My dad is approaching retirement and has just started grasping the idea of his white privilege and the need for action on racial equity. Any book recommendations to get him from “dipping a toe in” to “fully involved”?
Maybe start him off with The Heart of Whiteness by Robert Jensen. (I haven’t read it, but I’ve read Jensen’s other book Getting Off, and his writing is very easy to digest. Plus, he’s a white guy, so it’ll probably be an easier fit for your dad.)
How do I end this 9 year relationship?
Start with two words: “It’s over.” Then make your arrangements, gather your things, and leave.
I know what the answer to my problem is but I don’t want to follow through. Tell me to stop being a pussy.
Is it possible for a belly button ring to be classy?
Yes, but probably not how you mean it. (If you’re contemplating a piercing and this is your concern, it’s best to just not go there.)
A while back you wrote about the significance of women changing their hair, so I was curious: is there a reason a friend of mine (early 60s) has had the exact same bottle blonde bob for 30+ years?
Yes. Something happened around the time she turned thirty that caused her to stop growing as a person.
Why am I having so much difficulty accepting my bisexuality?
Because you’re feeling either guilt or shame. When you figure out which it is, relief will come from either forgiveness or acceptance.
When I read all the bullshit power dynamics and shenanigans that the women who write you deal with I really don’t understand why I can’t find someone. I’m not saying I am without issue; but Jesus fucking Christ I have respect and integrity.
Well yeah, it’s easy to find someone you don’t respect if you’re a person without integrity. That’s what it means to be a predator. By all means, have respect and integrity, but quit with the whining. Getting it right isn’t supposed to be easy.
I’m Armenian. Does that mean I’m a “person of color?” I’m so confused.
Nope, not in America. When it comes to race, you gotta check the box that says “white,” although you should feel free to write in “Armenian” as your ethnicity.
I hate Kanye West.
Yeah, that’s wasted energy. Consider ignoring Kanye and hating celebrity culture and wealth inequality instead.
Do you ever reply to people who leave you their email?
All the time.
15 thoughts on “On fun-sized advice”
I wonder which is more indicative, color or length.
Just realized…color and girth are usually related.
Are you talking about hair? It’s lack of change.
Hmmm…My mother has had more or less the same bob for the past 27 years. There are slight fluctuations when she changes hairdressers and they might cut too much or not enough but that’s about it. However her way of thinking and acting have changed quite a bit since her divorce 8 years ago.
Maybe it’s not about haircolour/style specifically but about all physical attributes?
A change of style, makeup or weight could all point to internal changes.
Does she put much time into styling it? Does she dye it?
I think having the same low-maintenance haircut for long periods of time could just indicate that hair is not a priority. Having a high-maintenance haircut that never changes might say more.
My mom hasn’t changed her appearance much during my life, mostly because she really doesn’t think about it. I get concerned when she stops changing the appearance of her home and office, or stops trying new varieties in her garden. That’s her self care – making her surroundings beautiful – and neglecting it usually indicates that she’s depressed or anxious and hasn’t realized it yet.
Happy V-Day from a long time reader.
There have been countless times that I’ve read your advice to people who are in various states of disarray and thought to write to you. But then I somehow get through it until the next storm comes. Thanks for being a sane reminder in all this. I appreciate what you do very much.
Thank you. Happy V Day.
Can someone point me in the direction of the original post about changing your hair? I’m curious to read it.
Here. (You know there’s a search button at the top of the page, right?)
I don’t see my hair as being connected in any way with my personal growth. I have my hair a certain way for just one reason – I’ve spent years developing the most flattering and easy style for me, and I see no reason to start over.
Same basic cut, but I started out with it in the 80s. By the late 90s, I had ditched all the hair products, dryer, curling iron, etc., and discovered that my hair was naturally wavy. All I had to do was not shampoo the hell out of it every day and to just let it air dry.
Now I’m 42 and the only thing I do is wash and color it. I started going gray at 22, and at this point, it’s around 50% gray. I am fortunate to have great skin, though, and dying my hair takes the several years off me. I’m probably going to quit doing it when the wrinkles start becoming obvious, though.
As for personal growth, damn. At 20, I was a conservative, pagan, single, black-and-white thinker. Now I’m a liberal, philosophically open, twice married atheist with kids. Most of my major viewpoints and attitudes are fundamentally different.
When I change, it just doesn’t extend to my appearance. You see it in the way I talk and write. Surely that’s a far greater indication of growth than how someone wears their hair?
Speaking for myself, my hair has always changed at distinct periods of my life, long before I knew this was “a thing”.
I had short hair with bangs as a little kid, then I grew it out as I got older. In middle school I started straightening it, then, when I got my first boyfriend around 15, I gave myself bangs again. A few months into college I cut it into a short, straight bob, then grew it long. A few months after college, right before I got my first job, I got almost a pixie cut. Now that I’ve been out in the “real world” for a while, I’m growing it longer again, sans bangs and sans straightening. It’s a funny thing.
I’ve also noticed that most of the moms and dads I know haven’t changed their hairstyles since the 80s.
As a hairstylist I’ve come to understand why some women wear the same hairstyle for a long time. It boils down to compliments. If you’ve gotten more compliments on something, chances are you’re going to keep it. Or you’ll change it, and if you don’t get as many compliments you go right back.