Blake’s Advice Column
My wife of 46 years keeps telling me about her deprived childhood. Everybody else had a color TV; the one she grew up with was a black-and-white. Granny didn’t have a dryer; she had to use a clothesline. They didn’t have a car, and when they finally got one, it was a used car. All the other girls were in Brownies. When Granny finally signed her up, it was too late. My wife had to get a used Brownie uniform that didn’t fit, and they put her in a troop with Girl Scouts much older. She always wanted a swing-set, but never got one.
Is there counseling and group therapy for this self-pity condition?
From Flagstaff, Arizona
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It’s very unfortunate that your wife can’t let go of the past. Probably the only way to stop her irritating whining, is for you to “one-up” her pitiful childhood, or should I say “one-down” her. Here are some of my suggestions. She said she only had a black and white as a child. Tell her your family didn’t have any electricity for a tv, and everyone had to take turns using hand puppets in a box as a cheap form of prime time tv. When she talked about not having a dryer and instead used a clothesline, tell her your family didn’t have a dryer, a clothesline or clothes, so your parents moved you and your siblings to a nudist colony to conceal how penniless they were. Tell her your parents signed you up for the Boy Scouts, but you got kicked out after you infected some of the other boys with lice, because only bathed twice a year, due to your home not having indoor plumbing. But if it’s important for your wife to rekindle here youth, then buy her the swing set she feel she was deprived of. And to make it special, construct it at the edge of the Grand Canyon for a spectacular view. And then give her some repeated powerful pushes… after you loosened some of the links in the chains. I hope this helps.