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If you would like to ask The Godmother for help, send your questions to (exchange @ for x in address line.)

Dear Madrone,

My oldest lives with a nice boy, and although I'm not wild about the not married part, you know what they say about the cow and the free milk; they tell me they are making plans. I don't interfere, I never say anything, because I am not a troublemaker, but I'm not blind either, that they are trying to figure out things like, who to visit on which holiday, whether they settle down near this one's mother or that's, and what size wedding to have, if god willing they ever decide to do such a thing. I understand, Madrone, the questions are normal. But they are young, and have no clue that they are not the first people ever to have these thoughts. So I thought I would recommend to them the little pamphlet that you wrote with advice to people who are thinking of making a new family but I can't remember the name of it, and where I can get one to send them. It would be such a service, my gratitude would come in the form of a sizeable donation to your favorite "charity".

I'm beggin' you, Madison

Dear Beggin'

The pamphlet that you speak of is " Blood Sport- or Never confuse the wedding with the marriage-" It's a very handy guide to the forming of new families, which requires the equilibrium of a tightrope walker combined with the muscle of a linebacker and the steely concentration of one of those people who defuse ticking suitcases. It also helps to be handy with a wrench. The pamphlet isn't available through regular channels, you need to see my cousin Augie about this, if you know what I'm saying. He'll make sure the "donations" get to the "deserving." God bless, Donna

Dear Madrone,

My mother's car, a 1987 Chrysler K, is doing pretty good considering, I took it to my brother-in-law's auto body shop, and he did a nice job on the rust, the vehicle looks beautiful, you couldn't tell that the transmission is shot. The price was right, very right, since he owes me for the time I helped him obtain roofing shingles for the addition to his house. How obligated am I to advertise that the car is not as new inside as it is out? I am not saying I will lie. I just wonder if I have to answer questions that are not asked.

Wanting to get a good price for mamma, Fort Worth

Dear Worth,

You do not have to answer questions that are not asked. BUT here is a question that is going to be asked, by me. Are you actually planning to find a buyer who doesn't know that this vehicle has been around the block, probably a million times, enough to drive you and your mother to the moon and back? If so, you should be ashamed of yourself. And send me their name, I have some appliances I need to unload. God bless, Donna


If you put a marble in a jar every time you have sex with your spouse until there is no more room, and then remove one each time instead, you will fill it during the first year of your marriage and be emptying it for the rest of your life. That's just how it is. Enjoy your bungalow while you can. God bless, Donna




Pamela Bongiorno Monk is a full time faculty member of Penn State University, where she teaches creative writing, both fiction and non fiction. She pursues freelance writing, authoring plays and feature articles. She has broken nearly as many rules of family as she has enforced.

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