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BY DAN SAVAGE

Iím writing to you under the influence of a little alcohol (as Iím not sure Iíd have the courage to write to you about this sober). Iíve got an awkward (understatement) situation.

My mother left her e-mail logged in on my computer, and I decided to be an asshole and snoop out of boredom. I honestly wasnít expecting anything, but I found a few intimate e-mails between her and a strange man that pretty much confirmed that she was cheating on my dad.

My parents have been married for almost three decades, and itís kind of an understatement to say heís an antisocial psycho. He restricted her from so many things during their marriageópartly for religious/cultural reasonsóand honestly did not appreciate what he had. Heís been a physical wreck for most of their marriage and has no personality to compensate. (I could go on about how abusive and fucked-up his personality was during my childhood, but thatís a whole other issue.) My mother, on the other hand, is one of the nicest and most caring people you could ever meet. Sheís also ďhotĒóa lot of my friends (male and female) have pointed that out to me, as awkward as that is.

OK: Dadís an abusive asshole and borderline psycho, and Momís a beautiful woman with a lot of opportunities and social skills. The only reason she didnít leave him was to keep the family together and for those same stupid cultural reasons. But itís hard knowing my mom is a CPOS. Itís killing my older brother, who is close to her, and itís making him really depressed. He feels betrayed, because for years heís defended her against my father when he accuses her of cheating and calls her a whore. So what I want advice on is how the hell to confront her about it. I know I snooped in her e-mail, and I know that was wrong. So what the hell to say?

óMother Obliterated Monogamy

Hereís what you say to your mother: ďGood for you, Mom.Ē

But youíre going to say it under your breath, MOM, audible but not quite loud enough for your mother to hear. Because youíre not going to confront her about this affair or any other affair that you might uncover between now and your fatherís death and youíre not going to tell your mom you snooped and you and your brother are going to go right on defending your mother to your father and youíre going to show a little respectóa little retroactive respectófor your motherís privacy by pretending that you donít know what you do know.

Is that clear?

Your mom sounds like a lovely woman, MOM, and you and your brother should be happy that she managed to find a little solace, a little love and tenderness, in the arms of a man who isnít an raving asshole. She deserves that, doesnít she? As for the CPOS label, that gets slapped only on people who cheat without cause, MOM, and it sure sounds like your mom had cause. Which means sheís not a cheating piece of shit. Sheís cheating on a piece of shit.

Yes, yes: Maybe your mom shouldíve divorced your father, or had him murdered, but for reasons that will only ever be known to her, MOM, she decided that keeping her family intactómaybe for cultural reasons, maybe for her boysówas more important than remaining faithful to an antisocial psycho. Itís easy to say that cheating is always wrong and to call everyone who cheats a POS, but sometimes an affair is the least worst option.

As for your brotherís feelings of betrayal: Maybe your dad was right and your mom was cheating on him throughout their marriage and his tirades were justified and your brother was a fool to defend your mother. Or maybe your mom decided, after being accused of cheating again and again, and after being called a whore again and again, that if she was going to be accused, indicted, and tried for that particular crime, she might as well have the pleasure of committing it. Encourage your brother to give your mother the benefit of the doubt. It sounds like she deserves it.

 

Iím a 28-year-old gay man. My only sibling is getting married next year, and Iím invited. My family doesnít support my gayness. My mom has met my boyfriend only once and refused to be in his presence for more than two minutes. Should I bring my boyfriend to my sisterís wedding or ask him to stay home? My invitation came with only my name on it.

óBrother Of The Bride

You say: ďHey, Sis. Looking forward to the wedding. Iíve been seeing a great guy for two years now, as you know, and Iím planning on bringing him to the wedding.Ē

If she says, ďDonít bring him. Itíll just piss off Mom,Ē then you say, ďIím coming with my boyfriend or Iím not coming at allóand remember, Sis, one day Mom will be dead and itís just going to be you and me. So in the long run, you should be more concerned about pissing me off than pissing Mom off.Ē

And if she says, ďDonít bring him. I donít want your gay boyfriend at my wedding,Ē then you say, ďIf you donít want gays at your wedding, Sis, then you shouldnít have invited me. I want to be thereóbut if I come, Iím bringing my boyfriend.Ē

Have the confrontation now, BOTB, so that you canít be accused of trying to make trouble/drama right before your sisterís wedding. But you need to seize this opportunity to dictate terms to your family: They can have their homophobia or they can have you in their livesóbut they canít have both.

 

Last year, around this time, you promised to share your momís Christmas cookie recipe with the readers of your blog. I would love to try it out if youíre OK with sharing the recipe.

óJason

Iím delighted to share my momís Christmas cookie recipe. She made these chocolate snowballs every year when her kids were young. Once her kids were grown, Ma Savage shipped tins of these cookies to us if we couldnít make it home for Christmas. Now I make them in December and ship tins off to my siblings on her behalf.

I made some earlier this month, had a little sob (Iím still missing my mom), and got some tins off to my sibs. Iím happy to share my momís recipe with you, Jason, and with Savage Love readers.

Ma Savageís Christmas Snowballs

2 cups flour

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/4 cup butter

2/3 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups pecans

confectionersí sugar

Sift flour, salt, and cocoa together. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, and add vanilla. Gradually beat dry ingredients into butter and sugar. Blend in pecans. Form dough into a loaf, wrap it up, put in fridge overnight.

Cut loaf into inch-thick slices, cut slices into inch-square cubes, roll cubes into balls about one inch in diameter. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 20 minutes maximum. Transfer cookies off sheets right away and allow to cool completely. Put cookies in tub or tin, sift confectionersí sugar over cookies, put lid on, turn tin or tub over a few times to coat cookies with confectionersí sugar.

Enjoy my momís cookies and have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year, everyone.

 

mail@savagelove.net

Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.


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