Wednesday Advice Smackdown
December 14, 2005
So how is that two-month-old Amazon baby of yours scaring the shit out of you today?
Also, get a haircut. GOD.
Y'all! The child ROLLED THE FUCK OVER. WHEN I WAS NOT PRESENT, BECAUSE I AM NEGLECTFUL AND NEED MY COFFEE.
So Noah and I were hanging out in bed, watching The Price Is Right, which he loves, and I refuse to feel badly about that, because I make it educational, what with the prices and the capitalism, and we do this great little COME ON DOWN dance and ANYWAY, I AM NOT THE ONE ON TRIAL HERE.
So there was a commercial break, and I realized that I hadn't put kibble down for Ceiba yet, the poor downgraded baby, and also that I would like some coffee. So I left Noah squarely in the center of the bed and dashed downstairs to feed the dog and make a 30-second cup of pod coffee.
And lo, in that timeframe, the genius child had rolled over onto his tummy and was working VERY HARD on flipping back over again.
Am doomed. Doomed!
Anyway, let's take some of your questions before Noah learns to type and takes over this whole stupid operation.
Oh Queen of the Internet, who do I love thee? Let me count the ways! First of all, I love your totally zany style of writing. How is it possible you write for a financial publication?! Second, I love that you have absolutely no shame about what you write up on your blog, even though you know your coworkers read it. You are my hero!
So, Queen Bee, I do pretty please need your help. I have recently been transplanted from New York City to Amsterdam. I know, awesome right? I am loving it. (And feel free to come visit!) Here's the thing: I am a 25 year old chick and this move was the result of a fairly big promotion for me. Translation: I am scared as shit and need to keep my shit together! I am a young chick in a world of middle aged paunch-bellied white business men. Seriously, on a commuter flight to Helsinki (!) recently, I realized I was the only woman as well as the only person under 45 on the flight. Europe is old school like that.
OK, I am getting around to my question I promise. I did what I have to do: I improved my posture, pared down my make-up to the essentials, upgraded my wardrobe with fabulous slacks, belts, buttoned shirts, business suits and heels. I look awesome! But I have one big glitch: my bag! I carry a cute tiny laptop, but I still carry it in the damned free black Dell shoulder bag. Ew, it is SO ugly! And so... ordinary. So Amalah dear, Lady With An Eye For Lovely Purses, could you help me find a professional women's tote that is polished, professional (but young, not stuffy!) functional, not too heavy, and all in all wonderful in all its soft touchable professional goodness?
Also, what color should I get? I often wear brown and pink-ish combos as well as black and purple/wine combinations. Also - it needs to be able to hold 1 -2 manila paper files as well without crushing them.
And kisses to that delicious baby of yours!
Joke (YES that is my name, for Pete's sake, it's not pronounced like the noun ok!)
Well, there's certainly no shortage of lovely, lovely totes out there. A nice, classic leather bag would be your best bet -- super professional, timeless and it'll last damn near forever so you can justify a bit of a splurge.
You didn't mention a price range, although I'm assuming a Hermes Birkin bag is out of the question, and if I'm wrong about that, then I hate you, like I hate Rory Gilmore. Also, starving people. Christ.
(See? My extravagance does have limits. Although my judging does not.)
Obviously, my first choice is the Coach Hamptons Leather Business Tote. If your laptop is small and your folders are not legal-sized, this should be the right size. Not huge, definitely professional, and despite the stupidness of Coach's website, is available in a wine-colored leather that will go with both brown and black outfits. (Dark red, cream or other warm-colored leathers are the way to go if you're trying to find one bag to go with everything.)
If $398 is out of your budget, this bag (or similar versions from past seasons) is generally available at Coach outlets or, with a little patience, on eBay for about half that price.
And for a cheaper option, I think that the right person (i.e. one with a more eclectic professional wardrobe) could pull off carrying this fun tote from Lacoste. It's not leather, but it's cute and simple and would double as a good weekend or travel bag. Also: perfect for the klutzy girls among us who routinely spill their Starbucks on their handbags.
Which I have never done. No. Not ever.
(HA. MORE LIKE FOUR MILLION HUNDREDTY TIMES.)
More questions to come, but the baby is done recharging his scary, brilliant brain and is now awake and ready to terrify his mother some more.
I just broke up with my boyfriend of three years. I still love him but its obvious that we both want different things out of like and have different interests. The three years we were together we were on and off and this is the third and final time we're going our separate ways. Over the last three years I've been to several colleges and now I am back home. It's hard to meet people in my one and only class (a nursing class at a community college) because there are only five men who are older/not my type/and married. The problem is I've lost touch with the few and really good friends I had back home. I need advice on how to get out and get a life, meet new people, and get over the relationship that should have ended a long time ago.
Thanks for everything,
I always get a little twitchy when people send in questions about dating and breakups and whatnot, because I'm guessing they've missed the critical part of my biography where I've been with Jason since I was 19 years old, and pretty much decided that I was going to marry him by our second date. So all my dating experience is confined to high school and my freshmen semester of college -- hardly the most together and mature times in my life.
So my breakups tended to fall into one of the following categories:
1) I did the dumping, which meant I never really liked the guy anyway, but was just using him to make my best friend jealous and/or ensure a date to a formal function of some sort and/or he had a car and I needed a ride. When I broke up with him, I generally had someone new lined up, because I could not face life without a boyfriend, because life without a boyfriend was NOT WORTH LIVING and a clear sign that I was destined to DIE ALONE WITH TOO MANY CATS.
2) I was dumped, and usually in a relationship that was way, way past its expiration date anyway, but because life without a boyfriend was not worth living I stayed put and COMPLETELY LOST MY MIND when he dumped me. Like, I would cry all the time and even let him see me cry, because maybe he would take me back out of pity. Or I would stop eating and make sure he knew I'd stopped eating, because maybe he would take me back out of fear. Or I would take up with the first loser who showed any interest in me because maybe he would be jealous of me and my new loser, or something.
So my first advice would be to not do any of those things.
Overall, you sound like you have the right idea -- you know the relationship needed to end and while it's sad, you aren't in denial about it or trying to mash your life into a shape that would better fit into his.
One big glaring issue I have with your letter is that I think when you say you want to "meet people" you are really only interested in meeting people who are men. For example: Everybody in your nursing class is a person, and potentially a person you could be friends with and "get a life" with, but you're tossing the entire thing out as a viable social option because you've already sized up and rejected the five men in the room.
So are you really interested in a social life -- one with friends and new interests and independence -- or are you really just looking to meet a new guy to plug the big relationship hole? Because the first one is easier, and healthier, and I find that people who get all desperate and attend clubs and activities for the express purpose of meeting someone to date are usually left disappointed because there's just this whole DESPERATION aspect to it all.
You know the types -- they show up at Habitat for Humanity or a young professionals association not really for the joy of being there or to "meet people" (OF BOTH SEXES), but with this not-so-secret agenda of sizing up every other attendee as a potential mate.
So listen -- even though you sound like you've got a handle on why the relationship ended and aren't holding onto any hopes of reconcilation, you've been through the wringer, emotionally speaking. Three years of an on-and-off relationship? Different schools and finally back at home? Those are tough things to deal with. Give yourself a break and throttle back on the "meeting people" anxiety and maybe try to find some girlfriends to go out dancing with.
Call those friends you've lost touch with and tell them you're back in town, how about catching up over a beer some night? Find a study partner in your class. Propose a happy hour. Head to the student union and look for some groups that interest you. (I spent a semester at a community college, and honestly? There were enough clubs and outings and events to rival the big universities.) Join a book club, attend a protest, do some volunteer work.
And you'll meet people, I promise. Just remember that those people don't all need to be cute boys.
More questions to come, but a certain cute boy in snowman jammies requires my attention.
Questions for future sure-to-be-similarly-truncated Smackdowns can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Please note that the question queue is...well, it's extremely long at this point. About two months-ish. So you may want to go elsewhere for your pertinent advice needs, like what to do if your hair is on fire.)