Dear Dr. Parsnippety: I’m a happy, middle-aged, 95-foot oak tree with a busy social and professional life. Friends and colleagues admire my well-developed root system, praise my sturdy trunk and beautiful branches, and often ogle my fluttering leaves and healthy, robust acorns. The ogling would bother some drop-dead gorgeous oaks, but I don’t mind it.
What does bother me is my husband. We’re the same age, 108, but he’s one-fifth my height. In stature and maturity, he’s a sapling. This is because he clings to me and never leaves my shadow and so doesn’t grow. You can imagine the embarrassment that our height difference causes me in public (and, with no private or indoor life, an oak is always in public).
My mother-in-law, a withered old witch of an oak, blames me for the problem. She says I stunted her son’s growth by hogging all the sunlight, water and soil. She even says that I did this on purpose in order to emasculate him so that no other oak woman would ever be attracted to him.
Well, so what if I did do these things? Have I done anything wrong?
MARRIED TO A SHRIMP
Dear MARRIED TO A SHRIMP: The question is, have you ever done anything right? In your short note I find more evidence of a disturbed mind than I do in an overcrowded psychiatric ward.
Motivated by a unique blend of jealousy, insecurity, and narcissism, you deprive your husband of everything he needs to grow and mature—thereby turning him into a needy sapling. Then you have the vile audacity to complain of the very thing you yourself created. This is more than despicable; it’s even beyond criminal. You belong in a penal colony for oak trees. If it were up to me you’d be stripped of all bark and handed over to a mob of woodpeckers on amphetamines.
Instead I’m going to refer you to a specialist at a sawmill. His name is Dr. Flooring.