Let This Be A Lesson To Us All
When Cary Tennis took over Garrison Keillor's advice column on Salon a few years ago, I mourned the loss of my beloved Mr. Blue. Like most people, I have a tendency to resist change. But I gave Tennis a chance and like him half the time. A recovering alcoholic writer who finds a way to make everything about himself, Tennis is someone I can identify with.
Yesterday's post was an example of Tennis at his very best and worst--the shiny ball of foil, icing and congealed meat fat all smashed up in it. The letter writer was a woman who had married the first guy she ever slept with and now, a few years later, is noticing for the first time how short he is (and his growing belly) and how much she's attracted to tall men. This was her only complaint about her husband. She admitted he is sweet, loving, makes a good living, will be a great father, etc.,
Tennis's response was such a surprise. Usually, he is "fair" and "kind" to an annoying degree. You want him to smack the person, but he kisses them on the forehead and strokes their hair. This time, though, he struck with such venom, I'm convinced he must be five feet tall. I was so tickled by what he wrote, I could hardly wait to blog about it. But last night, when I finally had the chance, I discovered the entry had been removed, with the excuse that a mistake had been made and the letter writer hadn't authorized its publication.
Well shit. The way I see it, you write to an advice columnist, that's that. Your letter is fair game. Salon is a bunch of pussies for pulling it.
But don't be too disappointed. THINGS DON'T JUST DISAPPEAR OFF THE INTERNETS.
Here is part of her letter and the bigger part of Tennis's response, posted by a quicker blogger than I:
"And all this time, I never noticed how short he is. Now I notice it every day. He’s one of the shortest guys I know. It eats at me now, how short he is. I don’t want to introduce him to my friends or my co-workers. (It doesn’t help that my friends married some really tall, handsome men.) Bottom line: I’m not attracted to him anymore. And for some odd reason, I find myself ogling men on the train, especially tall ones."
"If your husband really cared, he would grow a few inches. Many husbands start out short. That is no excuse. Perhaps he is obstinate. See if you can break his will. He will point to scientific evidence. Such arguments are very common, particularly in the shorter countries. If a husband insists on remaining short, a taller man must step in. It is a law of nature. Soon the shorter man will see his wife dancing, her chin nuzzling a new and taller man's pectorals, which are flat, hard and prominent, not so prominent as to be titlike, but prominent enough to signal animal vigor. The old husband witnesses this with a deep and painful sense of loss. He realizes then, "I should have grown taller when I had the chance." But it is too late. Many claim they can't grow taller. Not only the slumbering, slobbering public, barely able to tie its shoes, but also doctors and "men of science" will say that. But as any reader of comic books or the Internet knows, there are many ways a man can grow taller. A man can also grow "bigger." But do men bother? On the whole, no. They prefer to remain short, small and fat.
Growth is part of marriage. We all know that. I was only 4 feet 9 when I married. Now I must be 6 feet 5 at least."