Fun-Sized Advice

On more fun-sized advice

Everything aside, what do you think of the very idea of separate bedrooms, given that both the partners willingly agree and there is no power imbalance?
It’s perfectly fine under healthy circumstances, but a willing agreement and no power imbalance doesn’t necessarily make it healthy. Separate bedrooms has to be the result of a couple leading independent lives, but not distant lives. Independence is healthy. Distance isn’t.

I’ve had the same straight, even length hair style all my life. Does that mean I stopped growing as a person?
All your life? From your baby pictures through your teenage years and on into adulthood? The same hairstyle? No, I don’t think so. If that were true (and it isn’t) it would mean that you never formed an identity by making decisions about your own appearance, which means you never started growing in the first place.

Wait, so if I don’t change my hair that means I’ve stopped growing as a person? I just think black hair and front bangs suits me best, I’m not trying to seem stagnant.
No, it doesn’t mean you’ve stopped growing as a person. Not at all. You guys seem to be missing the point about the hair thing. If you want to understand where I was coming from, read this. (And I’m sure black front bangs is a great look for you now, but will it be in five years? In ten? In twenty? Come on.)

I have two cats and a roommate. My roommate refers to my cats as her cats. I don’t want to be a psycho but they’re my fucking cats. Why does this bother me so much???
Because they’re your fucking cats. Duh.

Why is it that whenever I recognize that I’m content that immediately after I feel a sense of sadness?
Because that’s all there is.

How do you avoid paying retail for designer clothes?
I believe Liam Neeson summed it up best when he said, “…I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.”

My 59 year old mother quoted you at me about moving to Asheville. My head damn near exploded. Your influence spreads far and wide!
Is she trying to get you to move? That’s adorable. (And yeah, some of my new audience is skewing much older, which makes it a little weird for me. I don’t even give parenting advice, so it’s not like I’m gonna start answering questions about menopause and shit.)

At what point in a friendship/dating relationship do you tell people about your alter ego?
I don’t tell anyone. Ever. One lawyer, one agent, one editor, one therapist, two exes, and three friends. That’s it. Those are the only people I’ve told. I don’t tell new friends, and I don’t tell new partners, especially now that I’m in a new place.


55 thoughts on “On more fun-sized advice

  1. t. says:

    I initially took the last question to mean at what point in a relationship does one, anyone, tell people about their alter ego.

    PS I wish you still posted hints like your manicures or outfit snips, but maybe that’s too risky now…

    • The Coquette says:

      It’s been seven years. I’ve written professionally for over a half dozen publications. I’ve produced a handbag line and a jewelry line, both of which were sold in stored worldwide. I’ve published book with another one on the way, and in all that time having done all that work anonymously, you think a list of less than ten people knowing my true identity (four of whom are legally or ethically bound to confidentiality) sounds like a lot? You’ve got some pretty high standards, my friend.

      • GOAT says:

        Yeah, I was just thinking that that is crazy impressive, especially because 4/9 are professional relationships! It’s incredible that you managed to do this while having a totally separate career/life.

        Also…don’t think we didn’t catch that comment about the book. #excited

  2. Wwaxwork says:

    As a member of your older audience, though peri menopausal so not after menopause advice just yet. Just keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t worry I’ll get my menopause advice from other sources when I need it. You’re good for keeping my brain active by making me think & see things differently, my hormones will sort themselves out.

    • coskel says:

      same demo here.

      Coke, don’t discount us (yes, I’ve submitted a question or 4) just because we’re older than you.

      Sometimes your refreshing blend of bitch slap can help those of us who have been around the block, but haven’t looked around that corner yet or ever.

      • Strangely Rational says:

        Totally agree about the “refreshing blend of bitch slap”!

        I think that we “older folk” are better off by realizing that there is much to be learned from the younger generations. Many of my peers like to think we know better when it comes to most things, and the things we don’t understand are tossed aside as “unimportant.”

        But it’s discounting a lot of interesting and useful shit! Especially when it comes to wicked smart and insightful people like you, Coquette. Kind of makes me feel like I should be further along in some ways, but then I try to remember not to judge myself based on someone else’s journey. What I need to do is pay attention to what I can learn.

      • compagno says:

        A 59 year-old mother ? Wow- I remember what it was like to be 59, almost a decade ago.
        Good writing is good writing, regardless of the ages of the author and the readers.

  3. Chops says:

    Simple solution to the cat problem is to just hand the roommate the bill the next time they go in for a check up.

    “Oh, but I thought they were your cats”

    • CynicalGrey says:

      Me thinks the issue with the cats is that the roommate doesn’t want to be a “we” with her roommate. I hated that from my former roommate, and it had nothing to do with someone co-opting cat-parenthood, rather the idea that the two of us were more than two roommates.

  4. I just dyed my hair purple/blue/pink. I’m not sure what that means, but I think it has something to do with me seeing the light at the end of this depressive period. At least I hope that’s it 😛

    • RocketGrunt says:

      After a going through a couple years of recurring depressive episodes, I spent the next few constantly changing my hair different combinations of blue, green, and purple. It seems like a good sign.

  5. P Brightly says:

    The separate bedroom issue is probably a dead horse at this point, but here’s my experience. I loved having separate bedrooms with my partner. The very first girl I moved in with we rented two-bedrooms of a four bedroom house that 2 other college acquaintances were living in too. But the housing accommodations were otherwise so small that attempting to share one bedroom and then rent the last bedroom to a fifth would have been taxing (and against the lease terms). So together my girlfriend and I had the two upstairs bedrooms to ourselves and it was excellent. I worked a 9-5 job, and my girlfriend worked bakers hours and had theater productions to attend to. It kept our sleep patterns in tact when we needed, it gave us space if we fought, it gave us work space for our projects. But also it brought intenationality to our love. If I was in her room, or she was in mine, it was because we wanted to be there. Not because we had no other option. At least, that’s how I felt about it. I’ve been meaning to ask my ex about it these years later. (we broke for unrelated reasons in different living arrangements)

  6. Kelly says:

    I’m curious to know what it is about anonymity that is so important to you. What do you think would be different if you told people? Is there something in particular that you are trying to avoid? I think it’s a really interesting choice — and probably a really healthy one — but it’s not the one that I would personally make. I mean, just the logistics of keeping all of that secret for 7 years is kind of staggering. I guess I’m just wondering why this is the choice you’ve made.

  7. Plagarism says:

    The hair theory is fascinating. I vividly remember, at 10 years old, watching my mother stand in front of a mirror and chop her traditional waist-length hair into a bob that barely brushed her collar bone. It wasn’t long after that that she got her first job and began her now decade-long career.

    The theory has its caveats (for example, a key hair change is probably much more noticeable- and let’s be real, possible- for white women), but it’s accurate for key transitional phases. It’s quite different from changing your hair when trying to settle into a new look or to deal with a bad haircut.

    I do wonder if the degree of change correlates with the significance of the juncture and whether a hair change could precede the actual change. Is there a corresponding occurrence for men?

    • Brynn says:

      It can be true for men as well. More so for younger men than older men, as the expectations and options for appearance have changed dramatically. I’m guessing this all results from the entanglement of hair and identity, which is imposed on women to a greater degree than men. In my understanding, the culture around men’s hair over the last century has been more binary – having it is good, losing it is bad; neat is stately, unkempt is wild; short is masculine, long is feminine; color is good, but grey adds distinction. So a man changing his hairstyles in those ways could indicate huge changes. But since the relationship between appearance and identity is less rigorously enforced for men, a change in hairstyle won’t speak as clearly to men as it does to women. And since those social attitudes have changed dramatically in the past 60 years, I think you can expect that theory of hair to be increasingly accurate for men, while it mildly decreases in accuracy for women. And for now, day to day changes continue to speak more to the minor event’s in a woman’s life than in a man’s. But I think that one’s changing, too.

      But honestly, I could be wayyyyyyyyyy off. And but and but and but and

      • Plagarism says:

        That’s a great explanation. It makes a lot of sense. I was thinking it might be shoes. As in when a man changes the type of shoes he wears, he’s entering a different phase of his life (whereas for a woman it’s hair). I think older, more mature men also tend to take more care in their choice of shoes and the actual shoes. It’s just a thought, though.

        • WhoAmI says:

          That one isn’t as true as it used to be. Lots of young men take intense care of their sneakers, and have several, cherished pairs of them. I know a guy with 15 pairs, all very different (one of them is metallic gold holy shit). It’s impressive tbh because back in my teenage years we had three pairs top, and one of them were all stars (urgh).

      • Perspectivator says:

        The most interesting theory I’ve run across is that hair represents how people feel about their ideas. So someone maintaining the same hair style means they haven’t changed how they feel about their ideas even if their ideas or range of feelings continue to grow.

        Try on the idea that long haired guys value their ideals so much that they refuse to let them go. They will hold onto those ideals in the face of authority and status quo.

        I enjoy the idea that white guys with dreds have mushy, dirty, unkempt ideas that take a fair amount of effort to maintain.

        As a person who once had hair beyond my ass I can say that I forgot about my ideas when they weren’t in front of me and I would luxuriate in old ideas from time to time. I also used it as a way to find people who didn’t give a shit about appearances; because God damn long wavy hair is ugly if it’s not styled.

        Being bald involuntarily represents a loss of ideas (in this metaphor.) Voluntarily shaving represents, as it always has, an act of contrition and recognition that the visual representation of ideas as hair is vanity.

        Curly hair is for people whose ideas ar exploding uncontrollably.(this is my least favorite metaphor in the series but haven’t found contradictory boring or static curly haired people.)

        So as much as hair frames a face, it also frames your world view. Shorter hair represents a wider field of view and openness. Hair that covers your face could be construed as a desire or willingness to hide.

        I realize that a lot of this can be contradicted and I’m not maintaining any authority. Tarot hair.

    • Jen says:

      I don’t know, I think this is pretty possible (and noticeable!) for American women of all ethnicities. I can think of many examples.

    • Lin says:

      Why just white women? I live in a city that is about 30% East Asian, and those girls beat us by a wide margin in terms of originality and frequency of hairstyles.

      • Plagarism says:

        I meant white literally, like in terms of color. A whiter woman can go through starker color changes, whereas for darker women the choice is more limited and therefore probably much less noticable (we go back and forth between black and brown). Pretty much all ethnicities have a range of skin color, so that’s what I was referring to and of course, some people can definitely pull off colors others really can’t. But in terms of key hair changes, I think the difference (in color, at least) tends to be less noticable in darker skinned women.

        Also just wanna add I’m talking about natural hair colors. I think a minority of the population chooses colors like pink, purple, etc. (although I think it’s awesome)!

        • Strangely Rational says:

          Wait, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen black women with blonde or red hair.

          In fact, they’re much more likely to rock those colors than me. I have a pale olive skin tone, and blonde or red would clash. Black is too severe (certainly at my age), so brunette is the only realistic option if I don’t want to look like a freak.

          Then again, perhaps that would make me more noticeable . . .

  8. Light37 says:

    I know someone whose husband has REM sleep behavior disorder. Separate bedrooms saved their marriage. Before, she was being woken up all night long and ended up with bruises from him thrashing. Now, she gets a restful night and he doesn’t have to worry about injuring his wife (which was causing him serious distress.)

  9. Jessica Sen says:

    I think it would be hilarious to be recommended to yourself. Imagine if some young girl came along and texted you to read your own blog. Would you say fuck you you ignorant cat? Would you say thank you? Would you simply not reply and chuckle evilly to yourself over a glass of wine while your pet crow sits by your side warning you of intruders? I’m not high or anything but I speculate that you are a witch. You have magical powers and sadly those are unteachable. You can only hope to find people of the same grammatical sensibilities and sense of humour. I’m not drunk or anything, I’m just pretending. Have a nice day.

  10. Shells says:

    Your give THE BEST parenting advice ALL THE TIME: be the best version of yourself that you can possibly be. I am a much, much, better wife and mom because of the belief systems I now have that you helped inform and shape for over four years. I hope my little girl is gonna “stay wild, and embrace the fucking change!”

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