Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Rutabaga Rules

Ever since the discovery of romantic relationships, there have been people who have felt compelled to give advice about finding them, keeping them, repairing them, ending them, in fact, pretty much anything you might want to do with them.  

So it's only natural for Mrs. Linklater to finally jump on the bandwagon with the Mars and Venus crowd and offer up her own take on things.

Kind of like that new guru Oprah loves, who wrote "He's Just Not That Into You."  Is that bleached blond, spiky-haired oracle the next Dr. Phil?

Shouting "Who cares!!!" Mrs. Linklater takes the plunge and throws the Rutabaga Rules into the abyss of public opinion.

The rules according to the rutabaga are a very short guide to understanding how far up you are on the romantic food chain. Any resemblance to an actual relationship is coincidental.

R -- RUN, do not walk away from any guy over the age of twenty-one who still lives at home with his parents. Run faster and farther if he still lives at home with his mother.

U -- UNDERSTAND that if you're divorced, a guy always wants to know how soon you will be having sex. He will want to know even sooner if you are divorced with kids. You might as well be wearing a sign that says, "Just Do Me."  If you are a widow, he doesn't want sex, he wants your money.

T -- TRUST me, any guy who didn't finish high school, has trouble spelling and spent time in a correctional facility is not a catch. No matter how good his tattoos are. There are two exceptions to this rule:  Slim and none.

A -- AUDITIONS. Don't do them. If he wants to have sex, ask him if this is an audition or do you have the job. It's always an audition if you have sex before you know his last name.  If he takes you to meet his parents on the third date, that's just a trick to get you to audition.

B -- BREAK up with any Bozo who criticizes your body, your hair, your clothes, your job, house, children, friends, family, furniture, food, car, or anything else that matters to you.  By the way contructive criticism is an oxymoron. There is no such thing. Criticism should not be confused with feedback. Feedback is friendly. Criticism is crushing.

A -- A man isn't kidding when he says things like he doesn't want children and he doesn't want to get married. He means TO YOU. How many women have wasted years trying to get them to change their minds. And watch him marry someone else as soon as they break up. Hey, that was stupid.

G -- GET good at stuff guys like. Start with sex and food. Enjoy the practice sessions. Guys love to help you with your homework. For anyone who thinks this rule contradicts any previous rule, give it a rest.

A -- ANY woman who can't spend a Saturday night alone, by herself, without stalking old boyfriends online, or eating a pint of Ben and Jerry's isn't ready for a guy.

Okay, those are Mrs. Linklater's Basic Rutabaga Rules. Your romantic life may not get better if you follow them. But they can't possibly get any worse. These rules, as good as they are will change from time to time depending on Mrs. Linklater's mood.  You have to stay fresh in this business.

Oh, yes, Mrs. L is sure there is someone who wants to know why they are called the Rutabaga Rules. Long story short:

Once upon a time Mrs. Linklater fell in love. Yeah, who knew. Unfortunately she picked someone a whole lot younger so her chances of having a future with this guy weren't good. Especially since she could no longer be considered for breeding purposes. Let's just say Monica Lewinksy had a better chance of becoming First Lady.  

So the time came for him to break up with her and she suffered like all women do. Tears, bags of chocolate, you know the drill. Mrs. Linklater may have a tough shell, but she's made of Marshmallow Fluff inside. Anyway, shortly after everything was finished, over, and they were never going to speak again, ever, he sent her an email. In the email was a request for a recipe for how to prepare rutabagas. And the fire got stoked again, albeit it temporarily.

The experience taught Mrs. Linklater her first relationship lesson of the new millennium [with a nod to Yogi Berra]:

Just because it's over doesn't mean it's over.

[Note to anyone clever with crafts: The Rutabaga Rules are suitable for framing if you want to serve them up as a gift to someone.]

The link to Judithheartsong's May artsy essay contest:

[See previous entry to find out why ORACLE, RUTABAGA, AND ABYSS ARE TYPED IN RED]


salemslot9 said...

Just say no! :)

suzypwr said...

No one ever said younger guys were boring, did they?

robbush6 said...

Please God, tell me the rutabaga recipe didn't call for a jar of marshmallow fluff.

I'm picturing a line of apparel: "Just Do Me" on the front of a t-shirt with a list of audition call backs on the back, kinda like the Greg Matthews Band 2005 Tour schedule, only different.

screaminremo303 said...

My only question is whether you had to write the younger man an excuse if he missed his orals.

Thank God you didn't pick cucumber.

emfeasel said...

Ms. rule!! do the Rutabaga Rules!....hehehe.


dcmeyer420 said...

The Rutabaga Rules rule! Been stalking you for a while. Got to comment on this one even if it means my stalking days are over. I like your spunk!

indigosunmoon said...

Ms. L,
If only more women would adhere to your
Rutabaga rules!  Oh my, there would
be so few divorces because women wouldn't
waste their time on the wrong person!
You rock!

mombzbe said...

Marshmallow Fluff?  Rutabagas?  Are you sure you're not pregnant, Mrs L?  :D
Finally, rutabagas that don't leave a bad taste in your mouth!

artloner said...

I worship the quicksand you walk on, L.


phlskygirl said...

I never quite knew what rutabaga was (a vegetable? a medical dilemma? an antique car?), but now I do!  Thanks for the oh-so-handy clarification, Mrs. L.!  

PS: Wowee, I'm on your sidebar!  ::twirl::
PPS: It (the sidebar) asks for a journal link with comments... I don't know it offhand, so here goes a good guess...


bosoxblue6993w said...

you might want to avoid any guy who looks better in your clothes than YOU do.

wh1368 said...

A- The Ben & Jerry's thing. I'm definitely not ready for a guy.

I love these rules, especially the bozo one. Sound advice, Mrs. L. ~Ann

judithheartsong said...

Fabulous entry Mrs. L....... I am so delighted!!!! judi

cneinhorn said...

most excellent advice Mrs. L....wish I had known about your pearls of wisdom during my single dating guys who still lived at home with mommy and daddy days!



galadriel92000 said...

Great piece..and the RUTABEGA RULES are excellent guidelines!....look out Dear may have to start an "advice to the lovelorn "column!  LOL
 I'm having more fun reading everyone elses entries than I did writing my own!!
Marie in TN

jen73169 said...

I LOVE the rutabaga rules!!

sdoscher458 said...

You are a funny lady...very well written had me in stiches...Good luck in the contest...Sandi

judithheartsong said...

A well-deserved congratulations Mrs. L................ :) judi

dkb11161970 said...

Congrats!!   grins, Debra

gaboatman said...

Way to go, Mrs. L.  Congrats and well done!

plittle said...

Congratulations. A worthy winner. I look forward to besting you in literary combat in the coming months.

stacy1tbkl said...


 ****Clapping wildly****


galadriel92000 said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!   A well deserved win!!!   Your writing is funny, and has a wonderful bite to it!!
  Marie inTN!!

peppypioneer said...

Congratulations!  Your entry is funny and original - as well as sensible.  Paulette

onemoretina said...

Congrats  ....This is priceless !!  I'm still laughing.  So.... when does the book come out ??  Tina

cyndygee said...

This is very clever and kept my attention and I have a short attention-span, like a pi**ed-off hummingbird!


paisleyskys said...

This is absolutely wonderful!!!!
Your entire journal is a work of art!
Sooooooooo glad I came !

Wishing you health, happiness and laughter.

louie0768 said...

May be a little late with this but wanted to say congratulations on the win!!!! I too won last month. What a great gift. My whole family loves it.

I should forward your Rutabega rules to a few of my sisters. they could use your good sound and common sense advice.

You have a very interesting journal. I will stop back from time to time.