Knowing a few simple tricks eases a l...

Knowing a few simple tricks eases a letter-writer's chore

There are 19 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Nov 12, 2008, titled Knowing a few simple tricks eases a letter-writer's chore. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

DEAR ABBY: I read about your booklet "How to Write Letters for All Occasions" a few years ago, and I want to let you know how much it helped me recently in writing to my aunt.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Tribune.

ivory dove

Helotes, TX

#1 Nov 12, 2008
LW2: I don't understand why this letter writer accepted their
insensitive phone in the first place. If they call her again, I
suggest she change her voice to an imitation of the computer
option voice and say, "We're sorry. Your call cannot be accepted at his number." Then let them go away. She owes them nothing.
Anne

Gresham, OR

#2 Nov 12, 2008
There is an old Doris Day/Rock Hudson movie (I think it is "If A Man Answers" but not sure) which deals with something very much like this. He, the Romeo, hires her, the decorator, to redo his apartment. It turns out worse than a bordello. Maybe the LW can just send the cheating ex a copy as a blueprint.

I also don't understand why she even took the call or has contemplated it.
Stephanie

Székesfehérvár, Hungary

#3 Nov 12, 2008
I was thinking along the same lines as Anne. LW2 should take the job and the ex and pg gf would have a house full of lime green shag carpeting and leopard print sofa upholstery and the loudest most obnoxious colors in the most unlikely places. I think LW2 can show what good taste she does have by telling them to go stuff it, whether she needs the money or not.
yellowdoggie

Oklahoma City, OK

#4 Nov 12, 2008
There are so many things that LW2 could do to hurry up the karmic payback that this dude and his home-wrecking girlfriend deserve. But will it actually solve anything?

Oh heck, go for it anyway. You need to find a really good-looking guy to be your assistant and then find the ugliest stuff you can to put in their place. Be sure to charge him a fortune. And congratulate yourself that you are now free of the jerk.
Gloria

Milwaukee, WI

#5 Nov 12, 2008
LW2--I want more details. Clearly the exhubby and new gf see the split as amicable. I would think if they didn't think everything was "cool", the new gf would not want the old wife around in the new life she's creating with her child's father. Think about it--if you were the other woman, would you want your man's ex-wife's decorating touches all over the house if you weren't comfortable with her? There's something she's not telling us.

“boredom made me do it”

Since: Aug 08

ny, ny

#6 Nov 12, 2008
Re LW1: Way to use a single letter to fill most of a column and superplug your stuff. And can we tone down that sales pitch a bit? "will serve"? How about "can serve"? That and the LW already made your case for you. All "Abby" needed to do was say "Thanks so much, I'm glad it helped you. Here's the info for others who are interested:" and stop there.

Re LW2: Huh WHAT? Fine whatever. Move right on past being shocked and accept that you have no obligation and turn them down. "Thanks for the offer, but I don't want to take that on. Good luck!"
Mia

Chicago, IL

#7 Nov 12, 2008
LW2, charge a premium price and get substandard materials. Water down the wallpaper glue. Put a putrid scent in the paint. It will be a gift to yourself that keeps on giving. Oooh. Try to convince them to knock down walls.

Of course you are receiving a huge slap in the face. Your ex-husband is doing his best, with the urging of his sleazy consort, to underscore how important you were to him as a home maker, if only you hadn't fallen short in the bedroom. If you do this, they'll ask you to fix up some dinner for them before you leave each day.
College Survivor

Monmouth Junction, NJ

#8 Nov 12, 2008
If you take the decorating job, get paid in advance.
E E E

Chicago, IL

#9 Nov 12, 2008
Wow.

Just: Wow.

My ex and I are friends... NOW. But it took YEARS to get to this point.

Normally I try to avoid passive-agression, but I kind of like Mia's suggestion to take on the job - esp the part about knocking down walls! L0L!!!

Re: LW1: I DO like the idea of the "funny/sweet anecdote" in the sympathy letter. It's a nice touch.

The shameless plug, on the other hand... not so much.
Gloria

Milwaukee, WI

#10 Nov 12, 2008
I advocate more sex, violence and bad language on tv. Perhaps that would encourage parents to stop using the tv as a babysitter for their children.
Gloria

Milwaukee, WI

#11 Nov 12, 2008
Weird, the above comment wasn't intended for this forum. Please disregard.
Walt

Decatur, GA

#12 Nov 12, 2008
Gloria, you forgot to give us the link.
E E E

Chicago, IL

#13 Nov 12, 2008
College Survivor wrote:
If you take the decorating job, get paid in advance.
Most definitely.

These two peaches sound like the sort who would blink stoopidly when presented with the bill and say, "But... we thought this was your gift to us...?"
ms s

Chicago, IL

#14 Nov 12, 2008
ugh...hello abby sales pitch today. and please tell me lw2 isn't stupid enough to actually do this.
gng

Gardiner, NY

#15 Nov 12, 2008
There was a story I read about a vengeful ex-wife who did a number on her ex-husband. She took down the curtains in their house and stuffed the rods with dead fish (or some other kind of putrid stuff--can't remember the exact details.) He and his new love could never find the source of the problem and consequently had lots of trouble trying to sell the house when the time came. SHE came back and offered to buy it at a bargain price, took down the rods, and cleaned up. (Pun intended.)
Just a thought

United States

#16 Nov 12, 2008
gng wrote:
There was a story I read about a vengeful ex-wife who did a number on her ex-husband. She took down the curtains in their house and stuffed the rods with dead fish (or some other kind of putrid stuff--can't remember the exact details.) He and his new love could never find the source of the problem and consequently had lots of trouble trying to sell the house when the time came. SHE came back and offered to buy it at a bargain price, took down the rods, and cleaned up.(Pun intended.)
I read about that, too. It was awesome. If I remember right, it was caviar. She at a little bit, then stuffed a little bit in the curtain rod, ate a little bit, then stuffed a little bit in the curtain rod...

“I'm subtle in spades!!!!!”

Since: Sep 08

Altamont, KS

#17 Nov 12, 2008
Walt wrote:
Gloria, you forgot to give us the link.
Really! Whatever she was commenting on sounded more interesting than the Abby pitch-o-the-day...
Nelson

United States

#18 Nov 12, 2008
We need more information on the situation in LW2. Maybe the split wasn't all that amicable, and the husband is trying to reconcile, albeit in a sort of confusing way.

He reached out to HER, after all, to decorate, so maybe he's trying to let her know that she is talented, and to compliment her?

And he's offering to pay because he doesn't want her to misinterpret the request as taking advantage of her, instead of what he means it to be?

Or maybe he's just being an insensitive moron and looking for a deal on redecorating.
Toodleoo

United States

#19 Nov 13, 2008
LW2 should take the high road and politely decline the offer. What good is trashing their house going to do, except make her look bad?

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