Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice

I know I’m not gonna fall in love with this guy but I’m still having a good time with him. At what point does it become disingenuous to keep dating? Just when I’m no longer having a good time?
It becomes disingenuous the moment you catch yourself being emotionally dishonest for the sake of having a good time. Also, who ever said the point of dating was to fall in love? Where did you learn this? Is that why you’re here? I doubt you even know what it means to fall in love, to be in love, to simply love, or to distinguish from these variations on a theme. Do yourself a favor and start thinking beyond the unspoken rules of modern courtship. The rules do not exist to make your life better. They exist to perpetuate a very specific flavor of contemporary Western culture. It’s fine if you want to participate in that culture, but learn to do it on your own terms, and don’t confuse the culture’s interests for your own.

I’m the one who broke it off because I can’t handle a LDR right now. So why am I the one lying in my bathtub at noon with too many glasses of wine feeling numb?
Because you’d rather anesthetize yourself with Pinot Grigio than begin the painful task of grieving the loss of your relationship.

My teenage cousin is in the hospital with a rare and terrifying auto-immune disorder. She went from being a girl who does CrossFit to a patient in physical therapy in a very short amount of time. You’d think she’d be scared, but in the face of the very real threat of becoming paralyzed, she posts duck-face selfies from her hospital bed. Pretty sure she’s not afraid of anything.
Nah. Pretty sure she’s angry and terrified, but when you’re in that hospital bed as teenage girl, you’ll do anything to break the boredom and achieve a brief sense of normalcy. You’ll also do an extraordinary amount of emotional labor to keep friends and family from acting weird. No doubt your cousin is strong, but don’t confuse her strength for fearlessness.

I hooked up with a filthy rich guy (it was really good) but his wealth disgusts me and makes me envious at the same time. I don’t want a guy in my life who makes me feel these feelings. Is that weird?
Here’s an idea: Tell him. Be brutally honest about your disgust and envy and see how he takes it. You’ll learn something about his character and yours.

I miss when you wrote about dipping your tits in glitter. We’re so far removed from those days as a society. It’s really frightening.
It’s not frightening. It’s all quite predictable. The aughts were a decadent moment. There will be others. I’m a mild believer in the every-other-decade theory, and I’m hopeful for another slice of decadence in the 2020s. I won’t be the one dipping my tits in glitter on the next go-around, but I’ll be able to enjoy the experience vicariously as Post-Millennials find fresh ways to celebrate the pendulum swinging away from austerity and repression.

You said you’d marry your ex without hesitation – did your views on marriage change? What about him, or you, or the two of you together made you feel that way?
I just think we could pull it off and be happy. It’s not gonna happen, so it’s a harmless statement to say that I’d marry him without any hesitation.

I love how your haters can’t stop reading you. They can’t even keep themselves from getting knee-deep into your comments section. Respect.
I love my haters. Our relationship is symbiotic. I have learned a lot about myself from them, and they have learned a lot about themselves from me.

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Fun-Sized Advice

On holiday fun-sized advice

What’s on your Christmas list this year, Coke?
A waffle iron (for brunch at my place), a new KitchenAid mixer (I’ve been doing quite a lot of anxiety baking lately), a fancy fuck conical burr coffee grinder (I’ve been scolded for not having one), a new turntable and 2-channel mixer (I’ve also become a bit of a dinner party DJ these days), and a few other stylish treats that I’ll likely end up buying for myself because I’m picky as fuck and super impulsive around the holidays.

How do you turn a fwb into a boyfriend?
Honestly, what’s the difference anymore? Seriously. Do you even know why you want a boyfriend? What’s in it for you? Do you want some kind of life partner? A husband? Do you need commitment or do you just think you want it? Is that the same as monogamy? As fidelity? And how is any of it different from friendship? Can you articulate a distinction? Until you fully understand and appreciate these questions, maybe chill the fuck out with any attempts at relationship alchemy and just enjoy the benefits of your friendship.

Is it still too premature to get excited over all this Mueller business
Nah. 2019 is gonna be a big year.

Is it a bad idea to fuck an ex-professor?
Yeah, but it’s the good kind of bad idea.

I’m barred in Florida. Family is in Chicago. Should I live in Tampa or Chicago?
You should live in Miami.

Does it make sense to complain about the ‘patriarchy’ when someone drives their dad’s Toyota to campus every day and uses his savings to pay for their tuition?
The fact that you call it “dad’s Toyota” and “his savings” is literally the reason it makes sense to complain about the patriarchy.

I feel so disengaged. Friendships have languished. I don’t have a good relationship with my family. I haven’t been interested in dating or sex for a long time. I’m 27. What should I do?
Maybe quit being a lazy piece of shit. Get off your ass and go cultivate your relationships. Yeah, it’s been a shitty year. That’s over now. Quit whining and go do something.

if you’re not open to cultural exchange, then i’m sorry but that’s kind of a huge deal breaker for me.
Firstly, I didn’t realize that you and I were dating. Secondly, this is an oddly specific hill upon which to die, and finally, whatever gave you the idea that I wouldn’t be open cultural exchange?

Back in 2010 you totally called that Gavin Newsom would be governor one day. Just wanted to remind you. I think that’s awesome.
Duh. I still think he’ll be President.

Have you ever stayed friends with an ex? A real ex, not a fuck buddy, a young love, or a fling.
I can think of three exes off the top of my head with whom I am and will always be close. One of them I would marry today with no hesitation, and the other two I would help hide a body. Still, they are not my friends. They are my exes. There is a difference.

I miss you. What is your spiritual outlook these days? I know that back in the day you held staunchly to your conviction that this physical existence is all that we get, and that at the moment of death our perception of self ceases to exist. I used to hold this conviction as well, and maybe it’s just because I got sober this year and now I’m casting about for meaning, but now I’m not so sure. What’s your relationship to the void these days?
It’s the same. The void is the void. We end. You can cast about for meaning all you like, but there really isn’t any, and the recent sharpening of your perception may not be comfortable, but I promise, you’ll settle into it. Congratulations on your sobriety.

(I miss y’all too. Merry Fucking Christmas.)

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Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice

Would you suck Trump’s mushroom cock to completion if it meant he dropped dead immediately after?
Only after January 3rd, only on camera, and only if Mike Pence held a gun to my head and jerked off while I did it.

Should I be concerned that I’m drinking to get through the day?
Yeah.

You probably couldn’t give two shits but I’m interested in your take on Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson’s relationship. I’m a pragmatist at heart but I couldn’t help hoping that wild infatuation would last- that there could be a relationship where you get matching tattoos in the first month and never ultimately regret them.
Please. Ariana is going through her dirtbag phase. She likes her dirtbags harmless and sweet, but they’re still crusty-ass boys. That’s fine. It’s age appropriate, and I doubt she’ll regret any tattoos for sentimental reasons. For the record, wild infatuation never lasts. Never. Either it dies or you do. No exceptions. That’s not to say wild infatuation can’t mellow out into something better. It can, but the tidal forces of celebrity don’t really allow for that.

Would you stay in a relationship with someone emotionally abusive to inherit one million dollars?
As in all things, it depends. Personally, I’d put up with a lot of shit for a million dollars, but of course, there are limits. I’d need some context to give you a more specific answer.

He tried to kill me and I don’t have enough proof to prosecute. What now?
Again, y’all need to provide me with more context for any kind of detailed answer. Generically though, I’d suggest you get an order of protection, make public as much information as safely possible so that everyone knows what he did, and then you should move on with your life.

The pullout method has worked for me my entire life, and if I had to, I’d rather take a million abortion pills than take birth control because… I’m really biochemically sensitive, to all meds, not just hormones. Yet everyone’s always trying to get me to get on the pill. It’s clear I trust my own judgment. So… Why is that?
First of all, the morning-after pill is *not* the abortion pill. Know the difference, and if you’re “biochemically sensitive” to hormonal meds, you’re in for a few days of excruciating pain if you end up needing to take either of the two. It’s fine to rely on the pullout method if you’re super diligent and not at all worried about STDs, but if I were you, I’d keep a couple boxes of Plan B in the medicine cabinet. You never know when your pullout partner is gonna get his timing wrong, and given the current political climate, you never know when our country might go full Handmaid’s Tale and pull all those pills off the shelf.

Today at lunch my lesbian friend said, “even though it’s not like that with us, I could never date you because you’re bisexual. Even if you were the hottest girl in the world, actually perfect, I wouldn’t because you’re not lesbian. So maybe that’s why you’re having a hard time finding a girlfriend.” Ha ok WHAT THE FUCK? Please guide me.
Yeah, your friend’s shitty opinion comes from a place of insecurity and prejudice. Unfortunately, it’s fairly common with women, gay or straight. (Lesbian women who don’t fuck with bisexual women, and straight women who don’t fuck with bisexual men.) I’ve dealt with this kind of biphobia, and it sucks. The fancy fuck concept underlying this type of behavior is known as the androcentric desire hypothesis, which posits that people generally perceive bisexuals (male or female) as being more sexually attracted to men than they are to women. It’s an unfair and inaccurate perception, but of course, life ain’t fair.

Is it wrong to fuck other people to get over someone. My ex believes it makes me ‘not a nice girl’ if I have sex with someone else within a month of my relationship ending. Even though he left me out of nowhere.
Rebound sex is only wrong when you’re not emotionally honest with your new partner. They deserve to know that you’re emotionally unavailable. As for your ex, he sounds like a controlling piece of shit, and you should learn how to tell him to shut the fuck up and back up off your dick.

Are you over Sam Harris yet?
Getting there. Haven’t been able to listen to his podcast for a while.

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Advice

On forgiveness

He told me I’d amount to nothing and I’ve believed him ever since. I can’t seem to shake it and hate that any success I have will feel like revenge. I don’t want to live in constant reference to him. Is meditation the only way to deal with this?

 

Nah, boo. Meditation is lovely, but forgiveness is the weapon you need. Forgiveness will allow you to rise above him. Forgiveness will let you move on. Forgive that pathetic piece of shit for everything he put you through. Forgive every abusive word or deed.

Just forgive him.

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Advice

On failing

You say you’re here to relax, and I believe you, but how do you manage to not feel or become involved with how your words impact the life of others? I’m doing my PhD in clinical psychology. While my life has constantly provided me with evidence to believe I can sit in front of another human and be present with them, I can’t help but feel an incredible amount of anxiety in regards to the possibility of failing them. I’m 36 thousand dollars deep into student loans, and I’m terrified I’ll fail my future patients. Yet, I look at you, and maybe you’re free of certain anxieties because you’re anonymous, but I am convinced that you have a heart and soul that beats to the pain or vanity of those who write to you. I guess I’m trying to ask, how do manage to believe you won’t ruin those you answer to?

 

You won’t fail your patients. You won’t break them. You won’t ruin them. It’s not like that. You will have a responsibility to your patients, but you are not responsible for your patients. They are the ones who will do the work. You will not do it for them. You will help. You will guide. Maybe sometimes it won’t be as efficient or as tidy as you would like, but that’s not failure. It’s how you will grow as a clinician.

The anxiety you feel is perfectly normal, and it can be quite useful if you channel it towards self-improvement. It can keep you frosty in the room and hungry for the latest research, but don’t let it paralyze you. Don’t allow your anxiety to become a false belief about failure.

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Fun-Sized Advice

On more fun-sized advice

What is God?
Deus Sive Natura

How is it possible that my dumbass is dating the most wonderfully kind, intelligent and simply gorgeous woman in the whole world?
You’re sweet. Don’t fuck it up.

If you, um, felt the need to look into acquiring a dual citizenship somewhere, what country would you choose?
Canada.

I know weight-loss surgery is a valid option. I know people can fix their lives with this. I know it would greatly improve my health. Why does it feel like cheating? Like I couldn’t do it with exercise and a balanced diet.
It’s not cheating. You’re still gonna do it with exercise and a balanced diet.

I’ve written to you countless times about real shit in my life. Stuff that you probably can’t even come close to relating to in your frivolous, smug, faux-party-girl existence of yours. And the only responses I’ve ever received from you have been needlessly vicious and petty attacks on my character. You’re honestly such a cunt.
Gee. I wonder why I attacked your character?

How do I tell someone or explain “You’re a wonderful friend but I don’t want your creative input or assistance, ever.” Under normal circumstances I don’t mind just listening and ignoring it but they constantly want to collaborate and I absolutely do not want to do that.
I think you’ve chosen a lovely set of words to use. By all means, use them. Set your boundaries with kindness and compassion, and remember that you are not responsible for this person’s feelings.

My cousin’s new husband is an idiot dirtbag racist (“all Muslims should be exterminated” levels). He’s also applying to the Secret Service and has asked me for my full name and SSN (I was born on a military base overseas and apparently he needs that info?). I A) DO NOT want to give it to him and B) DO NOT want this guy serving in the Secret Service (though he is dumb as shit; an assassination attempt on 45 might actually go through). Do I flat out refuse, possibly instigating a family war? Do I report his racism (documented online) to the Secret Service? Do I just comply and wait for his inevitable failure? I feel gross and uncomfortable and stressed already. Coke, what would you do?
Yeah, this is an easy one. Tell him to go fuck himself, and when the feds come to interview you for his background check, spill the tea and show receipts.

I wrote to you in 2012 panicking about climate change and you said “calm down, Chicken Little.” It’s strangely comforting to see that on Twitter now, you’re on the same page about the climate being fucked and the future being bleak. Your writing has helped me come to terms with the fact that I’m not having kids. I do dearly hope to get to be an old woman someday, though.
I think the not-so-distant future on this planet will be unimaginably horrible and then potentially really interesting. The climate will change. Our species will adapt. Humanity will survive, but there will be about five to seven billion fewer of us over the course of about a hundred years starting about a hundred years from now. I just hope we retain science and knowledge and don’t fall into another dark age. I prefer to live this current life of relative comfort and ease, but I still think it would be kinda cool to skip to the other side of the impending extinction event just to see how it all turns out.

I know weed did/does make you paranoid. Is that still a thing, or do you smoke more now?
I’ve gone the way of the THC vape pen. Clean, easy, and a consistently good high.

Do you consider what you do here “emotional labor”?
This is how I relax.

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Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice

Apatheia, ataraxia, or nirvana?
Fuck nirvana. Marry ataraxia. Kill apatheia.

You have control over anyone’s mind for one hour…who and what do you do?
I can’t answer this question explicitly without risking a visit from either the Secret Service or the FBI, but let’s just say that if I had one hypothetical, magical hour of mind control, then by late January of 2019, Donald Trump would be charged with five counts of murder, President Nancy Pelosi would be nominating three new Supreme Court Justices, and Mitch McConnell wouldn’t be around to get in her way.

Coketalk, everytime I go to my (good) mate’s places I end up in bed cuddling them for a good while. I never let it cross the line into something sexual, but the cuddles are intimate. Is this wrong? Should I stop?
You’re absolutely adorable. Good for you for recognizing that the cuddles are intimate. There’s nothing wrong with physical intimacy between friends, but you need to pay close attention to the ebb and flow of platonic and romantic emotions — both yours and your friend’s — so as to prevent any misunderstandings or potential boundary violations.

Why can’t I stop thinking about how my boyfriend once fucked his roommate?
Because it speaks to his character, and you don’t like what it says.

He has a polyamorous approach to relationships. I don’t, and probably won’t ever be. Am I wrong to ask him not to be poly if he’s with me?
You’re not wrong to ask, but you’re wrong if you think the relationship will last longer than six months.

How do you dirty talk? I can’t take myself seriously and don’t know what to say.
I answered this many years ago, but it bears repeating: Dirty talk consists entirely of describing whatever it is you are doing in the moment. Just narrate the action, but you gotta own that shit. Curl your lip. Say it with brass. Don’t think. Growl.

Are all cops bastards?
No, but the number of cops who aren’t bastards is essentially a rounding error.

Have you ever passed by a stranger in your new city and thought, “I’m pretty sure I’ve seen you on tinder.” Or whatever dating app, multiple dating apps you use.
Sure. It happens all the time. Hell, it used to happen in LA. (Then again, I used to do a lot of ecstasy, and that always made people seem familiar to me.)

I am going back to school to get a master’s degree to become a therapist. Should I be alarmed that so many of the other students in my program (also aspiring therapists) believe in “crystals” and talk about their healing properties?
You must be in California. Don’t worry. Those people tend to get weeded out on their way to licensure and end up as yoga instructors or life coaches.

Coke, are you still a raging bitch? I remember you said you’ve moved the party upstairs. You sound more of a calming presence than anything, to be honest.
I’ve always been a calming presence.

You’re a child playing grown up.
Thank you!

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Advice

On being pursued

If a guy doesn’t offer to pay for the first date I never see him again, even if the date was really good. After about a month of dating it’s fine to split the bill, but until then it’s a deal breaker for me. My friend says it’s because I think they owe me for my time and I consider my time more valuable than theirs. It’s probably true and I’m embarrassed to be that kind of person. Thoughts?

 

Your friend is a closeted misogynist who thinks that all women are inherently prostitutes, and not in a cool way. Don’t listen to them.

The simple truth is that you were taught this rule, and you’ve never really bothered to question it. As you mature, you’ll start to realize that you were taught a whole bunch of rules that you’ve never really questioned. Some of them are useful. Some of them are shit. This one is a mix of both.

Courtship rituals are constantly evolving, but it is still reasonable to expect the guy to pay for the first date if he is the one who asked you out. That’s the underlying rule here: whoever does the asking out is the one who pays. It’s not about him “owing” you. It’s about a pursuer/pursued relationship dynamic implicit in the initial phase of the courtship ritual. It’s about you believing pretty strongly that you should not have to pay to be pursued.

There’s nothing wrong with thinking like this, but it’s a lot better if you understand why. The useful part of this rule is in respecting the relationship dynamics of a healthy courtship ritual. The shit part of this rule is that you can too easily make it about the money and not about the fact that your date isn’t pursuing you properly.

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Fun-Sized Advice

On more fun-sized advice

My ex is dating a model who is so thin, she is absolutely anorexic. It’s so apparent, it made me gasp. I’m slim thick and he loved my body to the point of idealizing it at times. What?
The easy answer to your question is that your ex idealizes whatever body type he’s currently fucking. The difficult answer to your question is that you should stop comparing your body to other women, especially women your ex is fucking, and even more especially models.

I got ghosted. I invited him to come over, he said sure. The night approached. He never texted. I didn’t either. It’s always what happens. I spot the ghosting coming so I don’t say anything and therefore only get half ghosted. Am I being smart?
You got what you wanted. That’s what you need to start admitting to yourself. This pattern serves a purpose for you. You get a tiny jolt of excitement from the initial connection, and you get just as much pleasure when the plans fall through. Your needs are getting met. If they weren’t, you’d behave differently. The question now is to discover why you’re satisfied with so little.

I think I’m working for an actual (corporate) psychopath. How do I navigate this situation if I want to stay with this company and advance my career?
Well, you’ve spotted the predator. That’s important. At the very least, it means you aren’t the weakest gazelle. Stay alert and don’t allow yourself to become prey. Be useful and unobtrusive. Do your job well, but do not seek praise. Avoid interaction to whatever degree possible. I don’t know what you do or how your company is structured, but you would be wise to get clear of this psychopath’s range of authority as soon as possible.

If I’m so supposedly liberal and accepting, why do I hate the idea of Burning Man? I’m not sure if “capitalism” is the right answer. What if the answer is “don’t touch me”?
You can be liberal and accepting and still have personal preferences. The point is to live and let live. The whole “let live” part of that is being cool with other people doing their thing even if you hate the idea. As for why you hate the idea of Burning Man, the reason is envy. You see those people as a bunch of insufferable assholes, but you also see that they have something special, and you want to have something special too. You just haven’t found your special thing yet. Once you do, you won’t hate the idea of Burning Man anymore. You’ll just think it’s silly.

Why have I been losing feelings for men after I sleep with them?
Those feelings you’ve been losing weren’t really for the men. They were for you. In other words, right now you’re only in it for the chase. For whatever reason, you’re not emotionally available beyond the initial phase of the courtship ritual. It’s up to you to figure out why.

Do you still like coke? I’d love it if we were cycle twins on being over coke. It’s how I’d want my imaginary friendship with you to progress.
I can’t remember the last time I blew a rail. It’s a social drug, after all, and the people who did cocaine in LA a decade ago were a lot more interesting than the people who do cocaine in my current city today. (I had to check myself with this answer. Was my LA crew really more interesting, or was I just a lot younger and less discerning? Honest assessment: both.)

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Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice

After three years of working a thankless admin position, I was unfairly reprimanded at work. I’ve put up with so much fucking shit, but now I’m just demotivated. I’ve always wanted to quit, but they won’t even let me do that. How do I keep going?
Demand respect. Stop putting up with so much fucking shit. Start looking for other work. Convince your co-workers to unionize. Frame your boss for murder. Burn down the building. Lead an armed insurrection against your capitalist overlords. Go do something with your life.

He wants to be more than friends. I told him politely I wasn’t interested in more and he understood and accepted… But then a couple of days later he asked me if our 20-year age difference was a factor (I’m 40. He’s 60). It is, in part, but I can’t say that, can I?
Of course you can say that.

Does life require purpose and meaning to be fulfilling?
Fulfillment doesn’t really exist as an idea without some concept of purpose or meaning.

Why do I sleep with every single one of my friends?
Because you’re shit at maintaining boundaries.

Being around republicans is bad for your soul and I don’t recommend it.
Thanks for the tip.

Does life get better or worse as you age?
No.

I don’t know what an evergreen tweet is. My friends talk about it and I just nod. I’m exhausted. What’s happening to me?
Any type of media referred to as “evergreen” means that it continues to remain relevant and/or doesn’t lose meaning despite the passing of time. Also, you should probably start taking naps. Naps are awesome.

First proper, long-term relationship. I’ve started recognizing some toxic behaviours in myself (stemming from jealousy and insecurity, most often). I don’t want to be like that. Now what?
Go a level deeper than the jealousy and insecurity. Find out where those two emotions are rooted. Separate rational thinking from irrational thinking, and do the hard work it takes to start choosing healthier behaviors.

How can you tell the difference between inner peace and numbness?
Numbness is feeling nothing. Inner peace is being nothing.

What do you do when you get sad?
I eat like shit and forget to shower.

Sorry if this has been asked before, or if it comes off creepy. I’m genuinely just curious. Has anyone ever correctly guessed your identity before? And if so, have you told them they were right?
Yes. I had a colleague whose girlfriend straight up asked me if I was coketalk once while we were all out having dinner. Apparently, she had been reading my shit since her high-school tumblr days and knew enough about my life to call me out. I flatly denied it.

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