Anyone that knows me will tell you I have an unhealthy obesession with advice columnists - whether they are your Dear Abby's of the world or your kinky Dan Savage's - I can't get enough of them. They have the perfect job, if you compile a history of giving grade-A advice you really can't go wrong.
Dear Abby has answered every type of question there is relating to sex-advice (well mild forms) to etiquette to just queries people have about everyday situations. Dan Savage takes the wilder forum and answers questions regarding if it's okay to drink pee or whether or not a beastiphiliac should go into therapy or just move to a very small town with a house that has a big backyard and really tall fences.
I usually agree most of the time with both of these fine, fine people in the advice they give to the thousands of people that write them because I think most problems fall under the mind your own fucking business umbrella except in situations involving family and very close friends. And even then, these two remarkable people know what's appropiate and what's not when trying to discuss sensitive topics involving the family.
Recently Mr. Savage gave some advice to a young a woman in her 20's catching her uncle at a bar with a woman who was not her aunt and hearing her uncle give some lame excuse as to why he was out with another woman. The 20 something year old asked Dan "Do I tell someone? What should I do?" and Mr. Savage gave the very generic answer of "Mind your own fucking business" which I completely disagree with.
But the thing is, I think I am in the minority of people who think this way - every advice columnist I've read that comes across this problem talks about people minding their own business if this situation arises and that sooner or later the truth will come out. But why wait? If I saw my uncle cheating on my aunt, I think it would take all of 5 seconds before I was on the phone with my cousin telling her how her father is a cheating sack of shit.
The reasoning behind most advice columnists is that a) the aunt may know already b) she may not believe you causing a rift in the family c) the uncle may be innocent.
I see problems with any of those reasonings; a) if she does, no harm no foul, she may want you to keep it under wraps, they may have an open relationship they don't want the family to know about, they could be seperating b) that's her problem but at least you've informed her of what's going on, she can do what she wants with that information and c) if he's innocent, he's innocent but in the end he knows he has a niece who will look out for the well being of her family.
The other big problem I have with this is the risk to the aunt's health this causes - she could be at risk of a slew of STD's and scarred for the rest of her life if she knew her family was keeping this from her.
Most advice columnists also follow a simple rule "if that were me, I would most certainly like to know/hear about it/be told" (regarding most situations) and in a situation like the cheating scenario I most definately would want to be told if my partner/husband/boyfriend was cheating on me. In fact I think I would be more hurt by the scenario if I knew my friends/family knew and didn't tell me, putting me at risk at all of the above.
I don't know if I would make a good advice columnist, I know I have a big yap but I like to think I also have a big heart that likes to help those in dire need of common sense or just a shoulder to cry on. So let's hear it, did I give some good advice here or should I stick to what I know, paper folding and creating alignments? I am hereby opening my blog to queries and questions (submit anonymously) for some kick ass advice that I hope helps someone out there :)