Ask Aunt Chelsea
Like the whimsical sight of a pebble mischievously thrown into a lake brimming with troubled waters, I take great pleasure in witnessing the ripple effect of my efforts. Ever since Chelsea Now’s tough but fair editor encouraged me to slip the surly bonds of early retirement to share my special brand of wisdom, I have been hearing back from this newspaper’s rich tapestry of readers — whose tales of advice (taken, ignored or liberally interpreted) provides its own set of life lessons. So, in the spirit of our Progress Report, here are a few follow-up letters.
Shortly after the first of the year, I heard from “Lovestruck Lisa.” This young lady, obviously new to the dating pool, claimed to be in “Hookup Heaven,” but was in fact living the false fantasy that her no-strings New Year’s Eve dalliance had real relationship potential. A little reading between the lines tipped your old Aunt Chelsea off to the fact that this gal was on her way to a restraining order. I advised her to stop stalking her reluctant Romeo, and get a cat.
Dear Aunt Chelsea:
Thank you so much for getting me out of that rut! Gosh, I was so clueless after New Year’s — falling for someone who didn’t give me the time of day, and then living in denial. If only I had some close friends as savvy as you, who could keep me on my toes and in touch with reality.
And, speaking of that, one particular piece of advice you shared has really helped me out. Remember when you said that I should go to a rescue shelter and adopt a cat? Well, I adopted six! They are so special — Mindy, Timmy, Francis, Lucy, Jeffrey and Stephen — all cuties! Ever since I took their smiling faces home to my cozy little studio last week, I haven’t had to waste any time worrying about those guys who only care about getting me in bed…frankly, I haven’t had any time to talk to guys at all!
It’s a perfect situation, really. Working 9 to 5, heading home, feeding my babies, giving them each some love and then curling up with them to go to sleep! The truth is, I feel so secure now, that I don’t know if I’ll ever have to stress out about guys again. Anyway, marriage and kids are so overrated. Thanks again!
Aunt Chelsea responds: Oh, dear. I’m afraid I’ve mended a broken heart at the expense of creating a cat-hoarder. Well, they can’t all be unqualified successes. Now, here’s a more encouraging missive from No Nicotine Nancy — who questioned whether she should cut short a potential romance, because her gentleman friend smoked. My advice: “If his cigarettes bother you, pipe up!”
Dear Aunt Chelsea:
I think you should know what happened after I took your advice about my friend who smokes. I called him up and told him that I could no longer see him, as I had developed feelings for him. I let him know a relationship was not possible, as he was a smoker and I could not be in a serious relationship with a smoker. My friend was incredible. He said that he had feelings for me too, and was worried about the smoking, because it had turned off other women in the past. We then had a great conversation about habits and addiction and how they so easily can become an obstacle to what we really want in life: health, happiness and love. It was a long conversation, and we ended it deciding to leave things as they are.
I was sad, and I missed him, but it felt like the right thing to do. I then saw him two weeks later at a party…smoking an e-cigarette! He laughed and said he thought he needed to “up his game,” and he winked at me. I don’t know what lies ahead, but no matter what, it has been a healthy experience for both of us. Thank you, Aunt Chelsea!
Aunt Chelsea responds: Ah, young love. Is there anything better? Well, yes — helping a wallflower blossom into a social butterfly! Back in the early fall, “Lonely Freshman” didn’t find the warm community she expected, after moving onto a small campus. I advised her to engage in an extracurricular activity (like the Forensics club that changed my life). She took my advice, but went a little too far out onto the tree of life’s “nerd branch” for me. But she seems to be happy, and that’s what matters. Let’s all try to remember that other folks favor different strokes.
Dear Aunt Chelsea:
I want to thank you for your advice. You were right! Life has been absolutely wonderful since I joined the Live Action Role-Playing club. The forced nods and grimaces I used to face in the hallways are now combatted by the fierce shield of Dagmar, a weapon our members must carry with them at all times. My confidence is so infectious that the club president, a handsome warlock, asked me out on a date! After our weekly skirmish in the dance rehearsal studios, he got on one knee and handed me a homemade scroll. When I unfurled it, there was a message that read: “Dearest Enchantress (Rachel), May I ask for your hand in coffee this Monday evening?” It was signed, “Archibald VII of Mamaroneck.” May the winds be favorable when we set sail for the fair shores of Dunkin Donuts tomorrow!
With Warm Regards,
Aunt Chelsea responds: I hope I get an invitation to the wedding…although I don’t look foreward to the alteration bill after my trip to the Middle Earth/Renaissance Fair store. Finally, let’s end our Progress Report with an unqualified success. “Perplexed” was vexed by his girlfriend’s odd reaction to turning 50. Not wanting to be the center of attention, she shunned his offer of a big birthday party. I advised him to make a fuss, because this lady clearly deserved to bask in the love of friends and family.
Dear Aunt Chelsea:
I threw the party as you suggested, and it was a huge hit. My girlfriend/wife/boss was over-the-moon happy. She cried when I made everyone wear a handmade placard (over their formal dress) that explained why they loved her. The next day, after considerable dancing, cavorting and Barolo, she asked in an innocent voice when we could have another party.
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