Fun-Sized Advice

On some long overdue fun-sized advice

I feel like you abandoned us when we needed you most.
Don’t be silly.

It hurts when he chooses someone over me. Calls me when it doesn’t work out. And I know it and I hope he loves me. I don’t know why I do this to myself. Every time I forget him he comes back into my life. I let him.
You do this to yourself because you enjoy the pain. The flood of negative emotions you feel when he chooses someone over you serves a greater purpose in your life than the tiny, twisted dose of joy you get when he comes back around. You’re using him as much as he’s using you, and the only person who respects you less than him is you.

I live in a cute neighborhood with a couple of bars not even a 5 min walk from my apartment. Is it uncool, unwise, and/or unsafe to have a drink by myself once in a while to try to meet people (not for hook-ups)?
It’s perfectly fine. Get to know your bartenders. Become a regular.

I work with a bunch of super-‘smart,’ hipster, trendy, young, ‘digital nomad,’ techy people at a company that is basically a glorified recruiting firm for freelancers. Everything is just a little too, I know know…. ‘start-up awesome.’ What is my deal?
Nothing. You’re experiencing the new normal. Keep doing your thing, get to know as many people as possible, and don’t ever get too comfortable.

Why did my fiance’s ex start following me on Instagram? We’ve been together for four years and I’ve never met her.
Please. You’re the evil bitch who’s about to marry her first love. She’s gonna be hate-following you for the rest of your natural life.

I cheated on my boyfriend, and he assaulted me (broken bones, etc.). Both are moral failings of course, but am I self-centered for feeling like the assault was more egregious than the cheating? All of my friends feel as though I deserved it, and are distinctly “Team Ex-Bf”. Does infidelity justify violence? Is this my penance?
Physical violence outside of self-defense is utterly inexcusable. Anyone who even remotely defends your ex is not your friend. Get the fuck out of that situation and as far away from those people as possible.

I’m 19 years old. My mom keeps talking about how she wants to kill herself. I don’t know what to do. I feel useless.
Call 911 the next time she does it. Don’t hesitate. When the emergency first responders arrive, tell them that your mother is suicidal and demand that they take her to a hospital. Go with them. Tell the doctors that she has a long history of suicidality and that you believe she is a danger to herself. Tell them she needs to be put on a 72 hour psychiatric hold. Take control of the situation, and don’t back down. Ignore all the horrible shit that your mother will say to you. It will be scary and it will be difficult, but I promise, if you follow through and get your mother admitted, I guarantee things will change. I can’t promise that your mom will stop manipulating you with her depression, but I can promise that you won’t feel useless anymore.

You’re leaning a little less to the left these days, aren’t you? It’s understandable considering the chaos of late. I wonder if you listen at all to people like Gad Saad, Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson who have reasoned, intelligent ideas on politics, gender, race etc.
Reasoned and intelligent ideas? What the fuck could you possibly be thinking? Gad Saad is a lumbering asshole, Ben Shapiro is a creepy little fascist, and Jordan Peterson is just plain wrong. Ugh. Just because these pricks make the rounds on respectable podcasts that doesn’t mean you have to agree with them. Fucking hell, have some intellectual integrity.

I’m getting very close to checking out early. On an individual level, I’m struggling to keep my head above water. On societal and global levels, everything seems to be unraveling. How do I keep moving forward when it’s getting harder to believe that there’s even a future?
Your problem is that you think struggling is the same thing as suffering. It’s not. Learn to separate the two and you won’t resent your existence so much. Your other problem is that you think there’s supposed to be a future. There isn’t. We’re all gonna die in the next few decades, and on a geological timescale, nothing we’ll do as a species is ever gonna matter. That doesn’t mean you get to check out early. You still have to show up and do your thing.

I was raped 3 years ago in an alley by a stranger. I have just now recently (last 6 months) started therapy for my bouts of PTSD. Why do I feel like my case of PTSD has less significance than say, ongoing sexual abuse or childhood trauma, when I’m trying to discuss it? And why do I care? And why am I letting this get in the way of making any real progress in healing?
In a word? Guilt. You’re letting guilt get in the way of healing because deep down you blame yourself for the rape, and rather than do the hard work it takes to process that guilt, you’re unconsciously taking the easy way out and allowing your guilt to manifest in the form of therapy interfering emotions. Whenever you start feeling like you aren’t as worthy of treatment as others, catch yourself. Recognize that it’s just your guilt talking, and remind yourself that none of this shit was your fault and that you deserve to heal.

I read that Portland has a very racist history. I’ve never been but I liked the idea of it until I read more about its past.
Wow, you’re really gonna be bummed when you hear about the history of literally everywhere in human civilization.

Is it true that you can’t be racist towards white people?
It’s certainly true in America. (You can be prejudiced against white people, but racism requires an element of systemic or institutionalized oppression, and the dominant cultural group is, by definition, not oppressed.)

What’s the difference between making it work and settling?
The low quality of your relationship versus the low quality of your partner.

He just broke up with me. After 7 years. Said he didn’t want to marry me. Why do I feel surprisingly okay right now?
Because you didn’t want to marry him either.

I’m Indian. I started dating this black dude a white ago, and he’s friends with this vegan white chick with dreads. Why does this bother me?
Because vegan white chicks with dreads bother everybody.

House to be completed in October. Should I lock my mortgage interest rate now or wait for Trump destabilize the economy between now and the end of October?
Lock in your rate immediately. That shit’ll be half a point higher by Halloween.

What is your opinion on people who have wine glass charms?
The only thing I feel for them is pity.

I’ve matched with everyone in this small town in Tinder/Bumble for a year now, and no one has replied.
Move.

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Best-Of Advice

On turning the first page

Six months ago, I moved to a new city after graduating. Five months ago, I met my best friend here, and he kissed me the first night we met but then told me he has a long distance girlfriend. Since then, we’ve spent a lot of time together, traveled together, and done a fair amount of drugs together. Additionally, we have been each other’s support for our respective anxiety/depression. Sometimes it feels like we’re friends, and sometimes he asks me to spend the night when we’re coming down and I do it because I want him and he’ll just ask me all the “what if” questions while we lay there spooning in our underwear. He’s the first person I’ve ever loved, and a few weeks ago I finally saw how unfair it is to me and to the girlfriend that he treats me like a girlfriend even though he has her. I realize I am not exempt from blame here because I should not have let myself fall for him and I should have drawn a line and held my ground when he would cross lines (to be clear other than the one kiss, no sexual line has been crossed, but lines have been crossed). Additionally, something that has been helping me to fall out of love with him is realizing how he doesn’t deal with his mental health problems in a healthy way- he tends to lash out at people, myself included, and then apologizes profusely and does it again a week later. But it’s hard to fall out of love with someone. What do I do now that I’ve realized all this? He is still my best friend here and I still want him in my life. There has been far more good than bad, and when he’s not being weird. which to be fair 90% of the time things are normal, he is an amazing friend.

 

This is really sweet.

You should know, this new friendship isn’t the first chapter of your adulthood. It’s barely the first page. You’ve got so much more headed your way, and if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll be fine.

Keep drawing those firm lines. Cultivate your moral center. Listen to you conscience, and don’t for one second let him or anyone else violate your boundaries. Savor the process of falling out of love more than you did the falling in part. There are so many deeper truths to learn on your way out of relationships than on your way into them.

Keep exploring. Learn. Grow. Enjoy the drugs, but don’t ever let them become the reason you show up to the party. Also, whatever you do, don’t let the anxiety and depression become a part of your identity. That’s your best friend’s problem. He defines himself by his mental disorders. You’ll see it eventually, and it will likely be the thing that finally extinguishes your romantic feelings. That’s okay, though. You’ll finally be able to turn your first page.

Of course, not to predict the future, but as soon as you’re done falling out of love, his long distance relationship will come to an ugly end and he’ll show up at your door making every overture you wished he would’ve made in the beginning.

If you’re smart, you’ll keep the page turned.

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Fun-Sized Advice

On fun sized advice

My childhood best friend and I had a stupid falling out and haven’t spoken years, but just today she finally deleted me on Facebook. Is it stupid to still be upset about this?
No, but grow the fuck up already. Call your former BFF and mend the fucking fence. The falling out was stupid. Put forth the effort, and fall back in. You don’t ever get to have more childhood friends. They are valuable. Reach the fuck out already. Apologize. Show a little remorse and regret, and you’ll be surprised to find out how easy it is to make up.

Your “Be Vulnerable” button scares the shit out of me. I’ve always been brash, unflappable, guarded; it’s my schtick and I mostly like it but I know as I age this is unsustainable. I know it is time to grow out of it but how do I start? How do I soften without melting? How do I deconstruct without falling apart? How do I actually become vulnerable?
You are already vulnerable. You are already a jumble of constructs. You are already soft. You don’t have to start doing anything to grow. Just stop with the schtick. Lower your guard. You’re not gonna melt. You’re not gonna fall apart.

When is the right time to tell your romantic partner that you have a mental illness? (Bipolar II). Are the rules any different for boys and girls?
The rules are not different for boys and girls. You don’t ever have to tell anyone about your mental disorder, but a good rule of thumb to consider is that if this is the person who you would list as your emergency contact, then they should probably know about any health conditions you may have.

Is your job supposed to make you happy? Is one person supposed to make you happy? Are you supposed to make yourself happy?
No, no, and yes, to the extent that we are each responsible for our own emotional states, but never forget that happiness is fleeting and often shallow. Happiness is not the point. Growth is the point.

Would you ever excuse the death penalty? Say, for an unapologetic racist who murdered nine people? People who hacked children apart? Ever?
Not by the state. Not ever.

If you could take a vacation anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
Australia. I’m in the mood to not give a fuck, and those crazy bastards make me happy.

What is your purpose in life? Overall or right now in this season? Does this blog fit in to what you feel your purpose is?
I thought for a while I was an explorer monkey, but it turns out I’m a helper monkey, so yeah, this blog fits neatly into that purpose.

Did Sarah Silverman just plagiarize you in her Netflix special?
I’m not the first person to notice that we’re insignificant specks of dust.

LA or SF? (as they both exist now)
Portland.

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Advice

On hitting the reset button on your life

I having been looking so hard to find some advice online about my marriage- but basically all of the advice I find is Christian based. And “serve yo man” is not really my thing.

So I’m coming to you.

My husband spends probably 75% of his free time with his friends (out and about- movies, fitness, etc,) or playing this game Paragon with them. I feel neglected, but when I bring it up I feel like such a nag and frankly pathetic- because I’m literally begging for attention. We haven’t even been married for a year and it feels like we’re living parallel lives.

I’m so lonely Coke- how do I reach out in a way that doesn’t seem like the angry naggy wife?

 

Fuck reaching out. If you don’t have any kids, immediately file for divorce and walk the fuck away. You were an idiot to marry him in the first place, but hopefully you’ve learned your lesson.

If your family shames you or pressures you with religion, tell them all to go fuck themselves. If you belong to a church that doesn’t support your decision, give them the finger on the way out the door. If you’re surrounded by friends who judge you for taking action to fulfill your emotional needs, then those people aren’t actually your friends.

You’re lonely and angry because you’ve been sold a lie, and yeah, it’s kinda your fault for buying it, but this is your opportunity to wake the fuck up and recognize that you’re miserable because you’ve been leading an unexamined life.

You are not finished growing. This is not all there is. You can have more, but you have to be willing to make bold moves. You can’t sit around and hope things will get better — they won’t. Don’t ask for permission — demand the things you want for yourself, and spit in the face of anyone who expects you to apologize for it.

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Thoughts

On your los angeles

I just came back from spending the weekend at Coachella. I had an all-access artist’s wristband, gifted to me from the hot drummer I’m currently fucking whose band was playing the festival. It was my first time at Coachella and easily the best weekend of my life.

It’s funny, when I woke up in the late afternoon on Monday, I immediately thought of you. I proceeded to sift through your archives, first reading every post you had written about Coachella, then scrolling through all your old musings. (I still am.)

I started reading your blog when I was a 14-year-old attending Palisades High School, dazzled by your style and dreaming of a time where I would be old enough to experience the LA playground the way you had. I’m 22 now, and ever since I left my parents house at 20, life has been a constant flow of wild and introspective events. I know my Los Angeles and yours are different. But I’m so excited for this one, and I can’t help but feel like you had something to do with this feeling.

Thank you for your steady influence through all these years. Thank you for answering a question I sent you when I was 15 and had just lost my virginity. Thank you for involuntarily being the super cool big sister I never had. You’re amazing, and I hope you’re well.

 

This made me smile. I’m so happy for you. I’m also a little bit envious at the thought of being twenty-two and backstage at my first Coachella. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it, but you’re right — what I miss and what you’re experiencing aren’t the same thing. That’s why I know better than to go back. I’d be looking for something that doesn’t exist, and I’d find something that belongs to someone else now.

That’s okay, though. My time was mine and your time is yours, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. I’m just honored that you thought of me. Really. That feeling you’ve got, I know exactly what it’s like. It’s so pure and beautiful, and for you to feel like I had something to do with it means the fucking world to me.

This past year has been one of the most difficult and transformative of my life. I haven’t been able to share myself like I used to, and I haven’t been able to give your questions the attention that they deserve. I’m sorry about that. I appreciate that you’ve all been patient with me, and I want you to know that I still read as many submissions as I can. I plan on coming back. I know I keep saying that, but bear with me.

In the meantime, thanks for scrolling through my old stuff. Thanks for sending me new questions to answer. Thanks for thinking of me every once in a while, and thanks for sharing it with me.

Stay wild.

 

 

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Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice

What about couples that have good marriages? Is there anything wrong with desiring that kind of special bond with someone without including the children and family portion.
Pair bonding is as human as human gets. Healthy relationships are fucking wonderful. Of course there’s nothing wrong with couplehood, with or without children. You should know this by now. Do what makes you happy.

How do I escape the broken record player of my painful memories?
EMDR.

What makes god more important than me?
Your ego. It’s your sense of self that makes your idea of god more important than you. Kill your ego. Lose your sense of self, and it’s possible to recognize that you and your god and the entire universe are all the same thing.

Which contemporary conservative writers should we be reading? Is anyone making any sense over there anymore?
David Frum has been worth reading lately. Even David Brooks is occasionally getting it right. Of course, it’s only because of all the shit they talk about Trump. Credit where credit is due.

How is Lena Dunham so successful?
She had a good meeting at HBO in 2010, and nobody within earshot has told her to shut the fuck up since.

Was Bill Maher always such a festering boil or is this a new development?
Bill is stuck in the late 90s. He was progressive back then, but he hasn’t told a fresh joke or had a novel idea in two decades. What’s worse is that he still thinks he’s edgy. That’s what makes him so insufferable.

Is your yearly sabbatical a way to purge fair-weather readers?
Nah. I’ve been busy doing major life shit. I’ll be back for real later in the year.

I lost my almost full journal this morning and feel really fucking bad about it, even though all that was in there was personal scribbles and self-reflective stuff. I’m 24 – is this a ridiculous reaction?
You lost a valuable artifact of your own identity. It’s fine to grieve its loss, but if I were you, I would go right out and get a fresh journal and let this be an unintended ritualization of you letting go of your past.

you always have an interesting perspective on things. how much longer do you think the modern nation-state will survive? and what comes next?
The modern nation-state is already old news, and if we manage not to annihilate ourselves, then best case scenario we’ll end up with some kind of post-labor, pre-interstellar transhumanist society. (We’re probably gonna annihilate ourselves though.)

I am beginning to think I was designed to be alone. I want to be ok with that. I don’t think she and I will ever be. We had all the chemistry, but the worst timing.
You were not designed to be alone. No human was. That doesn’t mean you were designed for contemporary Western couplehood, but still, it’s much more likely that you’re conflating chemistry with compatibility.

I went on a second date with a guy I met online. He’s objectively attractive, polite, intelligent, and has a steady job. But I’m just not that into him. I felt ambivalent after the first date, but decided to give it another chance. The conversation still felt forced, even though we’ve been texting back and forth for a few weeks. Also, he’s a decent looking guy, but I found myself unsure about whether I was attracted to him. I felt like we didn’t have a lot of chemistry. I just graduated from law school and am new to online dating. I am used to meeting people in class or at parties and then going out later. Is this normal for online dating or is there something wrong with me that I’m not into a guy who should be “perfect on paper” for me?
You are not attracted to this guy. There is zero chemistry. There’s nothing wrong with him and there’s nothing wrong with you. That’s just how it is, and it’s perfectly normal. The intensity of focus you’ve placed on this question is leftover anxiety from law school. Chill the fuck out, counselor. You’ll find a guy.

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Advice

On saying weird shit during sex

Okay: Four dates, spread out over two months. On the fourth date, dude tells me he loves me–twice–while he is inside of me. I didn’t respond. I am not in love with this person.

My question: Was that a fucked up move on dude’s part? I’m not furiously angry or anything, just kind of… bleck. Have this feeling of “Yeah that was unfortunate, maybe fucked up” feeling about it.

 

As a general rule, people are allowed to say weird shit when they’re fucking me and I don’t hold it against them. It’s an intimacy thing. If a dude needs to say he loves me to cum, I’m okay with it, and after four dates, I also know not to take it personally. (Believe me, I’ve heard much stranger shit than “I love you.”) That being said, if he keeps it weird afterwards by repeatedly wanting to talk about it or if he continues to make inappropriate professions of love, then that’s something you should squash quickly.

I don’t hear you telling me that this guy is falling too hard for you. I hear you complaining about some words he said during sex. One is a problem, the other is just a minor kink. You’ll soon know which one you’ve got on your hands, and in the meantime, don’t let the weirdness stick to you. Shake that shit off and go about your day.

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Best-Of Advice

On sunk costs and shitty marriages

Hi Coke, as I edge closer to 30 and more of my friends are starting to settle down, I’m starting to notice a weird pattern among some. There’s been quite a few instances where friends who have been in serious relationships with their partners for 5+ years, many for a decade, seem to part ways shortly after getting hitched. They are happy, in love, dedicated, super enthusiastic about their wedding and then they get married and suddenly something seems to crack and they split up very shortly thereafter. In most cases it’s happened in much less than a year after the wedding. It’s so weird. They’ve all lived together for multiple years, had pets together for years, and all that grown up shit but somehow signing a piece of paper changes things? I don’t understand. What’s different? Thanks in advance for your insight!

 

You’re looking at it all wrong. It’s not the piece of paper that changes things. The piece of paper and the marriage that it represents are merely symptoms of the larger problem, which is that by and large, human beings are terrible at making rational decisions where emotions are involved, and people rarely have the self-discipline to cut their losses and walk away.

The phenomenon that you’ve observed is a prime example of something called the “sunk-cost fallacy” applied to relationships. The sunk-cost fallacy is faulty reasoning that further investment (i.e. marriage) is warranted on the fact that the resources already invested (i.e. time, energy, and a sizable chunk of their youth) will be lost otherwise, not taking into consideration the overall losses involved in further investment (i.e. the emotional and financial misery of the inevitable divorce.)

People in their late twenties who’ve spent years in long-term relationships are faced with increasing pressure from social systems to conform to the proper stage of life transitions. Everyone and everything (often times even their own biology) are constantly nagging them to settle down, get married, start breeding, etc., and so they fall prey to this faulty reasoning and decide to plow through to the next stage of life regardless of whether their relationship is healthy.

You’ve got a shit-ton of aging Millennials limping along in stale relationships who don’t know any better because they’ve spent the last half-decade having the same arguments in the same restaurants and then going home and having the same sex with the same person, and rather than disappoint their parents by going through the temporary pain of a much needed break-up, they throw a Hail Mary pass with the mother of all major life decisions and decide to get married. Fuck it. Why not? What’s the worst that could happen? So they forge ahead with big smiles.

Of course they’re super enthusiastic about getting married — they have to be. They’re on a year long roller-coaster ride of planning a wedding. Sure, they’re secretly terrified of their relationship’s mediocrity, but all that existential angst gets hurled to the edges as they start doing loops. With a little denial and a decent bachelorette party, they can almost convince themselves that everything is going to be all right. For a good long while they get to soak up all that positive reinforcement from friends and family. They get to be the center of attention, and they get to feel all grown-up. Eventually the big day comes. They say a few magic words, they cut a cake, and then suddenly all the fun stuff stops.

I don’t have to tell you what happens next. You’ve seen it. Within a few months the reality of “til death do us part” comes along and slaps them in the face like a big wet dick. They realize they’re actually pretty miserable, and then it finally dawns on them that they don’t actually have to be together.

Basically, the marriage itself is just an extended director’s cut of their break-up. It’s gross, I know, but we’re flawed creatures in a flawed system. This is just one of those things that happens.

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Advice

On running for congress

God I hope you read this one.

Someone working with the Democratic Party approached me and encouraged me to run for US House of Representatives. It’s a red district in a blue state, but the district went for Hillary in ’16, and has gone for democratic presidential candidates since at least 2000.

Coke, I’ll barely be 30 by election day. I have no formal government experience, but I am politically active in small ways. The thought of running for something this big is terrifying, but the incumbent is a dick, and I keep coming back to the fact that even though it’s scary, somebody has to do it. Why not me?

I have major imposter syndrome about doing this, but at the same time it feels like the rulebook has been thrown out and everything is upside down. Since the 2016 election I’ve been thinking more and more about running for something, but didn’t think I actually would for another decade or so. It feels crazy and unattainable, and yet maybe a millennial with healthcare experience is exactly who we need in office right now. Maybe it’s time for a paradigm shift.

I guess my question is: should I do this?

 

Fuck yes, you should do it. Run. Campaign your face off. Win.

You’re young, but you are ready for this. I know it seems terrifying, and I get the whole impostor syndrome thing, but I promise, you can totally do the job. Not to be a dick, but a trained monkey could do the job. Congress is filled with idiots and empty haircuts. You’ll be shocked at how many grinning simpletons there are and how few noble geniuses. You can be one of the good ones. I’m serious. You really can do it.

Let me know if you need any help. If you decide to run, I’ll be there for you every step of the way. Hell, if you turn out to be cool, I might even help raise you some money.

Go on. Do it. Get on out there and fight the good fight.

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Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice

Is it over?
Fuck no.

Pleaseee post another monthly playlist!! Hope you’re doing cool secret shit.
Yeah, here’s a new long-overdue playlist.

What is the difference between giving up and letting go?
It’s the difference between submission and surrender.

Why am I so upset that the guy who dumped me because he was “too busy to date” now has a Tinder?
Because you take shit personally when shit isn’t about you.

I got into McGill, and I’m French so I can pay low tuition, should I leave the US to go to Canada for college?
McGill is a great school. If you can handle the weather up there, absolutely.

One year ago today he told me that he loved me for the first time. Tomorrow he leaves for Italy, permanently. We decided to split when he goes, and it’s the right decision, but why does it feel like I’ll never be in love again?
Because that’s what it’s supposed to feel like right now. Enjoy the pain. It’s all part of the adventure.

Did you ever foresee the day when you’d agree with Dubya?
Ugh. I’m so fucking pissed that Donald Trump is giving George W. Bush the opportunity to become an elder statesman.

Has Trump diminished CQ? I feel like it would be business as usual on this site if Hillary was President 🙁
It’s not our dumbfuck president. I’ve got real life shit going on. Most of it’s good, but incredibly draining. At some point in 2017 it will probably go back to business as usual, but for now, I can only give you what I got.

My mom and some of her boyfriends molested me growing up. I’m 22 now and planning to meet her and kill her. Why shouldn’t I?
You won’t get away with it, and she isn’t worth spending the rest of your life incarcerated.

Do you think being intelligent makes it more difficult to find a life partner?
No, but being stupid might make it easier.

My boyfriend said that he doesn’t have sex because he loves me: “sex is more animal than that.” I can’t articulate how I feel about that, but I don’t think it’s good. What do I think of it? What do I do?
He’s either bullshitting you because he’s got serious sexual issues, or he’s telling the truth because he’s got serious sexual issues. Either way, break up with him. He ain’t worth the trouble.

Is it inherently conceited to think “I could do better” as regards sexual/romantic partners?
Only if you can’t.

I did it. I broke up with him. What’s more, I won’t be leaving in the middle of the night with a backpack. I’m standing my ground. I live here. Thank you for your silent support.
Proud of you.

I feel super fucking lame for being as in love with my boyfriend as I am.
No you don’t.

Why would a black guy continue to text a white girl who is obviously fetishizing him?
Because pussy.

Who the hell did Dolly Parton vote for?
Hillary.

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