Dear Aunt Becky,

I am absolutely, positively sure my (future) brother-in-law is abusing my (future) nieces. If not physically, then mentally and emotionally.

However, I have pretty bad Pile of Crazy, including a long history of catastrophzing and some pretty severe PTSD from my physically, mentally, emotionally abusive (ex)father.

My (future) brother-in-law has done some things in front of me that his parents and/or wife have called him out for. My nieces get extremely upset at the idea of us leaving, but not so at the prospect of being left with us.

[identifying details removed to protect privacy]

Thanksgiving is coming up in a few weeks, and I’m dreading it. Either they won’t show up and I’ll spend the whole time obsessing over why, or they will show up and I’ll spend the whole time waiting for the bomb to go off.

How can I know for sure my nieces are safe?

Oh Gentle Reader, I am so sorry for all that you have been through. I hope that you are healing. Now, if you or anyone else out there suspects that someone is abusing a child, please don’t wait until you have proof. Report it.

Your state or county may have a number you can call to make an anonymous report. If not, below is the National Child Abuse Hotline.

The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD is dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. Serving the United States, its territories, and Canada, the Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with professional crisis counselors who, through interpreters, can provide assistance in 170 languages. The Hotline offers crisis intervention, information, literature, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources.

All calls are anonymous and confidential.

I wish you the best of luck, Gentle Reader. I am sending my love and prayers to you and your nieces. Always.

And to you out there, living in my computer, please, if you or anyone you know is being abused, or you suspect abuse, do not wait for proof. Report it.

National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4A-CHILD

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

National Center on Elder Abuse: 1-800-677-1116

If someone is in immediate danger, of course, call 911.

Dear Aunt Becky,

How is it possible that every time a virus runs through our house my marriage also takes a hit? Is this some new bioterroist weapon?

My hubby is the best. Seriously, great guy, and I love him. But when I am dealing with our small children being sick, he becomes the most useless guy in the world.

For example, if I am tending to one sick child and he feeds the others (we are talking take out here), I will come downstairs to find all the uneaten food out, dishes everywhere, a heap of mail strewn throughout, and the overflowing garbage pails winking at me. If he bathes a child for me so I can tend to a sick sibling, I will find he has forgotten to drain the tub, and dirty clothes, wet towels and tub toys litter the bathroom.

Now, bringing home dinner and bathing children – to name just a few examples – make him feel like he is being the best, most helpful husband in the world. He is actually shocked to learn that I do not feel he has hung the moon.

How do I convey that when I really need help and he cannot complete a task, but only leaves chaos and crap in his wake that it only makes me resentful?

How can a virus infect both my children and my marriage??????

Signed,
Resentful after Rotavirus

Well, apparently I am sending myself emails to Go Ask Aunt Becky while I sleep because that’s the only alternative. I cannot believe that there’s another The Daver out there who simply cannot manage to keep house without destroying it. This is precisely why I do not let him

Either that, or The Terrorists are winning and have somehow implanted some RNA into the Rotavirus that infects the host with The Apathy, rendering them entirely unable to wash a dish, put away a towel or drain a tub. By weakening the sanctity of our marriage, it will weaken us as a country and divided we will motherfucking FALL.

Fucking terrorists.

Hi! My blog is on Blogger, but I am thinking of changing over to Word Press. In your opinion, what are the pros and cons. I’m just starting out, but I already have some followers. How hard would it be to keep my followers while changing sites?

plus, how do i score an awesome layout like yours?

Oh, Delicate Grasshopper, I am probably the LAST person on the planet you want to answer this question but I enlisted my good friend Dr. Google and also The Daver to fill in any gaps. I cannot promise all of my knowledge is 100% correct, because I am about as good with computers as I am with bocce ball (read: not good at sports involving balls), but I will make an effort for YOU.

First. I have both. Because a lot of you have Blogger blogs that do not allow anonymous comments, I signed up. Here is my Blogger blog. You like my design over there? It was made by my friend Badass Geek. He designs those.

Let him do one for you.

And if you’re looking for a sexy WordPress Layout like my old layout (sniff, sniff), talk to Admin or Mrs. Soup.

Anyway. Here is what I learned on my travels:

Blogspot blogs are free. Which is ALWAYS better than paying. Because OBVIOUSLY.

WordPress.com is also free and while I have a blog that uses the same software, I’m not entirely familiar with wordpress.com. I know the software, though.

Blogger blogs are easier to set up and use, which is good for a moron like me. Seriously, I set my own up in about 10 minutes which should tell you a WHOLE LOT.

WordPress blogs are much more customizable, but require a more extensive knowledge from someone who has a better knowledge of computer stuff than I do. Now, I could figure it out–so could you–if you wanted to and there are plenty of How-To Guides out there.

Custom templates are pretty cheap for Blogger blogs and there are tons of free sites out there that have really fun ones.

WordPress does have a standard subset of templates as well, but a lot of the third party templates don’t work with all of the web browsers (Internet Explorer, Safari, etc) and may just not work at all.

There are a ton of WordPress widgets and plug-ins that can be installed that do everything from greeting you with lines from “Sympathy for the Devil” or those that allow you to respond to comments via email. This is called Threaded Comments and it’s kind of my boyfriend.

Blogger doesn’t have many of these options.

Blogger, is owned by Google, and can be shut down at any time IF you violate their policies. I doubt that any of you do or will, but you ultimately don’t have full control, even if you’re still on your own domain but through their database.

With WordPress, you have full have control of your content.

Blogger loses major points with me when it comes to commenting. I’m sorry, my Blogger people, but your system sucks. I get probably 400-800 spam messages every day and they’re caught by my nifty plug-in and they do not require my people to sign in or try to translate ancient Cyrillic just to say, “I fucking love hate your blog, man.”

WordPress wins ease of commenting hands down. No one should have to have a Blogger account simply to comment and Blogger should offer some sort of spam filter better than the CAPCHA. I promise that loses you comments.

Really, the choice is yours. Both have their high points. I mean, who DOESN’T want to be greeted with “Hi Aunt Becky, please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste?*”

There’s a way to redirect people from one address to another, or you can simply have people update their links by leaving a “SORRY, I DON’T LIVE HERE.” I know when I switched, Dave just had it redirect people from there to here and it worked well.

That, love, is beyond me.

————————

Please, my friends in the computer, add in anything that I missed on any of these questions. Please.

———————-

If you read all of that, please, pour yourself a bourbon, dip a cookie in it (it’s 5:00 somewhere, right?), and then clap your hands together with glee. Because tomorrow, my loves, I have something for you. Something SPECIAL I promised you. And something I am delivering.

Something that I fully expect you to tease me relentlessly for.

So get your Depends on drink the fuck up.

Tomorrow, tomorrow.

*That was rhetorical.

Comments

comments

52 thoughts on “Go Ask Aunt Becky

  1. First, GREAT information on how to report a child who is suspected of being abused. As an educator, we are mandated reporters. In other words, if I don’t report, I could lose my job and license. So, I always report.

    Second, I think my head is going to explode. I wish I were more techie…

  2. Yeah I’m pretty impressed I’m second! Although by the time I finish typing I’ll probably be third or fourth. I liked your review of WordPress vs Blogger, as you know I’ve recently made the switch back to WordPress and am sooo much happier.

    What is this widget you are talking about that “Greets People?”

  3. I’m stuck with blogger until my ISP gets their act together & upgrades whatever it is they have to for WordPress to run. They supposedly provide blog hosting as part of the service, though apparently I am the only customer to try to take them up on it. I could just go buy hosting but I resent paying again for something I am already paying for.
    The only reason I want to change to WordPress is for Threaded Comments, Blogger does everything else I need it to do

    1. i feel exactly the same way: i would LOVE to have threaded comments on blogger. i wonder why blogger hasn’t changed this yet? judging from the opinions i have read, everyone hates blogger’s comment system.

      i am waffling about switching to wordpress just so i can have threaded comments.

      1. Oh, the threaded comments are full of The Awesome, altho on the days when I can’t get to everyone’s comments, I feel like an assbag.

        Blogger should really get with it. I can’t imagine it’s THAT hard.

  4. I have been told by my readers that they have a hard time commenting, so it makes me want to consider changing, but I am generally so lame on tech stuff anyway, I have yet to actually get a blogroll up or post a feed reader button. Can you help me be less lame?

  5. I’d just like to say (and I love you dearly so don’t be offended) that it made me feel pretty good when you called Internet Explorer and Safari “operating systems” because I know that those are web browsers and Windows is an operating system, and I know pretty much nothing else about technology.

      1. Trust me, techies will still jizz all over your comments. Why jizz on a girls face when you can jizz on something more abstract?

        1. Especially when they can make me bow to the alter of their Rightness and my Wrongness.

          (have I told you of the 1,000 word email I got dictating all of the things I’ve said grammatically wrong on my blog? It. Was. Awesome).

  6. Great answers…especially the first one.

    You’re like the third blog I’ve read today that only has good things to say about switching from Blogger to WordPress. So I suppose I’m going to have to roll up my sleeves and get to work on setting that up so I can also join the masses and abandon Blogger. Especially since people are complaining about how difficult it is to leave a comment – and we all know comments are like gold. 🙂

  7. Oh. Em. Gee. Beyotch, will you finally be delivering the promised Holy Grail Pic of Aunt Becky’s Halloween Costume?!

    Either way, I’ll await breathlessly. Or with breath, cause if I held my breath too long I’d die, and then I’d never get to see tomorrow’s post.

    And lover, that would be a travesty.

  8. The first question is scary. I hope she (or he) read this and took your advice to heart. So many people wait for “proof” and by then it’s too late.

  9. Great advice all the way around…but it’s going to be blogger for me for awhile, cause I am retarded. I have a Johnny, who is similar to The Daver, but he is too busy making sweet love to his car to worry about my blog. It’s all good, though…the car puts out so I don’t have to:)

  10. I can barely type and post so it will always be Blogger for me. Until I get kicked off for all my inappropriate Google rules violating shenanigans. Or until I get my husband to help me out. (I know, I’m killing you with the husband jokes.)

  11. You are so right about blogger’s f’ed up comment system. It’s been bugging the hell out of me, so I went and signed up for Disqus. So as of tonight’s post (whatever that is) Disqus will handle comments. I’ll let you know how that works out.

    I do miss my wordpress, but free is free.

    1. Disqus has bugs too! It’s a crappy trade-off and I feel bad for my Blogger peeps. Seriously. But free is free is free and you’ll have to let me know how you like it.

      About 80% of the time I can handle Disqus. Sometimes, it boots me off.

  12. You are so right about the commenting on blogger limiting your responses. All of my non blogging friends and family get all tripped up and can’t figure out the commenting. Other than that, it’s so ridiculously simple for the blog owner that the inconvenience needs to be carefully considered.

    1. Oh, absolutely. See, I HAVE a Blogger account for you people, so it’s nothing for me. I hate all your capcha things, and if it takes me more than a couple tries, I stop, because, really? Not worth my time. But yeah.

      I don’t know how bad your spam gets.

  13. OR, you can just have your geeky brother do EVERYTHING for you! Pick which one to use, set it up, design my page, (with my input), and handle any problems that arise.
    This particular solution works out great for me!

  14. love the question about the hubby. im glad im not alone here. i have a great one but his messiness drives me crazy. and its not just when the kids are sick. ive learned not to complain about his long hours of work, sleep or play. i am more in charge of things that way. we fight alot about the same stuff.. him not picking up after himself, letting the kids destroy the house, not doing common sence things like draining the tub (because im NOT sticking my arm in that cold dirty water). and i get so sick and tired of him wanting a pat on the back when he does do something to help me out. hes all “i did laundry” and im all “you washed a load of YOUR clothes and i do that and dishes and sweep and ….. (we could go on forever). we are a twentysomethings family and i was a single independent mom before we moved in together and its been hard for me to get used to living with a man and learn to pick my battles. there have been too many times to count ive wanted to break up because he dosent hang his coats up or take out the trash.. and thats just rediculious. thanks for letting me use your blog to bitch. i feel better =)

  15. So after reading the blogger stuff, I thought I’d set up a new blog. I’ve already made my first post. Check it out Aunt Becky. I think that I’ll slowly bring over my old blog to this one……..

  16. That is hilarious about the 8 inches of (day old) cold bathwater. The worst for me was returning from a business trip – job that I hated – thinking he would have the house reasonably clean and just maybe, a glass of wine waiting (it was just before 10pm). I could even get the fucking front door open. The dog had spent the entire four days tearing apart 72 rolls of toilet paper (thanks Costco), and managed to like, nest it all in the front hallway. After I climbed my way over that, I found the house strewn with socks, wet towels, dirty dishes, and yes, hundreds of bits of chewed toilet paper. All the lights were out and when I found my way into bed, guess who wants a “you know what” as a reward for taking care of the kids *so I could work*.

    I quit my job shortly thereafter and never looked back.

    And yes, 19 months later, I am still finding bits of toilet paper in new and unusual places. xx

  17. Okay, Missy, what plug-in do you use for your comments? I’ve been looking for a good “threaded” and “Reply” one for my own WordPress site, but can’t find such a beast. Help!

  18. So, that fucking Googlebot that stalks me every single day is trying to find a reason to delete me? I had no idea. I can’t figure out why they haven’t pulled the plug on me already after all the nasty things I’ve written about them, but it does explain why they keep an eye on me.

    Now, my inner brat makes me want to see just how far I can go before they squash me…

    If my geek buddy up in Maine would learn all that is WordPress, I’d switch in a second. Hint, hint, Badass.

  19. I am stuck on blogger to death do us part. Forget about asking the husband for help, when not at work he tapes himself to the sofa (of course right in front of the tv) because he is too lazy I mean tired from working so hard all the time. Blogger and my husband have one thing in common, they both give me a headache.

  20. You sure do get the most amazing questions…I mean no offense, because I think you seriously rock…but I don’t know that if I had something super duper serious to ask that this would be my forum. Guess we are all different….
    And yea, doesn’t that Badass Rock?

  21. About the useless husbands thing. See, even though multi-tasking on a computer was invented by a bunch of men (maybe, it’s a stretch) in real life, they’re not so good – read incapable – of multi-tasking.
    If you asked him to bathe the kids, that’s what he did. Focused on that and forgot everything else. Once the kid is bathed, he thinks he’s done the job that you asked him to do.
    Now, otoh, if you ask him to give the kid a bath, and “Honey, when you’re done, can you help me teach Insert-Kids-Name-Here how to leave the bathroom clean and tidy by List-Desired-Results-Here. It would be a huge help.”
    Mostly they want to help, they just have no freaking idea how.

  22. I should be doing something else I couldn’t resist to see whether you have a new post up, and you did! Great responses to your first question-sender (?) [I pray to all the forces out there that everything turns out ok for the nieces]. And indeed all states have mandatory child abuse and neglect reporting laws (or legal languages of some sort): so it actually is illegal if you know something and you choose to ignore it. Now about the 2nd question: I am sure I magically influenced the sender’s mind and had her post this question on your blog. It is the main source of our fights: if he “helped”, I can’t complain otherwise I am just an ungrateful biatch. I read once somewhere that men in this generation feel they have done enough in the house when compared to their fathers. *sigh*

  23. Late to chime in on this, but it’s important so I will. Good advice to encourage the first person to call and make a report, and I just want to add that a phone call to your local CPS (Child Protective Services) office is scary but not terrifying. There will be a person on the other end of the line who can talk you through your observations and your doubts, who will ask you a ton of really specific questions and who will accept your answers for what they are – the concerns of a family member who is worried about the children. Once the info is out there in the cosmos, the decision about whether or not your suspicions were right is taken out of your hands, the agency will determine whether or not a visit is warranted. You need to keep an eye on it, God knows govn’t agencies are typically overworked and underfunded, but your burden will be shared and your suspicions will probably be validated. Good luck.

    On the husband front, what I’ve learned over many moons is to be SPECIFIC. “honey, please bathe the child and then drain the tub and pick up the wet shit in the bathroom.” And also, to act sweetly surprised and thankful when/if he gets even remotely close to accomplishing the goal of the endeavor. They are simple, shallow beasts, these boys of ours. They thrive on repetition and positive reinforcement. Like puppies.

  24. I have to say that wordpress is not all that friendly for commenters, unless of course it’s just myself that is totally effed up while commenting and I can’t seem to figure out how to do it. Many, many comments I leave disappear on wordpress blogs. I know now that this is because I have to (yes, even when the blog KNOWS who I am), hit submit twice. It used to make me feel like maybe I said something wrong and my comment was deleted, but my comments are so dull who could be offended?

  25. 1. I heart typepad. I do pay for it, but it’s not much.
    2. Men will also suck when they get sick and are the only ones in charge of the children. My answer would be to lower your expectations-that way you won’t be disappointed.

  26. Hurry up and post that photo of the gay Hitler costume of yours! Cause, yeah, that’s what I have pictured in my mind. Your hints led me there, so it’s your fault.

  27. “How do I convey that when I really need help and he cannot complete a task, but only leaves chaos and crap in his wake that it only makes me resentful?”

    Your second questioner said it so well. Interestingly, I’ve been in serious discussions at my middle-school child’s school about his trouble with task completion. Coincidence? I think not. I’ve got to do something about this and break the cycle for his someday wife. I can’t believe it’s an ‘in the genes’ thing. It’s called, “follow-through, guys!” Don’t you know that when you take short cuts to make life easier for you, you’re doing it at the expense of someone you love? Who is already overwhelmed? Complete the fucking circle!

    This can be healed from, but not if the resentment that results from being dumped on is then resented.

    A little bitterness leaking through, but it’s brought my marriage down. It’s all over but the formalities.

  28. Don’t forget, y’all who think you aren’t techie enough for WordPress, that is what the joys of wordpress.com are. The awesomeness of the original, without needing your own hosting. Threaded comments, easy commenting, and free!

    Tis lovely!

    And thank you, love, for the props! <3

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