Back in the days when my family fought dinosaurs and I walked over sheets of ice-age ice to school wearing only saber-tooth tiger pelts for warmth, I loved getting the actual paper newspaper every morning. Papa and Mama Caveman devoured the daily print journalism, but they always gave me the entertainment section.
While comics and movie times were the first things I looked at, I spent most of my time on Ann Landers. And I’ve adored advice columns ever since. Ann Landers and her sister Dear Abby helped people with important stuff every day.
“I didn’t get a plus-one on the wedding invitation to my sister’s wedding because I threw up in her car while I was supposed to be petsitting her prized Albanian schlepperhound. How can I ask for an extra spot for my date? I don’t have one, but I’d certainly like to bring one.”
“I spilled red wine on my pissy cousin’s lace tablecloth. I did it on purpose because when we were kids, she ate one of the candy canes from our Christmas tree. It was just hanging there and I didn’t actually claim it, but I still thought that was wrong. Now this annoying relative wants me to pay for this piece of ruined fabric that I wouldn’t let my dog sleep on. How should I tell her to buzz off?”
When I moved out of my parents’ house and no longer woke to a twice-read paper, I looked on the interwebs for my advice columns. That’s when I found Dan Savage, who writes Savage Love, a column that explains everyday sex stuff like the proper etiquette for licking your partners’ used butt plugs, how you can formally ask a guy if you can watch him J.O. while he drives a garbage truck and when to ask your boyfriend to shave his porn stache.
I actually wrote into Savage Love after my first big crybaby breakup. I think my letter was, “I miss my girlfriend so much. I don’t know what to do. I’m sad.”
You know what? Dan Savage himself — or an intern — actually answered my query. I think it must have been like calling a Navy SEAL to deal with a cockroach. He wrote something like, “It sucks, but you’ll get over it. I’ve got to research what fluffbuffninjaing is for my next column. Later.”
One of these days, I’d like to start my own advice column. (Hear that, Ms. Editor?) I don’t know what it would be about, who the hell would write in asking somebody like me for advice or who’d read something so stupid. Maybe I could be that listening ear that everybody needs from time to time. Whatever the question, I could just randomly pick an answer like: “You’ll figure it out,” “$2 bills are worth $2,” “Spill coffee on it ‘accidentally,'” “Invest in bitcoin,” “Rub a kosher pickle on the wound” or “Buy low and sell high.”
I can’t wait for people to be climbing mountains for my sage advice.