By JUDITH H. BERNSTEIN
Blast New York Bureau
So, nu? Why should you listen to me? Let me put it this way: I come highly
recommended. Ann Landers once clucked "You ARE a good mother!" - as I tried
to tell her why she was wrong for bashing the Internet without ever
visiting it (You can even check it out
If I'm good enough for Ann Landers, I oughta be good enough for you.
Besides, I make a mean bowl of chicken soup.
Now, for this month's dose of tsouris:
Dear JMFNY: I'm a junior in college and my friends are already making plans
for spring break. They're talking about a five-day trip to St. Bart's. The
sun, sand and Sex on the Beach -- the drinks, that is - sound like just the
thing to dissolve our frozen bone marrow. You see, our school's up near the
Canadian border, and we spend most of January and February dealing with a
wicked ice storm. Even the microwaveable slippers my mom sent along with a
case of Cup-a-Soups (chicken noodle, of course) and a pound of Jelly Bellys couldn't thaw me out.
The only thing is, they're planning the trip during the First and Second
nights of the Passover Seder. This is not a problem for anybody else.
Should I go to Seder or should I go South? Signed, Missing that Matzoh
Dear Matzoh (Or should I say Crackerhead?): Your mom sent you microwaveable
slippers and you are asking this question? Do you even know how much Jelly
Bellys cost? Would your friends even think about missing their
moms' honey glazed Easter hams for sun, sand and whatever on the beach?
Don't even ask!
Dear JMFNY: I want to go to see Marilyn Manson. The concert's not on a
school night, and I've saved up my baby-sitting money to buy the tickets.
But my parents don't want me to go. They haven't even heard Marilyn Manson
sing, but they've heard some bad things about the band from their friends,
who haven't heard the band either. I think Marilyn Manson's awesome. What
do you think? Signed, Member of an American Family
Dear Member: I think you sound very responsible and sensible. And I'm sure
Marilyn is a lovely girl. Show your parents this column and tell them that
I said go and have a good time. Just make sure to bring a sweater -
sometimes those rock arenas get chilly.
Dear JMFNY: Remember that movie, "Six Degrees of Separation," about a con
artist who cons some well-off New Yorkers into believing he went to school
with their kids and that he's Sidney Poitier's son? Well, something like
that happened to me. I worked with "Morris," and believed his tales of woe
when he told me that he left his last home after a lovers' quarrel. I took
him into my home as a roommate. He said he'd pitch in with the rent and
didn't. He ran up hundreds of dollars in long-distance calls. Finally, I
called his former roommate, who told me Morris had been kicked out under
Morris realized I was getting wise to his tricks and vanished. I was out of
a couple of thousand dollars, and had to borrow money from my parents to
pay the bills. I reported everything to the police. Nothing happened, but
my ability to trust people was trampled.
Yesterday, I saw Morris in a local restaurant at dinnertime. All the rage,
anger and betrayal came rushing back. I wanted to hit him, but he wouldn't
come outside. Instead, I cursed at him in front of all the other patrons
and told him I'd get even with him. Everybody was staring at me.
My friends told me what I did was stupid. All I want to do is pummel this
guy for what he did to me. What do you think?
Signed, Lower East Side Goodfella
Dear LES Fella: While it's certainly understandable that you want to beat
Morris into something resembling sausage meat, you live in a city where the
mayor now has cops arresting people for jaywalking. If they'll be spending
time in the joint for crossing the street, can you imagine what the
penalties will be for verbal, let alone, physical abuse, deserved or not?
You could have called the police once you spotted Morris, but I'm sure they
were otherwise occupied chasing pedestrians in midtown.
Unfortunately, Morris screwed you. But don't screw yourself. Morris will
get his eventually and you probably won't even know about it. However,
unless you want to risk jail time, exorbitant lawyers' fees and everything
else in your life that you've worked hard for, keep your hands in your
pockets, your threats in your kishkes and keep on walking next time you
see him. Let him wonder what you're thinking or what you're going to do
next till he starts getting crazy. Most of all, don't give him all this
power over the way you behave.