Letters show readers are taking advice


April 25, 1993|By Niki Scott | Niki Scott,Universal Press Syndicate

It's time for equal time -- time for readers of this column to have the last word -- and this month you wrote to me about the ways our childhoods can affect our adult relationships, the trials of being "imperfect" working parents, sacrificing one's personal life for a career, and perfectionism.

After a column about the ways our childhoods can affect our interactions with people in our workplaces, a 46-year-old marketing specialist wrote: "I read your article just after pitching what can only be described as a 6-year-old's temper tantrum.

"Now I realize that I was not so much angry at the business colleague who was the target of this regrettable attack, but at my know-it-all, much-favored older brother. Thanks for the insight!"

TC A secretary in Albany, N.Y., wrote: "For the first time, some of the crazy things that go on in my office make sense! Our boss is the wicked stepmother and we staffers are her neglected, attention-starved kids who ruthlessly compete for the least little scrap she's willing to throw."

And a Charleston, S.C., reader's letter began: "I read your article and was able to go right back to a co-worker and apologize for the harsh words I'd just spoken to her -- before we ended up enemies. It's not her fault that she looks just like the nosey, self-righteous, critical, fuddy-duddy aunt who raised me!"

A column in which I confessed to hardly being a model parent inspired a busy mother of four in Lansing, Pa., to write: "Bravo! You reminded me that everyone fails as a parent occasionally, thereby giving me the strength to struggle on in my own imperfect way."

And an Orlando, Fla., mother of twins wrote: "At the end of a terrible day and even worse homecoming, I had just yelled at one twin and swatted the other, when the headline of your article caught my eye.

"I actually laughed -- at you, at parenthood in general, and best of all, at myself. My twins don't know it, but it's just possible that you saved their lives -- and my sanity."

But most of you disapproved of a single, 52-year-old attorney quoted in a recent column as saying she deeply regretted putting her personal life on "hold" to pursue her career.

"Why would you give this person who's interested only in whining and complaining space in your column, when there are so many real problems facing women out here, nowadays?" wrote a Dallas reader.

"She chose a certain path. Fine. But now that she's successful, and I assume hardly down and out, she's crying the blues? I work every day with women who have no choices. Please don't ask me to feel sorry for this spoiled, complaining 'victim'!"

And an Omaha, Neb., reader added: "What's wrong with this woman? If she wants to get married, now that she's had her career, what's stopping her?

"I've been widowed twice, and at the young age of 74 just married my third husband -- a man 15 years younger. I'm not a beauty queen by any stretch of the imagination, Niki, but I am willing to get out there and date, instead of moping around the house and feeling sorry for myself. Tell her to do the same!"

Finally, a column about perfectionists brought a flood of letters about the perfectionists in your lives. "My father was a perfectionist. My ex-husband was a perfectionist. Now I work for a man who's the most impossible-to-please, abusive perfectionist of all.

"Reading your column on this subject made me realize there must be something wrong with me to keep on putting up with this emotional abuse from men, and I'm going to get help to find out what it is.

"In the meantime, I'll be looking for another job, because I don't have to put up with this sort of sick, demeaning, neurotic garbage -- not from anybody."

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