SEDARATIVES

A MONTHLY ADVICE COLUMN

by Amy Sedaris
THIS MONTH’S TOPIC: FAMILY

Dear Amy,

I’m contemplating making the switch from calling my adopted father by his first name, Gerald, to the more affectionate Dad. The problem is, Gerald and Winona (my mother) have always subscribed to the alternative family practice of having their kids address them by their first names. How do I show that I’ve finally accepted my adopted father as family without offending his New Age sensibilities?

Quincy Magnus
Santa Fe, N.M.

Dear Quincy,

Here is what I suggest. First, go into your room, dim the incandescents, and light some candles. Next, scatter some crystals about as a source of healing and energy. Put something soft and ambient on the phonograph, like a tranquility sampler or indigenous music with light chanting. Oh yeah, that’s nice. Get out the tarot cards and give yourself a quick reading. OK, you’re ready. Invite your mom and fake dad into the room and shout, in a Jim Morrison baritone rumble, “Father, I want to kill you! Mother, I want to fuck you!” Do you see what I’m getting at? Why would one explore an Oedipus complex with an adoptive parent? He will have to think you mean it. Yeah, it’s a long shot, but file it under “so crazy it just might work.”

Amy

*

Dear Amy,

Why isn’t anyone worried about me?

An Inquiring Mom
Readfield, Maine

P. S.: I asked this question of my daughter just minutes ago, and she suggested your column as a place to air my concerns about myself.

Dear Mom,

This is a tough one. I wish I could say that nobody is worried about you because you are so well grounded and capable, but we both know deep in our hearts that that is a lie. It’s pretty clear that you are a train on the verge of derailment. You are a speeding vehicle and the wheels have come off. So why doesn’t anybody care? Could it be that your existence barely registers as a blip on the human awareness scale? As Occam’s Razor states, the simplest explanation is the preferred one. I suppose a better question to consider than “Why isn’t anyone worried about me?” might be “How can I exact a horrible revenge on my thoughtless offspring?” There’s a question I can sink my fangs into.

Amy

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

To read the full piece, please purchase a copy of the magazine from The McSweeney’s Store.

Amy Sedaris is an acclaimed career waitress who occasionally writes and performs when her schedule permits. She lives with her rabbit, Dusty, in New York City.

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