here's that bad advice you were hoping for


251 notes

storms-collide asked: So my boyfriend gets pissed off really easily. With that said, I kinda screwed up, and now he has a real reason to be pissed. I'm usually the rock in the relationship, but lately I just can't. I've been having all these strange emotional outbreaks, which makes him more mad. He's acting distant all the time.. Almost like he doesn't even care about me at all. I know he cares about me. I was just wondering if you could think of nice things I could say/do to make him forgive me and let me back in.
(Good advice interlude)

Break up with this dude and go do something interesting instead of trying to manage his emotions for him.

175 notes

Should I Push It? Push It Good?

Love Letters,, 16 April 2014:

Hi Meredith, I’m a consultant who travels for work and I live in Boston. In September I met a guy while working as a contractor at his company in Texas. At first it was completely professional, but as we worked together it became obvious that we shared some common interests. He’s very shy and seems a bit unsure of himself and is also two years out of a divorce from a long marriage. I’m very shy as well, so there were about two months of smiles and giggles or stares across a conference room table. I started breaking the work-only barrier with a text. He responded and our non-work relationship started growing to the point that we exchanged fun texts and e-mails and became more relaxed with in person conversation. At the beginning of 2014 I got frustrated with the slow progress and with the knowledge that my contract was coming to an end. I encouraged him to plan a fun activity for us after work — he planned drinks out with some coworkers, a couple of his friends and me. It was a fun night and he paid for my drinks. The night ended with a hug from him. We had drinks again the next night with some coworkers and some of his friends. He seemed to be getting more comfortable with opening up to me by sharing more info about himself in the days/weeks that followed. We also made plans to take a day trip to an air show (we have a shared interest in aviation).Things seemed to be progressing as we got more comfortable with each other. The week before the air show some things changed at work and it appeared I’d be leaving his company sooner than thought. He started to pull back and be more distant with me. He also suggested we cancel the air show day because the planes that would be there weren’t worth the drive. So we cancelled and I was a bit hurt by that, which he knew. We had drinks the Thursday before and he begged me to do something else with him that same day that we had the air show trip plan. I was too smitten to decline and agreed. That day, after I contacted him to confirm plans, he cancelled saying he wasn’t feeling up to it. I was of course quite hurt and upset and kept it professional at work but made sure he knew, and he made an effort to get me to talk to him again and win himself back into my good graces. We had drinks a few times after that, usually at my suggestion. And we’ve continued to share texts and emails back and forth. I’ve since finished up my work with his company. On my last day he was visibly sad I was leaving but didn’t say anything. We left sharing a hug and agreed to stay in touch, but have really only shared a few texts over the last month, all of which have been initiated by me (but he always responds — usually immediately). We also never discussed the flirting/connection between us. Since I left, I’ve thought about him every morning and every night before I go to sleep. I’m completely head over heels for him (very unusual for me) and I feel like I at least want to have that conversation. But the little voice in the back of my head says if he wanted something he would find the courage to get over his shyness/caution and stay in touch with me. A male friend agrees and has advised that I should just move on, and a female friend feels like he is just trying to forget what we shared and has encouraged me to keep pushing to stay in touch. I’m exhausted trying to encourage him through his shyness/post-divorce caution, but I want a firm answer and maybe something more than just friendship from him. Or I’d at least like to know that he wants more too and so that we can have that discussion to determine if it’s a possibility. Is his lack of initiation in communication with me my answer and I need to just move on? Or should I follow my heart and continue pushing? And how do I go about asking for that conversation at this distance? – Love Sick Consultant, Boston

Dear Love Sick Consultant,

The Bad Advisor opened her computer and turned it on, then waited while it connected to her wifi. Then she opened Google Chrome and checked her email and played some Doge 2048. By this time, she was thinking about reading some advice columns, so she opened her bookmarks tab and began reading advice columns. Eventually she got to your letter, but not before she grabbed a cup of coffee and emptied the cat box, because the cat box was dirty. She then began to read your letter.

As she was reading your letter, the Bad Advisor’s eyes looked at the screen which had letters on it, and together the letters made words which also went together in order to make sentences. These were sentences that you, letter writer, had written. They told the story of you and your star-cros’d beau, whom you once encouraged to plan a “fun activity” for you and who did indeed plan a fun activity for you. That activity was going to a bar with your coworkers. It was fun, and your beau paid for your drinks and gave you a hug. 

The Bad Advisor stopped reading your letter for a second because she needed to refill her coffee and also stand in front of the refrigerator, which had some cheese in it. Should the Bad Advisor eat cheese? Or should she wait and eat cheese later? The Bad Advisor ultimately ate no cheese. Should she have eaten the cheese? The cheese was definitely in the refrigerator and definitely could have been eaten, but it wasn’t eaten by the Bad Advisor. Looking back, it is hard to say whether the cheese should have been eaten or not.

Then, with more coffee in her mug because she had refilled her coffee mug, the Bad Advisor continued to read your letter. Then things got really interesting, because things progressed when you spent more time together. You spent time together by hanging out together and getting drinks. Your coworkers also were there. Sometimes though your coworkers were not there, but neither was he, like that time that you made plans on a Saturday. The plans were going to be going to a plane show together, but you did not end up doing those plans. You did not end up doing those plans because your beau thought some of the planes were boring but he also pulled back and became distant from you because your contract was about to be up at work. The contract, which was about to be up, was about to be up sooner than you thought it would originally though. That made the Bad Advisor feel sad for you, because you were also sad when your contract was going to be up before you thought it was originally going to be up, and you hadn’t yet had a chance to go see the airplanes with your beau, who wanted to do something besides go see the airplanes except when he invited you to do something that wasn’t going to see the airplanes he didn’t go do the thing that wasn’t seeing the airplanes with you. 

However, the Bad Advisor continued to read your letter and was pleased to find that even though you didn’t get to go see the airplanes with your beau and you also didn’t get to go do the thing that wasn’t seeing airplanes with your beau, you did get some drinks with him. You also exchanged text messages and you exchanged emails also. But then your contract was up—sooner than you thought? this is unclear—and he was sad but he hugged you. 

Then, the Bad Advisor read the last part of your letter where you talk about how you exchange text messages to which he responds and you think about him in the morning times and in the night times, because flirting/connection. The Bad Advisor then learned that you had asked your friends for advice, one of whom is a male friend and the other of whom is a female friend. They did not give you the same advice. In fact, the advice your friends gave you was different. One of your friends, the male friend, thought that if your beau did not say something about your flirting/connection in the seven months he had a chance to do it in front of your face while you lived in his state, which is Texas, he probably did not want to do it. Your other friend, though, who is a female friend, thinks that your beau wants to forget you forever and so you should push him to stay in touch with you because he wants to forget you.

The Bad Advisor was nearly finished reading your letter at this point, because it was getting to be near the end of the letter that you had written about the man you worked with in Texas but you live in Boston with whom you had a flirting/connection. This is the part of the letter where you asked for the advice that you wanted about whether you should continue pushing for a relationship with a man who had months and months to ask you out on the date that you never told him you wanted to go on with him but who never asked you out on the date that you never told him you wanted to go on with him and with whom you never vocalized any romantic interest but in whom you had a lot of romantic interest but no matter how many fun emails you sent him and no matter how many fun activities you suggested he plan he never understood the romantic interest you never expressed to him, despite flirting/connection. Now you would like to know if you should ask for a conversation about talking about your flirting/connection even though he is a shy divorced person who never stopped being shy even though you wanted him to stop being shy a lot. He is shy, though. Maybe he needs many more months of being encouraged to plan fun activities before he can be not shy with you.

The Bad Advisor finished your letter and thought about it for a while. By this time, she considered the fact that your beau is shy but she also considered the fact that you want him to be not shy, and she also thought about the fact that being shy is probably the reason your beau had months upon months of time in which to express the vaguest sense of romantic interest but in which time he didn’t do that, so he probably loves you with the burning fire of two or three suns, maybe five or six suns, depending on how hot the suns are, but he is shy so he didn’t say anything about it.

In response to the question you asked in your advice column letter, in which you seek advice about whether to follow your heart and continue pushing, the Bad Advisor had some thoughts. She concluded that you should follow your heart, and also that you should continue pushing. 

Filed under advice bad advice boston dot com love letters relationships work long distance romance texas boston consultants consulting consultants consulting

74 notes

Why Won’t People Do Me The Courtesy Of Telling Me My Feet Smell Like Rank Butthole To My Face?

Miss Manners, 13 April 2014:

DEAR MISS MANNERS: In a college class this past semester, two or three of my classmates complained directly to the instructor about my smelly socks (because in class, I often remove my shoes to feel more relaxed). While they had every right to file that complaint, should they not have politely asked me first to either sit far away from them or put my shoes on? (I eventually dropped the class for various reasons.) I honestly doubt that I look like a mean or scary guy, and if I react angrily to their polite and reasonable request, they have every right to either call campus police or tell the instructor. A few years ago, a young woman sitting near me (in a different class) discreetly asked me to wear my shoes; I immediately complied, and sat far away from the rest of that class from that day on — and heard no more complaints about my socks. Besides, I haven’t heard any similar complaints in my other college classes, and I have completed dozens and dozens of them (most of them were in real, not virtual, classrooms).

Gentle Reader,

The true offense committed here is your uptight classmates’ refusal to enjoy the soothing eau de relaxation that you bring to the learning environment; but alas, not all of us have the privilege of being as totes chill as you are. This is your fragrant cross to bear.

What a great gift you bring to academe, bestowing your easygoing perfume upon those whose noses more often find themselves in books than near the calming pedi-bouquet of a well-loved sock. That your high-strung comrades in calculus cannot see—nor smell—the tranquilizing aura you bring to the lecture hall is unfortunate, but the fact that they cannot even bring themselves to confront you directly about their own olfactorial failings is patently rude.

But alas, one cannot force self-awareness on another, can one?

Filed under miss manners feet school academia college classrooms stank stinky feet smells smellz totes chill dudes just relax man i honestly doubt that i look like a mean or scary guy advice bad advice

184 notes

My Work Friend Is Leaving! Can I Betray Her Confidence On False Pretenses And Ensure She Stays Stuck In This Shit Hole Forever, Because I Care About Her So Much?

Ask A Manager, 14 April 2014:

I have a friend and coworker who is a gifted writer. She finished her first novel earlier this year and a publisher has offered her an advance that will let her quit our boring job and write full-time, which has always been her dream. I’m happy for her but morally uneasy knowing that at least 90% of the book was written while she was on the clock. She has small children and a home business and has admitted she doesn’t have any other time to write. I would hate to destroy her dream but it also feels wrong that our company may be being cheated out of a financial interest in what could turn into a big thing. Should I inform our supervisor or not?

Heavy is the burden of the righteous heart! Troubled is the conscience that pains to see helpless corporations defrauded of the spoils owed them! Selfless are you! Selfless in the extreme!

Obviously it is an unfortunate coincidence that your dear friend—your friend for whom you wish absolutely and sincerely nothing but the best life could ever possibly offer, truly, a beloved and valued friend, valued more than words can say—has now managed to escape the daily drudgery you both share and that you have developed a wholly altruistic interest in ensuring your employer receives literally any and all monies you sort of think it might be rightfully owed by its slack-a-day employees—oh please, musn’t anyone assume you would ever, ever call your dear scribe friend a slack-a-day employee, nay! ‘Tis but a figure of speech.

An unfortunate coincidence, alas, but one that must be faced: the sad fact is that you love and support your writerly friend, talented as she is, and so would love to see her reap the benefits of her work—sincerely, genuinely, you would just absolute explode with happiness for her, were she to finally achieve her dream of becoming a writer—but the reality is that, despite your absolute adoration of her, bar none, it simply must be mentioned that the company which failed to notice that she spent the majority of her time on the clock writing a novel is owed a large share of the work it either had no fucking clue she was doing or didn’t give a single shit about, to the extent that your precious amie was able to write a goddamned novel without her supervisor either noticing or caring.

But yea now, you care! Tragic though it is, your friend’s dreams cannot take precedence over ensuring that the company you both hate to work for and which she might otherwise be able to escape through, for example, selling a novel or two at a nice price, makes some money off the work she didn’t do for them. Guess it’s back to small talk at the vending machine for the both of you! Too bad, really. Wish it could have been literally any other way.

Filed under workplace drama advice bad advice ask a manager workplace novels writers friends best friends altruism writing novelists

81 notes

Large Sums Of Money, Tho!

Annie’s Mailbox, 13 April 2014:

Dear Annie: When you receive an email stating you’ve inherited a large sum of money, do you believe it’s legit? I recently received an email from an attorney stating that I have inherited money. Could it be a scam? — Could Use the Cash

Dear Could Use the Cash,

Wow, there’s a lot to unpack here. Let’s tackle these one by one.

  • When you receive an email stating you’ve inherited a large sum of money, do you believe it’s legit?

Every single time

  • Could it be a scam?

Absolutely not

Filed under advice bad advice bad advice nugs annie's mailbox scams come on people

86 notes

So You’re Saying There’s A Chance

John Gray, Mars and Venus, 11 April 2014:

Dear John: A couple of months after starting a new job, one of my colleagues and I got physically involved after an office party. Unfortunately, now he has informed me that he is steadily seeing someone else. Still, he’d like us to “stay friends.” By this, he means he wouldn’t mind periodically coming over to pursue our very hot physical connection. Of course, I’m hoping that he eventually sees more in our relationship and will drop her for me. What are my chances that this will happen? — One Cubicle Away, in Richmond, Va.

Dear One Cubicle Away,


Filed under advice bad advice mars and venus john gray what in the name of the bouncing buck-toothed baby jesus is wrong with people relationships friends with benefits

87 notes


Dear Abby, 11 April 2014:

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I were discussing our sons-in-law, and young men in their 20s and 30s in general. We were wondering where the attitude of “any money I earn is mine” in a marriage or live-in situation got started. For the first few years of my daughter and her husband “Joe’s” marriage, Joe resented giving her any of the money he earned. My other daughter’s husband thinks nothing of spending money on himself and his friends without consulting her. We have seen this attitude reflected in their friends as well. They don’t seem to discuss with each other how each is spending their “joint” income. There seems to be an element of selfishness, too. My wife and I have been married 40 years and from the beginning I have always considered what each of us earned was OURS, not mine or hers (when she worked). We always discuss any significant purchases, and I have always believed it was my responsibility to support my family. I realize the current economic situation has made that difficult, but the attitude should still be there. — WONDERING IN WASHINGTON

Dear Wondering In Washington,

You’re the best fucking people who ever lived and literally everyone else sucks so, so bad.

Filed under advice bad advice dear abby kids these days my lawn get off of it

136 notes


Carolyn Hax, 6 April 2014:

Hello, Carolyn: My boyfriend and I have talked about marriage. I expressed that my big dream for an engagement is something big and public. I don’t mean expensive, maybe just like one of those cute, on-camera things at a sporting event. My predicament: My dad told me my boyfriend has asked permission to propose to me. And, that he is going to propose at an upcoming sports event. My dad expressed concern that my boyfriend’s co-workers will make fun of him and cause problems at his job. My dad wants me to tell my boyfriend not to do this. I think my dad is projecting his own concerns onto my boyfriend. Should I tell my boyfriend not to propose this way, or let him make his own decision? This is supposed to be a surprise to me. We are both 30, no previous marriages, responsible professionals. - Engagement Surprise?

Dear Engagement Surprise?,

The danger of letting your boyfriend make his own decision about how he executes and orchestrates the elaborate surprise marriage proposal that you have demanded, without which your entire life will be a horrible sham, is that he may come to believe he has either the right or the basic ability to make all kinds of absolutely vital decisions without your explicit instruction and pre-approval.

Think of the irreparable fallout: you could end up with a horrible wedding at which your groom selects the cocktail appetizers. He might fail to “surprise” you with tastefully embroidered “BRIDE!!!!!” flip-flops. Down the line, he may neglect to book the horse and carriage for your future children’s “gender reveal” parades—and then what will people say?!

You should hold your ground here—while it’s nice that your father cares enough about your relationship to assist you in dictating the minutiae of its progression, your boyfriend needs to know that you call literally all of the shots, at least where his lifetime public and legal commitment to another human being is concerned.

If you don’t take a firm stand on dictating the terms of literally every forthcoming event in your life now, you may already be sacrificing the Southern Living spread you have your family scheduled for in September 2019. 

Filed under marriage straight people carolyn hax advice bad advice wedding industrial complex wholly unexamined cultural mandates

614 notes

Women Are The Worst! Why Won’t They Be Friends With Me?

Friendzone, Jezebel, 28 March 2014:

I just don’t seem to get along with girls very well. It’s never been a conscious choice on my part. I just find most women to be boring. I know that sounds really bad! I just don’t want to talk about babies or clothes or makeup or dating or diets or weddings. I want to talk about business and gaming and sports and stuff like that. I have a few close girl friends, but they are often characterized as being “like a dude in a dress” (and yes, I cringe when I hear that). I hate it when my boyfriend goes off with his guy friends at a dinner party and I’m stuck with the ladies. What do I do?

Dear Coolest And Most Uniquely Awesome Lady Who Ever Lived Despite The Fact That She Is A Lady, The Worst And Most Boring Thing,

This is always a tough one, because what are you supposed to do about the fact that literally every woman on planet earth, with the notable exception of yourself, is vapid, boring and wholly uninterested in business, gaming and sports, the three most riveting topics of all time, conceived 100% by the superior and fascinating minds of men, with literally no input, assistance, or origination from women?

The total worth of the world’s human females amounts to little more than a hill of lipstick-stained tulle; you are merely the exception that proves the rule. You just have an innate understanding of what is awesome—i.e. business, gaming and sports—and what is not awesome—i.e. things that are not business, gaming and sports, which is to say, things women care about. It goes without saying that since gender is a universal, ever-static experience for all people with the unique exception of you, the magicalest lady snowflake, there’s no reason to expect any diversity either in gender identity or presentation from other humans, and it’s safe to assume that your read of “man” and “woman” is the only one ever of all time.

The only solution I see is that instead of using your time machine to travel backwards to a decade when men and women separated themselves after dinner, use it to go forwards, to a time when you are the last lady on earth and can finally be assuaged of the horrible guilt you feel for not being able to befriend all these terrible, asinine women who have nothing to offer you. You will then be able to take your rightful place as the only cool girl ever. The dudes won’t be able to get over how cool you are while you’re all trying to survive on irradiated cockroaches and neon green rainwater.

Filed under women are the worst friendzone jezebel friendships advice bad advice cissexism time travel your bestie