Dear Margo: Quote Not Lest Ye Be Wrong

When a moral mantra serves as a flimsy shield. Margo Howard’s advice

Quote Not Lest Ye Be Wrong

Dear Margo: My husband has been friends with “Sam” and “Rachel” for more than 30 years. While Sam and my husband have grown up to find mates, get married and have families, Rachel has struggled over the years with a couple of marriages, babies and single parenthood. Simply put, she makes poor choices — and her most recent decision tops them all in the doozy category.

Rachel has abandoned her 2- and 13-year-old sons to their respective fathers and decided to move forward with her life by marrying guy No. 3 without the hassle of the leftover children from the past. She literally told her 13-year-old, “I can’t worry about you anymore. I need to take care of myself now.” In our humble opinion, my husband and I think this is the height of disgraceful behavior, and we would prefer to have nothing to do with this woman.

While Sam is a darling man with respect for others and their opinions, the problem I need help with is his wife. Her mantra is, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Generally, I ignore her views because they come from a pot-induced haze, but I see tough times ahead. The moment I said I didn’t think much of Rachel’s decision to abandon her kids, she was waving her finger in my face and yelling, “Judge not lest ye be judged!” What do I say? — Not Judging

Dear Not: Tell her she is totally misunderstanding the Bible. This verse is not a warning against judging an action; it is a warning against self-deception and hypocrisy. To support your position, tell her to go online to “Provocative Christian Living.” Who knows what else she may be misunderstanding? If she’s had one too many joints, just tell her, “A penny saved is a penny earned,” and try not to bring up Rachel’s parenting style again. — Margo, correctly

Lay It on the Line

Dear Margo: I’m having a tough time with my preteen nephew. I heard from another family member that he has been bullied in school, and I think he might be starting to lash out.

Let me give you some background on my child, which makes this issue far more difficult for me. My 3-year-old daughter is quite ill but functional. She has just finished chemo.

Over the weekend, my husband’s family came to visit. They come frequently, but during this visit, I found their son was being more aggressive than usual. He threw a ball at the back of my head, apparently trying to get me to “play.” His mother laughed. The next day, he continued this type of behavior toward my little girl. The last thing I want to do is have a rift between our families, but I have to look out for the safety of my children. (This child hurt my son over the weekend, but we believe this incident was accidental.) Thoughts on the best approach? — Conflicted

Dear Con: What a really hard road you have with your little girl. I am so sorry. Not just because she is ill but also because it’s important for your larger family, you need to talk to your nephew’s parents and report what you’ve heard about the bullying, though they may already know. This will open the door to suggest counseling so his aggression does not escalate. Outside help will also teach him to cope. And his teacher needs to be told.

Then you must remind them of your daughter’s condition, and perhaps all of you, together, should explain to the young boy that there is to be no roughhousing with her whatsoever. He is old enough to know what “not well” means. The priorities here seem quite clear. — Margo, firmly

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Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via the online form at Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.


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87 Responses so far.

  1. avatar Katharine Gray says:

    Re Letter #1:  I believe there is far too little judging going on these days and I can fully understand the LW’s disapproval of Rachel’s decisions.  On the other hand, if Rachel is such a self-absorbed person and makes bad decisions, maybe the kids are better off with their fathers who might provide some stability.  That said, there is really no reason to say anythingmore to Sam’s bible-verse quoting, pot-smoking wife about Rachel.  If she and her husband want to continue their friendship with Rachel, its not really the LW’s business.  Just socialize separately with Sam and his wife and not with Rachel and when you are with Sam and his wife, don’t gossip about Rachel.  Problem solved. 

    Re Letter #2:  A calm conversation between your husband and his family members about the expectations you have that the nephew will control his agressive behavior around your children will hopefully do the trick.  If one family member knows the nephew is being bullied, his parents surely know as well but they might not be making the connection between the bullying and his aggression toward younger kids.  I hope it works out.  If nothing changes, take more drastic steps such as not having the kid around your kids.  I appreciate the sensitivity about your daughter and she does need extra concern but really, the kid’s aggression is unacceptable toward anyone…including you.             

    • avatar toni says:

      Well said!

      • avatar David Bolton says:

        I’m sorry—I don’t get why LW1 is spending time judging a trainwreck to other people? It’s a trainwreck, you know it’s a trainwreck—do you need others to tell you and confirm that it’s a trainwreck?

        “Judge not… ” may indeed deal with hypocrisy, but it’s also a read-between-the-lines way of saying: “don’t waste your time and energy on the problems of others THAT DON’T PERTAIN TO YOU.” And this is what I draw from the letter: “she didn’t agree with my assessment of how awful Rachel is, because she’s a drug-addled person herself.”

        LW2: I always got back in line when someone jerked my up by my arm and said: “you can either act right, or you can go sit in the car.” Do it in front of his mother, keep control of your temper—and if his mother starts something, invite her to a private room in the house and let. her. have. it.

        • avatar Maggie Tenser says:

          LW1 isn’t judging a random person, she’s making the decision to drop an old friend because of a moral failing and this decision will probably matter to her other friends, i.e. Sam and Sam’s wife. She isn’t pointlessly judging someone, she’s deciding to take action (drop a friend), so she doesn’t have the luxury of just not thinking about the issue. When you’re talking with an old friend about why you have decided to completely drop a mutual friend of 30 years, your reasons for why you are going to drop them will probably come up.

          • avatar wendykh says:

            I agree here, that’s why it is being discussed. I’d just say plainly I don’t want to be friends with people who abandon children, and as far as judging not lest that someone judge me? I am fine with that because I don’t abandon my children.”

        • avatar R Scott says:

          LW1 and 2 – Yeah. What David said.   Gotta go now.

  2. avatar beatrix_pierre says:

    People who yell “Judge not lest ye be judged!” make me retort, “Right back at you!” The positive aspect of Rachel giving up her children to their fathers is not pulling a Susan Smith. I often wonder about women who have babies as they go in and out of relationships. Why go through pregnancy, giving birth and raising a child and jump into another relationship, only to repeat the cycle? Good luck to Writer #1 as she and her husband continue to socialize with Sam and his wife.

    Writer #2 Sympathies for your child. Hope the chemo eradicated everything bad and your daughter enjoys a long healthy life.     

  3. avatar Mjit RaindancerStahl says:

    LW#1: just think, there but for the Grace of God (who blessed you with better sense) go you.

    You could always gently stated that you would 1) appreciate more respect to your personal space, and 2) redirect discussion to the finer points of hating the sin but not the sinner.

    LW#2: You might try throwing a ball at the back of the mother’s head and see if that stops her laughing. A better tack might be to lay down rules of conduct at your house. Whether he’s being bullied or “just being a boy,” he needs to learn that his behavior is not acceptable.

    Also, I hope your daughter lives a full and happy life.

  4. avatar BC says:

    LW#1, when Sam’s wife sticks her finger in your face, SHE’S judging you.  Tell her that, and see what her pot addled brain does with that!

  5. avatar Cindy Marek says:

    L #1: I totally cannot relate to long-term friends (and their spouses) enmeshed with each other to this level. She’s a bad mother, but ultimately it’s none of your business. You feel for her children (as do I), but there’s nothing you or I can do. Hopefully those children have good/loving fathers. Remind yourself these are your husband’s long-time friends, and step back. And why try talking to Sam’s wife about Rachel? If your husband’s on board with you regarding disapproval of Rachel’s behaviors and actions towards her children (I totally agree), then quietly continue distancing yourselves from her. If Sam and wifey notice and don’t like it, tough. Good grief, aren’t there enough troubles with *in-laws*? ;-P

    L #2: As per Margo. Also that if he wants to “play” there are other ways of initiating play, such as politely walking up to you or daughter and asking. I definitely get the feeling his mother will get all angry and defensive, so approaching it in a polite “let’s make some rules” way is probably your best bet. And yes, it seems this young man does need intervention if he is being bullied. But you can’t let him take that out onto you/daughter.

  6. avatar mac13 says:

    I just want to float something out there about LW1. She mentions 2 women her husband is friendly with. She basically calls one a self centered abandoner of children (trying to be polite here). The other she calls a pothead. Something about that is sticking in my mind. She speaks almost glowingly of Sam. That being said, the mental picture of a woman in a pot induced haze waving her finger trying to quote scripture strikes me as almost entertaining. My gracious grandmother would shake her head and make a coment about pots calling kettles black.

    • avatar JCF4612 says:

      A minority friend recently cracked me up by stating the pot was calling the kettle African American. 

    • avatar casino la fantastique says:

      Same, I’m not super fond of LW1.

      And why is she a bad mother because the dads are taking care of the kids now? Were they bad fathers before, when they were letting her do most of the child care?

      LW1 just doesn’t want the judgement finger pointed at her because it’s spot-freaking-on.

      Even if you think Rachel is super horrible (and I don’t think she’s a paragon of virtue, but there is a chance that this is actually better for her kids, if she’s in this mindset), what is it to you, LW1? Sounds like you need to find a new topic of conversation instead of gossiping about your ex-friends (not to mention your supposed actual friends, who you badmouth, too).

      • avatar Maggie Tenser says:

        Where in the letter does it say that the fathers were not very involved with their children before? And on what planet is it acceptable to tell your 13-year old child that you, “Can’t worry about them anymore”? That’s almost the definition of bad parenting.

        • avatar sueb1997 says:

          Yes, I’ve been waiting for the same reaction to be applied to “Rachel” as was given to yesterday’s child-and-relationship-abandoning woman.  If it wasn’t for the 2-year-old I was starting to wonder if this was actually the same woman being written about.

          I also wondered about the assumption that the pot-haze woman was a bible-quoter.  Margo mentioned the biblical aspect, not the LW.  I mean, I understand that it’s a biblical quote, but it’s also a common enough phrase that anyone might latch on to — if I’ve heard the phrase, that’s proof enough of that…  I too raised my eyebrows at the image of a stoned biblethumper — I’m sure they’re out there, but not common in my experience…

      • avatar mjd4 says:

        It’s not ok to tell a child “I can’t worry about you anymore,” but I have all too often heard it described as abandonment when the parents agree that the father should have custody.

  7. avatar martina says:

    LW2 – Your nephew threw a ball at the back of your head and his mother laughed?  I would have slapped my kid upside the head so quick she wouldn’t have known what hit her if she’d tried something like that.  But then, my kid wouldn’t have even considered throwing a ball at anyone’s head.  What’s the matter with people these days?  I also don’t think it would have been wrong to give him a VERY stern talking to if he’d hurt my ill daughter whether or not the mother was present.  No wonder the kid is lashing out. Sounds like he might even be lashing out not just because of the bullying but because he needs boundaries and his mother’s not providing them.

    • avatar Lila says:

      Martina, I think you nailed it. If a kid is bullied, and especially if nothing is done about it, what conclusion can they draw, other than this behavior is OK? In my own childhood I saw kids who were miserable and the adults would tell them stupid crap like “They only tease you because they like you,” “They were just playing a little too rough,” “You need to toughen up,” etc., which makes all the victim’s fault for not recognizing that gosh, those kids are normal and you’re a whiner. What the adults did not see or refused to see, was that friggin’ Lord of the Flies was going on when they weren’t looking. And then the adults wonder why Little Timmy is suddenly so aggressive or nasty in his play. Well, hasn’t everyone been telling him this is normal?

      In a case like this I think it’s important to tell the kid straight up that this is not acceptable, and – this is key – it’s not acceptable when other kids do things like that to him, either. But then – oh, the inconvenience – someone will have to actually address the problem of the bullies. Even these days with greater awareness, too little is done.

  8. avatar JCF4612 says:

    LW1) Let Sam’s wife and Rachel can smoke together, while you and your husband pursue life without them in the picture. Sam can figure it out on his own. He can either see you and hubby without dragging his “Judge Not” wife along, or he can tell her to cool it.

    LW2) Am so sorry to hear about your daughter. She needs protection. Tell the nephew’s to get a grip on him when he’s around your family or to stay away.

  9. avatar JCF4612 says:

    Meant Nephew’s mom. Bad day at the keyboard.

  10. avatar sdpooh says:

    LW#2…Parents often ignore bad behaving children because they are used to it.  Wednesday I was shopping in Walmart.  A child was screaming in the middle of the store, on and on.  I could hear it all the way in the back corner.  As I made my way through the grocery aisles, it go louder, having gone on for at least 10 minutes.  I came around the corner and there was the brat, sitting on the floor about 4 years old, screaming and pitching a fit while mom and granny looked at clothes.  I looked at the kid and said “knock it off, the whole store can hear you and you are giving me a headache”.  The little brat snapped his mouth shut and pouted.  Mommy and Granny just stared at me.  There is no rule against having peace and quiet in your world and enforceing it.  When I got to the checkout I mentioned the kid to the clerk and she said she was glad I said something, because the kid was getting on her nerves too.  Don’t be afraid to make your wishes known, especially in your home with a sick child.  If they don’t like it, they can go home and let the kid disrupt their house.  You need to have a calm place for your little girl to thrive and heal.  Stand your ground.     

    • avatar Lila says:

      sdpooh, good for you and I wish more people would tell misbehaving kids directly that their behavior is not acceptable. When they hear it from multiple sources, it reinforces their understanding of what’s OK and what’s not.

      Too bad these days, the worthless parents in these situations are just as likely to tell you “Don’t you tell my kid what to do!” Which is, of course, part of the problem in the first place. My answer to such clods: “YOU talk to them, or other people will.” And when age is the excuse: “He’s only four!” “Are you waiting for him to turn 18?”

      • avatar lebucher says:

        Ms. Lila, “Are you waiting for him to turn 18”, that is priceless!!!  And a good point as well, since a child’s moral and behavioral framework is built when he or she is quite young.

    • avatar julpfeif says:

      Sometimes kids will listen to a stranger, because the kids don’t know what you’ll do. But if the parents try to stop them, the kids just scream louder, because they’re getting the attention they want.

      • avatar martina says:

        This is very true.  They could have also been trying the ignore the temper trantrum because having one isn’t going to get you anything.  I’ve done that but after 10 minutes, I would have either put and end to it or pulled my kid out of the store.

        • avatar sueb1997 says:

          My mom tells me that I tried the tantrum-pulling routine, just once, at around age 4.  In a store, of course (where perhaps I had seen some other kid get something using that approach).  She says she walked over, looked down at me, and said “You know that doesn’t work with me” and walked away.  I stopped and never did it again.  🙂

        • avatar Ashley Carter says:


          Typically I pick a child up, bring them outside the store, and them them throw the tantrum outside. I feel less embarrassed out there and find it easier to let the child come to realize that they don’t get to win with a tantrum.

        • avatar Lym BO says:

          Yep. Kids throw tantrums partly because they get a reaction. My kids never did in public past age 2. I am constantly amazed by parents who think it is okay to let your child(ten) disrupt others peace. If they even start whiny I tell them to please lay down on the floor & make a huge scene so everyone can watch thier tantrum. They immediately stop the whining. Potential humiliation works wonders.
          I admonished a dancer’s sibling in the viewing area during dance practice. He was screaming, his mother was completely oblivious (in a 10x10ft room) so I told him to knock it off. He did. The other three mothers were shocked! The mother of the screamer walked out. ( In hindsight I think she was embarrassed not mad). The other mothers laid into me & told me I had better never admonish their children. I told them if their child was misbehaving & they did nothing I would say something. The one then divulged how she finds it perfectly acceptable to finish her errands at a store while the child is screaming. It’s her right. She has a right to shop just like everyone else. And we can just deal with it bc we’ve all been there. (Love that one) At the time, she had a 6,4,2 & one on the way. Yikes! I had adopted twins & had a surprise baby when they were 21 months old and then another on the twin’s fifth birthday (planned). Trust me, I never let them act that way. They knew better in public. So, um, nope, haven’t been there. Wouldn’t go there. Sadly, we constantly got praise when we went to church or restaurants about their good behavior. I say it’s sad because it should be the norm. The other mother was a preschool teacher and one point mentioned what a pain in the arse her job was & how she had to deal with little kids all day. Obviously her preschooler students also had no limits & she couldn’t manage them & wondered why.
          My kids are now 9,9,7 & 4. We have bratty, disrespectful kids over all the time (just once ’cause you are not being invited back). I am truly amazed how parents let their child behave. My childhood friends never acted that way. They were raised better. What has happened?! It’s not as if they had bad parenting & are following suit.

          • avatar Briana Baran says:

            I will get ragged on this site for saying I’m a “perfect parent” (which I am not, far from it) but our two sons (one autistic) were the same way in public. The younger one, now 15, has been described by teachers, his friends’ parents, and the adults he volunteers with as smart, funny, mature and respectful…and always welcome. Even though my older son is autistic, and we were working with the huge disadvantage of my ex-in-laws and husband refusing boundaries, to give consequences or limits, or to be consistent in any way…we still would not tolerate tantrums (he learned he could manipulate them this way, I would pick him up without any excitement, somewhat like a football, and carry him back to the car, install his wriggling, screaming self in his car-seat, and take him home…without whatever I’d said “no” to in the first place. It wasn’t “overload”. I knew the difference), inappropriate behavior, or ugliness. My older son became unmanageable when he became big and strong enough to hit me (he learned about beating up people for intimidation from some peers he had in church youth group who were into Neo-Nazism. His grandparents’…my ex-in-laws…church, not mine. I don’t attend). My younger son has a lot of friends, and they are some of the most decent, honest, respectful young people I have ever met…while still being kids.

            There was an exception, however. This priceless gem (my husband refers to him as The Future Serial Killer) once hid in MY bedroom closet for 20 minutes because he resented the planned video the boys were all watching at a sleepover. I asked where he’d gone, and one of the kids said he thought he was in my closet…at least that’s where he said he was going. Our bedroom is off limits, and we make that clear (unless someone needs the extra bathroom desperately). Sure enough, there he was, in the dark, in my closet. I promptly kicked him out, and told him that he knew we’d scheduled a movie as a break, and wind-down from games, so he could deal, or go home. He chose to stay, whining incessantly.

            Well, I eventually got to listen to him interact with his mother…until I told him he wouldn’t talk to anyone in that way at my house. Of course, his mother kept praising my son to high heaven (in front of both boys) while putting her own down. I asked her to please stop. We had him over one more time. On that occasion, he was so rude that I lost all patience, and told him I didn’t want to hear one more word (he was 13). When his mother came to pick him up, she not only flirted with Rusty (who kept looking at her like she’d grown a second head, then looking at me with an “Are you seeing this?” expression), but actively flirted with my 14 year old son, with her child sitting right there. A 38 year old woman flirting with her supposed friend’s husband, and her 13 year old child, in front of her own son and said friend. While her son lied to her and told her I hadn’t fed him.

            That was it. The welcome wagon shut down. So, I always like to get a really good glimpse of the parents when my son makes friends…it gives me a lot of clues about what to expect from the kids. No boundaries for parents equals none for the children they’re raising.

  11. avatar Lila says:

    Geez. Two days in a row featuring women abandoning their kids as a “hassle” and forging ahead with… the whole thing all over again. What clods.

  12. avatar mayma says:

    LW1 — Instead of worrying about this petty, stupid crap, why don’t you see if Rachel’s husband or kids need any help? If you’ve been friends for 30 years, you presumably know her kids, yes? Even if they’re at a distance, you and your husband can go visit and take them out for a special day or something. Try to be a good influence, for chrissakes.

    LW2 — I’m going to get flamed for this, but when I re-read the letter, I see that the kid threw a ball at the back of LW’s head. Once. That’s it. Everything else is speculative, by a person who is understandably stressed. Depending on the personalities involved, it could’ve been goofy fun (“to get me to play”) or a malicious line drive. Who knows? LW has other things in life to focus on, so just say, “Hey, cut that out.” and move on.

  13. avatar JC Dill says:

    For LW#2, the difference between civilized men and savages is that civilized boys are taught how to control their testosterone-driven urges to be violent. This is a crossroads point for your nephew. My suggestion is that someone have a good talk with him about his goals, about his idols. Find men who have managed to do a good job learning how to avoid being violent, who he aspires to be like, and then find counter-examples, those who didn’t learn how to rein in their behavior and ended up in prison or dead. Help him to understand that it’s HIS job to learn how to control HIS behavior so he can aspire to be like the successful role models. You get more flies with honey than with vinegar and when talking to a teenage boy who is having problems controlling his behavior getting mad or in his face or trying to out-control him can backfire. How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? Just one, but the bulb has to really want to change. How many people will it take to convince this boy to work on learning how to become a man instead of a savage? Just one, but the goal is to help the boy to really want to change. You have to figure out how to get him to WANT to change, not try to force change on him.

    • avatar Lila says:

      JC Dill, you reminded me of something that Temple Grandin wrote. She is the now-adult Ph.D. specializing in the design of humane livestock facilities, but has been saddled with autism all her life and that contributed (for various reasons) to bad behavior as an adolescent. Her teachers got her to behave by denying her what she loved most: time with the horses at the school stables. She really wanted to spend time in the stables, so she learned to control her impulses. Today – I think she’s in her 60s – she has zero patience for undisciplined kids because she sees it as a simple matter of laying down effective rules. If the kid really wants something – Xbox, driving privileges, cell phone, whatever – they will behave to get it or keep it.

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        Temple Grandin is someone ALL parents should heed. As the mother of an autistic son, I have watched in defeat as his bio-dad has ruined his chances for success by excusing our son’s behavior with everything from “He’s obviously retarded” (he has a slightly high average intelligence, and I think that this is a terrible insult to those who are challenged but who hold steady jobs, are responsible, have their own apartments and take care of themselves…all things my 21-year-old son refuses to do), to “He can’t control himself”…he can, I’ve watched him do it, to “He’s not capable of manipulation”. O, yes, he is. He’s also more than capable of extreme aggression and violence.

        Our biggest mistake (myself and his step-dad, who truly loves him like a son)? Staying within 1000 miles of my ex-in-laws, his “other” family, who refused consistency, boundaries and consequences. The more they refused, the less effective our denying of privileges and other consistent consequences became, as he knew he could just go over there to get whatever he wanted…including extremely violent media input (no game systems, cable or satellite at our house).

        No mother should laugh when a child throws a ball at someone, even if it’s meant in “fun”. That kind of attention-seeking behavior shows a lack of boundaries. Would it be funny if the same child bit the other woman on the leg? Or punched her in the back? Kids will do a lot of things to get noticed, it’s the parents’ job to teach “Wait your turn”, “Don’t interrupt”, and “We do NOT hurt someone to get their attention”. When the child chooses to wait, even if he’s squirming, making small, impatient noises, rolling his eyes, and looking in pained disbelief at the the incredibly long-winded adults, all of which should be ignored, because this IS a child, then give him the go-ahead to have his say, with a reasonable time limit. In the case of L#2, his mother should have told him that if he wants to play with the LW, or her daughter…he needs to ask. If they don’t want to, or can’t at the moment, that’s something he needs to learn to deal with in an appropriate (a very important word) manner, with the help of mom who should be trying to provide an alternative or two.

        You can learn a LOT raising kids if you listen to other parents who have the decent, happy, more-or-less sane variety (I’m talking about about my neighbors, who have the most level-headed, sweet, outstanding children I’ve ever met). You can learn even more raising an autistic child if you listen to the collective wisdom of those who REALLY know what they’re talking about, who don’t care about causes, lawsuits, cures and celebutards…but about teaching reality, coping and life.

  14. avatar Belinda Joy says:

    Letter #1 – Bravo Margo!

    Far too many people misunderstand the phrase “Judge not lest ye be judged”  I hear people use that all the time when it comes to hearing someone (many times myself on blog threads like this one) just because they disagree with an opinion that comes across as judgemental.

    Everyone is allowed to voice their opinion on an issue, a person’s behavior, acts and actions.  Doing so does not mean that a person is sitting “in judgement” of another, it simply means they are giving their perception of what is the issue at hand. What I have found over the years with the increase in use of the internet for us to connect with one another as a society, the more we put ourselves out there and share our lives, the more people feel “judged”  I see it as a typical human reaction but none the less it is annoying.

    If you have led a life where lets say when you were young you had sex with countless partners, engaged in risky behavior, indulged in drugs, dishonest behavior, maybe neglected your children or weren’t the best friend to others……in your heart of heart you may have regret over aspects of your life. Some one comes along and voices an opinion about aspects of your life, it touches a nerve. There will be a part of us that will feel attacked, resulting in a need to lash out and state “who are you to judge me?”

    Based on what this letter writer has to say about Rachel, I would share her opinion about her. If she can’t accept people looking at how she lives her life and voicing their opinion…..she is in for a long road ahead of her because that falls under the category of LIFE….. Deal with it.  


    • avatar Briana Baran says:

      “If you have led a life where lets say when you were young you had sex with countless partners, engaged in risky behavior, indulged in drugs, dishonest behavior, maybe neglected your children or weren’t the best friend to others……in your heart of heart you may have regret over aspects of your life. Some one comes along and voices an opinion about aspects of your life, it touches a nerve. There will be a part of us that will feel attacked, resulting in a need to lash out and state “who are you to judge me?””

      You may also have had a terrible, abusive, miserable existence that you do NOT regret, that you have risen above, evolved past, and moved forward from, and you Do. Not. Need. A holier-than-thou, self-sanctified, beatified and canonized saint to tell you what a wretched, promiscuous, flawed, failed, worthless Nod-ite you are compared to her perfection.

      Especially when the anointed one is an epic failure as a human being herself. And, BTW, it helps when making a point to get the facts in the letter correct. It wasn’t Rachel who made the comment “Judge not…”, it was Sam’s pot-smoking wife who became self-righteous when confronted with Rachel’s abandonment of her two children.

      Am I judging? O, hell, yes. B.J.’s comment on L#1 is just about priceless as an excuse for all of the misery mongering she’s committed on this site over the years. All of the people simply commenting on their lives whom she’s accused of being essentially slightly lower than fecal matter-dwelling bacteria because they don’t meet her high expectations for celestial entities simply felt attacked because they so regretted their actions. She wasn’t judging them…o, hell no, just gently voicing her opinion. From her heavenly throne. About the children of a very much lesser god.

      O, craptastic, here I am on that dark side again, and not a confection in sight. I do have some amanita and artemesia for those who would partake.

      • avatar Belinda Joy says:

        “Dear Not: Tell her she is totally misunderstanding the Bible. This verse is not a warning against judging an action; it is a warning against self-deception and hypocrisy.”  Margo

        Briana, the response that Margo gave this letter writer is something you, more than anyone commenting on this thread needs to read over and over and over again. Only you know why my mere existence irritates you as much as it does. The power I hold over you is so strong that it is irrational given the fact you and I don’t know one another. Early on when you joined this website, you posted a comment on this site in which you confessed to being bi-polar and having schizophrenia. I posted a response in which I defined you as “bi-polar and schizophrenic….” and THAT was the beginning of a bizarre habit of you attacking me as being judgemental. You even posted an angry tirade about “who do you think you are to say I have mental issues” when all I was doing was repeating what you had posted in the attempt to make a point about the issue we were all discussing at the time.

        Do you not see that when you voice your opinion that I am “holier than thou”  that you are sitting in judgement of me? Accusing me of being something that you yourself are being? That you are as Margo rightly points out – displaying hypocrisy?

        Oh but I guess in your mind the fact that I am pointing out you are being a hypocrite I am being holier than thou again right?

        You need to get to the place where you can read the articles on this site, read the posts from members  that differ from your take on the subject at hand and chalk it up to nothing more than a difference of opinion.  Even if you feel judged  understand and accept that the person doesn’t know you personally and like you, they have a right to their thoughts and opinions.    We are all different people that have led different lives. Sometimes we will agree, sometimes we won’t, but just because my opinion on something that runs counter to how I think, feel and live, doesn’t mean I think I am better than….it simply means it is not as I would act, think or live. There is a difference. 

        • avatar Briana Baran says:

          No, Belinda Joy, your comment about me was, and I quote, “You are too crazy to post”. This was after you called a woman desperately seeking help because she was terrified of having sex with her husband because of being unfortunate to have been the victim of both repeated rape as an adult and sexual molestation as a child a ***slut*** because she went through a period of hopelessness and sexual promiscuity in her youth due to her terrible trauma. Your comment regarding me came after I took you to task for your sheer cruelty in attacking this poor woman who was begging for help. You not only called her a “slut”, but also took her to task for being weak, stupid, irresponsible, a whore, not worthy of her husband or any decent human being’s attention, and a sinner. You were not rationally discussing anything, Belinda Joy, or agreeing with anyone, or partaking in a reasonable discussion. You unilaterally condemned almost everyone participating in that long ago conversation who were trying so hard to help a person in pain by showing her that there was hope. Haughtily condemned us all as filthy, disgusting pariahs. How nice to see that you are a fan of revisionist history. I archived that entire thread.

          You don’t have any power over me, I just want you to stop making your asinine judgements based on your irrational life of epic failures. You have hurt more people on this site with your vicious cruelty than anyone else who has ever posted…and your worse aspect is that you post in total ignorance. You have no children, you’re a self-admitted failure at relationships, and you’re obviously a sexual moron.

          “but just because my opinion on something that runs counter to how I think, feel and live, doesn’t mean I think I am better than….it simply means it is not as I would act, think or live.”

          This has to be the most incoherent, nonsensical thing I have ever read on this site. You actively sneer at everyone with whom you disagree. You are contemptuous, snide, supercilious, condemning and condescending. You have plainly stated on numerous occasions how superior you feel you are. Why deny it?

          I can be one seriously nasty creature when I’m tempted. I play Devil’s Advocate, I enjoy pushing peoples’ buttons just to see what happens (which is what far too many readers take for “taking things personally”), and I have a low tolerance for those who are willfully ignorant. I will gleefully wield words as a weapon. But I truly do NOT think that I’m ***better*** than anyone. I may not like someone, but, if so, I will tell that person honestly and willingly. So, what I was saying, Belinda, is that I don’t like you, I wish you would shut your arrogant, ignorant mouth, and learn some damn humanity.

          It works. You replied to me when I hit you hard where it hurts. You. Are. A. Wretch.

          • avatar Hellster says:

            BJ and BB. To think the internet offers this much entertainment for free! Life is good!

            Really, you two–you remind me of what I once heard described as “a battle of wits between unarmed opponents!”

          • avatar Briana Baran says:

            Is your stroke affecting you again today, hellster? I noticed you so carefully mentioned it in a comment the other day.

            It’s a wonderful excuse for your idiocy. This is a long-running situation of which you are completely ignorant. Of, course, that’s your usual state, so feel free to dribble as usual. Do carry on, dear.

          • avatar Lym BO says:

            Hellster is right that it’s entertaining.

          • avatar Briana Baran says:

            True that it is, but hellster is also a senile idiot who doesn’t seem to understand that she’s contributing to the very thread she is being so haughty about. Of course, she IS brain damaged, so I suppose I should be compassionate…

          • avatar Briana Baran says:

            Now if only I could make a decent wage from amusing people, I could quit my day job…

          • avatar Hellster says:

            Congrats on the day job, BTW. I’m surprsed you can hold one, given the amount of time you spend on this site alone. Unless you have a day job as a pixel. Or perhaps somewhere a coven is missing an insufferable know-it-all.

            At any rate, as I demonstrated above, insults need to be both specific and personal in order to be effective. Yours are neither. Epic fail.


          • avatar Briana Baran says:

            You said you has a stroke, which officially makes you brain damaged. People with autism are not brain damaged, they suffer from neurological differences that may be genetic or caused by environmental issues, but this is listed as a neurological condition, not damage. Your ignorance is showing again, hellster. Furthermore, your commentary always involves broad generalizations, never specific comments in any post, nor can you ever pinpoint examples on which to base your specious insults. As I’ve said before, my time on this site is very limited, it takes me only a few minutes even for my longest posts (I can think and type quickly, something that you have admitted is a challenge for your damaged brain, poor old dear), and the rest of my day is spent doing other things that are much more important. Please don’t project your lack of mental acuity, slow wits, inability to to think or learn, and sheer stupidity on me.

            By the way, when people refer to me as a “know-it-all”, it makes me think this: they have a problem with those who are very intelligent (yes I am, and I am damned tired of being treated like a pariah by stupid people because of this) are interested in gaining knowledge of a diversity of topics and subjects and have no problem doing so because learning and absorbing knowledge comes easily and naturally, as does critical thinking and the ability to separate garbage and myth from actuality and fact. I don’t know if people like you are jealous, resentful, simply reverse snobs, or just walking, talking, flatulating anal orifices, but it isn’t MY fault you’re part of the other 50%.

            It took me 4 minutes 38 seconds as of now to write this comment, you ignorant old bat.

          • avatar Hellster says:

            Senile? Doubtful. Brain-damaged? So’s your kid. Is that all you’ve got? 


          • avatar Briana Baran says:

            What a sad little loser you are, slithering through the gutter and attacking an autistic person as “brain damaged”. An absolute moron. I rest my case.

            21 seconds, crone.

          • avatar Lym BO says:

            Holy crap, that was so uncalled for!!!! Did you seriously just dis someone’s kid for a medical condition?! Regardless of any of Briana’s views , your comment has just lowered you below the lowest dregs of society. Perhaps your name stems from your true residence–and I don’t jest when I state that.

          • avatar Hellster says:

            So, LymBO, what does your screen name imply?

            BB has assigned herself the role of Queen Shit, and you are one of her courtiers. (Actually, there can’t be that much wrong with her kid if he chooses to live with his father.)

            As for whether a comment is ever “called for” or not, wise up: the inclusion of a comments section is an implicit call for comments. Now, you may say my comment was cruel, or unkind, and you would be closer to the mark. Don’t fall back on the insipid, bromidic, “uncalled for.”      

            Let me give you a little insight into BB– you can tell what a bully fears by what he or she mocks. BB fears aging, so she calls me a crone (crone is a term of honor to those who know better, actually). She fears being called all sorts of “perfectly true and applicable” names, like brain-damaged, ao that’s what she calls others.

             Every mean girl in every schoolyard that ever was has her acolytes. You seem to have chosen a very tarnished star to which to hitch your little red wagon, dear. 


          • avatar Briana Baran says:

            Since I don’t subscribe to the triple goddess philosophies, hellster, I’ll go by the Miriam-Webster defintion: “noun: a wrinkled, old woman”. However, I think “hag” would suit you better. I don’t fear aging, and if you’d been on this site any length of time, you would know that one of the things I fought here was the increasingly ageist attitudes the articles and columns were displaying in the recent past, ie: those that were insisting that women strive to conceal their age through cosmetic surgery or make-up applied with a trowel, or, alternatively, assume the drab coloration of dirt because they’d reached an age greater than 45. One more epic failure for you, you idiot.

            My son’s father is a malignant narcissist, so I’d imagine you’d rather enjoy his company, as birds of a feather. I don’t have acolytes or followers. I rather think most of the older members of this site can thinks for themselves. Unlike you, a follower of the Hen Party.

            You should really just give it up. You are simply stupid. You began your series of attacks against me with a comment in the middle of a thread that did not even address a specific post from me, made accusations parroted from others, vague generalizations, and random specious insults based in pure speculation, as I have never even begun to lay claim to any of the things you dreamed up. I really think you need the orderlies to put you back in your bed now.

            No, I’ve never been institutionalized, I don’t fear it, I am very stable, I am happily married, fully functional, aging with remarkable grace, still learning, enjoy life fully…but I loathe “mean girls” and bullies. You started this entire little festival with your original, bizarre, hen-looking-for-blood-spot post railing against me. Now I’m the bully and mean because you find yourself out of ammunition in the fight you began of your own accord.

            hellster, I don’t back down, I don’t take your idiocy personally, I’m not afraid of anything you or anyone else can bring, and I think you’re a cheap, sad, pitiful little lost soul who started something she can’t finish. Poor, dumb, pathetic wretch.

          • avatar Lym BO says:

            My screen name is a leftover from when we were in limbo struggling with painful years of infertility treatments vs adoption. We have since adopted two lovely children and birthed two more.
            My life could not be better.
            I am not a follower or courtier of anyone. I respectfully agree or disagree per statement, not based on a previous post or determined by who is posting it. I simply found your comment cruel beyond cruel, a hit below the belt, inexcusable. In the region in which I reside, “uncalled for” is a colloquialism for cruel, unnecessary.
            I will not stoop to your name calling, inflammatory comments or judgements about me. I am very confident with who I am and I could simply care less about an opinion of me by anyone who is posting on a forum. I welcome discussion about the letters and opinions related to such, but it’s not personal.
            Many forums have rules against attacking others. Some have rules about staying on topic. Most people do not want to be bothered with reading it. Comical jabs can be entertaining, but attacking someone’s child??? Disgusting. I would guess most bloggers would find it preferable if you girls would take your grievances off this blog and go at it by email.

          • avatar Briana Baran says:

            Isn’t she a sweetheart? All of this started when she made a comment, in the middle of a thread in which I had one short, very mild post, to which her comment was NOT appended, about what a horrible person I was. I do believe that was her first comment ever on this site. It was not relevant to the thread, or my post, or anything…just an ad hominem attack.

            I think “TROLL” sums her up neatly.

          • avatar Hellster says:



    • avatar impska says:

      Belinda: I have to admit, I admire your ability to slide in a comment people having too much premarital sex and doing too many drugs into nearly every single response you make. This letter was a bit of a gimme though – I doubt it even stretched you – though somehow I always feel like your responses are actually directed at your fellow commentators, not the LW!

      Have you tried Dear Prudence on Slate? I think you might like it there.

      • avatar Belinda Joy says:

        impska, although I am sure you would indeed love for me to take my perspectives to another site, I’m not going to.

        Diversity is a good thing. So as much as you and others that share your same life experiences and beliefs, those that enjoy agreeing on everything…..whether you can appreciate it or not, having someone that can offer up a contrasting opinion is a good thing. That is my role on this site.

        I am a Christian to the many Atheists, Agnostics and Wiccans. I am the straight woman to all the lesbians. I am the liberal to all the Republicans and Tea partiers. I am the Black women to all the other ethnicities.  I am the neat and orderly one to all the hoarders. I am the non drug user to the drug users. I am the single, career woman to all the retired grandmothers and mothers. I am the mentally stable one to all the mentally challenged among you.

        I won’t always agree with what you say and don’t expect you to agree with everything I say….and that’s okay.     

        • avatar Briana Baran says:

          “I am a Christian to the many Atheists, Agnostics and Wiccans. I am the straight woman to all the lesbians. I am the liberal to all the Republicans and Tea partiers. I am the Black women to all the other ethnicities. I am the neat and orderly one to all the hoarders. I am the non drug user to the drug users. I am the single, career woman to all the retired grandmothers and mothers. I am the mentally stable one to all the mentally challenged among you.”

          You just managed to prove yourself to be completely, arrogantly delusional, and to to further my point by stating your case as some sort of Supreme Being of a Higher Order. You’ve also managed to fulfill the role of being completely unqualified to speak on any of the issues you so often comment on by absolutely separating yourself.

          I will say this, and I mean it: that paragraph, in your own words, proves your lack of mental stability, your supreme arrogance, the degree with which you regard others as lesser beings, and just how far you hold yourself above all others and how much you scorn them.

          You are so far from Liberal in your views it is astonishing that you would claim this about yourself. Liberals generally accept such things as drug use (especially forgiving and understanding of those who have recovered, whom you sneer at), gay and lesbian people (whom you have unilaterally condemned in the past as unnatural), being sexually active outside of marriage (also regularly condemned by you), those with mental illnesses (whom you consider merely weak or lacking, not actually suffering from abnormal physiology of the brain or chemical imbalances, and of whom you have no understanding), anyone who isn’t Christian (damned, according to you, also stupid, sinning, warped, wrong, condemned, amoral, etc.), women who have suffered sexual abuse or rape (they’re all weak, stupid, vapid fools, according to you, because they don’t just get over it, AND because they allowed it to happen at all), choice (yes, you’ve condemned that too), and…well…you are NOT what I’d call a Liberal unless you explain that by the fact that you’re probably casting your vote for Barack Obama in 2012. I am not a Black woman to all other ethnicities…but I’m voting for him too.

          I have to tell you, you would fit right in with the Right Wing Nuts down here in Texas based soley on your anti-gay/choice/other-than-Christian-stance, and your beliefs about mental illness and rape/sexual abuse are pure redneck.

          Your role on this site is to be the class clown. Or the Fool. Or, alternatively, the Village Idiot who doesn’t even know what she is.

          A liberal. O, my o my, o good grief.

        • avatar impska says:

          I actually spend a lot more time on Dear Prudence than any other advice columns. I think Dear Margo is the least entertaining of the bunch. The community isn’t quite as active and I generally find Margo herself to be a bit lackluster.

          I enjoy your posts. Whether I agree with them or not, I always enjoy them. I like the way you’re not afraid to hold a dissenting opinion and that you’re willing to spar with other posters.

          There is a certain clique of people who sometimes seem to try to bully new posters with dissenting/strong opinions like yours – but I have faith in your ability to stand up to them.

          I just think it would be fun to see you spar with a more diverse and active group of people.

          Anyway – it was more of a compliment than anything else. I really DO think you would have fun over there.

          • avatar Briana Baran says:

            impska, Belinda Joy has been on this site since its inception years ago, She is not a “new poster”. Just a head’s up.

          • avatar impska says:

            Yes. I didn’t mean there was cliquish bullying here. I meant toward new posters with strong dissenting opinions over on Slate.

        • avatar impska says:

          I hope you’ll indulge me, but I am also curious as to why you identify yourself as liberal. Which tenets of the Democratic party do you identify with most? And which principles do you like least about the Republican party?

          • avatar Belinda Joy says:

            Impska, I don’t mind responding to your questions.

            Everything about my political views are far more liberal than conservative. For example. I happen to believe the Republican party is now in lock-step with the Tea Party. There is no shade between how they think. I used to respect how my Republican friends and associates believed, now, not so much. One of the biggest knocks Republicans get is their reliance on being against issues all while hiding behind the Bible. “The Bible says this….the Bible says that…” Can’t condone homosexuality because the Bible speaks against it. Can’t be for same sex marraige because the Bible is against it.

            I was raised by a Southern Baptist Minister father and was taught we are all made in the image of our heavenly father. The Bible, although it is an important book, it is a book. Too many on the right pick and choose from the Bible what they will and will not live by.  If we (Christians) were to truly live by what the Bible dictates, ALL women would be home subserviant to men. Yet people ignore that part of the Bible. They argue “we live in a new world and many of those teachings aren’t applicable to today” Well I say, if you can forgive or set aside that tenet, why not what it says about homosexuality? How many Gay men married to women but caught in Gay trysts do we have to see in the news before they realize they are being hipocrites. That is a prime issue I disagree with Republicans on.

            One of the primary aspects of the liberal party that I respect and gravitate toward is the fact that true liberals believe in a broad way of looking at our country. Like many people, I have opinions that not everyone agrees with. The liberal party embraces people that are independent thinkers and are open minded enough to respect that. I am heavily involved in politics, always have been. I work for and donate time toward various democratic politicians, and when I sit and discuss social issues with fellow liberals, I can be the only one in the room that doesn’t believe in legalizing prostitution or drugs and no one tries to convince me to think as they do. Instead there is a respect for individualism. I love that! 

            It’s very freeing. There is a give and take of ideas and beliefs that shows how diverse our nation is. However, on he flip side I have been to Tea Party rallies and Republican meetings where you are expected to agree with everyone in attendance. I was accused of being an undercover reporter when I attended a Tea Party event once. As if someone that looks like me or speaks as I do couldn’t possibly understand their beliefs.

            Lastly, in regard to the opposition I get from those on this site, I meant what I said, this would be a very, very boring site if everyone that posts here agreed with everyone else’s perspective. I think there is a happy medium any site that has a blog needs to have in terms of allowing its users to “spar” intellectually. WoWoWoW use to err on the side of allowing us to go too far in terms of the ugliness we would post. Goodness knows I had my moments (as I do to this day, I am not a pushover) where I posted some truly hurtful and hateful comments. It was really bad for awhile. Now there seems to be enough slack for those that want to strike out to do so, but only to a certain extent. It is now at a healthy balance. The personal attacks I receive now I understand and chalk up to those making the comments. The mental issues they may be struggling with. The insecurities they may have. Those types are quite different from those that voice clear and defined differences of opinion. Those are the folks I respect. I say it all the time, I try to speak online as I would if I was sitting across the table in a coffee shop somewhere. I would never call someone a name or be insulting simply because I disagree with their viewpoint. I hope I have learned more in the course of my long life than to stoop to that.

            I like Dear Margo and her letters. I stop by a few times a week to see if there is new content to chat about, but for the most part I frequent other sites that address issues I am more interested in.   There was a time when I blogged on this site all day every day, now….not so much. But I assure you it isn’t because I feel bullied. I can stand my own and go toe to toe with anyone. I believe in standing in my own truth, it matters not if others agree or disagree.

          • avatar Briana Baran says:

            “The personal attacks I receive now I understand and chalk up to those making the comments. The mental issues they may be struggling with. The insecurities they may have. Those types are quite different from those that voice clear and defined differences of opinion.”

            Herein lies the problem: anyone who disagrees with you is, according to your personal lexicon, suffering from “mental issues” or “insecurities”. It is not just me, Belinda Joy, it is everyone with whom you disagree, and who dares to question your ideology. It continues today, as recently as a week ago: no matter how coherent, intellectually solid, critically realized or and defined the opposing opinion is, you respond with condescension, condemnation, and personal insult. You do not recognize the validity of any opinion, ideology, thought process or belief that does not match your own. I have never read a single post that indicates that you have respect for anyone on this website. Not a soul, and there have been some outstandingly brilliant people who used to post here. You systemically condemned every one at one time or another.

            It is a shame that a woman of your age believes that her own truth is the only truth worth recognition. It is an indicator of inflexibility, rigidity and an inability to evolve in any way. I think it is very sad that you choose to spend your time with “Liberals” only because you feel that they won’t question your beliefs. It’s far more likely that they are fully aware that it is not worth wasting their time and intellect trying to argue with a person whose mind has been petrified for decades.

            You have this odd notion that people who have mental illnesses are lacking in reason, intelligence or rational thought. This is a concept that was left behind some time in the 19th century, along with many of your other Truths. I can’t feel sorry for you, but this last post of yours reveals so much about your own delusions and sad mental state. How terribly lonely it must be to have to surround yourself with people who will always allow you to win so that you can continue to maintain your isolated stance as holder of The Truth.

          • avatar impska says:

            What’s funny is that I’ve had the opposite experience with the Democratic party. I often felt like if I didn’t agree with every extreme point of view, then I wasn’t allowed to be a “liberal.” I am an immigrant, and I was once told during a discussion among Democrats that no one cares what I have to say because I’m an English-speaking white person and I don’t know anything about “real” immigrants. When I tried to tell people about the pitfalls of socialized medicine (which exists in my country of origin, and is something I believe in), I was accused of being a secret Republican!

            Meanwhile, I found my Republican compatriots to be more open to dissenting points of view. Some people are Republicans because of religion, some people are Republicans because of guns, some people are Republicans because of the constitution, or because of the budget. It seems mostly like they’re used to being surrounded by people who vote the same way as them – but don’t agree with them.

            That said – that’s my experience only of the voting public in my region (and I fully believe it depends on where you are geographically). I find politicians from both parties to be alienating. I don’t like either one. I never really feel like I’ve won some kind of victory when the guy I voted for wins. I’m never excited about elections anymore (I was when I first became a citizen). And I’m generally disgusted by how the government is run.

            Thanks for sharing your point of view.

  15. avatar Miss Lee says:

    Let me start by saying that I am not young and I have lived and interesting life.  Beyond my own failures, there isn’t much that I haven’t seen done in family relationships, including my raising a step child abandoned by her mother and another who technically lived with her mother but was abandoned for all intents and purposes.  I have learned that silence and a blank stare communicates everything that needs to be communicated.  Some things simply do not need to be said to be understood. Simply never having anything to do with the woman lets anyone else know what you think of the situation.

    As far as the misbehaving child. I have no problem letting children or adults what is permissible in my household.  I remember quite clearly the day I let my brother know that I was an adult and would no longer take his verbal abuse.  That was many years ago and he has since undergone treatment for his addictions and is a much nicer person.  We have had many nice visits together.  My setting the ground rules almost 40 years ago started things moving in the right direction.  There is no peace worth keeping in a family where someone is abusing someone else be they child or adult.

  16. avatar wvdonna says:

    Lila, thanks for your words.  I was told the same thing a lot when I was tormented as child.  My mother even told me I was anti-social.  I’ve never forgotten it.

  17. avatar mjd4 says:

    LW1 – exactly what kind of problems do you foresee? Unless you simply must talk about Rachel and her bad choices all the time, why does this ever need to come up? And if you must, then maybe fingerwagging wife has a point.

  18. avatar mjd4 says:

    LW2 – unless nephew has shown signs of sociopathy, you should be able to talk directly to him. Not to scold, but to remind him that your daughter is ill and he needs to be extra careful when playing with her. Contrary to popular belief, many children do respond well to an appeal to their better natures.

    • avatar Lym BO says:

      Well said. Especially when dealing with a tween. He is not a toddler. Perhaps opening the door to this young man by treating like him like a young adult by talking to him not as a child & setting some rules will facilitate your relationship with him . If you gain respect perhaps he will have someone to talk to about being bullied.

  19. avatar Carmen Clemons says:

    How does LW1 know what Rachel said to her 13 year old? Was she there? If she wasn’t, then how did she get that “quote” from Rachel? A 13 year old who needs to vent would be talking to *his* friends, or maybe his grandparents, but he certainly wouldn’t be venting to his mother’s friends. The letter reads like a bad sitcom plot – one where the entire episode would be derailed and all the wacky hijinx would go away if the characters just talked to each other.

    In the sitcom, Rachel would actually be sending the kids to their dads because her handsome new therapist (no, she’s not marrying him – he’s not a cast regular) has convinced her to check herself into the hospital for some inpatient care to deal with her problems… say ADD and manic depressive disorder. Sam and his wife know this, but they won’t tell LW1 because Rachel begged them not to; she’s worried that her boss will fire her if anyone finds out that she’s “crazy.”

    • avatar Briana Baran says:

      LW1 may know exactly what Rachel told her 13-year-old son because Rachel told her. It seems to me that certain types of people who to do things such as abandoning children, driving with said children in the vehicle while inebriated, allowing same children unsupervised play with fully automatic weapons, have no problem at all with recounting their actions and words to others (example in L#1 or, “I told you to wear your seat-belt”, or “Did you have to get blood on the carpet?”). They just don’t comprehend that their actions may disturb friends and family, not to mention complete strangers.

  20. avatar Jennifer juniper says:

    LW1 just sounds like a person that has to be right all the time. In this case, she probably has a majority backing in terms of having little contact with Rachel, which I think has clouded the issue. Bottom line is you have to wonder why she’s so worked up about one person disagreeing with her.

  21. avatar blueelm says:

    I always say: “well they say no one can judge but God, so God can go on and judge because I’m judging too!”

  22. avatar Lym BO says:

    I am not well versed on the bible, but I always thought the “Judge not” quote was conveying that one should be careful not to judge others because they are not perfect either and that the only one’s judging who matters in God. Perhaps their imperfection or sins are of a different nature, but some Christian religions believe a sin is a sin is a sin & no one is worse than any other. PotSmoking wife may know things about LW1 that she feels are equally as sinful as what Rachel has done. Rachel may suck as a mother, but the fact she has realized it & gave them to their fathers is positive. Now she needs to work on not doling out any more damaging words to them. It’s sad things have turned out this way for Rachel. It sounds like she keeps hoping to get it right & that is the reason for baby 3. Maybe she will this time if she devotes some time to learning about parenting. Sounds like she is aware of her mistakes thus far.

    • avatar Briana Baran says:

      We just don’t know what Rachel’s actual story is. As for god judging humans, well, hmm, since man created god in his image, I’m reasonably certain that this would be a fairly unpredictable process…so I’ll just play the happy ev-ee-ill mortal and exercise my own earthly human right to decide how I feel about any given individual. I’m not counting on perdition being the destination for some, and paradise for others…Divine consequnces and rewards have a way of not really affecting earthly behavior even for those who claim piousness as a way of life.

      • avatar Lym BO says:

        Yeah, but then there is that whole Jesus part, who never committed a sin. There’s also that part where He had Noah to build an ark so He could eradicate all the evil humans that were racked with sin. If I’m going to believe we were created in His image, I’m going to have to go with it is a physical image, not intellectual/soulful.

        • avatar Briana Baran says:

          According to the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus had a wife, though…and I said that MAN created god in his image…not vice versa…anyway, the burning question for me has always been this:

          Did Jesus have a dog?

          As for Noah, that seems to be a metaphor for tribal thinking, ie: wiping out the “evil people” in order to cleanse the earth. Back when, genocide in the form of tribal-village, or city-state warfare was common. Plenty of humans seem to have the urge to wipe out the “wrong kind” (read: evil) of people. I give you Hitler, Stalin, the Japanese at Nanking, various tribes in Sub-Saharan Africa (happening right now), all of the Amerind tribes who were busy exterminating each other long before there were Western Europeans en masse in North America, the Celts wiping out the Picts, then being slaughtered by the Saxons, who were subsequently overcome by the Romans. Yup, man definitely made god in his image.

          • avatar Lym BO says:

            oops! Missed the flip on God created Man..
            Don’t forgot the Turks who attempted to wipe out the Armenians to the tune of 1.5 million c 1915-1923 . Hitler took great pride in referring to this event as an example of what he was planning.

            It is odd Jesus never wrote about a dog. Maybe he was allergic.

  23. avatar Briana Baran says:

    What I actually wonder about, regarding L#1, is this: isn’t it darling, wonderful SAM who has to live with his haze-of-pot-smoke-surrounded wife, not LW1? Why does LW1 see tough times ahead just because Sam’s dope-smoking-wife disagrees with her probably-correct assessment of Rachel’s actions (I mean, abandoning your two children because it’s all about YOU IS fairly reprehensible, and telling your 13-year-old that he just isn’t worth your time and effort because you have to channel all of your energies into finding yourself or some other rot just sucks)? LW1 doesn’t HAVE to live with Ms. Cannabis 2012. Her husband is friends with Sam. So…

    Visit with Sam and Mr. Natural’s grand-daughter. Do not bring up Rachel and her oblivious, inhumane ways. Is that all you have to talk about with friends; other friends mistakes, flaws, and epic failures? How about all of the other thousands of fascinating, diverse topics one could choose instead? If Sam’s Wife regularly chastises you about gossiping (I’m not saying she does…but you do say that you ignore almost everything she says, and I have to wonder if your deaf ear has something to do with her ***correcting*** your habit of talking about others in a negative light) , maybe she’s a more perceptive pot-head than you think she is.

  24. avatar Briana Baran says:

    To all of the readers of this site, I want to apologize for responding to the few who have seen fit to make random and insulting comments about me in the middle of threads in which I am not even participating. I wish I could claim not to understand such people, but I do. I wish that I am not so tempted to play with them…but I find such people irresistible, and not because I take their commentary personally. I am not quite the monster that some would imply, but I do have my faults. This is never more obvious than when someone puts themselves in the position of being an obvious, easy and fair target.

    In the end, it’s my own weakness. I certainly am not going to give such people my email in order to engage them…but it is unfair to subject others to such “conversational” threads on a public forum. I will try to ignore their sniping in the future.

    • avatar Hellster says:

      “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”

    • avatar Irreverent says:

      Dear Briana,

      Personally, I don’t think you need to apologize. You have been unjustly insulted and unfairly attacked much too many times on this site. I don’t understand why. I find your posts to be intelligent and well-thought out. Borrowing from an expression I’ve read on this site several times, which in turn has been borrowed from a Chinese saying, you’ve certainly lived an interesting life. Plus it seems to me you’re well read, and certainly have a love of learning. So it makes sense to me that you’d have anecdotes, stories, and just generally speaking, experience you can relate to and contribute to the discussions on this site. Why this seems to offend certain posters, is something I truly just don’t understand.
      You are also a strong woman, and for some reason, it seems that on this site, being a strong, intelligent woman is a horrible crime and all such women must be insulted and attacked as vilely as possible (it happened to BabySnooks at one point, as well. BabySnooks strikes me as another strong, intelligent woman who’s lived an interesting life. Maybe that’s the real crime—living an interesting life. I guess only those who either haven’t lived interesting lives or hide their interesting life experiences are allowed to comment without being attacked??)
      Anyway, I appreciate your apology, but I don’t think you need to make one.
      Thank you for your contribution to this site. I’ll continue looking forward to your posts, and to the posts of individuals who actually do make valuable contributions without attacking others for their opinions, or who don’t pretend to know more or be more sanctified than others.  

      • avatar Lila says:

        Irreverent, ‘scuse me while I polish my Sanctimonious Halo of Intolerant Trenchancy to a glowing shine, and then I’ll… oh, crap!… it just slipped down a sewer grate.

        Never mind. It’s all good.

        • avatar Irreverent says:

          😀 😀 😀

          (Totally unrelated note: I’ve been following the journey for the search of Mr. Wow…such fun!!! 🙂