I would be a terrible advice columnist.
Not that it’s ever going to come up – but here are three sample questions and how I’d answer them:
From Slate.com's Dear Prudence
Dear Prudence: I dread the approaching holiday meals with my family, as they always include disparaging remarks about my choice to be vegan. They range from snarky ("I'd love to see the animal you're doing this for") to just silly ("If God wanted you to eat soy, then why did he make cows?"). I am 29 years old and don't need my parents telling me what to eat. Adding to my frustration is the fact that my parents are so unhealthy. Both are obese, never exercise, and don't eat any vegetables. My mother has diabetes. They have made no effort to change their eating habits or lose weight, despite warnings from their doctors. I am healthy. When met with criticism from my family, I have tried explaining my reasons for being vegan, but they just roll their eyes or laugh. I've cooked delicious food for them, but they turn up their noses at it. Prudie, I need a simple, blunt remark that will put an end to this. What do you suggest?
Dear Black Sheep:
Parents can be a pain in the ass, and yes – they’re obese, but that’s not your business to judge any more that than they should judge your desire to deprave yourself of everything that tastes good. Vegans are notoriously annoying to deal with. I mean – it’s a pain in the ass to have to deal with anyone who has special food needs. At least you’re not doing gluten free- so you can eat some dinner rolls with your tofurkey and just be glad your parents haven’t disowned you for not shaving your armpits. Also, I’m told vegans have terrible breath – so you know – load up on Listerine before the holidays. As for a pithy response? Try, some variation of “… and the cruelty-free horse you rode in on”.
From the Nationally Syndicated Dear Abby
DEAR ABBY: I have a problem that happens once a year -- my birthday at work. There's a huge potluck with cake, banners, gifts and a card that has been circulating around the office for a week. I cringe at the attention. Everyone means well, but these celebrations are pure torture for me. I'm a 7-year-old all over again, trying my best to keep the anxiety and waterworks in check.
It goes back to my childhood. Growing up, we were very poor, and my parents made it clear that sacrifices had been made for my "big day," which always ended up with me guilt-ridden and in tears.
As an adult, I celebrate my birthday with my husband and son. We keep it low-key and I'm surrounded by the unconditional love I craved as a child.
I have tried bowing out and asked that gifts be made to charity instead, but I am told, "Oh, come on! We all have to go through this." I went so far as to confide to the party planners why I'm so uncomfortable. To my horror, a few of them began complaining about how hard they worked pulling everything together or how late they stayed up baking the cake, etc. It was like hearing my parents all over again.
Am I being too sensitive? I'd appreciate your opinion. -- SPARE ME IN MICHIGAN
You do realize that the party has very little to do with you, right? Your colleagues want to have a party, and conveniently, you happen to have a birthday. Suck it up, get some therapy to get over your issues and eat cake like a big girl. Jeez. Freak.
And finally, from Sex Questions Q&A with Dr. Hilda (Redbook Magazine)
Dear Hilda: My partner loves to masturbate with women's magazines — and I love to watch. Is this okay?
Dear Pornlover’s Partner: Well, I’d question what exactly you mean by women’s magazines. If you’re telling me he’s spanking it to Menopause Monthly or (god forbid) Martha Stewart Living, I’d say you have a problem – and by that I’m not just talking about the pages sticking together. Look, if you’re both enjoying it, it’s not wrong. Period. Did you really have to ask this? If so, your bigger question is how can you avoid having kids as mentally backwards as yourself. And the answer to that is, you can’t. Get some good birth control. There’s nothing wrong with a good sterilization procedure. You’re welcome.
And that's why I shouldn't be allowed to advise people on a widespread basis.