Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Calling Dr. Laura

There's a book now by that name, but this has nothing to do with that book. I haven’t read the book and I wasn't planning to.

I love the Dr. Laura show because Dr. Laura cares about children, cares about the needs of both women and men, rejects radical Leftist feminism, generally promotes conservative morality, marriage and family, patriotism, fiscal responsibility, and individual liberty, and helps people, including helping people do better over and above making them immediately feel better. She also now gives commentaries at the start of the show, usually with useful, practical information. I listen to every minute of her show, thanks to podcasting. It's the only show I listen to with such dedication. So keep that in mind as I have a little fun with this "public service" announcement to potential callers of her talk show. (For advice about calling in to call-in shows in general, I recommend reading this.)

Dr. Laura has lost patience and I don't blame her. She's right to be fed up with the stupid choices people are making (especially when it is compounded by bad caller etiquette). There are times when some hapless person who has just discovered her show calls in and starts shamelessly painting a picture of their own immoral actions in an effort to get to a trivial question, or one about how they can continue to be immoral with the least amount of inconvenience to themselves. I feel like pausing the podcast and getting some popcorn, because I've listened long enough to know what will be coming. Once in a while, she deals with the caller by abruptly hanging up on them without answering their question (sometimes before they can get around to asking it), perhaps with a curt, seething, "And you have a good day sir/ma'am." You know that could be coming when someone says something like, "I need your help. My boyfriend, who lives with me, is on drugs and I need him to stop because it bothers the four children I have by three other men." Usually, though, she will use the caller as a example to the wider audience, admitting she is doing this because she is unable to "fix" the situation because some situations can't be, but listeners need to be warned before their situation gets as bad. That is why she can be so rough on those callers.

If you don’t want to end up as one of those Examples of What Not to Do, then don't call her for help unless:

1) You always stayed celibate while unmarried and didn't ever shack up with a love interest, shunned all technology developed after the 1950s (except for caller ID and medical technology), obeyed your parents as long as you were dependent on them, didn't abuse substances, exercised and ate right, moved out at 18, and then went into college or the military.


2) At age 21, you started regularly drinking a glass of wine with dinner.

3) If you are male, you've developed a career that is: a) stable, b) won't move you, c) is not dangerous, d) won't have you networking with women at lunches or happy hours or via text (remember, no tech), e) is strictly eight hours, five days per week with holidays and vacation time off, f) has a compensation & benefits package that supports you, your wife, and your kids (including insuring and saving for the future) in a nice neighborhood and allows you to hire lawyers to "go to war" at any time.

4)You have, or if you're female, your boyfriend or fiancee has, never revealed or been caught using any adult material. Men aren't entitled to orgasms inspired by depictions of female skin unless said man has signed a legal document transferring at least half of his income to a woman. Then, he is entitled to it if his wife doesn't provide her own flesh to him whenever he wants it. Unless he does something that Dr. Laura doesn't like, in which case the woman should claim she's turned off.

5) If you are 30 years of age or older, then in your late 20s, after two years of courting and six months of intense premarital counseling with a licensed therapist who specializes in premarital counseling, you married a completely healthy compatible citizen or permanent legal resident of the opposite sex[1] about the same age who has done all of the previous things I mentioned, has no debt (ideally, you will be getting a new house together rather than moving into one or the other's), was  introduced to you by someone you know and respect, and has a normal sex drive and compatible & normal sexual interests, as verified despite remaining celibate; someone within the same religious group as you and has a thriving harmonious family nearby, none of the members of which are criminals or abusers of people or substances. (Note: since you were both virgins when you married, you were never married before and had no kids. Also note that being unmarried into your 30s or later means something is wrong with you. Everyone wants to be with someone.)

6) You live close to, but separate from, the families from which you came (unless they are all horrible people, but at least one of you has to have a decent family). You are NOT having anyone else in your family living with you or being helped by you.

7) You both wanted children and you have one child together. None is not really acceptable beyond a few years into the marriage, as it means something is wrong with you for not wanting children.  Having two or three kids is OK, but having just one is optimal.[2] (Please ignore "demographic winter" concerns.)

8) You are, or your wife is, a stay-with-kids mom. The kids are homeschooled or in a private school with acceptable curricula and policies, but not until at least six years of age. The kids are NOT in too many extracurricular activities, and especially not gymnastics.

9) You are still married or you are widowed through no fault of you or your spouse (your spouse did not have a risky job or hobby, for example). If widowed, you're not to date[3] until your youngest child is 18, and after that, getting married again requires a prenup, even though prenups are wrong wrong wrong for first marriages. If you're divorced, you made a mistake and that mistake will be focus of the call, regardless of what you are calling about.

10) You have always been completely exclusively faithful to each other and monogamous with each other. This includes not only neither of you having messed around behind your spouse's back, but never having involved anyone else along with your spouse and never so much as watching anyone else mess around (because watching others means you definitely want to actually have sex with those others)... unless it is on video and you watch it together. That can actually be good. Fantasizing is especially good. As long as the fantasies are mainstream. You may call about an affair your spouse just started. But be prepared, since you will be the one calling to be told what you can do, which can include, depending on the situations, anything from being pleasant and staying put until the last child is 18, or giving your spouse more of what they want so as to make the other person useless to them.

11) You completely share your finances and have no separate accounts. If you spouse keeps something separate other than inheritance they have received, it means they're cheating and plotting your murder. Or something like that. Marriage is about combining finances, and again, something is wrong with someone who doesn't want to get marriage (= legal enforcement of shared finances). Second or subsequent marriages are NOT about sharing finances if one or both of you have children from your first marriage.

12) You and/or your spouse are willing to make demands/threats that are illegal to actually back up in order to exert authority over the children or within the family or over someone who interacts with your family.[4]

13) You don't care who doesn't like you, at least not more than you care about doing the right thing by following Dr. Laura’s advice.

14) You protect yourself, your spouse, your children, and other children from toxic people, even if those toxic people are your siblings or parents.


If you have deviated from these in any way, you may be used as a negative example, and whatever problem you're calling with may not be "fixed" and will be linked to your deviation. Dr. Laura appears to have arrived at her positions through statistics, studies, traditional morality, nature[5], and her own experiences. Although I am having a little fun with this, I do agree with most of that being the ideal way to live, and that so many of the problems we have in relationships or society in general wouldn’t exist or would be almost nonexistent if we lived those ideals.

If you haven't deviated from those in anyway way, your call will be more pleasant for you and you're much more likely to get your question answered with advice you can, and should, use that doesn't just boil down to "suck it up, this is the bed you made."

Some other things to keep in mind when you call:


DO NOT EVER…
  • Talk over her.
  • Say "right…  right… right" (as she’s talking), "I don't know" (in response to a question… make something up if you have to), "How do I deal with…", "I just…", 
  • Respond to her advice with saying it would be difficult to do, or with "even  if" or "what if", "I'll try", "I did that" (even if you did), "But they'll get upset", or "I feel" (unless she specifically asks you for your feelings).
  • Disagree with her, even if you're convinced her conclusion is wrong. She's been doing this a long, long time, and before that, she was working as a licensed family therapist. She gets a lot of skeptical or disagreeing callers following up with "You were right!"
  • Indicate or volunteer that you are overweight in the slightest unless your call is about your weight/appearance/health, or THAT will be considered the source of your problems, the focus of the call will be on dropping that weight rather than the problem you called about, and if your problem is that your spouse has sexually rejected you or cheated on you, it will be attributed to this. Dr. Laura has worked very hard to keep herself in good shape, and since she's done it, she will want you to, too.
  • Cite what your clergy said that seems to disagree with her advice. You're calling Dr. Laura, not your clergy.
  • Attribute anything in your life to God except for general moral principles, as Dr. Laura can get testy about that.  
  • Claim you were "raped" if you willingly went to a hotel room, secluded place, or the home of a guy you barely knew, got drunk with along with him, had sex with him, and then later regretted having sex with him, or at least wanted to hurt him in some way.
  • Claim you recovered a repressed memory, because there are many war veterans who wish they could repress their memories and not have PTSD, and therefore nobody could have ever possibly repressed a memory. She will likely end the call explaining that.


DO…

  • SILENTLY LISTEN to Dr. Laura and then answer the questions she actually asks you (not different questions, not just saying something else you wanted to say), after she is finished asking you the question.
  • Finish your sentences.
  • Accept her advice as though it will work and resolve the issue, even if you don't believe it will.
  • Say "You're right" (if you want to keep the call going), "I WILL do that" (not "I'll try").
  • Start out your call with the most important thing. For example, don't say, "I want to know if I should stop taking my children over to their uncle's house, because he's a Chicago Cubs fan, and thus always depressed… Oh, and he's a convicted child molester."
  • If you are a woman, tell her your husband plays video games or uses Facebook if you want her to pretty much automatically side with you and/or agree that he's not a responsible adult.
Footnotes:

[1] Unless you are gay or lesbian, in which case you pair up with someone of the same sex, but do NOT involve children (so ignore those parts of the rest of the advice) except through fostering or adopting older, hard to place children. Contrary to vicious lies, she fully supports the rights and dignity of homosexual people. (If you’re bisexual, she will not believe that; she will insist you are homosexual.) I think she does affirm that marriage is between a man and woman, but she does encourage homosexual people to commit to each other (and to follow all of the other morals she preaches) and for their families to accept them, and their partners, as they are. She does value the male-female polarity in raising children.

[2] Do not ever imply it is beneficial for a child to have a sibling. Dr. Laura had one child and she will tell you only children do better.

[3] When your child is with family or otherwise correctly occupied, you can go on casual dates with people you’ll never introduce to your child as long as your child is a minor. Just make sure you can’t make a baby.

[4] For example, intimidating your own children for disrespecting their mother. What good is it getting in the face of your son? What are you going to do if he continues to be disrespectful? Lay a hand on him, and one call to the authorities will ruin your life. Or intimidating any male who wants to date your underage daughter or comes to visit you with your adult daughter? He knows that if you lay on hand on him he can sue you and have you prosecuted. Dr. Laura also will advise a caller under certain circumstances to unilaterally do something or announce to their spouse things are going to be a certain way, even if the spouse disagrees. Well, that might work for women, but men have no or next to no power once the marriage contract is in place, and women know it. If they forget it, their girlfriends will remind them, and a lawyer will certainly remind them. Telling a male caller to "be a ma-yun" hearkens back to a time when husbands actually had the power, right or wrong. Now, a wife can ignore everything her husband says, not lift a finger, can screw his best friend in his own house with the children and husband in the other room. Where I live (and where Dr. Laura lives and works), in California, which is a community property state, no-fault divorce state, etc., a wife is going to get at least half of everything, alimony (for life if the marriage was close to ten years or longer), custody of the children and child support, and as with the child, she can make one call to the authorities to ruin her husband's life.

[5] She recognizes the realities that men and women are different, that women are generally better suited to being the parent who is with the kids while the man is earning the income, that male lions kill the offspring of other males when they take on a lioness, and other examples of nature, as long as they support the point she's making. For example, she'll never say, "You know, [insert species here] will mate with lots of different partners, so what’s the big deal about sleeping around?" Instead, that is example of where she says we must rise above the other animals.

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:47 PM

    This was great. And don't forget, she'll tell parents not to take in their grown children, but always tells callers to go home to their mothers. Classic Laura.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous, I had never caught that. That is a bit funny. In fairness, when she tells people not to take in their adult children, she's usually referring to druggies, people who are soon to be released from prison, or someone who is struggling financially. I've heard her tell people to take in their son- or daughter-in-law with their grandchildren if their own child abandoned the family, and disown their own adult child ("I'm doing to you what you have done to your child.") If a caller were to call and say "My daughter is leaving her do-nothing video-game-playing husband" Dr. Laura would probably tell the caller to take her in. If the person being left is violent, she might advise NOT taking them in for safety reasons, but rather sending them to a shelter.

    She had to advise the caller. She can't advise someone who isn't calling. This explains many of the seeming contradictions in her advice. For example, she'll tell a guy who is cheating on his wife that he's being scummy, but it the wife were the person calling, and the guy was otherwise a good husband, she's likely to tell the wife she needs to stop neglecting her husband.

    ReplyDelete

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