Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Gift of Really Good Advice

We received some completely unsolicited and wholly appalling marital advice the other day that said a whole lot more about the advisor than the state of our marriage. The aforementioned appalling advice has instantly become a source of gaiety and ribaldry with the Chief Lou and myself, but it also has kind of left me wondering. Why, exactly, did our acquaintance (I emphasize acquaintance here, because he really doesn't know us at all other than to say hello. He consistently calls one of our children by the wrong name) feel the need to impart this bit of wisdom to us? Was he excited to have stumbled upon it himself and just had to share with the first hapless victims that walked by? Has he been doling out this bit of hot information to everyone he knows? Or was there something specific to us that made him think we might need to know? Who knows, really?

Like most unsolicited advice, it was completely useless to us. But maybe it's useful to someone? There must be something about me that screams "completely lost" because I am the recipient of a whole string of these gems. Since they are useless to me, I'll pass them on because maybe they're just what you've been looking for. I doubt it.

On dating:

  • You should bleach your hair if you want to find a boyfriend. Men like blondes better.
  • If you would just tone down the smart thing, more guys would like you.
  • You should date women.
  • Men won't date you because you're so spontaneous. No one wants to date someone they can't control.
On marriage:
  • Make your husband sign a pre-nup before you put him through law school. Once he graduates he will probably not be as interested in you.
  • Don't let your husband see your dirty clothes so that you can "keep the magic alive".
  • After your husband turns 40 he will start looking around. Keep an eye on his co-workers.
On children:
  • Run the vacuum cleaner or turn the TV up really loud while your newborn is napping so they can learn to deal with noise.
  • You don't really need to worry so much about their happiness. They need to just learn to deal with the fact that you're the boss.
  • You really shouldn't hug your son so much. He needs to learn how to be a "real man".
I kid you not, these are a random sampling of things that people have actually said to me. Obviously, I know some people with some issues.

Sometimes people ask my advice about things. This amazing-but-true fact is one that leaves me scratching my head and wondering if perhaps all of their sane friends were busy. My go-to advice is usually: "Don't take people's advice very seriously." But last night during our family movie night, I rediscovered what will be my new all-purpose advice. If anyone wants my opinion about anything at all, I will smile knowingly, clasp their hands in mine, and deliver this sage bit of wisdom:

"Always let the Wookiee win."

Is there anything Han Solo doesn't know how to deal with? And honestly, it's about as useful as most of the advice I'm given.


  1. I ... so ... I don't ... Hm. I don't quite know what to say. Do you respond to these people by allowing them to meet the back of your hand? Or at least a heavy dose of stink-eye or awe for the obvious size of cajones someone has to have to say something like this to you?

    I get things like "you're not a real woman until you have children." It kind of makes me want to strip and ask which part of my anatomy leaves doubt. I've also been asked who's going to take care of me when I get old, and who I plan to pass family things along to. Really? I have 16 nieces and nephews. I'm sure someone will step up to claim something if they want it. As for taking care of me when I'm old, my Grandmother lived alone until she died at 84. She made FRIENDS who checked on her periodically when they didn't hear from her. Crazy, I know.

    I've heard men don't like women they can't control. I've also heard this is the TWENTY FIRST century and a FREE society where men & women can decide for themselves what kind of relationship they want to have.

    Most usefully, I've heard that people who are so overflowing with advice that they feel the need to share are more likely to wind up with a foot in their mouth. Or their backside. Whatever works.

  2. Still...I'm sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to know what gem you're acquaintance doled out to you!

    Also? Everyone knows you should always let the wookie win. Everyone!

  3. @Jane - It was 2 pages, single spaced. There were 19 points. 19!

    @Jewels - definitely!

    @M - your indignation on my behalf is truly touching. I usually just figure I'm doing them a service by listening and then I laugh at them and blog about them later. Mature, I know.

  4. I had a witty comment directly related to the post, but it seems to have left my brain entirely now that I've read "2 pages, single spaced..." Really? Really? Wow...uh, wow. Just wow.

    As for your all-purpose advice--I know Yoda always gets the props for his wisdom, but for my money Han Solo traffics in advice that's much more practical and applicable to daily life.

  5. Oh gee! I don't want any of that. What is wrong with people??? How can they SAY those things?!?

    Hans Solo is right! Gotta let the Wookie win, HA.

  6. My advice is to constantly hug your children and tell them that you love them, and mix it up with a variety of funny little sayings, snuggles and reasons why you love them. It was what I felt was missing from my childhood and something I remember quite well doing on purpose with planning for my children, now grown and gone away.

  7. The blonde hair??? I had blonde hair for awhile, like white blonde, because I wanted to have blonde hair. When I finally decided to go back to my natural brunette/red, my husband's first words, I'm glad you finally got rid of the trailer park blonde. Wow, really honey?? I had blonde hair for 2 years and you are just now telling me this. Gee thanks! (And I really enjoyed my blonde hair too) So, that just goes to show you that there are men who do not prefer blondes. ;) And my witty husband is one of them.

  8. And what insecure people to be coming up with that crapola advice...if it's even considered advice??? Maybe in their lala land. My saying is this, if you don't contribute anyway financially in paying my bills, then your advice is not wanted or solicited or allowed or accepted or tolerated. Please and thank you. :)

  9. @esbboston - That is some really sound advice.
    @Taylor - I look like a drag queen when I'm blonde.


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