crimewave creates marital discomfort

Linette and I just got into a fight over our magazine. We’ve been working on it all weekend, and things had been going fine, right up until ten minutes ago. She just sped out of here, telling me that she didn’t know where she was going or when she would be back. This is the kind of thing that makes me wonder why we keep doing this. Not only does the magazine cost us thousands of dollars to print and ship out, but every issue invariably leads to at least one fight between us over what we include or don’t include. This years fight came as a result of a fake column that I’d suggested, a column like those that you see in newspapers and magazines these days that are made to look like legitimate stories when in fact they’re really just disguised ads.

The name of the column was to be “Help Me Kate.” It was supposed to look like “Dear Abby.” I had the idea a week or so ago over breakfast when I was reading “Dear Abby.” She (the woman who does the column now that Abby has retired) was answering a question from a mother who had written in to bemoan the fact that her son didn’t know how to behave around girls, how to express to them that he was interested in asking them out on a date, etc. Abby responded by saying something like, “I just happen to have a brochure for sale that deals with this very issue.” She didn’t give an answer, but just gave ordering information. It pissed me off to think that some people out there might not see this for what it clearly was, a set-up. There was no son struggling with his feelings for girls. There was just a team of marketing people who wanted to introduce a new product offering I then though that we could do the same thing with our Ypsipanties.

Linette read my draft and yelled, “This sounds like it was written by a man,” like that’s the worst insult in the world. I got defensive and started in with my, “Well, isn’t that just the worst fucking thing comments. It spiraled downward from there until she grabbed her car keys and walked out.

Here’s the column. I know that she has a point and that I probably go too far toward sexualizing Ypsipanties, which aren’t really sexy at all (they’re big, comfortable panties, not thongs or something like that), but that was my whole point. I wasn’t actually trying to move panties with this piece. I wanted it to be somewhat obnoxious. I wanted it to read like something you’d find in Cosmo, something directed at stupid people who might believe that the panties you wear could solve your relationship problems. In doing that, I did take something really good and fun (Ypsipanties) and cast it in the wrong light, but I was trying to create satire.

As Linette was leaving, I was essentially telling her that she didnt know good satire when she saw it. The last thing I said was, And Jonathan Swift didnt really want people to eat babies.

So, here’s what I sent to Linette that started all of this:

(One column width, made to look like a real newspaper column. Have paid advertisement written in very small letters across the bottom, like in the NY Times. Start with a headshot of a woman in her 50s, an Edna Garrett type.)

HELP ME KATIE

Dear Katie,
Im a 30 year-old mother of two in Denver. I like to consider myself an attractive and sexy woman, but since our second child, my husband wont make love with me. Its been almost six moths now and Im at my wits end. Ive tried everything. Ive tried the filthy talking, the role-playing (I came to bed last night as a pirate, complete with a tri-corner hat, and an eye patch, and he just curled up in a ball and started crying), even the begging, but nothing seems to work. Id do anything to have things back the way they were. Any suggestions?
Thank you,
Pirate without Booty on the coast of North Carolina

Dear Pirate,
If you really want to see that Jolly Roger unfurled, take my advice and slip into a new (or slightly used) pair of Ypsipanties. Ive seen them work a thousand times. They drive men absolutely wild, not necessarily because theyre sexy (they are), but because a woman in Ypsipanties exudes confidence and nothing is sexier than the combination of big panties and confidence. (And lose the eye patch, unless of course you really are missing an eye.)

Dear Katie,
My new in-laws are coming to stay three months with my husband and I and I dont know what Im going to do. Ive only met them once and they made me cry with their hurtful words. I cannot imagine spending an entire day with them, let alone three months. I told my husband how I felt and he says that I just need to get over it. Well, I dont think I can. In fact, Im considering divorce. Am I doing the right thing? I really love him, but I just cant do this. Ive been crying for three days straight.
Thank you,
Tearful Terry in Biloxi

Dear Terry,
First, I want for you to dry up those tears with a brand new pair of Ypsipanties. Theyre 100% cotton and very absorbent. If you wanted to, you could just put a pair right over your head and wear them like a mask theyre wonderfully breathable. And, the best part is, if you did this; Im sure you wouldnt have to worry about his parents staying for three months. They may not even make it through dinner.

Dear Katie,
My wife read your column last week and went out and bought a pair of these magical Ypsipanties that youre always raving about. I told her she was just wasting time. (Ive been impotent since I slipped on an orange peel in Pamplona sixteen years ago.) But she did it anyway. And its a lucky thing for me that she did too. They worked like a charm and I feel like Im sixteen again.
Thank you for everything,
Resurrected in Bethlehem, PA

Resurrected,
Ive heard it explained this way by a psychologist friend of mine, Dr. David Chinsworthy, author of the book, The Brain is the Biggest, Thickest, Hardest Sex Organ; he says that making love to a woman in Ypsipanties allows men to cross the line into a place of pure taboo. At a period in time when taboos are fewer and farther between, this is an enticing proposition in his estimation. A woman slips on Ypsipanties and she becomes not your wife, not your girlfriend, but a tantalizing Siren calling to you from the other side of the tracks, from the depths of Ypsilanti.

While every young man has heard stories about women from Ypsilanti, few have had the courage to venture into their environs. Essentially, Ypsipanties give regular men the illusion of risk, of danger, without any of the STDs or other complications that come from an actual liaison with a woman from Ypsi.

As one of couples I have in Panty Counseling has said: Its like if Disney made a ride called Crack House.

Yes, it’s stupid. And, yes, it needs work. It clearly isnt my best work and its not something that Id be willing to ruin our marriage over. So, thats why Im printing it here. Im printing it here so that theres no more question as to whether or not itll go in the magazine. (Once somethings on the blog, it cant go into the magazine. Thats the rule.)

Our fourth anniversary is in a few days. This sucks. Yes, my humor is not funny. And, yes, she has a point. The thought of doing this magazine without her does not appeal to me in the least. The magazine is better as a result of having both of our voices in it. We both know that. But the process is difficult. I think the result is usually good, but the process is painful. I really dislike fighting, especially over stupid things, especially when Im wrong. Fuck.

Sorry, Linette. I love you. And, in this case, you were right. The satire was not strong enough to mitigate the negatives.

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