Carolyn Hax: A friend with seemingly everything still has time for fine whine

Classic Hax. You have to be pretty open-minded and self-aware to be able to sympathize with those who appear to be (and may objectively be) more fortunate than you are.

Or she’s genuinely unhappy. It can, of course, happen amid gaudy equity, lovely kids, an attentive spouse, a flexible career, stable finances and ambitious travel; just because these have societal value doesn’t mean they’re valuable to her.

And just because the decisions were “very-thought-out” doesn’t mean they were the right ones for her. If a person’s baseline understanding of herself is a degree or two off, then her choices can lead her, over the years, hundreds of miles off-course.

Carolyn Hax: A friend with seemingly everything still has time for fine whine

Give your past, present and future selves influence in proportion to what each has earned. Which one of you is working with the most reliable information — about you and nobody else?

The Cold Stoicism of Advice Columns for Men

Advice columns for men, however, seem not to have made the leap from proscriptive notions of rectitude to the smart-older-sister vibe of advice for women. In GQ and Esquire and even Maxim, which are full of Q&A-format advice for readers, situations are often posed in a joking tone and answered as if the writer were the dude from the Dos Equis commercials and the ultimate ethical standard is masculinity rather than humanity. “How to be a man” literature is the new conduct literature: it’s not that men haven’t cared about ideals of masculinity before now, but the idea verges on obsession these days, cf. everything from Shia LaBoeuf’s resignation note to the fact that someone greenlit How to Be a Gentleman. It’s a whole genre and evidently a popular one—but, while advice columns are the delicious and healthy snack of things to devour on the Internet, it matters for men and women alike that advice columns for men evolve, not by abandoning their gentlemanly tone but by choosing the right questions to answer.

That’s one reason why I read waaaaay more of Carolyn Hax than anything in men’s magazines.

The Cold Stoicism of Advice Columns for Men

Recently I’ve been thinking that when you’re younger, you need to say yes to everything; then, when you’re older, you need to learn how to say no to everything. I don’t mean younger in age, but as a step in your profession.

Carolyn Hax: Weddings bring out the worst in an unmarried couple – The Washington Post

Plus, I wonder whether you’ve actually just talked about it in a non-charged setting and, if you have, why one or both of you isn’t accepting the outcome of that talk as your current reality. “Fighting” is really just a nickname for an attempt to renegotiate what you already know is the truth but don’t want to accept.

Oh, snap. Carolyn Hax bringin’ some real talk.

Carolyn Hax: Weddings bring out the worst in an unmarried couple – The Washington Post

Any time you’re trying to explain something based on what broad categories of people do, it’s time to stop, back up, stick to the facts at hand, and ask yourself why you’re reaching so far to get a more appealing answer.

Carolyn Hax. My Hax tag is the best.

Any gifts and time you give to family members are investments in them as people, vs. investments in your relationship with them. It’s “I want the best for you” vs. “I want the best out of you” — a fine distinction, but an important one.