter than me, by a decent margin, and, when we hug, I like to hold her head against my chest. I love the shape of her head-- I know that sounds goofy, but sometimes I'm like that. Her head feels great against my chest and in my hand.

From that day forward, it was no longer my life. It was ours. And now ours is getting a wee bit bigger.

I had a terrifying moment of insecurity last night. As my wife and I dined in the restaurant where we had our first date, as we ate our meal alongside her father, an intelligent though disheveled psychiatrist, I suddenly felt very small in his shadow. The shadow of his expectations and his value system, and his romance with formal educational success, of which I had not very much to speak of. I'm a reasonably talented writer, but I couldn't tell you what a gerund is. To me, it sounds like a weapon used against Jews in the Holocaust.

Speaking of Jews, I felt excluded-- muted-- as my father-in-law and my wife discussed Torah portions as if they'd both just read them yesterday. I can tell you what a Torah looks like, and I know how heavy one is to carry, but that's about it. And I shared my feelings of intellectual insecurity with my wife as we lay on the couch together after the meal was over and her father meandered his way back to his hotel.

"What am I going to be able to teach them?" I asked her, "What am I going to be able to help them with?"

"You're going to teach them about how to be good people," my wife said, which, I have to say, didn't make me feel much better.

There's an insidious air of intellectual superiority about my wife's side of the family. Conversations always seem to revolve around mocking or critiquing "simpler" people in their neighborhoods or schools or workplaces when they lived in upstate New York. My father-in-law is keen to present himself as the one who's always correcting other psychiatrists medical errors, or mis-diagnoses, or over-prescribing tendencies where he works, and my mother-in-law is always one to express judgement over how other people live, but she'll be the first one to correct you if you try to do it. And maybe they do it to cover up their own flaws, or maybe they don't know they're doing it. Or maybe it's just my perception but, as many a psych patient has told me at work, "My perception is my reality".

I wish I could tell you that my terrifying moment of insecurity passed after a good night's sleep, but it hasn't. And I can't lie to you. When I first married my wife, I was petrified that I wouldn't be good enough-- not for her, for she had affirmed, by slipping that orange blossom-engraved ring onto my finger, that I was her beloved, and she was mine-- but that I wouldn't be good enough for her parents. Now I'm scared that I won't be good enough for my children.

"I guess what I am is going to have to be enough for them," was the shaky conclusion I came to last night, as my wife rubbed Hydrocortisone cream over her impossibly huge belly and its accompanying itchy stretch marks, "because I'm all they've got."

And, in the end, maybe being a sentimental man will prove to be of infinite and inestimable value to the life and heart and values and experience of a child.