Concentrate: There’s a Tree in Your Ass

Dear Dategirl, My sister is dating a scumbag. He's a college dropout, lives with two roommates (he's 30), just lost his job, and will probably lose his car very soon because he won't be able to afford the payments. My baby sister has always been an overachiever. She graduated from high school early, aced an Ivy education, and has an amazing job at a blue-chip law firm. Until their deaths, our parents were barely functioning alcoholics, so we basically raised ourselves. I am so proud of all she's accomplished. Did I mention she's also beautiful? So what is she doing with this jerk? I've met him twice and have been unimpressed, to say the least. He chews with his mouth open. He pronounces "nuclear" as "nuke-u-lar," which my sister and I used to find funny when we had a president who did that. But when he said it, she was too busy staring adoringly to notice. I'm not the type to say anything, but she has hinted that it's obvious I don't care for her boyfriend. I know my approval means a lot to her, but how can I break it to her gently that I don't like the guy? —Protective Big Sister How can you break it to her gently? You don't. What you need to do is reach around back, grab hold, and do your best to dislodge the tree branch that seems to be wedged up your anus. You may need help because it seems fairly firmly ensconced. Now you'll probably be able to take a shit too, because your manner and tone lead me to believe regularity might be an issue. You obviously don't get out much if you consider recent unemployment, the occasional mispronunciation, and open-mouth chewing worthy of the label scumbag. Do I really need to get into my tales of scumbaggery? The gem(s) who cheated on me? The one who shat my bed? The asshole who beat me up? Those guys—all scumbags. This guy doesn't even sound like he rates "dirtbag." Look around—people are unemployed everywhere. Good people, bad people, it doesn't matter. And hell, he's getting off easy if it's only his car that's getting repo'd. Do you know how many houses were foreclosed on last year? I don't either, but it was a lot. Are all those people "scumbags"? Good on him for knowing his financial limitations and living with a couple of roommates. At least he won't be homeless or sponging off your sister. From what you've said, there doesn't really seem to be much wrong with this guy. He's not perfect, but who is? Which leads me to wonder what's going on with you. You don't mention your relationship status, so I'm going to do the obvious thing and assume you're not in one. Or you're in a bad one, so you're concentrating on your sister instead of your own life. I'm going to give you some advice of the unsolicited variety, because I sort of understand where you're coming from. I am the oldest of five. I have also been accused—justly— of being both judgmental and hypocritical. Maybe it's an oldest-child thing, or maybe we're both just assholes. Whichever the case, you need to shut it. I don't mean "shut it" through pursed lips and a raised eyebrow, either. When "He sucks!" screams from every pore, it doesn't matter if your lips aren't flapping. Step back and let your sister live her life. She's happy; be happy for her. Maybe he's not who you would've picked, but that's the beautiful thing about having completely different tastes than your sister—you're never going to have one of those Jerry Springer moments where you walk in on her fucking your man.

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