Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice

Hey girl. Just reaching out because we haven’t heard from you in a while. I hope you’re just busy with work or off traveling. Anyway, thinking of you and hope you’re well.
Thanks for thinking of me. (Thank you all.) I’m okay. It’s been a month of sex and love and death. I don’t feel like typing it all out, and I’m not sure if I have my spirit back, but it’s nice to be reading the mail again. And fair warning, I’m gonna be out of the country for a bit, just a few weeks, but I’ll do my best not to disappear.

Does it weird you out that we get worried when you’ve been gone for a while?
It means the fucking world to me.

I just turned 29 and I’m pretty sure I found my g-spot last night.
Nice. If you were ever gonna find your g-spot, 2016 was definitely the year.

Why is it that cutting my arms is the only way to quiet the foghorn going off in my head at all times?
It’s not the only way. Cutting yourself is just a quick fix. It’s cheap and lazy. Summon up the inner strength or self-respect or whatever the fuck it takes and go find some healthy ways of regulating your emotions. Get help. Put in the work. You can do it.

I think I might be a narcissist. What do I do?
Don’t act like one.

I feel so burned out on dating and even casual sex feels unexciting right now. What would Coquette do?
Take a break and go learn a new thing instead.

Wait, so do we or don’t we have free will?
Nothing is free.

How do I stop hating/resenting my rich white friends?
Find value in different forms of capital (cultural or otherwise.)

Can you recommend any podcasts on politics?
The Weeds by Vox. (I have a bit of a nerd crush on Ezra Klein.)

Ugh. Tomi Lahren. Ugh. What would you have to say to her if she engaged in conversation with you?
Tomi reminds me of a well-groomed poodle who gets a treat from her racist owners every time she barks at black people. She seems easily trainable, but I have zero interest in teaching new tricks to someone else’s spoiled puppy.

I’m a fuck up and can’t do anything and nobody knows it but I think about killing myself every single day.
When you hear the words “you’re a fuck up and you can’t do anything,” whose voice is in your head? (It’s not yours. I promise.) Whoever it is, spend your time thinking about how to delete their influence from your life rather than thinking about killing yourself.

I just realized that years of undiagnosed bipolar II have left me with an ugly as fuck romantic history — several older married men, jealous and generally useless outside of the forbidden love myth in my hypomanic head — and I’m horrified. How do I fix this? Now that meds have cleared my mind for long enough, I am disgusted with myself (and frankly with the cheating fucks who were supposed to know better too, but mostly with myself).
You fix it by forgiving yourself, learning from your mistakes, and making healthier life decisions from here on out. (I know this is a very “eat your vegetables” type answer, but there’s really no trick to it. Get your shit together and change.)

My fuckbuddy ghosted me. Everything was going great but he must have become bored with me. Why do I tear myself apart over guys when they decide to move on from me?
Because you’re a human being with emotions and rejection fucking sucks. Also, you haven’t learned how to not take things personally. Also, you should probably make sure that you know the difference between a fuckpuppet and a fuckbuddy.

We’d been together 3 years, long distance (different colleges) for the last 2. I got drunk and let someone kiss me. I called him immediately after and begged for forgiveness, but I think a part of me was looking for a way to end the relationship and did something destructive to make it happen. I know now that I have a pattern of staying in relationships too long out of fear, and now it’s manifested in cheating, which is something I would have never imagined myself doing. How do I break this pattern?
You’re too young for this shit to be a pattern. In fact, it’s a fairly early insight. If you’ve realized that you stay in relationships too long, there’s only one way to change that behavior: break the fuck up. Do it today. You’re each probably home for the holidays, so do it in person if you can. Be firm and be fast. Let 2017 be a fresh start for both of you.

My boyfriend and I are going on a date with another girl later tonight. The only reason I’m ready for this is because I happened across your writing so many years ago. You changed my life. I love you. Thank you.
Right on. I wanna hear how it went.

You’re an uninformed, racist moron. I hope that the misery you heap upon others with your incompetence and vanity will be revisited upon you.
I love the irony of you using ableist language to call me a racist. Also, “revisited upon you?” Who the fuck talks like that? You must own a lot of action figures.

The day after I gave my intern your book, she walked in to work looking particularly empowered saying ‘this book! This BOOK!’ And I was like ‘right?!’ And she went on to say she had been texting photos of the pages to her sister and friends all morning and telling them all to read it and we talked about it pretty much all day. So yeah, thanks for sharing your awesomeness and inspiring us 🙂
Love this. Thanks for spreading the word.

what is the fucking point anymore? protests ended. people are becoming numb. no one cares to speak up anymore? are we not going to fight?
The point is to live. The point is to keep going. It’s okay to let the vigilance mellow into something less acute. It’s not about intensity anymore; it’s about stamina. Dig in, hold fast, and keep a calm and constant pressure as the pendulum swings.

Are you happy?
As I type this, I am something close to happy.

Are we going to be okay?
Ha! No.

Standard

122 thoughts on “On fun-sized advice

  1. Jackie says:

    Would love to actually hear a non fun-sized take on the free will debate. “Nothing is free” implies that you don’t believe in free will, but maybe more due to semantics of the word ‘free’ than the actual philosophical concept?

  2. Romanian Psycho says:

    You know…I love CokeTalk but I think we’ve been duped. She is actually that rich white friend you can’t help but love-hate 🙂

    • grouch says:

      I don’t know, if you read enough of her past posts, she’s definitely not white. White-passing, maybe, but she doesn’t get to check that “non-Hispanic white” box.

    • JC says:

      If you read her enough, it’s clear her family includes immigrants from south of the border. She also had some early educational opportunities that put her in monied circles, but she didn’t grow up that way. She has a few bucks now, but that is because CQ is fucking brilliant, and she earned her place. She is actually that scrappy friend you can’t help but love-love.

  3. grouch says:

    Yeah, that’s a hard thing to internalise – we’re not going to be okay. I think the human race will probably survive, and things might become a new normal, and they might even be “okay” one day, but that “okay” will not be like “okay” eight years ago.

    Woohoo, my checking this page pretty well every day eventually yielded results. I had a fear that Coq got burned out, or gave into the bleakness and despair that is a Trump presidency. We don’t want the people who bolster us to give up, but it happens.

    • Maria says:

      CQ burns down, but she doesn’t burn out. (Someone can link to where she said that first.) At this point, she’s lit enough of us on fire that we can lend her a spark when she needs one. And we can pass it between ourselves.

      We’re not naive, but at the same time, hell it’s Christmas. I’m pretty sure everyone reading this knows things won’t be okay, but we also know there are brief blazing moments of light and love. Those moments are worth it.

      What’s this tribe for if not for having each other’s backs?

  4. ktk says:

    I was really starting to think you were ghosting us & there’d be no more Coquette. I am so, so glad you’re back & doing okay.

  5. Alice says:

    This post just made my birthday so much better. I’m so glad you’re back. When everything is awful sifting through old posts on this page always makes me feel like I keep going. Thank you!

  6. Johanna says:

    What’s the difference between a “fuckpuppet” and a “fuckbuddy”?
    And, since we are speaking, why seems people so terribly terrified of loving someone or date them and have to invent all these terms that just sound to me like a substitute of “fucking fear”?

    • Radio says:

      Oohhh, I really like the distinction she made between a fuckpuppet and a fuckbuddy. I’m going to add that to my vocabulary.

      I take it as a fuckbuddy is someone you have casual sex with who respects you and is communicative about the relationship (because even if it’s just sex, it’s still a relationship in the basic sense of the word).

      In contrast, have you ever been in a casual sex relationship where the other person literally just treated you like a human fleshlight? Like you were just a sex toy rather than an actual human being? That’s when I’d use the term fuckpuppet. It would refer to the person being treated like a disposable fuck toy. “I thought we were going to be fuckbuddies, but then I realized he just wants a fuckpuppet who will cater to his every whim.”

      Anyway, I think this distinction is huge.

      • t. says:

        i guess? but why even legitimize that behaviour? is there a word for a boyfriend or husband or wife who treats you that way? is there a word for a partner who treats you well in the bedroom but thinks you’re a moron? why even create these words? fuckpuppet… like, fuckbuddy i guess describes a certain type of a agreement, but the other description just sounds like someone whose a fuckbuddy but is doing it while also being a shitty human being. don’t call them anything… don’t call them, period.

        • Radio says:

          The term fuckpuppet wouldn’t describe the person being shitty. It describes either the type of relationship or the person who’s being screwed over.

          Personally, I wish someone had given me words when I was younger to differentiate between a respectful casual sex relationship and the really terrible fuckpuppet relationship I found myself in. It can be really easy to lie and tell yourself that everything’s ok when you’re both inexperienced and desperately insecure. When I was finally emerging out of the experience, I remember it being difficult to find words for how he had made me felt. I felt like I was just a human sex toy for him, literally just an object, but it was hard to talk about because I had never heard anyone else ever describe a sexual relationship like that. I think it’s a lot easier for shame to creep in when you don’t have any framework to help you understand your experience.

          And yes, the relationship was abusive, but there are so many ways to be abusive. There are so many types of abusive relationships. I think it’s important to find the best words possible to describe experiences.

          But, on the other hand, I’ve also written about how sometimes when recovering from trauma you have to understand that there may never be words to accurately describe your experience, and that sometimes you can find a lot of peace by relinquishing your search for words and definitions. However, words can make things a hell of a lot easier when you can find them.

    • WhoAmI says:

      Because romantic interest and sexual interest are two different things that can but don’t always go together, and sex can be fun enough that people will see each other only out of sexual interest.
      Asking why sexfriends and fuckbuddies are a thing is like asking why book clubs and chess clubs are a thing.

      • Johanna says:

        I understand this is a thing in the world.. It is probably just that with the time I’m starting to accept that personally I seem to not be able to separate the two things. Apparently I don’t really feel just sexual attraction towards people that I don’t feel also in some way emotionally/romantically/mentally attracted to.
        I feel like a mormon writing this, i feel like a wreckage of the ‘800 but maybe I should just accept that my brain doesn’t separate the two things.

        • WhoAmI says:

          Yeah no, a lot of people today act like they can separate the two but consistently can’t.
          However, not being romantically interested in someone doesn’t mean not forming bonds with them. Being fuckable and looking hot are two very different things.
          What happens sometimes is people mistake a bond formed over shared intimity with the beginning of a romantic affair. They developp a crush.

          • Johanna says:

            I see. It seems like splitting the hair to me, and more importantly, it feels like an unnecessary complication of life for me tbh.
            It still vaguely sounds like a complication made out of fear of existential loneliness or something else.
            But seriously no judging in my words. I wish I could coldly separate these things, like they were compartments made of steel. But it’s just not.

          • WhoAmI says:

            I feel like you’ll always end up mixing them up once in a while, as good as you can be at compartimenting. Nobody’s “perfect”.
            Sexfriends aren’t for everyone (like open relationships for example). But if you really want to persevere in having that kind of relationships, you better learn how to compartiment sooner or later.
            There’s definitively FOMO at play in some of those relationships. But I know I personally am less selective in who gets to sleep with me than who gets to be my partner, and I love sex, and I have a big libido, so the idea seem rather natural. Then again, I’m gay and french, maybe that’s why I’m so familiar with the idea, I don’t know.

      • wrkrb says:

        This is identified by some as a nuanced sexual orientation, demi-sexuals only feel sexual attraction to individuals that they feel emotionally connected to. Also sex and human touch produce mind altering neurochemicals that encourage bonding to deepen connection. I respect and understand the need for an emotionally committed component to sex but it isn’t a necessary component for me. That’s something I cover on or before a first date. Who wants a confusing emotional mess when a straightforward surgeon’s general warning can prevent it. I think the surgeon’s general thing is a concept from cq but can’t remember if when where.

  7. Strangely Rational says:

    I am close to two people who have had cutting issues, and I’ve looked into this a bit so I have a suggestion.

    Cutting is usually a symptom of trauma, often childhood trauma (physical, sexual, emotional) or neglect. It may be at the level of PTSD or not. It tends to be comorbid with other issues, such as eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), depression, borderline personality disorder (BPD), and substance abuse. Generally anxiety and low self esteem.

    The first person I know who has done this throughout her life has struggled with bulimia and BDD, and there’s a good chance she was sexually abused as a young child – both of her older sisters were molested by a relative. She doesn’t remember it, but he had just as much access to her, and she was young enough that she may have blocked it.

    The second person I know with this issue has a worse case. He has PTSD with psychosis (hallucination, delusion, paranoia) from being severely sexually abused by one parent and emotionally abused by the other from as early as he can remember (3). The emotional abuse alone was crippling, stunted his development, and continued until that parent died when he was almost 40. He is a recovering hardcore alcohol and drug abuser, has BDD, depression, and most likely BPD (a lot of crossover symptoms as PTSD).

    I cringed at the “lazy” label, because cutting isn’t lazy. It’s a coping mechanism that may not be healthy but has undeniably helped some people survive when they otherwise might not (and I put drugs in that same category, BTW). Getting the kind of help you need to find other ways can be a long road.

    LW, I really encourage you to search “self harm” and do some reading about all the things that can contribute to it. Try to think of various events and issues in your life that might be triggering it. You need to make it a priority to find a therapist; I know this can be very difficult for many people depending on their situation, but do whatever you can. The real problem isn’t the cutting – it’s whatever deeper issue is driving it.

    Fortunately, both people I mentioned above are doing better. The first got help for her eating disorder, engaged in mindfulness practices, and was able to find greater stability and stop cutting. She didn’t take any medication but focused on other healing techniques. Now, I’m not in physical contact with her enough to know about any relapses, but I suspect there have been some.

    The second is currently in treatment for his PTSD. Because of the severity of his symptoms, medication is an absolute necessity. After receiving appropriate anxiety medication, he was able to stop the cutting, although he still slips sometimes in terms of sobriety. He recently started EMDR therapy (another good thing to look up if you have trauma issues), and it’s been surprising how quickly he’s learned some extremely helpful techniques. Some people doubt its efficacy, but despite my own skepticism, I can’t deny the rather abrupt improvement. That doesn’t mean it’s a quick fix; he’s still in the stabilization phase and it will be awhile before he’s ready to delve into the trauma issues more directly. If there’s hope for him – given how seriously fucked up his entire life has been – there’s hope for anyone.

    The thing I want to stress to you, LW, is that this is not your fault or any conscious choice, so try not to feel any shame for it (yeah, I know this is extremely difficult). It will, however, require you to make a conscious choice to get help for it. Both of the people I know had to work on getting out of denial and be not only willing but driven to get help and stick with it.

    • Apricot says:

      I highly second the mindfulness practices.

      I can say wholeheartedly that yoga classes drastically improved my mental health because they combine physical activity with mindfulness and focus. It led me into mindfulness mediation and just, looking back on this year, thoughts of suicide, urges to cut, do anything harmful, are just like any other passing thought now. They hold no weight. It’s such a relief. It’s doable. I never thought I’d be this…okay.

      I wish you all the best <3

    • Lin says:

      Yeah, Coke struggles at mental health advice.

      I also engage in self-harm and have an eating disorder. Medication and therapy helps, but I’ve not “recovered”. It’s not a moral failing or a lack of “inner strength” though. Fuck that.

      • Nona says:

        As someone who struggled with eating disorders and self harm for years, and now depression and substance abuse, I can understand her use of lazy to qualify self harm coping behaviours.
        It’s not a criticism, a shaming mechanism or a value judgement.
        The simple fact is that in order to stop a behaviour you have to work towards stopping the behaviour. It’s not about inner strength. It’s about using the ressources around you to devise more rational and efficient and long term healthy solutions for your problems.
        PS: no one is suggesting it’s easy to get out of a pattern of self harm but if you’re at the point where you’re asking how to get out of it, I believe in your capacity to search for answers.

  8. Lotcal says:

    Coke, glad to hear you are ok.

    Even though self harm is a coping mechanism, it is still ‘lazy’ (and I self harmed for most of my teens). It’s a release but it’s also a visible statement that you are struggling and need help, without asking or having to approach someone. That is what makes it lazy.

    Find a good therapist and try meditation/mindfulness. Once you can get past that initial urge, it gets much easier.

  9. Barefootsie says:

    Happy to hear you’re still on this wavelength, Coke. Love hearing from you, and take care of you. We’ll keep reading as long as you keep writing.

  10. Nerdlinger says:

    >protests ended
    They usually do. Protests only have so much power (Arab Spring, Occupy, etc.). Read up on activist retrospectives and see what they’re doing now. Not everything can be NDAPL, but joining a local org on an issue dearest to your heart can give you a lot of clues and concrete actions to set your teeth into.

  11. J Lynn says:

    Great to hear your voice again, Ms Coquette. Congratulations (perhaps?) on this intense month of living, and also condolences for losses contained therein.

  12. Not Sofia says:

    Hope in a grim ribbon parcel, but hope anyway. Thanks for being, CQ, and as a fellow human being, congrats on the sex, hope the love is abundant, condolences for deaths, and merry fucking christmas.

  13. Michael says:

    You deserve better than Ezra Klein, who is yet another neoliberal jerkoff. We all deserve better than Ezra Klein.

    He’s the kind of guy who gives you advice on how to lose to Trump.

        • Monochromicorn says:

          Neoliberal has come to mean anything and everything, it’s meaningless. People dislike – rightfully – the neoliberal structural adjustment programs of the eighties, but today Neoliberal can just refer to full participation in the global market, which I think is becoming more and more unavoidable. Hell, by that definition Obama can be classified Neoliberal and Trump wouldn’t be, so think twice before you throw around the Neoliberal jerk off label.

          Ezra klein forever!!!!!

    • VeryIrritable says:

      The passive aggressive bullshit authority stance is your psychological walker. You are a tired fuck pretending both to be an authority on what is good and deserved as well as falsely claiming it’s in our best interest.

      If Ezra Klein gives advice on how to lose to rump, then you’re the kind asshole who thinks they know everything.

      Please don’t post.

      • Chris says:

        Don’t post?

        It’s Christmas, motherfucker, and I don’t think Jesus (that’s blonde haired, blue eyed baby Jesus) would approve of such a rank message.

        Now go eat a billion dicks and die.

          • VeryIrritable says:

            I’m sorry if I harshed someone’s vibe, but I just can’t take one more authority on anything. I had to deal with an entire family shouting me down while turning up the volume on fox.

            CQ expressed a preference and someone has the nerve to backhandedly insult it. If I said, I like lasagna and you said, “you can do better than lasagne.” That would be one thing, but to then harness all of this years political tragedy to that preference is a fucking douche maneuver.

            Also, to think that Christmas is a get away with dickery card is even worse.

            I think politely asking for silence is well in order.

        • VeryIrritable says:

          One more thing Chris. Not only was jesus not blond haired and blue eyed…but jesus didn’t exist. Jesus was a populous advertising campaign by the romans to promote behaviors that would quell uprising. Zero jesus, bitch…except maybe for all the yeshua’s that were around. It basically amounted to “be like bob.”

          • Chris says:

            Yeah, that’s the joke. I’m feigning outrage, and then leveraging the holiday that coincidentally is in stride with a Pagan one it displaced.

            Add my horribly insulting reply (with added Caucasian Jesus) and I didn’t think it could miss that I was kidding.

            Sorry about your poor times at the holiday. I was lucky there was no political discussion, just 7 fishes, some of which were phenomenal. I also made the time better by throwing back some vodka-Welch’s (vodka with sparkling welch’s grape juice – It was okay, but not as good as Bacardi Gold with Cream Soda).

          • VeryIrritable says:

            Oh man, now that I reread it, it makes sense. I’ve been dealing with fox family and Facebook redneck overflow. That sort of emphatic jesus imaging is the type of brainery I would expect from people who invented portmanteau like “killary” and “libtard” while crying about white genocide and the war on white Christmas.

            Vodkawelches!
            Omg, that sounds awesome. I wonder if I could carbonate vodka.

          • Chris says:

            Along with “Killary” there’s also the “Cuckservative” barb. They used to call them RINOs (Republicans in name only), but it had sting because RINO is a homonym for rhino, and rhinoceroses are awesome. So now if you don’t agree with someone, then you obviously aren’t a man, so your wife gets done by 7 other dudes and you watch. The details get pretty graphic, and all that I can gather is that this is what these people get off to, because sometimes they say things I’ve never even heard of.

            Yes, vodka Welch’s. Not a bad way to do the holiday so long as you’re laughing. Like any alcohol (or a cigar), it’s really only so good if you’re sharing it with an LOL chaser.

            For a little more on me – see here:
            http://forthmagazine.com/poetry/2015/05/memorial-day-a-poem-by-christopher-pascale/

            Guess we’re friends forever now! I’ll be on the lookout for more of your comments. You’ve always added good stuff to the site.

          • VeryIrritable says:

            Here Chris, lets make one of these stick:
            Republicunt
            Republicant
            Republiklan
            trumpkin
            Crasshole
            Alt-blight
            Terrorrights
            Rumpled dil-skin

            I took a trump in the bathroom.

          • Chris says:

            trumpkin (with a lowercase “t”) is the most catchy. Like any good marketing campaign, we need a clear and simple message. trumpkin is as good as Tea Bagger. It’s demoralizing on that level. They aren’t their own person. They can’t think for themselves.

            Have a Happy New Year.

  14. Camille says:

    I don’t know, when I hear the words “I’m a fuck up and can’t do anything” it’s always been me saying it, even since pre-school.

    • Chloe says:

      In my experience of feeling similarly, it stems from someone whose opinion you valued in your early years (for e.g. a popular kid you wanted to be friends with/associated with in school rebuffing your attempts to associate with them) saying something along those lines to you or in the case of parents, withholding their affection from one child whilst praising their sibling and subsequently internalising that image (“I’m a fuckup and can’t do anything”) of yourself. I found The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz really useful in challenging notions I had of my self. If you want to read a bit more about that book, before considering reading it, I found this PDF resource which might help you, too. Either way, wherever you are in the world, I hope you’re doing well and merry christmas. Good luck for the new year!

    • wrkrb says:

      I’m with you Camille, negative self narratives may have external origins but they evolve in the interior and become wholly ours. Blaming them on external events seems like a way to skirt responsibility for individual control of thought processes.

      • Betsy says:

        Realising personal pain has external origins has nothing to do with taking personal responsibility or not. It’s not about fault, it’s about pinning down the cause and finding resolution. That’s basically what personal responsibility is *about*.

        • wrkrb says:

          Thanks for telling me what personal responsibility is “basically” all *about*

          Bad shit happens to everyone and it fucks us up, yes we can examine those things and their impact but ultimately we are with ourselves and responsible for the work moving forward. I’m sure there are individuals who experience intrusive memories of verbal abuse etc. but more likely those experiences are used as material to build their own personalized negative narrative. So the voice telling you “you’re a fuckup” is your own and challenging it is about challenging yourself.

          • Betsy says:

            For someone who claims to care about personal responsibility, you’re responding like a toddler. I was referring to the actual process of healing. I agree it has to be a personal choice.

            It sounds like you have some history and it doesn’t look like you’re there yet with the healing.

        • KittyNinja says:

          Wait, are you saying taking responsibility while analyzing your past isn’t mutually exclusive? Hmmm, that can’t be because it almost seems too simple and effective.

          There are multiple paths to processing our past and juxtaposing taking responsibility and analyzing the past doesn’t really serve internal progress, WRKRB. I get your intention, and yes, until we take responsibility, we are missing a big puzzle piece. But it’s not the only puzzle piece and finger waggling on the right way misses the point that knowing and accepting your past is part of taking responsibility.

          And hey, Camille, I struggle with this too. I don’t know who told me I was a fuck up, but I got inklings and my lil kiddo mind tried to parse together some understanding from dumb words from a grandparent. If knowing who said them doesn’t work for you, set it down, and grab your life by the horns, because your fuck ups aren’t who you are. You are more than your fuck ups could ever amount to (and no one remembers them anyway). Try working on that voice and tell Brenda* to shut the fuck up.

          *relevant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZZYl9BegQk

    • WhoAmI says:

      But is it the same you that talks to you the rest of the time ? How is the tone different ? If you try to think about that voice while thinking about your relatives, which one does it match the best ? If it says “I’m a fuck up”, can you remember a time when what you heard was “You’re a fuck up” ? Who was saying it back then ?

  15. Healing from narcissistic abuse says:

    “When you hear the words “you’re a fuck up and you can’t do anything,” whose voice is in your head? (It’s not yours. I promise.) Whoever it is, spend your time thinking about how to delete their influence from your life rather than thinking about killing yourself.”

    Thank you so much. This wasn’t my question, but it was the answer I needed.

  16. Becky says:

    ITT: a lot of readers (glad you’re here!) who don’t know The Pattern (she disappears sometimes and it’s okay).

    Whether she is or is not white she’s right, y’all. I personally think it’s a function of being a southern woman more than being white. You have to learn how to pick your battles carefully when the pendulum is pressing down on you.

  17. Joe says:

    Death happened here too, my friend. A dear old friend of the Chicago biking community, who you could always count on to be there, and stay until the end, even for the non-party stuff most didn’t want to do, like helping friends move or volunteering for our grassroots charity crew.

    A good natured sweet guy only a year older than me who left behind an even sweeter and good natured wife. It’s sad that his death is the event that brought us out of the woodwork to gather and see each other again after these few years of moving on with our lives, but I suppose that’s the next stage, isn’t it? Gone are the nights of party rides (we weren’t the lycra jersey bike people, we were the beer and weed all night until the sun comes up bike people), and here now are the nights of nursing the newborns back to sleep.

    You were one of the nicest and most reliable, and most fun people I have known in Chicago. I am fortunate to know a lot of them, and you were among the top. Good night, my old friend.

  18. Nona says:

    We love you so much, so happy to have you back.
    Best wishes for the new year.
    Also it’s my birthday, and Christmas and Hannouka, so fuck all we are going to be OK at least for today.

  19. S says:

    Fuckbuddy ghostee: Please know that no respectable, dignified person ever ghosts another. You were mistreated. Coke is right to say that you should know not to take it personally, but she didn’t mention, critically, why it’s necessarily not personal: your ex-fb is the shell of the person in this story, not you. He didn’t just “move on” from you. He denied to himself that he owed you a polite word of parting, which requires convincing himself that you’re somehow less human than he is. He deserves not a moment more of your sorrow. Ultimately, someone with the bitter audacity required to GHOST someone lives a pretty lonely life. You deserve better, undoubtedly, and you can feel free to prop yourself up by remembering how ultimately sad he must be.

    • wrkrb says:

      Some people are too busy dealing with their own hell to do the polite line. Some connections aren’t deep enough to warrant closing remarks. I got an email long after some flings with a person that was full of apology for ghosting and was irritated that he thought I cared. Ghosts are just as likely to consider themselves lesser than the humans that they’re evading. If someone disappears there’s a huge chance that other shit is going on with them. But if you want to make blanket judgments go right ahead because I don’t think respectable, dignified people do that.

      • S says:

        So, my working definition of “ghosting” entails far more than leaving without a goodbye—it entails a failure to follow up given a *request* for followup. A silence in response to a text: “Hey, uh, it’s okay if you want out, but can you just tell me whether we’re done?” That silence is, I’d say, undignified. I don’t think I’m being extreme. I’m not saying that everyone who wants out of a casual relationship owes an explanation—just a word of confirmation, “Yeah, I’m out,” IF REQUESTED. Do you still disagree?

        • WhoAmI says:

          Sometimes the one getting ghosted doesn’t deserve closure. Sometimes getting ghosted is the only way they’ll understand that the relationship is over. Etc. You don’t owe anybody anything, not even a “it’s over” text.

          • S says:

            This insinuates that you *tried* letting them know other ways. In that case: Yes! Stop responding to their texts! They don’t get it after you explicitly communicated it? That makes SENSE.

          • S says:

            If they did something really bad: if they’re an abuser, if you find out they massively lied—I get it. I’m talking run-of-the-mill, I-want-to-end-this-dalliance finale. They didn’t do anything wrong. You want out, for whatever reason. You bounce. They say, “Hello?” You think it’s totally fine not to say something back?

          • WhoAmI says:

            You have two options there :
            – either you misunderstood something about the relationship (it does happen)
            – or they suddenly changed their mind about you and/or the relationship
            Either way, you being mad about it is a perfectly valid feeling. But for your own sake, move on and don’t be salty about it. After all, you’re better off anyway.

          • S says:

            Fair enough. But what if you’re on the other side? You get the “Hello?” They did nothing wrong; you just have your reasons. You think it’s respectable not to say with a text that takes literally ten seconds, “Look, I want out. Pce”? And if they ask more than once? If they say, “Hey, can you just tell me what’s up?” <– This is my understanding of what "ghosting" is. It's where you act like they don't exist. If someone's nuts and doesn't get it when you're like, "We're done," then yes, block away, disappear. Just a huge difference. Do you do this to people? It's happened to a couple people I know and they were more aghast at the revelation of someone's ability to treat them like this than anything. Yeah, move on, of course!

          • WhoAmI says:

            I had to ghost a couple guys who ended up being extra creepy (notably one guy who tried to sabotage my relationship with one of my exes and make us break up just so he could have sex with me again, yikes), and a couple more who were getting extra possessive after just one fuck. I’m actually in the process of ghosting one who still wants to see me, even thought now I know he is in a monogamous relationship and I told him to go cheat with somebody else. Men can be such pigs.

          • wrkrb says:

            (it’s selfish?) but there have been times when I’ve been too fucked up over my own twisted upbringing and the resultantly bad mental habits that I was socialized not to seek treatment for to be able to deal with anything that comes in, especially if it’s someone who I haven’t known for very long. **ps I fell in love with a wonderful woman who I now make a home with and she encouraged me into therapy annnnd IT IS HELPING but the first appointment was so terrifying that I couldn’t stop crying and wanted to run away but didn’t and it’s been totally worth it.

        • S says:

          Whaomi: Sounds like these extenuating circumstances demanded that you behave like so because it was in your own self-interest in very literal terms. I completely respect that.

    • WhoAmI says:

      Yeah, no, excuse me while I ghost men who turn into possessive messes after I put one finger up their ass once as if their anus was a wedding ring.

      • J Lynn says:

        Ha, that is a pretty hilarious description, and he sounds like one who does deserve The Ghost! People who hide they are married are revolting. Not just the morality thing, but the lie of omission reveals cowardice.

      • Lizard People says:

        “The ass of a man is the piston that drives the world, and you have a good one. In my prime I would have corked it with my thumb and then eaten you alive. Preferably by the pool of Le Méridien in Monte Carlo, with an admiring audience to applaud my frontside and backside efforts.”

        Coincidentally just read this passage in a novel haha.

          • Lizard People says:

            Oh wow. Nope. Hadn’t heard of that one but just read the Wikipedia page and… nope.
            Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. Just some good, clean, all-American holiday readz.

            Edit: the story of the eye reminds me of Neon Demon…

          • WhoAmI says:

            Neon Demon ? Meh. That’s kind of a rude comparison. In Story Of The Eye stuff actually happens before the five last pages. Nasty stuff, but still.
            Winding Refn WISHES he could be one quarter of a tenth as brillant and complex as Bataille.

    • Chris says:

      Love this point. Had someone ghost me after getting a shitty last word one time. The best thing was having quiet time to realize what a complete jackass he was.

  20. Soooooooooooooooo says:

    When I get into a real relationship, I block and stop contacting fuck buddies. If/when the relationship ends, they are always available to resume fuck buddy status. You knew what it was, don’t get emotional.

    • S says:

      Is it sentimental to expect a, “Hey, I’m in a relationship now; catch ya on the flip side”? That’s being “emotional”? Even if a statement is requested?

        • S says:

          A friend of mine had such an experience! She’s pretty levelheaded. She texted, after several messages garnered no response, literally: “Hey, so we’re OFF for next week, then?” (Still: cricket, cricket.) It was just fucking weird. This is what I’m talking about. I don’t care if you don’t have meaningful relationships with the people you fuck, and I don’t care if you don’t tell them you want out if they don’t care. But if they ask what’s up? Frankly, I don’t even care about politeness. Say, “We’re done” curtly and rudely. But to go utterly silent strikes me as indecent, inhuman. You still disagree? You think it’s totally fine and fair?

          See my response to your other response above.

        • J Lynn says:

          I’m also pretty anti-ghosting in general. Now, there are a few circumstances that warrant it: potential abuse or stalker-y or over-possessive behavior, obvious mistreatment, or simply someone who refuses to accept no for an answer. Or someone you just drunkenly met once and wish you hadn’t given your number.

          [ETA and you gotta go w your intuition! Just remembered this one guy I did ghost after 1 date & make-out at age 22. He hadn’t done anything obviously bad, but I just got a VIBE from him, that he was a little too unstable, maybe risky. Especially important for women to go w the gut, because the socialization to be accommodating can put us in danger. God, totally forgot abt that dude until now!!]

          But in general, where it’s a case of just not feeling it, I think it should be avoided as much as possible. It just seems so uncivilized to me! Beside, most (not all) people will go away quicker with a clear, compassionate ‘no’ than with avoidance that brings about a week or more of increasingly anxious calls/texts.

          But you guys already know I’m 40! Ha. Just my 2 cents on the Great Ghosting Debate.

        • Cuttlefish says:

          It’s just about basic manners and common decency, really. Do unto others and all that.

          With the obvious exception of someone who’s abusive/harassing you/pestering you/etc, ghosting does not speak well to the ghoster’s character.

      • Soooooooooooooooo says:

        I’m a woman, and I’m on the fence with saying yes to your question. It’s just, we didn’t go out on dates, you never sent flowers, you never call just because, there is literally nothing special to our relationship. Don’t expect me to b all, “so I’ve met someone blah blah blah.” I’ve never received more than a good morning from u. Not even a “make it home safe?” I don’t expect more, u shouldn’t be emotionally hurt because I’m not explaining myself. My silence should say it all.

        • Lin says:

          What’s special about your relationship is that you fuck each other for convenience. I mean, it’s right there in the title: “buddy”. Maybe we do things differently where I’m from but, shit, I inform all my buddies of stuff that effects the nature of our relationship. If the guy isn’t a threat to your safety what’s so wrong with mentioning, “I’ll be busy for a while, call you later.”?

          • Soooooooooooooooo says:

            I make it very clear to people that I have sex with that we are not friends. I don’t have sex with my friends. To go in line with the gospel of coke, they would be fuck puppets. Once one realized this, they should move on. I can tell u this, anyone I have called after ghosting on them, they’ve been more than happy to continue our “relationship.”

  21. M says:

    3 year relationship gal here. We did break up, and it was a surprisingly amicable split (given the circumstances). I’m off to study abroad next month, looking forward to not dating and doing fun shit overseas/learning a bunch/avoiding the return to Trump’s America. Thanks CQ, for a million different things.

    • Chris says:

      Good luck with your travels.

      My oldest is spending next school year abroad. I’m not thrilled to be away from her but if my time machine was working, I’d definitely be hitting the road. I did a 20-day trip when I was 17, and couldn’t shut up about it.

      “Guys, the Pizza Hut in Dublin serves wine!”

  22. Iana says:

    Been checking back pretty regularly and it finally paid off. Glad to hear that you’re OK. My condolences on your losses. This year seems to have taken a toll on everyone. Look forward to hearing your stories in 2017! Love.

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