Laugh of the Day

Of course, this isn’t funny for the letter writer. But I found myself laughing out loud at Prudence’s response to a widower in his 50s who is having a relationship with his next-door neighbors and may need to tell his children about it.

Read on:

Dear Prudie,
I am a widower in my mid-50s with three grown children and many grandchildren. My wife died 10 years ago, and three years ago I moved into a new house. I hit it off very quickly with my next door neighbors “Jack” and “Diane,” a married couple in their late 30s with a now-7-year-old son. Our relationship soon became sexual and we are a three-member “couple.” Their son, whom I love dearly, has his own bedroom at my house and calls me “Uncle.” The problem is my youngest son recently lost his job, is in terrible financial straits, and has asked if he, his wife, and two young children can move in with me! I haven’t told any of my children about my unconventional relationship. My wife and I had a happy marriage, and we raised our children in a normal, loving home. Yet when I met the couple I am with, everything seemed to flow so naturally that I didn’t give it a second thought until now. Turning away my son in his time of need isn’t an option, but breaking off my relationship isn’t an option either. Should I keep the whole thing under wraps while my son and his family are here? Jack and Diane think I should be upfront and tell my son, but then everyone would know about this. Most people wouldn’t understand, and frankly it would be humiliating!

—Can’t Stop This Thing I Started

Dear Can’t,
Now that Big Love is off the air, I hope HBO considers the possibilities of a series called Uncle Bob, which tackles both polyamory and the burgeoning social trend of broke adult children returning home. Since you’re a loving father who won’t turn away his son, you lay out clearly your three options for how to proceed: put your threesome on ice; sneak around; come clean. But since you say you’re unwilling to temporarily retire from your trio, that’s out. And, frankly, your grown son’s financial debacle shouldn’t require you to put the kibosh on your romantic life, however odd. Sneaking around may seem like a possible solution, but consider how that’s going to work. Announcing, “I’ll be staying over the neighbors’ for a few nights so that all of you can have the house to yourselves!” is only going to raise suspicions, especially since little Jack Jr. has his own bedroom at your place. I’m afraid I agree with Jack and Diane: The best course is for you to tell your son. This means explaining that, unlikely as it may be—and no one is more surprised about this than you—you are in a relationship with the couple next door. Obviously, say you aren’t going to go into the mechanics of this set-up, and you intend to protect his kids, as you are protecting the couple’s child, from the details of your intimacy. (I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt that you are.) Explain that you are only revealing this aspect of your personal life because privacy is going to be at a premium, but you hope he can discreetly accept your situation. Sure, it will be a shock, but ultimately news of your personal arrangements pales in comparison with being in financial freefall. How sly of you to choose Jack and Diane as pseudonyms for your friends. John “Cougar” Mellencamp may have sung about a similarly named pair: “Oh yeah life goes on/Long after the thrill of living is gone.” But your Jack and Diane have found that a once-lonely grandfather is the way to bring back the thrill.

LOL! No seriously, that sounds like one painful conversation.


Midday Coffee Break

What’s up?

In case you missed it on Facebook, our Hillary won her primary race for Lehigh County Commissioner (District 5). You go, mujer!

In other election news coverage, the residents of California voted down five of six ballot initiatives meant to address a steep budget shortfall and deficit, according to CNN. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has said if the measures fail, California’s deficit will balloon to $21.3 billion and he will have to make even more drastic cuts in education, health care and even release prisoners. Yikes.

Also in CNN: New Hampshire has come closer to signing a same-sex marriage bill now that the state legislature is adding language to protect religious organizations and individuals.

Oprah Winfrey recently interviewed two extraordinary single fathers. When I first saw the headline, I rolled my eyes thinking single mothers have had to juggle children and work for eons. Why is this news? But these men are seriously extraordinary, including a widower-ed father of nine who also works as a full-time corporate attorney and another widower who not only cared for a newborn when his wife unexpectedly died but also created a foundation in her name to help other parents in his position. Very cool.

Also in Oprah: A New York City screenwriter and producer wrote about the eight most annoying questions she has received about her adopted daughters from China. I was appalled at the rudeness of these questions like “What did they cost you?” and “Do they speak English?” Rude, rude, rude.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?