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Dear Madrone:

I am most confused. My wife, who is a doormat, has a mother who is a big problem. Not to me, my mother in law loves me, this I don't understand, for I would like nothing better than to see her, well if not wearing cement overshoes, with a few pebbles in her pockets, if you get my drift. What the deal is, I finally couldn't stand how she runs my Cecilia to the ground, all the time, no matter what Cecilia does, it's not good enough. I told her off, politely, of course, in a very thoughtful well composed letter, four pages, which I sent without telling Ceil. Now the mother calls to say that from now on we are both dead to her. Ceil is corked off at me. Is this fair?

Sign me,

I just love my wife, what did I do that's so wrong?


Dear Wrong,

There are times when I could just weep from the basic stupidity of jamokes like you. Do you not read my columns?? Do you not understand that if you were to throw out every other rule of family and only followed this one, your life would be 3000 per cent better than the living hell you have created for yourself? Why do I bother to breathe??

There is only one solution to your problem. Go to your mother in law, throw yourself at her feet, and grovel like a whipped dog, and beg her forgiveness. And that may not be enough. You must also go to your wife, and declare that you were taken with the fever and had no idea you had committed such a terrible act, and swear upon your own mother's head that you will never do any such thing ever again. Perhaps then, and then only, you can begin to repair the damage you have caused. Jewelry to both women could not hurt, but remember never pearls.

God bless,

Dear Readers-

The above letter is so aggravating, what agita! I feel I must make a special plea to you, yes you, look at me when I'm talking to you. Even though I give good advice, the best, it is clear that some of you are determined to ignore what you know is right. Now I say if you're going to make a mess of things, which sometimes cannot be helped, I realize that, please do it deliberately not like this idiot who thinks he is making things better by going behind his wife's back to insult her mother. This is not smart.

Never get in between someone and their mother. NEVER. I don't care if said mother is the burr on the coulie of the person who is near and dear to you. I don't care if 110% of the time said near and dear complains and weeps over the injustices and cruelties perpetrated. I don't care if the mother makes John Gotti look like Our Lady Of Fatima. There are only two things you have the right to say on this matter.

ONE: I love your mother, but then other people's mothers are always charming.

TWO: Your mother can't be all bad, after all she raised you and you are wonderful.

That's it. Nothing else is safe. If you choose to go another route, which you may feel to be necessary for the health and or sanity of your loved one, then be prepared to reap the whirlwind .People do not thank you when you kick them in the teeth.

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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