Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice

What does it mean when someone says “you’ve taught me and helped me grow and you’re someone I’m never going to stop loving”… the midst of breaking up with you?
It means it was good, but now it’s over.

I’ve unexpectedly found myself with a small chunk of time, alone in Geneva. What should I do?
Open a numbered bank account and buy some chocolate.

Why do I squirm and make plans to self sabotage when someone tells me they are proud of me?
Fear and self-loathing.

When I’m drunk, I hate him. When I’m sober, I can’t live without him. It’s me, right? Or is it him?
It’s both of you, plus alcohol, minus emotional intelligence.

Is anyone not broken?
Generally speaking, people aren’t broken. We all break occasionally, but most of us also heal with time and effort.

My fucked up snap judgment of 98% of straight, monogamous couples is that the male is lazy and selfish and takes the relationship for granted and the female tries too hard and is kind of pathetic for having such low standards. Insightful or insane?
It’s an insight into your own cynical prejudice, and it speaks to your core beliefs about relationships and the social order. Spend some time challenging those beliefs. You’ll grow as a person.

How do I stop binge-eating? I can’t seem to keep it under control.
People tend to jump my shit if I give anything that smells like medical advice, but you might wanna look into a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy and naltrexone. (Or if you want the deluxe version, a combination of dialectical behavior therapy and Contrave.) Of course, this is totally one of those “ask your doctor” questions, so find a fucking doctor and ask her.

What mixes well with sambuca besides tonic water and coffee?
The Pikey has a cocktail made of muddled mint and lemon, two or three parts Jack Daniels, and one part Ramazzotti Sambuca shaken on the rocks. They call it the Prince Albert, and it’s basically a Bourbon Smash with sambuca instead of simple syrup. It’s fucking delicious, not too sweet, and I highly recommend it.

My mom says there’s some american indian in our blood somewhere back in the ozarks. Can I wear a headdress?
No. (And don’t tell people that. You sound like an asshole.)

I hate to spam you but I figure one day you might see this question… how do I know if being a good friend is telling the truth or keeping my mouth shut?
The quickest way is to applying the golden rule. If the roles were reversed, which would you rather your friend do for you?

Where are you? I must not be the only one getting used to daily updates. I already miss you.
Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Bali. Take your pick.


87 thoughts on “On fun-sized advice

  1. a grouch says:

    If you’re a white person whose family has been in any of the Americas for enough generations to lose count, and you have some native american in your blood (and almost everybody who meets that criteria does), congratulations, you probably have rapist in your DNA.

    • jdavrie says:

      If you’re a human, you probably have rapist in your DNA.

      If you’re trying to make white Americans feel bad, there are any number of historical atrocities more exclusively pinned to them.

        • jdavrie says:

          Not to mention the fact that all of the people implicated in the original comment *necessarily* also have victims of rape in their DNA.

          And although I know the phrase was just used figuratively, it’s worth mentioning that “rapist in your DNA” is a terrible way of thinking about it. DNA can’t be guilty of anything, it’s just bundled proteins in our cells. We have to consider the decision to rape to be a product of the mind, biological determinism be damned. Otherwise rapists cannot be guilty of their crime, which is absurd.

          Didn’t mean to jump down grouch’s throat, I just hope that nobody thinks less of themselves because of comments like that.

          • JC says:

            I knew a family with three kids. The oldest was the product of rape, from back before Roe vs. Wade. The other two kids were normal, but the oldest one was creepy and tried to molest my sister.

            Of course, plenty of people are products of rape and don’t grow up to be rapists, but I agree there is a genetic component in many cases.

          • JC says:

            I wondered the same thing. He must know by now, but I suspect he was weird before anyone told him about it.

          • Anna says:

            I wasn’t arguing for a hygienist worldview either please don’t take this out of context.
            There are plenty of things that could of gone wrong in this kid’s life, let’s not blame the child for the father’s deeds.

          • WhoAmI says:

            Even if the mother hid it, it can still shows in the way she raised him. Kids are pretty perceptive and can get that kind of subconscious clues me thinks.

          • JC says:

            I didn’t blame anyone for anything. I simply made an observation regarding someone I know personally and for whom I wonder what role genetics played in how screwed up he is.

            This reminds of an interesting movie that was on Netflix a while back called “Manson Family Vacation.” Interesting plot.

          • jdavrie says:

            That is true, but it’s hard to say how pertinent it is over several generations. It doesn’t take many steps up before you’re talking about hundreds of ancestors, and any one of them probably isn’t going to have a huge impact.

      • JC says:

        The Asians have Ghenghis Khan. The Vikings knocked up most of northern Europe and Scandinavia.

        Still, my family has this history, and it dawned on me one day what it meant. I had the same sort of reaction to the realization why my surname is common among African Americans.

        If nothing else, let’s judge each other on our individual actions, not what our ancestors did.

      • Gaybeard says:

        If you’re a white person of European descent then you’re a direct ancestor of Charlemagne. If you’re alive right now then you are likely related to every single person who left descendants in 9th century Europe. #math

        • jdavrie says:

          I know right? People tend to be bad at understanding exponential growth. I don’t blame them, it’s hard for me too. But genealogy as an interest sort of loses its punch when you realize how quickly your ancestors become indistinguishable from strangers.

    • WhoAmI says:

      yeah cuz there are no white person and native american who loved each other in the whole damn of history, everybody know that

          • JC says:

            When settlers came, especially the ones who explored from east to west, many of them took Native American wives. In some places, like California, the tribes were effectively decimated by the settlers, and the natives who survived were almost exclusively these squaws. I am sure there was also more traditional rape happening, but my comment is in reference to the situations where the women would have been killed except for the fact that they were in service to male settlers.

          • WhoAmI says:

            I was talking about love, not letting yourself get fucked to survive. Not denying that happened a lot in times of conquest tho.

  2. Yita says:

    If you have in fact made it to Asia, I hope you enjoy the fuck out of it. It’s a different world out here and worth every second. Please write about it if you get a chance – would love to hear what you think.

  3. AlligatorO says:

    Headdresses are ritual ceremonial garb (visual representations of the many acts of leadership and bravery that someone committed in service for their tribe) and when they’re worn at musical festivals for fashion it’s a perversion of the totem. Not that it really matters (because perversion seems to be a modern priority) but I wonder why people crave the visual impact of this item without awareness of its meaning. If they’re looking for power or significance they would probably be more successful doing deeds worthy of a headdress.

    • Anna says:

      Are you amerindian ? I’m curious bc you’re feeling of wanting people let knowledge of a culture make them better resonated with me. The whole concept of appropriating such a specific part of a whole culture for a use that has nothing to do with the original symbolism has always left me baffled.
      I’ve seen this with the very white, very hipster-crass Holi One festival. My maternal family is hindu, and I’ve never spent Holi in India but I grew up to tales of Holi and its symbolism of unity and renewal. I kind of get pissed of when I see this kind of shit on social media then I remind myself I’m not Indian (half isn’t enough to qualify) and not religious (though I’m kind of spiritual in the sense I still have hope for immortality in the form of a bioinformatic meta-consciousness).

      • AlligatorO says:

        I’m Cherokee and Blackfoot but wasn’t raised on a reservation. I had a lot of exposure to ceremonies throughout my childhood though and a kind of godmother who’s Lakota and grew up on a rez.

        The crass hipster appropriation thrills make me sad because they highlight the unfortunate consumerism tied up in the desperate pursuit of stimulus.

        • VeryOff says:

          I feel like hipsters in ceremonial gear has the naïveté of children wearing grown up clothes, and the ignorance of cutting steak with a sacrificial dagger at a vegan wedding. So I just hope someone will gently pull them aside and make them aware. I don’t think anyone with half a heart would have the balls to wear someone’s history as a party hat and New Year’s Eve glasses after hearing about babies smashed on rocks along the trail of tears.

    • Rainbowpony says:

      Because the headresses are beautiful. Even if the hipster ones are a crass approximation, it’s a beautiful concept.

      That doesn’t make it ok.

      • VeryOff says:

        I was thinking about it this way a moment ago. What if you found a beautiful hat that said “FUCK YOU CUNT” in a beautifully ornate language. Would you feel comfortable wearing it to the baby shower of someone who could read that language? “Hey everyone, look at my hat! Isn’t it pretty? It was a total bargain!”

  4. Mo says:

    I have the same cynical prejudice about straight monogamists, too, although I tend to frame it as “patriarchy!” How does one challenge these ideas productively? It seems like the cynicism is totally conflated with being liberated/progressive/radical.

    • Sel says:

      I don’t necessarily think it’s unreasonable to be cynical about straight monogamous relationships–a lot of them ARE terrible. Hell, I’m a woman in a monogamous relationship with a man and I 100% understand why you and #6 feel the way you do. In terms of challenging your assumptions in the context of not wanting to make snap-judgments of specific individuals/couples you know, the key is to remember that statistics apply to populations, not individuals. Yes, it’s probably prevalent to find that dynamic in straight couples overall, but that doesn’t tell you anything about any specific straight couple.

      I also find it helps to have high standards among friends/acquaintances. I’m not close to any women with deadbeat husbands and I’m not close to any shitty, entitled men because I don’t tolerate pathetic, spineless women or whiny, entitled manchildren in my life.

    • Anna says:

      Ah, as a queer person in a non-monogamous straight relationship, I have to let you in on a secret : power imbalance isn’t exclusive to monogamous relationships.
      Ideally the choice of monogamy or non-monogamy should be a negotiation that ensures both parties best emotional welfare. In reality, that’s constrained by material and emotional ressources, some of which are linked to patriarchy and imbalance of power, in many ways (influences from peer groups, childhood experiences of family, status and age linked expectations, etc).
      What I’m trying to say is that romantic relationships are a really complicated model of interaction, and correlations that seems evident on a society level won’t necessarily scale down to individual relationships.
      That doesn’t mean that these correlations aren’t useful for analysis. Rather, you have to use them as a lens rather than an absolute view.

      • CynicalGrey says:

        So much of this. Communication difficulties and expressing your needs aren’t any easier in non-monogamy and are a driving force in any relationship. Mongamy vs. non-monogamy are really about how you choose to express your relationship, and one dynamic isn’t inherently better than the other. You can definitely make informed estimations about someone when you start listening to their relationship dynamic, but that woman married to her hubs for 30 years isn’t a simpering brat to a controlling master of the house. They could just be really damn good at communication and committed to their values.

        It’s all a bunch of choices, and people who dig vanilla icecream get to help me finish up that carton of Neapolitan.

    • The Derpy Bear says:

      I don’t understand why anyone cares about what types of relationships consenting adults have. I don’t understand why people care about other’s sexuality either. Who the fuck cares?

      • Brynn says:

        Because throughout our entire lives we are bombarded with images of deliriously happy monogamous couples. Of princesses with princes. Of presidents and first ladies. Of hollywood lovers. Of good christian marriages ™.

        And each time a couple flounders they become the neighborhood’s gossip. They become entertainment page headlines. They symbolize everything love isn’t because true love would have prevailed, as it always does. They become sinners desecrating something sacred.

        Then, as you grow up, you notice most people actually bought into this bullshit. They’re out there looking for true love like it’s something that just happens.

        They’re looking for this figment that says and does all the right things. And the person they’re dating never quite does. Most people can’t handle that. They get angry or they self-deprecate. They implode. They settle. Some people learn how to work it, how to build a relationship. But the damage gets done.

        Cause all those dysfunctional fucking people keep the narrative alive. They write their shit stories, they write their shit poetry, they give shit advice, and they never stop with their shit questions:

        “So when are you going to get married? When are you going to settle down and start a family? You know, my little angel is the best thing to have happened to me, well… besides meeting [insert partner]!”

        Cause when they’re neck-deep in their bullshit, and they’re only just learning how difficult it is to maintain a relationship… they cling. They cling to every idea they ever had about what a relationship is supposed to be and they project that shit all over the world.

        Layers of expectations, that you pick up by watching all those fake-ass couples, get repeated ad nauseum. And people, when confronted by their broken-ass relationships, play harder and harder at the idea of a relationship.

        “I’m making more money then him. Am I going to scare him away?”
        “Are women always this crazy?”
        “Aren’t men supposed to be horny all the time? Is there something wrong with this relationship? With me?”
        “If we don’t get married, I’m not gonna keep her. But if we do then it’s the ol’ ball n’ chain.”

        Do I care about people’s relationships? Not in the sense you’re thinking. People can fuck themselves into the grave with whomever they want.

        What I care about is narrative.

        Cause when the only thing anyone hears about love is out of a Disney movie, they’re getting some wonky fucking messages about relationships. People deserve better than that.

        So it is good to throw down against those narratives. They can be good fun. They can stir up some emotions. But that model of relationship fucks a lot of people up. That’s not the bad part, though. The bad part is that after it fucks them up, they don’t learn anything cause they’re looking back and comparing notes with a rather monolithic, mostly bullshit, perspective on love.

        Of course, the letter writer’s cynicism isn’t doing anyone any favors, either.

        But why does anyone care either way? Well, we are social creatures. We learn by watching. We learn through stories. Then we build up some hypotheses, and learn by doing. It helps, generally, to talk your way through it.

    • #6 says:

      What’s your gender/sexuality? I have two female straight-ish friends who share this prejudice, along with myself, another mostly-straight-but-fuck-labels female in her early twenties. I’ve talked about it with a gay male friend and he doesn’t get it. I wonder if it’s something specific to our demographic. Something about being raised in a generation with birth control and education but also catcalling and date rape.

      If you want to get really deep into the rabbit hole of my unfounded theories, I think the feminist movement has focused a lot of energy on questioning traditional femininity and expanding women’s options, but traditional masculinity has not undergone the same transformation. Our parents’ generation was full of overworked moms trying to “have it all” and deadbeat dads who barely even have a place in the family anymore. Women stopped being economically and politically dominated by men, but men don’t know how not to be domineering in their relations with women because masculinity is still defined at the expense of women. (In American culture this is apparent in everything from Trump to the new Kanye to the attention lavished on male athletes.) These are obviously generalizations but I think they point to meaningful trends.

      • AlligatorO says:

        We’ve also experienced an evolutionary 180 in our mating dynamics where previously females needed to convince males to stay with them to support a family and now males need to convince females to become pregnant in the first place. Whether the beauty companies are just manufacturing a demand for it or there’s a legitimate male craving for products and allure I think the age of the peacock has come.

        • #6 says:

          Thank fucking god. Shout out to all the straight boys who spend as much time on their appearance as the rest of us. You can leave your pics and numbers in the replies.

        • WhoAmI says:

          It’s just that fancy men’s fashion is slowly recovering from the sudden association it got back in the fin de siècle or so with homosexuality, and thus degeneration. It was about damn time quite frankly.

        • VeryOff says:

          I’m pretty sure it’s always been the age of the peacock. Just because the makeup isn’t on people’s faces doesn’t mean there isn’t a massive demonstration of fitness. I get what you’re saying about cosmetics finally jumping the fence, but fitness has always been the most public of displays.

          • WhoAmI says:

            Why is it then, that menswear has been so unflattering to the male body at many many points in the last century ? That, and lacking in color to the point of being boring. Make up already “came back” a bunch of times (namely in the 80s and the end of the 90s), but come on have you seen guys wearing make up ? Dude they’re so hot.

          • AlligatorO says:

            I don’t think male acts of fitness count as peacock because the peacock is inhibited by its aesthetic adaptations. The tail is so long that it can slow them down while fleeing predators (think woman in high heels) and their feathers are so bright that they’re easy to spot (think pylon). Generally the sex that develops adaptations that put it at a blanket disadvantage is the one doing the work to attract a mate while the other sex is selecting the mate.

          • VeryOff says:

            I think that I’ve broadened the qualifications while you have added them equally arbitrarily. Putting women at a physical disadvantage is definitely a theme, and it’s not new. So it’s sort of interesting to consider equality of disadvantage in the requirement of makeup. But whose decision is it to wear makeup?

            Let’s consider the “trophy wife.” Who was in power for that choice? I believe it’s equally split unless the marriage is arranged.

            My premise is that any man who lands a trophy wife participated in the “age of the peacock” because he had to demonstrate his financial fitness at the very least. Did he have to wear his money? To a degree, yes. Is that money in makeup, no. Is it in clothes, yes. House, yes. Car, yes.

            The mechanical reduction of this transaction is killing my sappy heart.

  5. Barefootsie says:

    I don’t think it’s Vegas. She mentioned it was getting cold where she was living a few months ago. My guess is that she flew through Vegas to catch the GNR show so she didn’t have to get pulled back into Coachella. 😉

  6. VeryOff says:

    True friends give support even when their counsel is denied.
    Any dick can say “I told you so” where a friend will say “let’s fix you up.”

  7. Nina says:

    To the person who wrote in about binge-eating, I absolutely back therapy. I used to binge constantly. I had pretty severe undiagnosed anxiety and it was my way of trying to deal with everything. Therapy is what helped me to stop. As a bonus I no longer grind my teeth in my sleep either. 🙂

  8. Tillzilla says:

    Solid advice aside, the binge eating question was fascinating mostly because Coke really does seem to have her shit down when it comes to therapy and mental health. I don’t want to speculate on why, but from what I’ve read previously, she does have some excellent knowledge in the field.

  9. 1girl says:

    Not the original poster, but I just wanted Coquette to know that I called today to get an appointment to discuss naltrexone with a doctor. The binge eating, the binge drinking, I can’t live like this anymore. I know I’m not alone. I wish I could have all the CQ readers in a support group (or maybe that’s sort of what this is?)

    • WhoAmI says:

      Kinda sorta. I mean, the usual commenters either have lots of issues or are just more vulnerable about them here.

      • JC says:

        I think it’s supposed to rewire your opioid response. The thought is that people are binging to trigger certain neurochemical responses and that, if you block this, it decouples the behavior to the response.

  10. k_ says:

    I have an acquaintance who’s wholeheartedly embracing her 1/64th Native American blood as of late. Like “I don’t look Caucasian because I’m not Caucasian” embracing. (She does and she is.) And “I was stripped of my heritage when I was raised in a Eurocentric household” embracing. (She was raised by her also very white birth parents.) As far as I’m totally white. Am I still entitled to eye-rolling, or am I being shitty?

    • Quinn says:

      You’re not being shitty. She’s just trying to play the get-out-of-white-privilege-free card. I have a friend who is actually half Iraqi but has a European last name and looks like a brunette white girl. She pulls the same shit. She’s actually tried to claim that she faces the same level of discrimination as black people and Muslims that wear hijab. (She has never practiced Islam in her life.) She can’t seem to recall any instances of said discrimination, but that doesn’t matter. When I tell her she’s full of shit she says I’m disrespecting her connection to her Arab roots. I kind of hate her a little.

      • AlligatorO says:

        Roots go beyond skin color. Not to say that someone with white phenotypic expression and black genetic roots will face the level of discrimination of a black person. Not at all. So that remark of hers strikes me as shitty but there is nuance in this. My sister appears native while I appear white, same parents just different grab bags of genes. We had the same upbringing which included understanding of and participation in our heritage but in our rural NE hick community my sister got called a spic and was given shit for her phenotype while nobody took a second glance at my whiteness.

        • Quinn says:

          I totally feel that. And I understand how hatred toward your own ethnic group would effect you on a more personal level than someone not of that background, even when not directed at you. This particular person is way less concerned with empathy and justice than she is with playing the victim. She talks about the evils of the white power structure but refuses to acknowledge that she has ever benefited from those evils, which she has, her entire soft, cushy little life. She’s appropriating struggle and it’s so gross.

        • hm says:

          I’m half Puerto Rican and half white and I pretty much look white, essentially only identifiable by POC. I don’t know my father (I met him and his family once in my memory,) and have no ties to this culture aside from a set of genes and some family members (my mother’s sister and my mothers future endeavors were by and large Puerto Rican.)

          While it does raise some sensitivities along with giving me a bit of the passing double agent feeling when in the company of racists, I am very careful as to not invade spaces made for people of color. I’m not interested in convincing people about who I am ethnically, and the fact that I totally pass with white authortative figures
          has given me the privilege of a
          white life.

          That being said, I feel annoyed when people tell me that I’m not, “really Puerto Rican,” but on the same token is stinks to high heaven to me when people in similar (if not whiter positions,) claim an oppressive force against them that totally doesn’t exist.

          • Betsy says:

            Grew up in Brazil, have a 100% European background and an American accent. I have white privilege, and I recognise that. Still, I think it’s because of my background that I’m very aware of it and how it affects white people’s perceptions of me, of whether I’m the “other” or just part of the group. When you negotiate with people’s perceptions like that, it’s pretty easy to see what Ta-Nehisi Coates means when he calls white people “dreamers.” Again, I can’t deny I have it easier.

        • colonel fabien says:

          I have exactly the same experience as you, with half-whiteness and siblings.
          I look more or less white most of the year in my cold desolate country. But every summer, or when I go on a sunny vacation, I experience the uncanny valley of skin colour. When it becomes apparent that my tan is not the tan of a person of fully european descent, white ppl don’t know what the fuck to think of me. This can be OK or not OK. Ppl of caribean descent or origin asking me about my mixed family is flattering or interesting, men in positions of hierarchical dominance asking about my skin or eye colour (often blatantly bc of sexual interest) in a professional setting is not. That’s a year round phenomena, but the darker I get the weirder it gets. Actually this could be thought as more of an uncanny valley of exoticness.
          I’m not trying to compare my experiences to ppl of colour who are systematically discriminated against on a daily basis. i can pass for white most of the year, and I dress day to day quite plainly bc of job obligations, so as to appear neutral to most people (also jeans and a jumper are bloody practical, I can’t fight or run in heels and thick denim has saved me from a couple of bloody knees). As of such, I can walk around with drugs and participate in political activities that might involve police intervention without great fear of getting into legal trouble. I am aware of those privileges.
          I still find however, after a lot of soul-searching about racial and national identity, that the experiment of mixed-race children is an experiment in empathy. Often people chose to have children together because they have more in common than not. The children of mononational etc couples grow up in a family environment where little of the cultural heritage is questioned. Mixed race children often don’t have the choice but to question cultural assumptions.
          Again, I’m not saying my experience is that of racism (I mean a little bit, but who am I to complain ?). I’m also not one of those people who thinks mixed race kids are some kind of peaceful solution for a global community. Mixed kids are something that happens at a time t for an n parenting. Whatever their genetic makeup will be, I understand enough about assimilation to not expect my grand children (or even my children) to know very much about their Asian heritage.
          But I think that all the mixed kids born from their unique situations can bring something to the table when debating racism. I hope this isn’t too redundant, but it really is an exercise of empathy, realizing you’re half not-white but also half really-white, and after that promising to still authentically engage in the debate.

  11. Strangely Rational says:

    I’ve come to disagree with the golden rule, because it relies on the false assumption that everyone else feels the same way as you. It’s okay when you’re a kid and don’t know shit about other people, because you have to have a point of reference. But as you get older and develop greater insight about others, I think the rule needs a modification.

    Whenever I can, I treat people the way *they* want to be treated.

    If it’s a close friend and you’ve been paying attention, you should have a fairly good idea of what this is. In this case, some people believe in the truth at all cost, whereas others believe that ignorance is bliss. Just try to figure out which type you’re dealing with.

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