laplumeDear L. A. Plume,

            My dear friend has recently received a letter from her daughter-in-law to be, and it’s the vilest, most cruel, inflammatory and derogatory letter I have ever read. My friend is devastated by this young woman’s obvious capacity for hatred, and she can only wonder when it will extend to the rest of the family as well as the children, and she is confused by what outcome was expected. The letter is pages long and disparages every event, gift, and act of kindness extended to her by my friend, it insults my friend’s character and uses very foul language, too. The situation was already difficult for my friend, as this person had an affair with her son, leading to the break up of both their marriages, and causing my friend’s first daughter-in-law to take their baby off to live quite far from here. So my friend has lost access to her grandchild, and this woman somehow expects to be rewarded for her behind the back behavior. It seems this person has always wanted my friend to like her “better” than the mother of her grandchild; her attitude has been “pick me, pick me” . . . and if you don’t, then I will stab you in the back. Which she has. Said person has dictated that my friend’s son not be shown the letter, so there is no way of knowing if he has sanctioned this action, though it is difficult to imagine that he understands the scope of the situation.

            That damage is done, but of course my friend will never be able to be anywhere near this person – ever again – and she wonders how she is supposed to conduct herself now that this woman has blatantly tried to cut her off from her son and his family. She says she will not be able to attend the wedding, the birth of children, holidays, etc. with this woman, in the face of this hatred and cruelty.  What can she do?

            Dazed and Confused


Dear Dazed,

            Wow. What did this to-be daughter-in-law hope to accomplish? Showing her backside may not have been on her list but she sure did a good job of it. The fact that she asked that the letter not be shared with the son is a clear indication that she is manipulating not only her boyfriend but trying to sever the relationship between a mother and her son, which speaks volumes about her true character.

I’m at a bit of a loss here and hoping that karma finds it’s way into this situation, but let’s hear from you, readers – what can/should Dazed and Confused do?



Dear Ms. Plume,

Yesterday I had a four leg airline journey of 1500 miles. Leg 2 was a flight that should have been a no brainier, on time, clear day, etc.  BUT… there were 16 small children aboard, two of whom were infants under six months old. I learned to my horror that 12 of the older children were capable of screaming. For three solid hours.  At full volume.  Apparently they didn’t even need to stop and breathe. A couple added to the fun by stamping their feet and jumping up and down on the seat (holding to the back of someone else’s). Entreaties to the parents fell on deaf ears.The cabin crew were huddled as far forward as they could get, since their requests for peace went unheeded, too.  A couple of bloody Marys did not ease the pain.

Please advise me as to which of the following actions would be most correct:

            Smacking the kids? And/or parents? In which order?

            Removing my only piece of luggage from the overhead and locking the kids in?

            Screaming myself for three solid hours?  

            Throwing them out the window?  Probably not, I would get sucked out too…

            Bear spray?  Roach spray?  Rat traps?

            What the hell are these kids going to act like when they’re adult flyers?

            Goodness gracious, are we turning into a society of feral hordes?


            Not a Merry Flier


Dear Not Merry,

            Noise canceling headphones are the only thing that come to mind.

L.A. Plume