This has been a strange time, that is certain. We are stuck with our family members way more than any sane person should be, so conflicts are sure to arise.
That means there are questions. I can tell, because my “Ask Brad” inbox has been overflowing. So, I think I should dig into them and dish out some advice that only a crazy person would follow.
Dear Brad: During this extended time of staying at home, we have had to serve as teachers for our son, Robert. Now, I know that Robert has had some problems in class in the past, but now I can see that he has some behavior issues. I always thought it was the teacher. He acts like an entitled brat and won’t listen to reason. What should we do? Signed, We Were Wrong.
Dear Wrong: First you should fall to your knees and beg your son’s teachers for their forgiveness. Thankfully, you have realized Robert is a jerk before he is an adult and it is hard to teach that out of him. Start by doubling up on the chores and taking away his electronics. Make him responsible for his actions. Hold him accountable. Set goals and if he doesn’t reach them, make sure he has consequences. If none of that works, I am sorry to inform you that Robert will most certainly be a career politician. My condolences.
Dear Brad: I have a trendy haircut and love to go to the tanning salon. And although my name is Cathy, people are referring to me as Karen when I walk around with no mask on while trying to “correct” the behavior of others. Why is that? All I am doing is pointing out to people that what they are doing is wrong, and that I – as usual – am right. Signed, Not Karen.
Dear Not Karen: I hate to break this to you, but you are what the denizens of social media in 2020 call a Karen. According to Dictionary.com, Karen is “a slang term for an obnoxious, angry, entitled, and often racist middle-aged white woman who uses her privilege to get her way or police other people’s behaviors. As featured in memes, Karen is generally stereotyped as having a blonde bob haircut, asking to speak to retail and restaurant managers to voice complaints or make demands.” So, if that description feels familiar to you, you are being a Karen. And you should know that being a Karen is no way to be. Grow your hair, ease up some and enjoy life, Cathy.
Dear Brad: My wife and I usually get along great, but this recent warm, muggy weather has us arguing about the air conditioner. I like to kick the air down so it is cool in the house. My wife, on the other hand, likes it as warm as Hades. What can I do? Signed, Not Keeping my Cool.
Dear Not Keeping my Cool: Learn to be hot. Seriously, it is the only way. Maybe sit in the garage and run the air conditioner in the car if it gets too bad. But we know ultimately who will win this one. Suck it up, pal.
Dear Brad: We have two dogs in our house, and I would like to get another. The problem is my partner doesn’t want another dog. He says he is allergic to them, although I see little evidence of that. I think he is just being selfish and secretly doesn’t like dogs. I love him, but I want another dog. What should I do? Signed, Dog Lover.
Dear Dog Lover: Be single and have three dogs. Simple.
OK, that’s it’s for now. Keep those fictitious cards and letters coming.
Brad Jennings is Editor of The Ogle County Life.