Ask Allison

Ask Allison

Written by Allison Castillo

Dear Members and Other Readers—

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The new year is almost upon us, which means the cold, wet towel of 2020 will be ripped from our shoulders to reveal a shiny, new style-forward haircut, perfectly blown out, that makes us look ten years younger. Or, as the hands of time spin us around to face our reflection in the mirror, will we be met with just another mullet, and a non-ironic one at that?

It’s like Ask Allison always says: Hope is the silent killer.

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This year was, in the parlance of the advice biz, a shit show. So, it’s no wonder that my first three reader questions (okaaay, okaaay, my only three) have something in common. What is that, you ask? Well, then I guess I’ll have to keep writing.

Picture the following 100% from my imagination totally made-up scenarios:

Screaming, “We love you, Christina!” at the top of your lungs. At a Pink concert.

Telling your landlord the red hair dye stains that have transformed your bathroom into a crime scene worthy of Law & Order (the original) were there when you moved in, only to be told you’re the first person to live there.

Asking someone not wearing a mask to “GET SIX FUCKING FEET AWAY FROM ME!!!...please?”

What do all these situations have in common? One long, drawn out word: Awk-waaaaaard. And it seems you’ve all been in one awkward sitchy after another as this year draws to a close like Egon Schiele.

As always, I have nothing of substance going on in my life and will do what I can to help.

Godspeed (God gets a ticket),
Ask Allison

 

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Dear Ask Allison,

 

What do I do when I forget to get someone a Christmas
present and they got me one?

 

Signed,

This Is Awkward

 

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Dear This is Awkward,

 

Your question harkens back to another question I recall reading in another advice column (another advice column? #asif—amiright?). As you know, research is a huge part of any advice columnist’s training, not the least mine, having received my bachelor’s degree in Empathy, my master’s in Really Hearing, and of course you’re familiar with my dissertation: Is Anyone In There: Advice and Narcissism as Parallel Yet Intersectional Yet Oppositional Concepts in the Modern World: Ya Heard? I earned my degrees, of course, at the prestigious Me And University, or as we alumni refer to it, Me And U.

During my extensive training I came across this holiday puzzler: What should you do if, when bringing the Thanksgiving turkey to the table, it falls off the platter onto the floor? The answer was this: Pick it up, put it back on the platter, and as you head back to the kitchen, say to your guests, “I’ll go get the other turkey.”

And so, I say to you, my little fawn, tiptoeing out of the forest of confusion on your spotted, shaky legs, looking in vain for Mother Widsom: Get the other turkey.

That’s right—there’s no need for this one to even approach awkward. Not even to glance shyly awkward’s way over the lip of martini number three, in fact. When someone gives you a Christmas present and you haven’t gotten them one, take the easy way out and lie. After all, lying is a time-tested Holiday tradition!

Blame the post office!
Your present hasn’t gotten here yet! The USPS couldn’t deliver something on time if it was an OBGYN, amiright?

Blame your boyfriend!
Be-ennnnnnn—did you forget “Generous Friend’s Name Here’s” present at the office? HUGE SIGH. Ben wouldn’t know where his head was if it wasn’t being held on by those metal screws ever since the accident, amiright?

Blame it on the rain!
Oh. Em. Gee. I left your present in the coat check at the Milli Vanilli Reunion Tour! But they are the most underappreciated band of the 20th Century, amiright?

This technique not only buys you time to buy a present, but also lays the blame squarely on the post office, your long-suffering, yet genuinely forgetful, boyfriend Ben or people who don’t understand the raw genius of Milli Vanilli.

If for some reason you have some kind of weird moral objection to lying, then you could simply snatch the gaily wrapped and be-bowed present from "Generous Friend’s Name Here" with a huge smile, and say: Thank you.

After all, you’re worth it. (iamright!) 

 

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Dear Ask Allison,

 

What to do when your very best friends are not being very best parents and you are their nanny? Like when they give their kid 1000 chocolate bars just before bed and are mad when they won’t sleep. When they allow the kid to choose their own meals, bedtimes, rules. And all you want to do is say NO to everything kid asks for as revenge but it’s awkward when you do.

 

Signed,

Don’t Tell Em It’s Me

 

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Dear Don’t Tell Em It’s Me,

 

First of all, I won’t tell em. Moving on—


To quote Tom Petty, oh my my, oh hell yes, it sounds like the Golden Ticket winners have taken over the chocolate factory. (Just to clarify, Tom Petty only said the oh my my, oh hell yes part. The rest is this Lady.) I don’t like a lot of things, and among the things I don’t like the most is children being treated as if they’re adults. Choosing what they want for dinner? Going to bed when they feel like it? Making their own rules? If you’re responsible for a bunch of barely people that can barely take care of themselves, this just bitters the deal. And not like the good kind of bitters that go in cocktails.

Oh, how I despise undisciplined children! I can be found on any given Sunday when guilt has driven me to brunch with their parents, rolling my eyes while they’re “reasoned” with. “Honeee, what I really need you to do is to be good for me now, OK? I bought that stock you asked for, didn’t I?” Wanna know what I really need? For you to tell your kids to be quiet when a grown up (specifically this one) is talking and desperately trying to find out how your sex life is, while she flags down a server for another glass of prosecco from her “bottomless brunch bottle.” (Just leave the bottle at the table, for God’s sake! What are we, animals?)

So, while you wait for your charges to get shipped off to boarding school, let’s work on some simple strategies for simply dealing. If their parents are going to treat them like adults, why shouldn’t you? They’re throwing a tantrum because they can’t get the off-menu item they want at Mozza? Well then, OK. They can deal with a side dish of reality.

Crying:
When a child cries, give them the side eye over the cover of whichever Ayn Rand you’re reading and, while continuing to read because that’s how good you are, say, “I’d save it, if I were you. It’s only going to get worse.” Then nod in self-satisfied agreement at something in the text.

How long ‘til we get there???:
The only response to this old chestnut is to throw your head back, laugh once bitterly, more like a bark, and say, “You’ll be surprised how few times we actually do.” Light your next cigarette off the one you’re currently smoking.

I HATE YOU!:
Without putting down the high-powered binoculars you have trained on the neighbor’s house—is that a Murano chandelier?—there’s only one reply to this. “Really? Well, take a number, sweetie.”

If you’re thinking at this point, Ask Allison, how are you qualified to talk about children? Do you have any? The answer is no. But I have a dog, and as everyone knows, a dog is just a child that doesn’t require you to pay for college.

Don’t Tell Em – can I call you Don’t Tell Em? – you bring up revenge, and we all know what the best revenge is. Winning RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars. But second best is living well. And by posing this question, you’ve found your own answer for how to do that. What’s in a name? Well, in your name I see an opportunity. The opportunity to collaborate with world renowned Dancehall artist Shaggy on a remake, remix, re-record of his 2000 mega-hit, "It Wasn’t Me," entitled, do I even have to say it?— "Don’t Tell Em It’s Me!" It could go something like this…

Just before they went to bed, they had 1000 candy bars.
Instead of falling off to sleep it was like they took a trip to Mars.
How can I get these kids to listen to this nan-ny?
If they get to make all the rules then why’d their parents hire me?

They had potato chips for breakfast
Don’t Tell Em It’s Me

Stayed up ‘til 4 in the morning
Don’t Tell Em It’s Me

Watched Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Don’t Tell Em It’s Me

It’s all on the baby monitor
Don’t Tell Em It’s Me

Just throwing paint here, but if you use any of my lyrics, we can talk about the publishing deal then. I’m seeing Shaggy on New Year’s Eve, so I’ll pitch this to him. You can thank me at the Grammys. 

 

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Dear Ask Allison,

 

How do you break up with someone you met on a dating app because now that you have recovered from Covid and are no longer planning your final wishes you realize you don’t like them at all?

 

Signed,

Love Gone Viral

 

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Dear Love Gone Viral,

 

Sounds like COVID wasn’t the only thing that infected you in 2020! You set ‘em up and Mariah Carey and I will walk. them. down.

Sadly, it’s human nature that when we’re at death’s door—Btw, did you see the Architectural Digest tour of Death’s house? Death’s door is a forest green with an antique Victorian door knocker. In a word: stunning. Ok, I’ll start that one again. It’s human nature that when we’re at death’s door, it’s any port in a storm, despite that fact that storms will soon be a thing of the past.

My advice to you? Do the thing the kids are doing—ghost them. This entails inviting your new paramour over and making them watch the movie Ghost with you, while saying all the lines along with the actors and exclaiming that it’s your favorite movie, and you watch it all the time.

Believe me. You’ll never hear from them again.

 

Xoxo

 

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Do you have a question you kind of want answered? Don’t leave her hanging—leave it in the comments below. Oh, and have a great holiday and a Happy New Year.

6 comments

Bored out of my gourd

Wed, Mar 10, 2021

What does “When Time Permits” mean?

Bored and Bubbly

Wed, Jan 27, 2021

What arts and crafts projects can I make with all my empty flavored seltzer cans I have lying around? Bored and Bubbly

Zoom Fatigues

Wed, Jan 27, 2021

How do I tell my coworker that they misspelled their own name in their Zoom ID and its been like that for 10 months? Thanks, Zoom Fatigues

TOTO-a-Go-Go

Wed, Jan 27, 2021

My elderly neighbor insists on practicing flute on her back deck. She plays the entire score of THE WIZARD Of OZ over and over again. How can I get her to expand her repertoire? Sincerely, Toto-a-Go-Go

Baby on Bored

Wed, Jan 27, 2021

I’m the age of a mom, but not a mom. Should I wear mom jeans? Sincerely, Baby on Bored


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