Hello again, it's time for my weekly mudslinging article. Sorry, I meant to say that it's time for my helpful article to return to FML. Last week I helped a lot of young souls in torment. I'm not saying that I helped them out of torment, but I gave them a few pointers on how to get from torment to miserable. I'm doing good work here, I'm feeling drunk with power, and I now understand how Jesus felt. I'm here to cure you, so huddle up all you cold and hungry masses so that I may anoint and heal your pain. I've read this week's mail, it got me down, but then I poured myself a stiff glass of Scotch, and I'm ready to get cracking!
The basic idea: A few weeks ago, I asked those of you with problems to write in so that I could give you advice. My advice is based on decades of helping others, and the fact that people spend all their cash on silly therapies which are all placebo-based just boggles my mind and pops my eyeballs out onto the floor. I offer straight talk, which you'll either like or lump. Got it? Let's go.
(The members of One Direction use therapy to help them prepare to slide back into anonymity)
I've read most of your messages. Yet again, I got a few "funny" messages, that I quickly rocketed into outer space, and came up with a list of people to help. Please bear in mind that this is for the good of the community, and is in no way a bunch of cheap shots at somebody else's expense. Everyone featured on this page is a willing participant, and knows what they are getting into.
Our first question of the week is from Miss_Chevious :
My friend and I have written three books, how do we get them published? No literary agent has answered us in two months as of yet"
I'm starting out with this one because it was pointed out by its author as a "genuine problem". That's right, all you others writing in have lesser problems than Miss_Chevious. How d'you like them apples? She certainly thinks highly of herself, but what can I do to help? It's something I can actually relate to. I've been published several times, in several languages, but starting out was tough, so I know it's hard to get your message across to publishers, editors and agents. Then again, if you go about presenting your issues and work the same way to them as you did to me, it's not surprising no one is picking up any options. I'd be curious to know what these three books are about, and who the friend is. If there's three books, and none is garnering interest, there must be something wrong. Three books is quite impressive. Not many people write more than one in their lifetime. Maybe the reason no one is answering is that the books are cack.
Drop it like it's hot
Selkca needs advice now:
"There is this girl I know from school and have wanted to ask her out for months and when I finally did I ended up texting her since it was the summer and all and she did the same with someone else before so I didn't think it would be a problem. She said she wasn't going to date anyone for a while then dated someone a week or 2 later and then they cheated on her. I have been texting her for a while now but I don't know what to do any advice?"
At the risk of sounding really obvious, she's just not that into you. You're going to have to let it drop. A great philosopher once said, "It's not because a girl is being nice to you that it means she wants to have sex with you." Live by those words and you'll be OK. Don't be a walnut and keep texting inane stuff to try and seduce her, it's not going to happen. I'm not saying you should become one of those annoying pick up artists who are obviously afraid of women, deep down, and need some sort of technique to talk to them, but remember that women are people too. She's allowed to not be attracted to you in "that way". Just be an adult about it, chalk it up to experience, and move on. Texting is for friends, if something was going to happen between you two, it would've already happened. What's your plan? Keep on texting while she has sex with other people, then she gets married, has kids, and you'll be still waiting for your moment to shine? Nah, screw that, just get on with your life!
Look at me
Another classic problem for greensumpark:
"Dear Auntie Bernie. I am going into eighth grade and can't make my parents take any interest in me. I have honor roll grades and know how to do several things that are at a high school level relating to academics. I clean the kitchen and most of the rest of the house and often make dinner. But they just ignore me. I have been trying since I was 9 but they just keep telling me I can do better even though my dad went to juvie and my mom went to an alternative high school. It seems like all they care about is my sister who is constantly antagonizing me and gets me in trouble. I don't even retaliate. they are over joyed when she brings home a 70 percent or higher but they just ignore me when I get an A or even an A plus. I thought I was just thin skinned but I'm not sure anymore. Please help me."
You know what? Screw them. Do things for you. Don't do things for other peoples' attention. Not even your parents. It's a good thing that your grades aren't totally shit, because they've got nothing they can use as leverage against you, so keep it up. One day, you'll be old enough to move away from their house, with your own job and then go on to start your own family. Only this time round, you'll be the one paying attention to your kids. For the time being, get your head out of your ass and get some self-respect. I know that this hurts, but parents can be tools too.
Philip Larkin's famous poem "This Be The Verse" goes:
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
They have their faults, but it's not your fault. Life sucks, put on a crash helmet. Remember, you're doing all this work for yourself, for your own benefit, not so Mom and Dad have something to pat you on the head for.
A classic from damnitstrue:
"Hi Auntie Bernie. So my boyfriend is leaving to serve in the army soon, and will only be able to see me 30 days a year, and that's if he sees me every single day of his vacation days. I just wanted to ask you some advice on long distance dating and how to learn how to be an army girlfriend?"
Let me see now, 365 days in year, 30 days a year, that's less than 10% of the year spent together. What would you rather have, a boyfriend who is around 90% of the year? Yes, me too. Your current boyfriend has chosen the military over you. It's his decision, and you can respect that, sure, I mean, it's possible he hasn't enlisted just to be able to kill foreign people, but you can't sit around waiting for conjugal visits, like he was in jail. It's just not possible, especially if you're young. The whole concept of "army girlfriends" and "army wives" boggles my mind. In my youth in the 1960s, we were all anti-war, we wanted to dismantle tanks and bombs and grow flowers in grenade launchers. We had idealism and values that went beyond protecting foreign oil interests disguised as bringing democracy. These days, young people blow their tops if you just as much as talk about the army in a negative light. I'm not saying don't support them, but do it on a an individual, one-to-one basis. Your boyfriend has chosen this lifestyle, it's a choice, he wasn't born this way, so he can't shove it down your throat. You don't need to learn to be any sort of girlfriend, you just need someone who is there for you. Army, schmarmy. Grab yourself a hippie and go live in a yurt.
Last question from lex1459, who is feeling neighbourly:
"Hey Aunty Bernie!
How can I impress my hot new neighbour? He just moved in and we've only ever said hi to each other. Help!"
They say you should dress to impress. Or is it dress for success? I can never remember. Anyway, why on earth would you want to impress your neighbour, hot or not? Do you want to become known as the town bike? Leave the guy alone, he's just moved in, you randy mare. Besides, if he's only said hi to you the previous times, he probably knows that you should never shit where you eat. Having desires or worse, sexual congress with a neighbour is a recipe for disaster. Have you never seen Desperate Housewives? You'll end up in a murder-suicide pact so fast you'll barely have time to say, "Can you water my plants while I'm at the hospital getting a wart removed?" I had a tryst with a neighbour once, he was married and so was I. We'd meet in his garden shed every Thursday afternoon for some cake and then eating it, if you know what I mean. We were found out one fateful Thursday when I forget to lock the door and the pool boy walked in and tried to blackmail us. Don't go down that path, stay courteous and pure. Neighbours is a bad idea, so don't try it. Any Australian will tell you I'm right.
There, that'll do for this week, I think I've given them food for thought. As I've said, if you wrote to me and you're a bit miffed that you weren't featured in this week's column, don't panic! You might appear next month. If you want to write to me to appear in the near future, my profile is here, or click on my message at the top of the comments under the article.
Who are you? Who who?
This is last part of the column: the profile pic. The people who wrote to me also have faces. I don't mean the people who cheat by using pictures stolen from Instagram accounts belonging to pretty people (when in doubt: reverse image search on Google) and who lie and claim "Yes, that's me in the photo!", I'm talking about the people who are brave (or stupid) enough to put their real face on FML.
This week, we're taking a look at JustinJK. This guy likes his shirt, you can't see anything beyond the the flowers in the picture. I'm guessing he borrowed it from his mom, who bought it around 1988. Has he been messing with the contrast on his camera? He looks very pale and yellowish. What are you doing with your life, son? Did you catch hepatitis from a shared needle, or is it the shirt that's making you look jaundiced? And don't glare at people like that, it's not nice. I'm guessing you're supposed to look menacing, but it just looks like the face someone would make if they'd just taken a shit in someone's laundry basket by mistake. Is that what happened? Then you put on that shirt because that's all that was left to wear? Is that a your natural hair colour? It looks sort of nice, like a Labrador's fur. The shirt is still giving me a headache. Stop staring, you're freaking me out, I'm getting LSD flashbacks from the '70s.
That's my second column over with. I hope you don't mind if I leave you in peace now, it's time for my medication. Don't hesitate to write to me if you need help seeing the light and/or need advice on how to lead your love life. I'll try and help out, in my own special way. Take care, young people everywhere.
Auntie Bernie is dressed by Bénédicte of Bloutouf