Hi Katy: Hi Glenn

By Glenn 

Call me fucking Tom Berenger or Treat Williams because today I am the substitute. I am substituting for Katy today because deep down I've always wanted to help people with their problems. Anyone who's spent hours trapped in my basement while I stood at the top of the stairs can tell you that. Without further ado, here we go.

[For next time, please remember to email Katy (katy@oneyearintexas.com) with your questions.]

Hi Katy,

I live in Illinois and I'm doing a report on Abraham Lincoln. I know that he was gay and his wife was a nutcase, but do you know any fun facts about the man? I feel a bond to you because we're both from Illinois, even if I'm only 14. I felt that turning to you was better than going to Wikipedia. My teacher said we couldn't use Wikipedia anyway.
-Honest Anna
Hi Anna! You may or may not know this but I'm from Illinois too. In fact, we're all from Illinois if you think about it because that's where Joseph Smith began the human race! The assumptions you make about Lincoln are odd and vaguely homophobic, not unlike the Mormon religion itself. Sadly turning to Wikipedia will be the only way to acquire genuine human knowledge by the time YOUR kids start emailing Katy with academic questions. For now though I will tell you what I know: Abraham Lincoln was the tallest President we've ever had (unless you count John Kerry who I believe if you counted all the provisional ballots in Ohio won the election in 2004). He was also the only present to ever wrestle a slave to freedom. These are the only two facts I feel comfortable sharing with you right now. Good luck Anna.

Hi Katy,
I'm a 52 year old mother of four. My youngest is 13 and my oldest is 40. As Mother's Day approaches I want to suggest certain gifts because my thoughtless children usually get me things no mother would ever need: books about sex, tickets to a rock concert, adderal, etc. How can I do this tactfully while still respecting my children's taste in gifts?

Mother Tessa
Mother Tessa,

Are you trying to pass yourself off as the new, hipper Mother Theresa? Because that woman was a saint! I don't care how many pedophile/rapist priests she protected/condoned in her day.

I did the math between you and your oldest children and I was concerned but in honor of Mother's Day - a holiday (like all) I do not celebrate - I will not inquire further. Since you clearly do celebrate it as a "real" holiday, I will accept the legitimacy of your question and give you some tips.

You need to start dropping hints in clever ways. Take advantage of the fact that your children use email to send them links to products. You'll have to remark on it something a mom would say, like "saw this on the today show....thought you might like it..." Your son will think "Why is she emailing me information about cooking books?" and your daughter will think "Why is she emailing me information about the movie 'It's Complicated' on DVD?" Later when they're shopping for you, though, they'll remember these items and be more inclined to buy them. It's called stealth marketing and it works.

The other thing I might suggest is throwing away the old presents they've given you in years past. You don't have to make a big production out of it but make sure they know their previous gifts do not have any sentimental value anymore. The statement will mean more if they are expensive things, like a flat screen TV or blood diamond necklace. Sometimes the best mothers are those that prepare their children for the real world by hurting them.

That is all I will answer for today. Katy is better at this than me but this was my attempt to make a personal connection with people that so desperately need advice on how to live their lives.

Katy will be back next week or this website will be closed.


  1. Great job Glenn. You're as natural at giving advice as Kitten is asking for it.

  2. Sometimes the best friends are the ones that prepare their other friends for the real world by moving to the same city as them.

  3. Hah! This was great. I learned more about Abe Lincoln, Mormonism and Mother Tessa than I had in my 22 years in Illinois!!