For some reason people keep asking me for advice when they’re sad. For some reason I keep managing to offend them horribly.
Our conversation usually goes something along these lines:
Sad person: I love her and I think she at least likes me but she used to love me but I only liked her at that point but now I really love her and I want her to love me again too and what should I dooooo?
Me: Firstly, relax. Haha, remember when people used to say ‘take a chill pill’ and think they were really cool? Kinda like the word chillax. Except that I do use chillax sometimes but I hope people know I’m being ironic, and that itself is cool. Cool..chill..why are these words related to lack of warmness? How is that a good thing? Unless you’re in the desert in the middle of the day, I guess. Or in hell. Do you know, I read somewhere that people in cold climates find interior decoration in warm colours relaxing, but people in warm climates find interior decoration in cool colours relaxing? Interesting. But it seems coldness is a good thing in our current 21st century western lexicon. Except that hot still means good-looking. That has been going on for a long time, hasn’t it? I’m not going to be doing any googling right now, but I’m sure that attractive people have been described as ‘hot’ for quite some years. Decades, even. I wonder how that started. Obvi an attractive person might make the beholder (beauty in the eye of, etc) literally hot. Raised body temperature due to hormones and such running around, causing mischief. But that would mean that when I see an attractive person I myself am hot. Not them. Presumably ‘hot’ people are ‘cool’ all the time, swanning around being sexy and not caring what temperature-raising effect they are having on the rest of us. There’s a song…what’s that line again… ‘cool and unfazed, you’re always amazed when someone gets hurt.’ Yeah. So true. I’ve known people like that.
Where were we? OK, you love her. Well, do you really though? Now don’t tell me you don’t know what love means. It’s a word that comes up quite often in conversation and literature. You can’t tell me it sends you running to the dictionary each time. [Thanks, Kingsley Amis, for that particular put down.] Let’s just say you know, more or less, what love is. The problem is that it’s easier to-
Sad person (after many unsuccessful attempts to interrupt me): You’re not helping.
Me: Oh..I’m sorry. [determined to do better and be nicer] Well – how about this? If she doesn’t love you now she probably won’t again. And the sooner you get used to that the better you’ll feel. I mean, it’s a possibility, of course, that she might one day in the future feel all hearts and flowers towards you again. Just like unicorns rampaging into her flat and killing her is a possibility. But it’s a small one. Man, unicorns are great – I love that unicorns have become online shorthand for cool stuff and general awesomeness. I wonder why these mythical beasties have suddenly sprung up in the 21st century interwebz. I can’t believe I have started saying ‘interwebz’ out loud. It’s like those people who say ‘lol’ in conversation and expect you not to murder them. Actually I have said it myself a few times. But, again, I’m being ironic. I’m just not sure that the-
Sad person (visibly sadder. dampness in the ocular area can be observed): You’re supposed to be helping me!
Me (genuine remorse plaguing my soul): Genuine remorse is plaguing my soul!
Sad person (sobbing): I just want you to tell me things are going to be OK.
Me: But I don’t think they are. [instantly realising my mistake] I mean – I’m sure they will be! It will be fine! Everything will be fine! You will be fine! She will be fine! [abruptly shutting up as I feel semantic satiation approaching]
Sad person exits stage right, now sufficiently irritated with me that they forget to cry about their broken heart.
Me: That went well, I think.
I know you’re heartbroken right now, but seriously please don’t ask me for advice. Yes, he is an a-hole. I will agree with you there.
But I’m begging you not to ask me what your next steps should be.
I know it sucks when it turns out that the roommate who posed as a normal human being is in fact a serial killer who always leaves the bathroom taps running and never takes the rubbish out and also is too sarcastic.
But I am absolutely not going to to give you any pointers on how to proceed.
Because, as the conversation above shows, I am just not good at dealing with requests for advice. Don’t you know that advice is what you ask for when you know the answer but wish you didn’t?
And anyway, if you’ve been washing your dirty laundry in public, there’s no hope for you.