Friday, January 15, 2010

Rewriting a New York Times Advice Column

Rather than deal with the indecipherable mysteries of the actual Social Q's column, read an actual person's responses here.

A good friend broke up last year with her longtime boyfriend. While they were dating, she learned the password to his e-mail account and occasionally checked his messages. Now she reads his entire inbox. As a result, she can’t get over him. I know she won’t stop until he changes his password. Is there any way to discreetly tell him to do so?


The 1990s called and they want their Romantic Comedies back. I'm wise to you, Ms. Ephron. Write your own freakin' scripts.

I went out of town and asked a neighbor to feed my cat. When I returned I found a note telling me she had used my extra-virgin olive oil and other ingredients. She couldn’t find my brands, so she replaced them with others. She asked if this was O.K., but her replacements are of much lower quality. Should I tell her no?

Matt, Cincinnati

Definitely tell her no! Tell her your delicate palate is traumatized when so much as a dribble of non-virginal olive oil touches it. Tell her you projectile vomit when you eat regular mushrooms instead of grilled shiitakes. And tell her in the future she's not getting anywhere near you or your cat, Lady GaGrowl.

For my genealogy research, I asked my sister for basic information about her former and current husbands. She told me she didn’t want her abusive ex to appear on our family tree. I said that would be like lying because they were, in fact, married. She became hysterical, so I promised not to look into the matter. Only then would she stop screaming and crying. I’m afraid she’ll cut off contact with me if I include the information, but I feel wrong omitting it. What should I do?

Sarah, Kentucky

You have to include her. I mean, you don't fuck with history.

Meanwhile, here's a weird coincidence. I'm writing up a list of Major Bitches that I'm going to insert into the public record:


Really, I'd leave you off, but that'd just confuse the grandkids, right?

We were recently guests in a freezing house on one of the coldest nights of the year. After an hour and a half of discomfort, three of us put on our coats and snow boots to keep warm. The host seemed oblivious. Finally, one guest asked for more heat, and we were told it was not possible. We stayed a polite period of time in our coats. What should we have done?


Let me get this straight. You're at a party. All the guests are laughing and dancing and dipping Ritz crackers into cheese balls. And then suddenly you all decide you're cold, and you scurry to the hall closet and put your coats and snow boots back on.

And your host doesn't notice? Doesn't notice that the sparkly evening gowns have been replaced by puffy black First Down coats and mukluks?

Girlfriend, I notice if two of my guests disappear for five minutes and then reappear looking slightly flustered.

Obviously your host has mental problems. What do you do when you're at a party hosted by someone with mental problems?

Drink. Steal their jewelry. Stay away from the gray hors d'oeuvres.

No comments: