Fun-Sized Advice

On more fun-sized advice

I found the city that vibrates at the frequency of my soul, but my partner doesn’t want to move there. What to do?
Make your choice and live with the consequences.

Even when I’m hurting, I never raise my voice or try to hurt my partner. Is this a standard I should expect from them too, or is everyone entitled to express their emotions?
People are entitled to experience their emotions. They are not entitled to express them, particularly when doing so is harmful. You should absolutely expect your partner to have the necessary emotion regulation skills to be able to effectively express their emotions without harming you. This is basic relationship health.

What do you think Thanksgiving is gonna look like this year?
Honestly, I can’t see beyond November 3rd.

I’m moving out to live with friends/flatmates in a month. My first proper moving out- dorms at university don’t count. Any tips?
Have house rules and a chore chart in place on day one. More important than the actual documents are that you all have a mutually agreed upon system for how responsibilities are shared and how conflicts are resolved.  

What’s the difference between self love and narcissism?
They have nothing in common. Narcissism isn’t thinking you’re a wonderful person. It’s thinking you’re the only person. Most narcissists are filled with self-loathing. Self love is a good thing, particularly when it’s balanced with love for others. 

Are you Esther Perel? And if not: what’s your opinion on her?
I am not Esther Perel. My opinion is that she is the real deal.

We’re a cis heterosexual (primarily) couple who have individually and collectively worked on our race, gender and caste politics. I currently work in the field of gender and sexual health advocacy. Why am I jealous of his past non binary lovers?
Yeah. Judging by your vocabulary, it sounds like all the work you’ve done has helped correct your shame-based thinking, which is great, but the problem is that your worldview is still governed by fear-based thinking. Jealousy is rooted in fear. Open-mindedness is not the antidote for fear. Open-heartedness is.

I am in the process of incorporating stoicism in my life. What other forms of living a better life can you suggest? I’m thankful for your recommendation of The Four Agreements. Also, missing your book recommendations. I hope you’re doing well. Thank you for everything!
Be careful with stoicism. It has a lot of good stuff to offer (pantheism, mindfulness, radical acceptance, etc.), but most people get it wrong, particularly those who wear it like a badge, and you will quickly find yourself in the company of assholes if you announce yourself as a stoic. I’m sure you’ve probably already got a dog-eared copy of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, but if not, that’s the next book you need to read.

Hey, thanks for helping me navigate the world. I found your tumblr at 17 and now I’m 27 and this year was particularly rough (not just the usual way) and having your voice in my head allowed me to prioritize my integrity and let go of a lot of bullshit—I wish I could buy you a drink and tell you this story some time.
Keep up the good work. You got this.

Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice

Sorry your comments section is overrun with fash trash. Yikes.
Yeah, it hurts my heart. I feel like it’s partly my fault for being gone so long. These dudes forget, I’m a libertine, not a libertarian. I’ve always been the type to hurl a Molotov cocktail through the Overton Window. 

I’m really sick of people telling me I’ll meet the right person when the time is right. Is that a bag of BS?
Of course it’s bullshit. There’s no such thing as “the” right person, and the time is only right if you put in the work to make it that way.

I am obsessed with my bf’s exes. I am aware that I am projecting my own insecurities, but I don’t manage to stop. What do I do.
You’re obsessed with your boyfriend’s exes because you know you’re going to be one. You need to accept that. It really will be okay. Besides, you’re not quite yet emotionally mature enough for a serious relationship. This is all just practice. It’s fine. Don’t hold on so tightly. Let go when it’s time, and pay close attention to how everyone behaves. This is how you learn.

Why are we unable to classify belief in god as insanity?
Because the APA isn’t as powerful as the Church.

A man who was really flirty and seemed interested just rejected me. Really arrogant of me, I know, but I’m not used to being rejected, how do I get over this inexplicably shitty feeling?
Quit making it about you.

We’ve moved in together. He is my forever love. I know this is our next step. Yet I’m heartbroken of moving out of my condo and been struggling with my emotions. This has him and others think I’m doubting moving in together.
What you’re experiencing is normal, and it is perfectly okay. Take all the time you need to grieve the loss of your condo life. While you’re at it, grieve the loss of your entire pre-pandemic existence. Remind yourself, your boyfriend, and the others (not that it’s any of their fucking business) that your grief isn’t about him. It’s about you adjusting to it all, and you will eventually be fine.

Do you think 9/11 was an inside job?
Still no. Why do you keep asking this year after year?

If you were 23 right now which city would you move to?
Am I 23 and broke with no degree, or am I 23 fresh out of college with parental support? Those are two very different cities. Either way, I would move to a city that calls me, one that vibrates at the frequency of my soul. 

What do you think is bad advice that gets repeated?
“Money can’t buy happiness.” (Yes it fucking can.) “Everything happens for a reason.” (No it fucking doesn’t.) “You can create your own luck.” (That’s not even a thing.) “Just be yourself.” (Not if you’re an asshole.) And finally, my least favorite thought-terminating cliché that passes for advice these days: “It is what it is.” (No, you have not suddenly achieved a Zen-like state of acceptance. You’re just lazy and dumb and can’t think of anything appropriate to say.)

Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice

Ugh. Are you exhausted by having to constantly explain how gender works to people?
It’s mainly one idiot, but hey, I’m here for my readers.

You make the mistake of believing that people are a blank slate and that society imposes traits and values onto people.
It’s not a mistake. People are mostly a blank slate, and society absolutely imposes traits and values onto them. 

How do you deal with incompetence and/or unprofessional bullshit at work?
I don’t tolerate incompetence or unprofessionalism at work, though I recognize that I’m quite privileged in that I don’t have to.

Condemning the burning and looting of buildings and businesses (many owned by minorities and innocent people) is “fascist”…. damn Coke, when did you become so ideologically possessed? Are you really that angry at the world that you can’t see how insane you sound?
You’re the one going on and on about the buildings. Dude, fuck the buildings. I care about people, not property. I care about justice, not law and order. If you didn’t know that about me after ten fucking years, then you haven’t been paying attention, and yes, if you’re looking around at what’s happening in America right now and all you can think to bitch about is looting, then you are a fucking fascist. Deal with it.

PhD student here. Wrote a paper. Terrified of hitting send on a journal. I don’t really need advice, just wanted to borrow your confidence for a moment. I can do this. I’ve worked hard. I’ve double-checked my numbers. I have a solid argument to make. I got it. Thanks.
You do, in fact, got it. Also, hitting send gets easier. Also, congratulations!

What is the answer to the failing political institutions in the US? Please don’t respond: voting and electing new reps.
The answer is political engagement, and yes, that means voting. It also means relentless activism and participation in the process.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts on Biden’s potential VP picks. Who do you think is best for the job at this point? And who do you think he’ll actually choose?
In terms of best, I think it’s a coin toss between Kamala Harris and Susan Rice. I’d be ecstatic for either one.

Why not Warren for VP? She was the best candidate, and I feel like Biden’s VP is going to be POTUS.
2020 was Warren’s shot, and she lost. She’s too old to be a viable two-term candidate in 2028. That said, I’d be overjoyed to see her as AG or Treasury Secretary in a Biden administration.

If you could learn anything right now, what would you choose?
French, Arabic, and Italian.

Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice

Why do I spend a considerable amount of time daydreaming about being rich, winning the lottery? I know money is one element out of many to a fulfilled life, yet I put so much emphasis on wanting and HOPING to be rich. Why do I do this to myself?
In a capitalist society, money is freedom. You are merely daydreaming of being free. That’s fine. Escapist fantasy feels good sometimes, but don’t let it get in the way of things. You will never win the lottery.

If gender dysphoria is not a prerequisite to being transgender, then it’s a ‘choice’, right?
No. Gender dysphoria is a clumsy set of descriptive criteria. You are attempting to make the criteria prescriptive with your little equation, and it doesn’t work. Also, let’s be clear, the dysphoria itself is caused by social systems and culture, not by the person’s gender. If society wasn’t so quick to assign one of two prescriptive genders to every child (“girl” or “boy”), then non-cis people wouldn’t necessarily experience gender dysphoria.

Where do you get news nowadays? I really don’t even know what to consider my single source of truth, and this has never been more of a need.
The question of “where” no longer matters. We all get our news from social media nowadays. The more important question is “how,” and for me, the answer is by filtering the noise and triangulating stories from various trusted sources. I generally use Twitter as my platform for breaking news. I can get a sense of who’s pushing what story and why as well as who benefits from the various framings and spin. It’s not about finding sources you trust. It’s about developing a process you trust.

In the interest of learning how we’ve all morphed & grown: thoughts on Sam Harris lately? You know what trouble he gets into.
I’m done with Sam. His mindset is stuck in 2009, which sucks, because if he had kept his thinking fresh, I feel like he might still have a lot to contribute. 

What does indiscriminately destroying property and beating people up in the street accomplish aside from allowing a bunch of angry overgrown babies to live out their anarchist fantasies?
I don’t accept the premise of your question. Feel free to reframe your fascist worldview and then resubmit your question when you’re no longer a gaping asshole.

You’re the type that thinks drag queen story hour for kids is great huh?
It’s fabulous. What the fuck is wrong with you?

I miss my parents so much. I’m an immigrant. I miss speaking a different language. I miss eating with my hands. I miss the delicate and complex flavors of their food. I miss my dog.
I’m so very sorry. 

How would you battle minor depression?
I don’t battle minor depression. I dance with it.

How old were you when you first started this blog and what have you learnt from it?
I was eleven years younger when I first started this blog, and I have learned more from it than I could have ever possibly imagined.

I’m on my fucking period. Glad to see you’re writing again. 🖕👩

Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice

What is a woman?
A social construction of gender.

Should I fuck the hot, dumb, age-appropriate UPS guy?
Sure, but use good judgement. He knows where you live, and he decides when all your Amazon packages arrive.

I’ve made so many bad stock investments over the years. Do you invest, and would you make any recommendations based on what you’ve learned?
I don’t invest in stocks. I swing trade in stocks using a very disciplined system with money that I can afford to lose. If you’re looking to invest, just drop your shit into a mutual fund like everybody else.

I’m almost thirty and I’m the prettiest I’ve ever been and feel more comfortable with my body than I ever imagined I could, but I haven’t worn a bathing suit since I hit puberty and the idea of wearing one makes me cry.
That’s fine. Have a good cry. Feel your feels and process all that shit still leftover from adolescence. It’s not about the new bathing suit.

I know Hillary would have dealt with this pandemic much better but how do you think she would have handled the Florida’s, OC’s (CA), and other white idiots refusing to cooperate?
She would have ignored them, because they wouldn’t have mattered. That’s the whole point.

I was reading some utterly bollockry about the misery of women in long-term non-married relationships and immediately came back to your site. I’m so glad you’re back, Cokey. P.S. As you’re one of my culture war bullshit filters, may I politely ask you what your view of cancel culture is?
There is no such thing as cancel culture. There are merely a few mild and long overdue consequences for assholes who refuse to acknowledge the recent power shifts in American culture.

What do you mean by “let go of your bullshit?” I started following you in my mid-20s and am now in my mid-30s, and I suspect that’s true of many of your longtime readers.
You created an identity in your early twenties that you’ve since used to make a series of major life decisions. That identity is foundational to where you are in life, but it isn’t who you are. You’ve grown and changed in the intervening years, but you’re also still sitting on a pile of beliefs that aren’t really yours. At best, they served you a decade ago. At worst, you have to convince yourself they served you in order to justify your present circumstances. Either way, let go of that bullshit.

You once wrote something (back in the coketalk days) along the lines of being tiny specks of meat on a rock, and it resonated with me greatly. It’s been part of my digital identity across all types of accounts for the better part of the decade, and I feel like it is time that it matured into my next tattoo. Problem is I forgot the actual full quote – any chance you have it safely stored in your cortex and can recall it accurately

Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice

What do I say to a friend who claims she wants to have children because there are no other major milestones for women to reach in adulthood and doesn’t know what else she’s supposed to do with her life?
Tell her that boredom and lack of imagination are not the appropriate prerequisites to motherhood. Tell her that the burden of childrearing is not the same thing as having purpose in life. Tell her that the planet is full, and unless she has a burning desire to devote every last dollar and every waking moment of the next two decades to being the very best parent she knows how to be, then she should shut the fuck up and go find a hobby.

Can you give me a rundown similar to “On Changing Your Hair” about getting a nose job at 37? I mean, it’s not crucial, but it could get me from charming-at-best to pretty, and I could use a boost in both career and self-confidence. I’m in Europe, single and financially secure.
Go for it. Hell, if you’re gonna freshen up your nose, might as well do the rest of your head. Not a full facelift (save that mess for your 50s), but maybe add eyes, brow, and chin to the order. You know, get some lasers involved. You’re already gonna have to recuperate with bandages, so fuck it, make that shit count.

One of my friends shared a meme about Wayfair selling children on their website by hiding them in expensive cabinets. I read all the “evidence”, and my conclusion is that we might have to stop being friends. I know he shares/posts shit without looking into it, but this is too stupid.
This is an ideal moment to delete superfluous idiots from your life.

Best alternative to curb the impulse to check an ex’s social media?
Surf the dating apps.

What do you do when a friendship ends for no apparent reason?
Grieve the loss, learn from the experience, and move on.

You strike me as someone who thought CHAZ would be a good idea. Lol.
You strike me as a small, shallow person.

Ok so you obvi censor and or pick our certain questions. Damn. Didn’t think you’d be that raging bitch.
I don’t censor questions. I cut and paste them exactly as they’re written, including all your typos and shitty grammar. Also, ignoring you isn’t censorship. You aren’t entitled to my time and attention.

How do you decide if you want to continue answering questions here?
I don’t know how I decide, but I can tell you it’s a mood-based decision.

I’m so glad you posted again. I almost cried.
Love you, boo.

Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice

First of all. Thank you for being back.
Glad to be back. (That said, don’t get your hopes up.)

You changed the font?
Nah, just updated WordPress after a year.

What is your hot take on the civil unrest in Portland, Seattle, NYC, etc?
I miss it already.

An ex I haven’t seen or spoken to in a year came out of the woodwork to tell me he got laid off, broke up with his girlfriend, and lost ten pounds. What does he want?
He wants to fuck.

I’ve never had an orgasm with any guy I’ve ever slept with and I’m almost 30. I’ve only been able to get off with someone using a vibrator on me. What am I doing wrong?
Nothing. Nothing at all. Consider using a vibrator more often during sex.

Is being a Jordan Peterson fan a good enough reason to dump him?
Of course it is.

give me one word to describe your mood today

My bisexual atheist Asian ex boyfriend apparently became a Trump supporter. Somehow I’m taking this personally.
Perhaps you should downgrade him from ex-boyfriend status altogether. You know, consider the relationship annulled, and strike him from the list.

Do I spend all my savings on a body lift surgery? I’ve got 2 years left of my twenties. I may be thin, but I’ll never get this youth back.
No. Save your money. It’s going to be a rocky few years, and you’ll need the cash.

My Republican mother said my sister is a hero for getting COVID and protecting her with “herd immunity”. She was being an asshole and partying around SoCal. Disown the lot?
Well, look at the bright side. You won’t have to disown them if they’re dead.

Fun-Sized Advice

On the new normal

I miss you and I love you.
Honestly, I miss you too.

*screams dear coke talk into the void*
I hear you.

No question, just a message: its been a hot minute since we’ve heard from you. I imagine you living, observing, and absorbing. Thanks for reminding me to do the same, be it through your silence. Much Love.
I keep saying that the silence won’t be permanent, and I mean it. I still read almost all of your submissions, and the day will eventually come when I can regularly post more answers. In the meantime, if you have a quick question for me, you’re 99% more likely to get a quick response if you hit me up on Twitter. My handle is @coketweet, and I prefer direct tweets over DMs. Much love!

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.

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.)