Now, since I’ve been missin’ my sky is fallin’ friend, I’ve been taking quite a few walks.  If I move, I seem to think I’m in better control of the stock market and the political process.

If you would have shown me this picture and said “See, this is you.  These are your Frankenstein feet out walking along….”

I wouldn’t have recognized these stems as mine and told you emphatically, “No, you are wrong.”

But since I took the photograph, I had to concede- I am Lon Cheney.

What else don’t I know?  It got me thinking about advice I’ve been given in my life.  Good Advice.  Bad Advice.  We’ve all been given advice over the years, right?

So, yes, a new series is born–should you care to contribute, and I hope you do.

It’s called, “I THINK YOU SHOULD….”

Here’s my contribution to the “Are you serious?” submenu of this challenge.

I had just returned to the States from working in Germany for three years.  I was staying with my brother in his apartment in Boston.  He was recently divorced.  It was 1975.  I was in my very long hair, long skirts, spending days in the Boston Public Library and riding a bicycle around Boston phase.  ( PS. Long skirts and bicycles are not a great combo)

At any rate, while I’m trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life, I’d go out to eat with my brother at a Chinese restaurant.  He’d order those drinks with parasols and down several of them before the PuPu platter arrived.  One time we went to dinner after Valentine’s Day and I was joking about how many valentine day cards were in his mailbox, all in red envelops and different handwriting.  I said, “Seriously, what’s your secret?”

He looked me straight in my eye and gave me some brotherly advice:

“I think you should drink more,” he said.  “Men like women who drink along with them.”

Now, since just a few sips of these parasol drinks paralyzed my facial muscles, I’m not sure he saw my true reaction, but at this moment, I learned a lesson:  people who genuinely love you can dish out some total crap for advice.  (That goes for people who don’t love you as well but that’s another series).

So, have you any examples of heartfelt but totally misguided advice?

Or, looking on the bright side, some advice that you have found helpful in living your one precious life?

And, PS, could you all take a stab at this conundrum that our in-house “poo” counselor, Razzbuffnik, faced a few years ago. A friend called him in a panic and asked him for advice, what should he do.  The situation was this:  his friend had woken up in his car in a strange neighborhood wearing a woman’s shirt covered in blood (not his own) and he couldn’t remember a thing.

Now, what  advice would have you given to this friend?

Here’s mine:

Don’t date women who drink as much as you.

Ta da.

©Pat Coakley 2008


8 comments on ““I THINK YOU SHOULD…” The Series”

  1. I like this idea of sharing advice, good and bad. I have one piece of good advice that someone told me recently. The context was about not being happy in your work, but it could apply anywhere. My friend heard it from her father when she was working in a job where she was miserable but didn’t want to quit because she thought that would mean she’d failed. Friend’s father said “Look ten years into the future. Will you still be in this job? Will this job still be this important to you then? If not, it’s okay to let go and try something new.” Right now, everyone’s clinging onto their jobs for dear life, but it’s true. When nutting out what to do it’s a good idea to consider whether or not it will really matter to you in ten years’ time.

  2. Well, another brutal day here on Wall Street and I suspect not a great one for you either, Epicurienne. Your vacation in Vietnam must seem like months ago instead of just a week ago. Your advice, however, is timeless and should be considered whether you are clinging to a life raft or a job. What really matters, indeed. Sometimes, people have a hard time answering that. (I had a private practice in career counseling for several years so know this territory somewhat)

    Tell me what is your “comfort” food? Whatever it is, may I suggest you cook some pronto!

  3. My advice … don’t drink a large table full of long island iced teas and try to stand.

    One of the loan officers I worked with knew I was having a crappy day. She took me to lunch at a mexican restaurant. It was after 6pm when we left our table. The table was full of empty glasses. I drove home, have no idea how I got there. She, on the other hand, drove to her old (NOT her present) boyfriend’s house, walked in, said hi, then went to his room and climbed into bed. She woke up wondering where she was and how in the heck did she get there!

  4. The advice your brother gave wasn’t so bad.

    The trick is not to drink too much. A little alcohol (as I’m sure you already know) is good for loosening inhibitions. Let’s face it, young people care far too much about what other people think of them.

    Too much alcohol is depressive and of course can lead to waking up in alleys with your pants on back-to-front or covered in cactus spines. I just hate that!

    In my experience many people limit their lives by being slaves to comfort (in it’s various guises). I think it’s generally a good thing to do a few stupid things in one’s life so we expand our minds into understanding what’s is actually a good or bad experience rather than just speculating.

    Paralysis through analysis is to be avoided, as life is short and one wouldn’t want to limit one’s self by submitting to our fears…….. would one?

  5. dobegil, oh, good advice always comes from experience! Thank you for this as I think I’ve heard everything AND then you hear a story like this: going to your old boyfriend’s house and thinking he’s your current boyfriend?? Oh, this sounds like a screenplay to me.

    Razz: Um. Er. Oh, hell, I’ll just say it. This is just total bologna you are dishing out here and you know it! My brother’s advice was more about HIS comfort level, HIS need to be around people who drank cuz he didn’t want to feel self conscious about his over drinking!! You cannot tell me that you think people who are encouraging others to have second and third drinks are doing this so others may live a fuller and more authentic life!! You’re killing me, here. Second morning in a row, I’ve had to mop up!

  6. You’ve seen right through me.

    …….just kidding!

    All joking aside, I’m pretty sure most people do what they think is the right thing (quoting Mr Carnegie again). Unfortunately we often don’t think about why we think it is right.

    By the way, who said anything about 2nd and 3rd drinks leading to a fuller life? By my way of reckoning, I’d say it takes at least six to reach escape velocity.

  7. Escape velocity? Now, there’s a nice concept quite apart from the context!

  8. […] fresh from approving of my late brother’s dating advice to me in another post, called “I THINK YOU SHOULD.  THE SERIES .  The advice basically told me that I should drink more […]

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