Dear Babylon – Parental Disapproval

Dear Babylon

A few weeks ago I went to the bakery to get an order for my Dad’s restaurant as the boy who normally does it was off. The people who run it are Barraklé you know what they are right? They have tails and four arms and are not boy or girl but sort of both (I don’t totally understand that part yet but anyway). Oh I am human I should say and a girl.

The order wasn’t ready so I was chatting with the owner’s son daughter offspring (why do they call it that? You don’t spring off your parents, anyway that’s what my Mum says, she says springing doesn’t come into it at all only she won’t say what does).

Anyway hir name is Bicca and zhe was really nice and we are both into playing jorf and the same music and zhe asked if I’d like to meet some of hir friends at this café zhe knows so I did.

Zhe knows really interesting people like poets and stuff and some of them races I’ve never met before and I had a great time only got in trouble for staying out late.

I really really like hir, zhe’s so kind and funny, we’ve been meeting quite often, and last time I was at the bakery zhe asked if zhe could kiss me and I said yes and it was nice only hir parent came in and yelled and I was startled and fell over and squashed some rolls.

And hir parent went to see my parents and there was a lot of yelling and it all went horrible. I do not understand why everyone is so upset it was just a kiss and anyway if we can buy their bread I don’t see why we can’t kiss them if we want.

Or they want.

Now our parents say we can’t see each other and mine are talking about sending me to stay with my aunt Rosish who disapproves of everything. Except the gods. And soap. And she lives on another plane. I don’t want to leave home and all my friends.

I would like to run away. I understand you run a business and have lots of races come see you can I come and work with you? I work hard and am clean even if my aunt Rosish doesn’t think so.

Yours desperately

Bathina (15)


Dear Bathina

Oh, dear. I am sorry, honey.

I hope you are not really planning to run off, are you? I’ve done that, when I didn’t have a choice. It’s hard and scary and you sometimes have to do unpleasant things to get food and a place to sleep, and there are nasty people out there who would take advantage of a young girl. I wouldn’t advise it.

The business I run being what it is, I can’t offer you a job, I’m afraid. If your parents don’t approve of you seeing Bicca they certainly are not going to approve of you working for me, even though the only thing I would offer you at your age would be helping out around the kitchen and so forth. I’d suggest you don’t mention to your parents that you asked me for advice. Or a job. In fact, it’s not a suggestion. Just don’t.

You need to talk calmly with your parents about Bicca, and Bicca needs to talk to hir parent. Explain that you just want to see your friend, and ask them to explain exactly what the problem is with you seeing hir. Stay calm and just keep repeating that you don’t understand what the problem is. Sometimes getting people to have to explain a problem makes them look at it again and realise it isn’t really there at all. And also, explain that you and Bicca are not planning to do anything foolish. By what you’ve said, this is another talk you need to have with your mother – right now – and ask her to explain that side of things to you i.e. babies and how they happen. If she absolutely refuses, write to me again and I will explain. I don’t think humans and Barraklé can have babies together but better safe than sorry, all right?

If this doesn’t help, you may just have to wait until you’re old enough to move out and decide for yourself who your friends are. You can survive being with your Aunt Rosish a while. People live through worse. And you’re welcome to keep writing to me, if it helps.

Good luck.


Curious: Not without chainmail. Are you joking? If not, talk to Cruel and Unusual.

Fluffy: You can’t expect to send someone a picture of you in your ‘previous incarnation’ and have them not be startled and dismayed when what turns up bears no resemblance to what they were expecting. That’s not prejudice on her part, that’s deception on your part. So, no.

Conspiracy: Please stop writing to me. Yes, there may well be people trying to put stuff into our minds – been there, done that – but I am not wearing a helmet to bed. Whatever it’s made of. Or signing that petition. Please find it enclosed along with your green crayon.


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