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Lots of people ask for my advice. No, Really. . . .  they really do!

personal-advice-column

 

I’ll post the answers some of the questions here. Keep in mind these are only my opinions, and are likely worth about what I’m being paid for them. Feel free to read along!

To “Dave in Vermont”: She’s telling you she’s not what you thought she was. “Loving, well-balanced” women don’t put their kids in that much danger. They also actually try to behave like their kids’ parents rather than their peers. Back out before you sign any legal documents.  Be well.

To “Pete in Panguitch”: A good thing to remember when trying to choose between different makes of used cars is this: If you can’t afford a new one, you can’t afford a used one, either. You might pay only $10K for the 10-year-old Mercedes that was $100K when new, but it still comes with maintenance bills proper to someone who can afford a $100K car. Get a five-year old Honda Accord instead, one with fewer miles. Anyway, Mercedes started building shit in the mid-90s after the Chrysler acquisition. Any Merc made after about 1994 has a lot of Dodge Neon in it, and they are driven mainly by flashy fools. Be well.

To “Loafing Olaf”: English Lit is a good thing to study, and you should follow through as soon as you are pretty sure you can pay for it. One way to be sure you can pay for is it make sure you have some job skills going into your wonderful venture. Learn basic car mechanics or rough-in electrical skills, or anything else that’s portable and valued by what I condescendingly call The Propane-Yard World, then sign up to read Chaucer. Try to attend a program where they’ll really work you by making you read and write and speak all the time. You get back what you put in. Be well.

To “Suspicious Susan in Syracuse”: There are two reasons guys don’t cuddle after sex. One reason is very good and should cause you to treasure the man. The other is not so good. The first explanation is that sex is so demanding and sensually overwhelming for us males that when we come, we are mentally and physically exhausted and need some time out –or maybe just a nap. That’s the good reason. The other reason is that we generally don’t cuddle toilets when we’re done using them. Try to figure out which one it is before committing to this guy. Be well.

To “House-Hunting in Houston”: You can eventually make money by being house-poor for a while. If you’re lucky, buying far too much house, scrambling to make the payments while eating ramen and sitting on cardboard boxes, then flipping it within a few years can lead to riches. It can also lead to doom when the market suddenly acts like a market, as it did for millions not even ten years ago. We have short memories when it comes to the American dream, I guess. Keep your personal happiness in mind first. Lots of nouveau riche wrecks out there who eventually became nouveau pauvre wrecks. Be well.

To “Vacation Dreams in Victorville”: Since it’s your first trip to Europe you might not be aware that it’s been really sanitized for American tastes. The ten years between my first two visits showed some remarkable strides in the areas of not leaving dog shit on the sidewalk and not publically peeing on walls under political posters featuring hardcore porn, etc. This might seem like a good thing, but really it’s not. When you go to Europe you want to know that you’ve been somewhere, and not just to the IKEA in City of Industry. Thus, I recommend sharing accommodations with a host family through something like AirBnB or others. That will get you on the ground where you can make friends. Note: some of them might still pee on walls. If I were to go again it would be to Amsterdam where I would live on a private barge in a canal for a week or so. This sort of thing is much more affordable than you seem to think, and leads to some great memories. Be well.

To “Azeroth, Prince of the Damned”: In the words of a wise ex-wife of mine, you’re playing with your toy. No 17-year-old this side of Baghdad has seen enough to justify that much darkness. Next time, try slamming HIM into his locker and see how it works out. Eat your Wheaties, and be well.

To “Jehoshaphat in Joplin”: Try to spread joy and love wherever you go, and in whatever you do. That’s job one in the Christian duty list. Being a judgemental militant asshole is — notably — far towards the bottom.  Pop the mag out of your AR15, spend a minute or two reading up on Matthew 6:1 – 21, and be well.

Photo: Courtesy Ed Georgevich