Emily Yoffe has a weekly advice column at Slate in which she dispenses grammatically correct advice to the sort of people who can't talk to their spouse/friends/family about their problems but have no problem asking a complete stranger writing under a pseudonym. I wondered if that's maybe a game I could get into. Below are some abridged versions of questions with my answer. Compare them to the original and see how I did:
London, U.K.: A very dear friend of mine...has dabbled in cross-dressing, sexual relationships with other men, and has even experimented a bit with female hormones. Should I tell the fiancé?
The Bedroom, USA: I am in a loving relationship with a woman and we're going on two years. My only issue is that our libidos don't match. She is fine having sex once a week while my ideal would be everyday, once, twice and maybe three times. What can I do to help us figure this out?
You didn't say anything about losing your hands in a farm accident, so it seems to me you should get used to shaking hands with yourself once or twice a day. You think it's going to get better once you're married? Once a week? Good luck with that.
Mobile, Ala.: Recently my children (ages 4 and 2) have been invited to birthday parties for their friends. The Birthday child never opens their gifts at the party anymore. Has this become a common occurrence among parents to not let their kid open the presents at their birthday parties?
This happened about the same time that parents thought it was mandatory to throw Felliniesque extravaganzas at places like Chuck-E-Cheese everytime their toddler makes it through another year without choking on a Lego. The next time the gifts remain unopened just yell, "hope you enjoy the dick-in-a-box!" as you walk out the door. You'll never have to worry about being offended again.
Lillington, N.C.: My husband's mother has recently moved to the same town as us. Last weekend, she requested my children to come to her house and visit for a few hours. The next morning, I was getting my 6-year-old ready for church and talking about her visit yesterday. She said she didn't like being spanked by everybody there.
I told [the grandmother] I am not comfortable with her disciplining my kids and had not given her permission. She then told me I was out of line and that she was the grandmother. I am unsure how to deal with this situation and starting to worry about the family I've married into.
Your husband's mother comes from a different time, one in which the elder matriarch wielded much power in the familial unit. Calmly explain to her that since the advent of electricity, old people should be seen and not heard, lest their social security payments be reduced. If this doesn't convince her, punch her in the tit.
Columbus, Ohio: [M]y sister's husband just published a book and immediately gave me a copy to read. As I read the book, I realized that it's one of the worst books I've ever read! It's a book where the author is trying to use every word known to man to sound more credible, but instead comes off sounding like a buffoon!
My problem is this: my sister and her husband now want me to write some reviews! What's the best way to approach this?
Simple. Right a review from the point of view of the author. I'll get you started:
"As a digester of literature, it is rare that I get the chance to masticate words as eloquently cromulent as contained in this cornucopia of smartness. Truly the masterwork of a braniac of another world, this tome stands as a monument to percipacity of idiom and awesomacity pores from every pour."