Sunday, April 26, 2015

Tiny Beautiful Things, Letter #9

GODDAMNIT, THIS BOOK IS SO AWFUL.  I took a week off from the blog in order to read decent books and attempt to reclaim some of my sanity.  This probably wasn't the smartest idea because now I hate this stupid shit more than ever.
Letter #9
This is the first time so far when I hate the person asking for advice more than I hate Cheryl Strayed (YOU'RE A CLOSE SECOND, ELISSA BASSIST), but then again, there is no chance in hell that this is a real letter.  Cheryl likely wrote this garbage herself, which explains why I hate this "man" so much.  Let's get this over with.  Enjoy this very manly letter from a man.  It's totally real.
Dear Sugar,
Three of my best college buddies and I go away for an annual guy's weekend at a cabin in the woods.  We're all in our mid-thirties and we've been doing these get-togethers for close to a decade.  It's our way of staying in touch, since we've all got busy lives and some of us reside in different cities.  Though at times I'll go months without talking to them, I consider these guys my closest friends.  We've seen each other through several relationships, two weddings, one divorce, one of us coming out as gay, one of us realizing he's an alcoholic and getting sober, one of us becoming a father, dysfunctional family issues, the death of another one of our close college friends, professional successes and failures, and-- you get the picture.
On our most recent get-together a couple of months ago, I overheard my friends discussing me.  Before this incident occurred, the four of us had been on the subject of my love life.  My longtime girlfriend and I broke up last year for reasons I won't go into here, but I did go into with my friends back when she and I decided to end things.  Not long before my weekend with the guys, she and I got back together and I told them my ex and I were making a go of it again.  They didn't say much in response, but I wouldn't have expected them to.
Later that day I stepped out for a walk, but soon realized I'd forgotten my hat, so I returned to the cabin to get it.  The moment I opened the door I could hear my friends in the kitchen discussing me.  I wasn't trying to eavesdrop, but I couldn't keep myself from listening, since they were talking about my girlfriend and me.  I wouldn't say they were trashing me, but they did make critical remarks about the way I "justify" my relationship and other things about my personality that were unflattering.  About five minutes into this, I opened the door and shut it hard so they would know I was there and they stopped talking.
I tried to pretend I hadn't heard what they'd said, but soon I told them what had happened.  They were extremely embarrassed.  Each of them apologized, assured me they meant nothing by what they said, and claimed they were only concerned that I'd gotten back together with my girlfriend, who they don't think is good for me.  I played it off like it was cool and acted like I wanted to let bygones be bygones, but it's been two months and I'm still bothered by what happened.  I feel betrayed.  It's none of their business who I choose to date for one thing, and for another I'm pissed they were running me down like that.
I recognize that I'm possibly taking this too hard.  I'll admit that I have talked about each of them with the others over the years.  I've made statements I wouldn't want the person in question to hear, even secondhand.  The rational part of me understands that these sorts of discussions among friends are to be expected.  It sounds weak to admit this, but I'm hurt.  Part of me wants to tell them to go fuck themselves when it comes to the weekend at the cabin next year.
What do you think?  Should I forgive and forget or find a new batch of buddies?
Odd Man Out
OMFG.  Seriously?  We're supposed to believe an actual man wrote this?
Gentlemen readers, please enlighten us.  Is this the sort of stupid bullshit that goes on when you fellows have your Man Holidays?  Do you gossip about each other as soon as someone leaves the room and eventually at least one of you ends up crying?  Does this happen before or after you braid one another's hair and watch all of the Twilight movies?  Women are dying to know.
Sweet baby Jesus.  Fuck this nonsense right in the face.  Fine, though, whatever.  Here's my advice to Odd Man Out:
Get the fuck over it.
Hugs and kisses,
That's really all that needs to be said.  Bad Cheryl, however, has to spend six goddamned pages on this idiocy, even though she and I are pretty much in agreement about the fact that OMO needs to grow a pair.
She starts with,
"What a disaster.  How dreadful it must have been to hear your friends saying negative things about you.  How mortified they must have felt when they learned you'd been listening.  You have every reason to be upset and hurt."

No.  No, you don't.  You stood there in the doorway and secretly listened to your friends talking about your dumb ass and your bitch girlfriend and for that, you deserved to hear every fucking word.  "I wasn't trying to eavesdrop" is a load of bullshit.  If you weren't trying to eavesdrop, you would have quickly retrieved your dumb fucking hat and gone on your supposed walk or, if you were a mature human being capable of dealing with reality, you would have walked into the room and said something like, "I just heard what you guys were saying and, as good friends, I feel like we should be able to talk openly about this because your opinions mean a lot to me."  Instead, you stood there listening and got all butthurt about what they were saying.

Insert yourself into your own vagina and sqeeze, douchebag.

Bad Cheryl follows up her pretend condolences with this shit:

"And yet... and yet-- you knew there was going to be an 'and yet,' didn't you?"


She spends an entire page talking about ways to talk about friends behind their backs, after which she then spends two pages talking about how much Odd Man Out's friends totes love him and--

Wait, what was that first part?
WTF.  If I love you, I will not talk behind your back.  As uncomfortable and painful as it may be, I will tell you to your face what's on my mind.  If I think you're making bad decisions, I will tell you.  THAT'S WHAT FRIENDS DO.  Bad Cheryl, on the other hand, thinks it's totally fine to talk shit about her friends behind their backs.
Dear "friends" of Cheryl Strayed,
I'm so sorry.  Please find a better friend.


BC then spends two pages discussing a friend's personal problems and how she totally gave her friend the totes best advice ever and because her friend didn't listen, everything went down the toilet.

"It took another several months...before she believed I was right."
Blah, blah, blah, this shit goes on forever, and she ends the whole thing with,
"That's what you have in these men, Odd Man Out.  True friends.  Real blessings.  Forgive them.  Feel lucky you have them.  Move along."


Oh, right.  Because Cheryl Strayed.

I hate this book so much.


  1. "Do you gossip about each other as soon as someone leaves the room and eventually at least one of you ends up crying? Does this happen before or after you braid one another's hair and watch all of the Twilight movies? Women are dying to know."

    Bwhahaha ! Cali, your writing is hilarious, and so are your GIF's. This entire book is so weird, that I cannot imagine why it was even published. I guess the only reason it is selling is that readers recognize Strayed's name from "Wild".

    I was reading an interview that Strayed did with Amitava Kumar for the literary journal "Guernica." Strayed said that if "Wild" had not been successful, then she was going to become a therapist. ( GIF of head exploding, LOL). Then she mentions that she's received so many letters from therapists who say that they use the "Dear Sugar" column in their practice. ( Head exploding again). Just cannot imagine all of this taking place-- it must go on only in Strayed's head.( I wonder if she will ever be required to confess that most of this is just fiction, the same way that James Frey had to confess about " A Million Little Pieces." )

    Thank you for your great sense of humor, love from D. :-)

  2. I remember reading this letter in the Dear Sugar columns and being struck by how oddly it read. BTW, this was one of her last columns as Sugar and by then I think she was in full "Imma just gonna make up stuff cuz I'm the Strayed" mode.

    I have a several different groups of friends that do vacations together and they are generally themed. I've been on fishing outings, hunting trips (I just shoot with a camera), conventions, golf vacations, and yes, I have a group that rents a cabin every other year or so. The reason? To get out into nature! Do some hiking, fishing, photography. Never once has any guy ever said "Im going to step out for a walk." Huh? Step out for a walk? Well be sure to hitch up your skirt Francine cuz you dont want to get your hem damp from the dew while you tiptoe through the tulips. Please.
    He forgot his hat? Did you not realize as you stepped out into the inclement weather that your ears were going to get cold? And where did he leave it? All guys everywhere either shove it into their coat pocket or hang it with their coat. What, did he leave it in the shower?

    Now, he mentioned right off the bat all the things he and his buddies have been through including one coming out as gay. Are we to believe he didnt talk about that with the other guys after that bomb dropped? That poor guy's ears must have burned off with the chatter about pitching & catching.

    This jerk is upset because his friends said his girlfriend wasnt good enough for him? Seriously? I'd understand if it was the other way around and they said they didnt understand what she saw in HIM. Plus, the girl was his EX. You know damn well they sat around in the cabin last time trashing her.

    The whole thing makes no sense. They're his closest friends but he only communicates to them once a year at the cabin? It reeks of fiction.

  3. So I am going to have to disagree with all of you. I can believe a guy wrote this...smacks of my ex! His friends liked to talk shit about me, and when I found out, I left. He was a coward, just like this guy. Going forward, all my friends know that talk of my relationships are not welcome - the only exception being if they suspect physical or emotional abuse. They are not the third wheels, and my relationships are none of their damn business. I appreciate SO's who feel and do the same.

    On another note - Cali, if you need a break, why don't you post interludes of other books you are reading? I, for one, would love to know what other books you would recommend, outdoorsy or otherwise!

  4. Thanks, dharvey, for the tidbit that Cheryl's other plan in life was to be a therapist and that therapists use her "Dear Sugar" column in their practices. NO THEY DON'T!! I'm a therapist and would never use any of this crap. Plus, if she couldn't even finish one stupid essay to get her bachelor's degree, how was she going to become a therapist? But, (I'm calming myself), this is probably a lie as well.

    Glad you took a break, Cali, but keep the reviews coming!!

  5. No. No therapist in the world would consult a Dear Sugar article. Not even the bad ones. No. Nope. No. And no. Not happening.

    That is all.

  6. I don't know about all guys...just the the guys I know. No, I don't think they talk about shit like this. Example: My husband (who does like to converse about issues, politics, soccer, sailing, fly-fishing, etc. He used to do these fly-in fishing trips in remote parts of Canada with his brothers & maybe a buddy or 2. 2 of them would be in a boat, all day. I asked him once: "so what do you guys talk about, in the boat all day?". He said, "Talk?, Well, how about we fish over there?" and, "when do you want to stop & have lunch?" and "do you want another beer?".

    I'm sure guys do complain about wives, girlfriends or talk about a great movie they just saw, but not this shit. This is totally a girl thing...and not all girls (count me out).

    To echo the others^, NO! No therapist would EVER consult "Dear Sugar". BC is just so dangerously delusional. She is seriously mentally ill and needs a therapist, herself.

  7. Oh...I LOVE this: "everything was fine... until I got sand in my vagina"!!! Hahahahaha! :)

  8. Wow, I was googling something completely different when I stumbled upon this extraordinarily sad group of people. I hope you all find something more fulfilling to do with your lives than this. Because... geez...

    1. ^^Look at this Life Expert who leaves comments on blog posts from five months ago. That must be super fulfilling for you.

      I'm going to go ahead and assume you were Googling "how do I get sand out of my vagina."

  9. I dunno. I think this one's legit. It happens to me all da time. Jus last week I was doing Googles on macrame squrrel traps an found a Brazilian Family Matters fan fiction sight from 2004. They sucked! I told em they was stupid cuz they didnt speak no good english. I mean, the shows in english right? why they speakin that margarita bullshit? stupids and dumb!

  10. Seriously though, "googling something completely different?" What? Blister-porn? Wilco-sex? The reek of BS is strong with this one. I'm guessing "unknown" is either Cheryl Strayed or Carly Fiorina.

  11. I stopped at "some of us reside in different cities" because THAT'S ALL YOU, CHERYL.

    A mere moral would've said "some of us live in different cities," Cheryl.

    She cannot disguise her writing voice. It's like an obnoxious trombone. Or a rusty cowbell. I don't know. I'm too weary to come up with a decent metaphor. See - she's rubbing off on me. Screw you, Cheryl.