Tag Archives: bad language

Ask Johanna: Dirty Socks, Dirty Mouths, Dirty Rotten Kids

Dear Johanna,

I have been married to my husband for 25 years, and I have told him at least once every year how much I would appreciate it if he would not take off his dirty socks in the living room, next to the sofa.  I usually leave his socks there for a while, thinking that he should be able to clean up after himself, but then I always end up picking them up–because I can’t wait him out!  If I left them there, he wouldn’t care–in fact, he wouldn’t even notice–but I hate the sight of dirty socks on the floor of our living room. Do you have any suggestions on how to actually train him to stop doing this?  Any little tricks you’ve found?

Tired in Tupelo

Dear Tired,

You’ve stumped me.  I’d say you should give up.  I think the best solution to a happy marriage is to accept the fact that there are certain things your husband will do until the day he dies that you don’t like.  The good news is: there are bound to be things you do that drive him crazy!  Next time he leaves his socks next to the sofa, why don’t you shave your legs with his favorite razor?


Dear Johanna,

I was recently a speaker on a panel with two other people.  The other two people were both in their late twenties or early thirties.  Halfway through the event, as I heard one after another of the speakers refer to what I had said as an example of “the way people used to do things,” I realized that, for the first time in my life, I was feeling like an old codger.  And, also for the first time, I fully understood why it irritated my mother so much when I would roll my eyes at her and say something like, “that’s not the way things are now, Mom!”  The whole experience has been pretty depressing, so, Johanna, can you tell me:  is this just a normal part of aging? 

Aging in Atlanta

Dear Aging,

Let me at those young whippersnappers!  Who do they think they are, making you feel old?  I bet you were giving them all sorts of good advice!!  And, yes, some people say this is just part of the whole process–but I’ll tell you this:  I ain’t going down without a fight!  Be proud of all the knowledge that is in your head!  Flaunt your experience!  Tell those kids, who think they know everything, that you were already working and doing stuff when they were still in diapers!  Let them put that in their pipe and smoke it!


Dear Johanna,

Young people nowadays use such terrible language all the time that it is shocking–no matter where they are!  The other day I even heard one use the F-word in the line at the bank!  I am getting sick and tired of it!  Can you give me some advice on how to tell these young people to clean up their mouths in public? 

Disgusted in Denver

Dear Disgusted,

I hear you, sister!  I mean, WTF?!  In my day, the F-word actually stood for something!  It was a valuable tool to reserve for only the most frustrating of circumstances.  But nowadays, it is just flung casually around and has lost its integrity in the process.  I am sorry to say that I don’t know what to tell you, except maybe to do what my mother used to do–and threaten to wash their mouths out with soap!