Friday, December 21, 2018

Should She Expose her Stripper Cousin?

It may not happen as often as we would like, but good advice columnists do exist. Philip Galanes of the New York Times often offers sound advice, so why not, in the spirit of the season, share some of his good advice.

The woman who sent this question has always been competitive with her cousin. She was the smart one; cousin was the pretty one. She built a career as something or other; cousin words as an exotic dancer. Now, the questioner has discovered what her cousin does for a living and would like to announce it at Christmas.

No kidding.

Here is the letter:

My cousin and I grew up together. She was constantly praised for her good looks; I was not. My parents were more interested in my education. After graduating, I went on to build a solid career, but she still drifts professionally. Over Thanksgiving, I noticed that she got weirdly defensive about Stormy Daniels when the Trump saga came up. Sure enough, after checking around, I learned that she works as an “exotic dancer” at a club where she lives. I would like to tell her mother (in a very gentle way) when I see her at Christmas. Her parents may be able to help. Thoughts?


You know and I know that this is an unspeakably bad ideas. So does Galanes. Here is his terse reply:

It sounds to me as if you want to detonate a bomb around the Christmas tree (albeit “in a very gentle way”). And forgive me for speculating, but I think your odd sleuthing and your desire to spill the beans reveal a yen to “win,” proving once and for all that your hard work has triumphed over your cousin’s natural beauty.

But my job is not to hand out blue ribbons. It is, in part, to stop good people from doing mean things like revealing possibly embarrassing information about cousins at family gatherings. Don’t say a word to her mother (or anyone else). What is she supposed to do about her daughter’s career? And why do you assume she doesn’t know?

If you really want to help, be kind to your cousin, even if she received an annoying amount of attention in your youth. It’s possible that she likes her work. It’s also possible that she has fewer job options than you do and made the best choice available to her. (Who are we to judge?) Needlessly drawing attention to her perceived misfortune, even in the guise of concern, doesn’t help her and only makes you look bitter and small.

Q. E. D.


Sam L. said...

Does she really want to be the Grinch at Christmas? My Magic 8-Ball says "Signs Point To YES". Followed by "Don't NEVER DOOOOOOO That".

trigger warning said...

With all due respect, the subculture surrounding the sex industry is incredibly toxic, soul-destroying, and drug-fueled. Considering that, I seriously doubt she "made the best choice available to her" (although if she's super-hot the money might be fairly good for a while). Strip joints and whorehouses, even the most expensive ones, are hell on the women who work there, as is the porn industry. Hooters would be a far better choice, IMO. Besides, Hooters serves great wings.

Having said that, it would be a cruel, heartless, mean-spirited act to tell her mother anytime, but especially at Christmas.

Anonymous said...

He’s the ONLY good online advice person.