And just for fun …

What might it look like if Petruchio actually did have the good sense to write to Miss Conduct for advice? Maybe something like this:

Dear Miss Conduct,

I am a returning war veteran. Although every other donkey in Padua has a “Support the Troops” sticker pasted on its butt, the fact is, my benefits are running out and I’m going to be on the street soon. Also, there’s a long waiting line at the Padua VA for counseling, so my post-traumatic stress disorder has gone untreated for far too long.

Here’s my problem: I did meet a beautiful, rich woman whom I like a lot (she kind of reminds me of my old drill sergeant). But, as I said, I have pretty bad PTSD, and I’m afraid I used some inappropriate … let’s call them “enhanced wooing techniques” on her. Can this relationship be saved?

Signed, Love is a Battlefield.

What might it sound like if other famous literary characters wrote letters to an advice columnist? Leave yours in comments. (More fun if you don’t mention names, so we can guess!)

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14 Responses to And just for fun …

  1. JoGeek says:

    How fun! Here’s one:

    Dear Miss Conduct:

    I’ve met this woman several times at parties around the town where I spend my summers. I’m interested in taking the next step with her but I really, truly can’t stand her family.

    With the exception of this woman and her oldest sister, the entire household is loud, obnoxious and frequently stupid. They pretend to be richer than they can afford (especially her mother and younger sisters) but don’t realize they’re making idiots of themselves trying (and failing) to impress people. Their behavior often offends people and embarasses both of us anytime we’re in public.

    My own family disapproves of the relationship and think I should stay within my own social circle. They might be right at that, since I suspect her younger sisters would try to camp out on the doorstep of the family estate to beg for money.

    Maybe I’m being a snob, but I see nothing wrong with wanting to only have people around me that have a basic grasp of common sense and dignity. I’m willing to put my foot down with my family and tell them they can’t visit unless they’re willing to behave themselves towards her, but how much can I reasonably expect her to do the same in return? Regardless of whether they mean well, I don’t see why I have to tolerate unacceptable behavior from the in-laws in order to be with her.


    Crossed in Love

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Great one, JoGeek – I recognized him right away.

    Dear Miss Conduct:

    My husband seems to be growing away from me and I don’t know what to do. When we were married, we were very poor, and I worked beside him every day, and took care of his elderly father, too. I even found the capital he used to acquire the farmland he now owns. We have five children, and our older daughter is special needs. Now that I have worn myself to the bone working to help make him rich, he’s off looking for a younger woman, and even bringing her home to live in our house! Do I have to be polite to her? I can’t move out – I have nowhere to go.


    Lonely Wife

  3. veronica says:

    Unfortunately, I am not well versed in classic literature (or I was once but have repressed AP English Lit). My niche is the movie and tv arts, so I’ll use one of them….

    Dear Miss Conduct:

    I am approaching retirement and have spent some time looking back at my life. I spent many a night with the company of women, but never devoted myself to one woman. At least, I never devoted myself to a sentient woman. My best friend died, but was reborn. I met my adult son, only to have him sacrifice his life to save a dear friend of mine. My closest friends spend their days driving each other nuts (and sometimes dragging me into it). One of them has now taken it upon himself to volunteer me to rendezvous with the leader of an unfriendly empire. This empire has caused me nothing but trouble throughout my career, and more importantly rogue members KILLED my only son. How can I forgive my friend for not even considering how I would feel? How am I supposed to escort the leader of an empire I can’t stand? I understand it’s my duty to be polite, but how can I be polite while hating these people? I’ve never trusted these people, I never will, and I can never forgive them for the death of my boy.

  4. Robin says:

    Okay, I’ve got JoGeek’s and Veronica’s (I think–something “Star Wars,” right?) … but Elizabeth’s stumped me!

  5. JoGeek says:

    Both Elizabeth’s and Veronica’s stumped me. I hope at some point the answers will be revealed so I can read Elizabeth’s :-)

    How about this one:

    Dear Miss Conduct:

    I am a married woman with a young child, but have fallen in love with a younger man. My husband refuses to give me a divorce, and in fact has threatened to do everything he can to make sure I never see my son again if I try to divorce him.

    I’m just not attracted to my husband at all anymore, but even though I’m starting to hate him, I still feel like I owe him something. I don’t want to damage his reputation or career in politics by stirring up a messy scandal, but I can’t stand to not be with the man I love.

    My friends of course all think I’m horrible and won’t even acknowledge I exist, so I have no one to talk to for advice. He (my lover) wants me to just give up everything and run away with him to the country where we can be together without the public spotlight. I’m afraid to do it because I would be burning too many bridges to ever start over again if he changed his mind. What should I do?



  6. JoGeek says:

    Oh wait! I just got Veronica’s! I feel really silly for not seeing it right away :-)

  7. veronica says:

    It’s from the other “Star” franchise Miss Conduct. But I can see how “unfriendly empire” is one of those distractor terms.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Do you want a hint or the answer, Robin? For a hint, the author is the first American woman to win a Nobel Prize in Literature, and the book is by far her most famous work.

    I’m blanking on JoGeek’s second one – I’m sure I’ll feel dumb when I recognize it.

  9. DK says:

    Dear Miss Conduct:

    Sometimes on a long journey you get lonely and want a kind of companionship that your crew can’t give you. The problem is that she’s the only woman on the island and beautiful as she is, well, she’s been, umm, working her way through my crew one man at a time.

    I’ve tried to stop this, but one date with her and they’re impossible for me to control – they just start behaving like animals!

    Maybe if I think I could safely date her and maintain control over myself my crew would recognize their proper place. I know I’ve been away from my wife for almost 20 years, but I think I could do this (plus, you know, she’s beautiful!). What do you think? Is this a reasonable plan?

  10. Alix says:

    Dear Miss Conduct,

    Nobody understands me. Or my needs. Sure I’m considered powerful and debonaire, even good looking to some. But to whom it should matter most, I’m a lame duck, not a silver fox.

    I’ve had to give up so much. McDonalds, young nubile beret wearers, my house. And even though I was oh so close to returning – it never happened.

    Am I cursed?

    The has been

  11. Robin says:

    Alix–okay, that was funny. But watch it! No more real-life examples allowed. Literature/plays/movies ONLY. (Now, if “Anonymous” had written a sequel to “Primary Colors,” maybe I could have let you get away with that …)

  12. diane says:

    Dear Miss Conduct,

    Where shall I go? What shall I do? My husband doesn’t give a damn. He walked out the door. How can I get him back? Fiddle-dee-dee, so I was in love with another man the entire time I’ve known my husband, but he knew that when I married him. And now I don’t even love the other man, I just thought I did, until his wife died, and he was free, but then I didn’t want him anymore. Whatever shall I do? Please don’t tell me that it will all seem better tomorrow, because “tomorrow is another day.”

    Despondent in Dixie

  13. Hope says:

    Dear Miss Conduct,

    I’m at my wits end! I’ve always had a close relationship with my employer’s family and I was devastated when his wife died, tragically, last year. Imagine my surprise when he barely waited a year before bringing home wife number two! He thinks that she’s adorable, but I can’t stand her. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to give up a good job, but she’s driving me crazy! How do I get myself out of this without burning any bridges?

    – Danny Girl

  14. Robin says:

    Okay, let’s see how many of these I can get–

    JoGeek: Pride & Prejudice, and Anna Karenina

    Elizabeth: Ah, The Good Earth! Nice hint. I did read that book in junior high, but had long since forgotten the basics.

    Veronica: “Star Trek II” (I can’t BELIEVE I missed that, but you are right, Veronica, it was the reference to “empire” that threw me)

    DK: The Odyssey (well done!)

    Diane: Gone with the Wind

    Hope: You’ve got me stumped on this one! I’m sure “Danny Girl” ought to be a hint, but I’m lost …

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