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Dear Sugar

I love this advice columnist!

Dear Sugar,

I am a son who feels lowly today. The reason why is that yesterday was my mother’s birthday, and I forgot. No card, no flowers, not even a phone call. I live 3,000 miles away from her, and haven’t seen her in almost a year, and now this. My question to you is: how can I make it up to her?

(Sidenote: My parents are still married, so a night of me being her wingman isn’t going to cut it).

Bad Son Trying to Make Good

Dear Bad Son,

You can’t make it up to her. What’s more, the assumption that you somehow could is a key component of what we’ll call your Chronic Assholitude. You sound like the kind of guy who wants credit for feeling guilty about his inaction in the face of clear and easily fulfilled emotional responsibilities. And who, not so secretly, wants to be thought well of for his self-inflicted anguish. In other words, you sound like five of the six men I married.

Because it’s not like this is some epic quandary that needs special Sugar sauce. You write her a heartfelt letter of apology and thanks for all she’s done. You acknowledge that you haven’t been the best son, but you love her deeply. You send flowers. You rifle through the crusty fannypack of your mind and come up with some gift that would mean a lot to her, and no I don’t mean a gift card to the Olive Garden. Something distinct to her actual fucking desires as a distinct human being on earth. If you’re struggling with this, consult your father or siblings. They’ll be reminded what an asshole you are, but that’s not exactly a state secret at this point.

Sorry to harsh on you, Bad Son. But I and every other woman on earth has heard some version of this masculine wolf cry every day for the past several decades. It wears on us. So get your ass off-line and find some nice stationery and some nice wrapping paper and pretend to give a shit about someone other than yourself for, like, half an hour.

Oh, and if you’re at all confused about why you owe your mother such honest regret and actual reverence, grease up a good-sized Cornish Game Hen and stick it up your ass. It’s not at all the same thing, but close enough for our purposes.


Dear Sugar,
I am in my late 30s and still in the dating scene (not playing hard-to-get, just haven’t found the right one). I have noticed that more than a few women are interested in how much money I make. In fact I think that “money” for some females, and this doesn’t seem to change with the age of the female, is the pivotal criterion for whether or not there is going to be a second date. To illustrate, a woman I dated recently told me that she could tell where a man was intellectually by the car he drives, the nicer the car the more intellectually developed the man. She said that she won’t date below a Camry (not an older model either, has to be post 2005), since I drive a 1997 Camry I knew that there wouldn’t be a second date for me. Further, she said that a man in his mid to late 30s should have a Lexus or better (a developmental stage that I have not yet achieved). Are most women like this, or am I having a bad run? Do you have any dating strategies to recommend for a late 30s male who has only achieved the Camry stage and is looking to date in the near Lexus range? Is a rental car cheating?
Chagrin About my Retrograde Transportation

Dear Camry,
Next you’ll be telling me your condo in the Mission needs a new roof. Wait, you don’t evenown a condo in the Mission? And you expect me to blow you on the first date? How dare you, Camry.
And so forth.
Here’s what I want to know: how did you end up on a date with this Amex-sponsored prick tease? By this woman’s logic, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a genius and Ghandi is a retard. What are you doing trolling these shallow waters? Did you mommy not love you enough? Did she run over you with a Ford Fiesta?
Dating strategies, Cam? I recommend a strong dose of talk therapy, with particular emphasis on why – in your late 30s – you’re still hung up on material worth. I know we’re in the midst of a recession and I’m sure we’re all feeling antsy about where our next pair of edible underwear is coming from. But isn’t it possible that here in America circa 2009 you might find a women who doesn’t need to count your cattle before offering her heart? Or maybe you enjoy feeling worthless. In which case: get yourself a used Tercel, pronto.

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