Turbulent month, turbulent song:
And yes, it’s that time of the month, when we treat the things people typed into search engines as if they are questions they want answers to.
1 “How to handle snubs from close relatives.”
Sometimes you end up related to people you would never interact with by choice.
If you’re the one who messed things up and you know it, apologize once and then try to do better.
If you’re not the person who caused the breach, or if your apology for what you did is not accepted, stop trying so hard to make the situation better. Your effort is probably wasted, and you don’t have to keep auditioning for the approval of people who regularly show that they don’t care about you or want you around.
When you absolutely have to deal with the person, it might help to find a basic amount of polite that you can be to them suitable to the occasion. Not because they deserve it, but because it might make you feel better if you have a plan for interacting with some dignity. If it helps, imagine they are distant acquaintances, like, employees of a satellite office of your company that you run into once a year at the holiday party. In that instance you’d say “Hi, happy new year!” and then you go talk to the people you actually like and want to see.
Don’t treat the family like a monolith. Form your own relationships with the people you care about and who you want to connect with. The uncle who hates you hosts Thanksgiving every year? You do not have to go to his house and choke down his grudge-turkey, but also you don’t have to let Thanksgiving and his turf be the only time you see any of these people. He doesn’t own your grandma or your cousins or the month of November.
2 “My aunt says my partner is not welcome, what do I do?”
“Well, Aunt, we’ll be sorry to miss you. Maybe next year.” It’s okay to skip events where your partner is not welcome.
Unless your partner is some form of Nazi. In that case, I’m Team Aunt and also you should dump that Nazi dickhead.
3 “Do you have to invite adult son’s girlfriend to family parties.”
Depends. Do you want your son to come to these parties and feel happy and welcome there, or do you secretly wish he’d stay away?
Also depends – is his girlfriend a Nazi? If so, definitely don’t invite her to anything.
4 “My neighbor doesn’t respect the property line.”
You need to find someone who knows the laws where you live. That’s not me, even if you live where I live.
5 “My boyfriend tells me how to eat how to exercise.”
Did you want a free volunteer personal trainer? If so, enjoy! If not, tell him it’s none of his beeswax.
6 “What do you say to someone who is trying to set you up with someone you’re not interested in?”
“I appreciate the thought, but I’m not interested.”
“No thank you!”
7 “I’m in New Jersey when is this oak pollen going to go away for god sakes.”
I’m in Chicago and I also want to know this.
8 “Where will Harry and Meghan live?”
Google says “Nottingham Cottage” in “Kensington Palace.”
9 “Stories of sexy young girl with huge tits.”
Stories of people who are not efficient users of search engines.
10 “Boyfriend wants me to better myself.”
Did you ask him to be your amateur life coach? If not, tell him to focus on his own issues and ambitions.
11 “I don’t like my grandchild’s name.”
Learn to love it, or learn to be quiet about it, or both.
12 “Coworker dating app.”
My jerk of a brain initially read this as “Oh shit did someone make an app to try to help people date their coworkers please god no” when really the person is probably looking for “what do I do if I spot my coworker on a dating app.” Picture my entire body seizing up with revulsion for a few seconds until my brain caught up with the more likely interpretation.
My instinct is almost always to say hey, just leave the person alone, it’s not like it’s some terrible secret that you’re both on the app, and it would be pretty cool if you could give each other the gift of a bubble of privacy while you both try to do something vulnerable, especially since you work together. If they spot you as well and are interested in you, they can find a way to let you know!
13 “Husband doesn’t want me on birth control.”
If you’re a person who can get pregnant, you are the ultimate boss of whether, when, and if. No exceptions.
14 “I want to call suicide hotline but don’t know what to say.”
“Hi, I’m [Firstname] and I’m having suicidal thoughts.”
“Hi, I’m nervous about calling this hotline and I don’t know what to say.”
You won’t freak them out or get it wrong. They want you to call even if you don’t know what to say. I really hope you get what you need.
15 “When family wants you to visit but they never visit you.”
Visit them when you want to and when it makes sense for you, and if they pressure you for more visits say “I won’t make it, but you’re always welcome to visit me here! Can we put a plan together?”
16 “jean luc picard open shirt”
Image description: Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard wearing shorts and an open shirt reading a book on a green lounge chair. First spotted on this site here.
17 “Is it rude to invite guests to someone’s house without letting them know?”
Almost certainly yes! Even if you know this person is very hospitable and wouldn’t mind extra guests, why wouldn’t you at least let them know to expect them?
Refers to the way Mr. Darcy (as played by Colin Firth in the 1990s Pride & Prejudice adaptation) treats Elizabeth Bennett when he develops a crush on her. Especially characterized by weird, intense staring bouts or standing really close to someone while studiously NOT looking at them, general glowering, and hostile non sequiturs intended to camouflage romantic interest. If unchecked, Firthing can lead to cornering one’s love interest and vomiting a bunch of feelings all over someone who didn’t even know that you liked them, or doing weird shit like showing up in the middle of the night to give them wordy letters.
Mitigating factors: A really nice house
Best avoided by: Asking the person on a date pretty soon after you know that you like them.
(Please tell me someone who knows Colin Firth reads this blog and has told him about this, it would make my year.)
NOTICE: By request, this behavior will from now on be referred to as “Darcy-ing.”