I haven’t talked about Dear Abby in a while. And I saw this question last week from someone in Fresno. Talk about a pressing question that needs an answer right away.

The person asked, “Dear Abby, When riding in a car, who gets to select the radio station? Is it the driver/owner of the vehicle or the passenger?”

Yes, Abby, tell us now. It’s creating such havoc amongst the car pool set.

Abby responded, “Usually it’s the driver….but you can politely ask if you can change the station and the driver/owner may accommodate you.”

I remember in The World According to Garp, Robin Williams is contemplatively listening to some classical music on the car radio, when the babysitter jumps in the car and switches it to some heavy metal. It seems it’s usually in movies when someone is changing the car radio on the driver.

I remember going to see Robert Plant with an old girlfriend, and she freaked out because I wanted to listen to Adam Carolla when he hosted “Loveline” (that show is hard to take without him on it). She started screaming that she hates talk radio and that as the “guest” she shouldn’t be forced to listen to something she didn’t want to hear. It was so baffling the amount of anger she had in her voice.

I asked her to give the show a few minutes and if she didn’t like it, we’d change the station. Within those few minutes she was laughing and said the show was great. She added, “I just hate those talk show hosts that go on and on about politics.”

I agreed with her, but couldn’t agree on how angry she got. Especially since, I figured we’d be driving back talking about the concert we just saw, not listening to any specific music. Isn’t that what you do when you have passengers in the car?

And if you have a car full of people, and you liked some weird genre of music…would you really force that on the rest of the group? Are you going to say “Hey…we listened to that Vivaldi CD yesterday. Can we play my Skinny Puppies or Sex Pistols today? C’mon, it’s my turn!!!”

A woman named Carolyn Hax has a “Dear Abby” style column called Tell Me About It. She does a much better job answering questions, but before Christmas, I saw that a woman in her mid-20s was about to be engaged to her boyfriend. She feared the boyfriend would want his brother to be the best man, and she hates him. She said he makes awkward jokes that are inappropriate. And her boyfriend doesn’t seem bothered by his antics.

Her fear was that he would give a crude speech (after getting drunk).

Hax surprised me by saying she was overreacting and that the boyfriend should allow a brother to be the best-man, since they are family. She tries to look bring up the “bright side” by saying something like “You’ll have a great story to tell years later if he does something foolish.”

She spent almost 10 paragraphs answering this question, and wrong.

My first response to her would be, “How about you wait until he proposes, before worrying about what kind of cake you’ll serve and who will be in the wedding party.”

Then I would tell her that her future husband should either run this by the brother. That the speech should be appropriate, or just not have him as the best man. Why are so many people wrapped up in who is family?

“Blood is thicker than water” and all that garbage. I hate nothing more than families that have a wacky sibling, and nobody wants to address the problem. They laugh uncomfortably when he says or does something foolish, before uttering “Well…that’s just Brian being Brian.” Which really means – Brian is an idiot!

I would also say…this is a good test to see if your future husband is going to go to bat for you.

What would happen if his mom comes over and makes fun of your cooking or the way you decorate? Is he going to be afraid to confront her and how she’s treating his “wife”? Or is he not going to want to hurt his moms feelings? Is he going to say “Well…my mom is old. That’s just the way she is. Can’t you ignore it until she leaves in a few days?”

And don’t buy anyone telling you that you have to be nice and accept crazy family members. You don’t.

Stayed tuned next week...when Dear Abby answers what you do when someone yells "shotgun!"


verolicas69 Jan. 7, 2010 @ 8:26 p.m.

Well now a days it's more like who controls the Ipod. In our case it's my husband that has 2500 songs that he must play only bits & pieces of in order to find that one song that will make the card ride even that much better. I'm driving of course. And never letting me hear my favorite Jeff Buckley songs, cuz they always come up right away!! Though he does play gay Ipod with me, which tends to be the 2nd or 3rd song on HIS Ipod. Don't get me started!!


Josh Board Jan. 8, 2010 @ 2:04 a.m.

Well, Verol, the suspense is killing us. Which song is it that's the 2nd or 3rd?

And, although I don't own an ipod, that's one of the things that seems weird to me. If you load it with thousands of songs...well, there are songs out there that are great. I liked that Plain White Ts song...but only for about two days (and got sick of 91X and 94/9 playing it every hour!).

I'd always be eliminated songs. And, bands I love...I can just stick in the CD, maybe skip by Ob La Di, Ob La Da, and life is good.


cardig Jan. 8, 2010 @ 2:49 p.m.

I have to agree with the advice from Hax...the future wife has to get over it and accept the bro. Or if she can't she should move on to a different guy.

Anybody who has ever been married will tell you, you don't just marry the wife/husband, you get the whole family as well. Like it or not. Sometimes seeing the extended family could clue you in that it isnt a gene pool worth swimming in.


rickeysays Jan. 8, 2010 @ 4:15 p.m.

So your advice is "First thing you do when you join a family is go to war with them?" My advice to you, then, is to write down everything that happens if you get married. There may be a sitcom in there.


kjginsandego Jan. 9, 2010 @ 11:33 p.m.

I would like to think that even an idiot brother/best man would be on good behavior for the possible upcomming wedding.


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