Subpar advice: monopolizing the party

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Illustration by Aaron Ughoc

All Partied Out writes:

“Jean” is a very dear friend going through some hard times. She parties a lot and sleeps around, which wouldn’t bother me except that afterward she tells me that it makes her feel worthless. I’ve had to take her to the hospital for alcohol poisoning before as well. I want to be there for her, but I’m getting married soon and also want to look toward the future. Even if I wasn’t getting married, I’d be worried that something catastrophic might happen if I’m not there for her all the time. Am I stuck between a rock and a hard place?

Heya All Partied Out,

Some people have a hard time leaving the party. You’ve kind of started to do it but “Jean” hasn’t yet. This is gonna cause some problems and maybe some tension later on. Jean has a lot of soul searching to do that only she can do. She has to know when enough is enough. And Jean might know scientifically that she could use some recoup time and maybe a limit or two but can’t seem to find the way there.

This might be extreme, but I want you and Jean, if you can talk her into it, to read Jezebel.com’s five-part series “Ask a Former Drunk.” It’s written from the perspective of a former alcoholic who talks about knowing it was time to take a break and how hard it was—how invested alcohol was in her life. The kind of weird and specific courage and regimen alcohol provided was hard to really live without.

Now I’m not saying Jean is an alcoholic, and it may not even be an addiction problem. It could be a fear of the future, undiscovered pain, or anything really. Jean could hate her job. There are just so many factors to consider that’s it’s hard to pin down advice, if only because advice is never cut-and-dried and rarely universal. It’s not a horoscope after all.

I think at this point the only step forward is really to acknowledge your feelings and have a conversation with Jean. It should be light, maybe over waffles. You can decide if it is best public or private because you know Jean best. You’re the best shot Jean has of asking for help if she’s ready for it, if she is even willing to admit that she needs help.

I hate to say it, but if Jean’s not actually willing to do some mental health for herself, she may go from friend to anchor real quick. You need to be there for her, but you also need to know when you need to be there for yourself and put some distance between you two.
I wish you well and I hope this deepens your relationship with Jean…and I hope Jean finds what she’s looking for, with no pressure or judgment and a whole lot of hope and love.

Hearts and Stars,
Your Advice Guru

Monopolizing Snafu writes:

Is it wrong to bring actual rule books to people’s places when we’re going to play board games like Monopoly or card games like Gin Rummy? I don’t want to be a party pooper, but don’t some board games have hard-and-fast rules that you’re supposed to follow?

Heya Monopolizer,

I don’t think Monopoly and Gin Rummy are really in any same category except for being really old school. Unlike Monopoly, Gin Rummy has a lot of different sets of rules (California is my personal favorite, and Rummy is usually my train-traveling card game of choice).

Unless you’re hosting, it’s not your job to play rules police. Monopoly and Scrabble have iconographies all their own. You’re gonna have to learn to be more flexible.

And if it’s rule books you really want, why not mix it up with a new game? Killer Bunnies, Fluxx, Nightmare Before Christmas Clue, 7 Wonders, Kill Doctor Lucky, or even Kill Shakespeare: these board games all exist. Don’t limit yourself. If you need consistent, universal rules, bring an interesting game that you’ve played a couple of times but maybe others haven’t. Then your friends can get into something new and Monopoly can go back to the spawning grounds of hell where it belongs.

Hearts and Stars,
Your Advice Guru

Found These Journals writes:

So I kept a day-to-day journal for a long time. Longer than most people probably would. I started it in middle school as a regimen and writing exercise, and now I use it as an occasional way to reminisce. One of the things I used to do is print out pictures of boys I liked from Myspace and keep them in my journal. Are those pictures creepy now or just as nostalgic as the inner writings of my soul? I know I’d be weirded out about some strangers having old pictures of me without me knowing.

Heya Found These Journals,

Uhhh…yeah, that’s creepy. Especially if you didn’t know the people. I don’t know that I subscribe to the theory that pictures steal our soul, and maybe folks that like Mortified wouldn’t agree with me, but these are not people you knew. These are random Myspace searches or friends of friends. I’m glad you understand how nostalgia works, but I think there’s a line where nostalgia can’t be an excuse anymore (see: the sham of an election known as the Drumpf presidency).

I think the journals are okay to keep, but you’ve gotta shred those photos, like, yesterday—unless you’re using them for hairstyle inspiration. After all, you said it best yourself: You’d be weirded out by strangers having your picture without your knowledge and permission.

Hearts and Stars,
Your Advice Guru

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