Effective immediately: I have officially “put out a shingle” with my latest career effort. Since it won’t bring in a dime, my motivation may be inconsistent, but I’m wiling to put my best foot forward…at least initially.
I have officially begun an “Agony Advice”/“Miss Lonelyhearts”/“Dr. Ruth”/“Erma Bombeck”/“Miss [Dating and Relationship] Manners” column which will be penned by two contributors: Miss SmartyHearts (for natters of the heart) and Miss LonelyPants (for matters of the body).
I’m advising you in advance that this advice of which I will be advising you will be from an unequally rare and rarefied point of view: that of a once-highly intelligent, well-travelled and -educated woman who is now equal parts:
1) Old, 2) Out of Touch, and 3) Immature.
But with good hair & nails and a lovely complexion (if I do say so myself). And of course, a winning enthusiasm and eagerness to advise you of my advice to your queries!
On the rare occasion I do not feel qualified to answer your question with my personal wisdom alone, I will conduct primary research in the form of: first person interviews, mall/bar/date/karaoke “intercepts,” video surveillance, long and irritating telephone surveys, and if necessary, “transferential experience.”
TE (copywrite) is a technique I developed after many years of serving in my capacity as a highly-esteemed market research professional (actually one of the best in the business, just ask 3 people I knew in 1996).
TE basically means: if all else fails, and I still don’t know the answer: I will go find out for myself!
And then share My Lessons Learned with all of my Beloved Readers! Because I possess bountiful generosity. Which will drive my desire to provide you with my best advice birthed from 1) my experiences, told from my 2) [again] uniquely qualified, broken down perspective. Always with my signature spunk and stubborn unwillingness to learn from my mistakes❣️
So, feel free to start addressing your queries regarding “matters of the heart” to Miss SmartyHeart and “matters of the physical body” to Miss Lonelypants (who will try to draw from her long-term memory, so no promises about anatomical accuracy). I only ask that you specify in the Re: line which Expert Miss is the recipient for your inquiry (because these can easily get blurred, difficult to read, and then who knows what kind of answer you’ll get?)
The Misses are also a bit jealous of each other, so if you have a preference, you should ask. If not, those old harpies might both answer your questions!]
And I’ve got to advise you of one last bit of advice:
Begin submitting your burning questions immediately because Miss SmartyHearts and Miss LonelyPants could begin sending letters to each other; and I honestly can’t predict what that might look like.
So you’ve been warned. And, my pledge: I will always bring my 💯 % authentic self and former work ethic to this incredibly humbling responsibility I am agreeing to undertake on your behalf.
Lastly: MEN❣️ You are also welcome to write to the Misses with your burning queries. I will change all names to protect the innocent – both yours, my beloved readers, and all research assistants, interviewees, and participants.
I would suggest you get your money’s worth [especially since it’s free]!
If you’re dealing with a broken heart, I suggest this mini-manual (monograph, really). It is broken into several sections.
1. Cry a bunch of sloppy wet tears. Make sure to put Kleenex on your Amazon Subscribe & Save list. You’ll need them. And you might want to buy some extra mascara or false eyelashes; just in case your current supply gives out.
2. Listen to a bunch of Toni Braxton songs (loop “He Wasn’t Man Enough For Me”; it’ll make you feel better). At least it did me. I listened to it over and over again, along with lots of what my younger friends call “Emo” music, or something like that. No one’s ever been able to explain the actual time period that defines it, so I’m just going off my own personal understanding of “Emo Music” here. I think its Poster Child is Alanis Morisette. So that would be what, the ‘90s? Okay, enough about her.
3. Tell at least one person the whole ugly story, soup to nuts. You have to get that shame out of you, sister! It helps if you have a “help-you-bury-the-body-and-give you-an-alibi” friend like my friend Gina. Who I met on Bumble Friends of all places! Can you even believe that? I find these kinds of conversations often require a solid stomach with some greasy Mexican food and frozen margaritas coating it. That’s your stomach and the conversation: they’re both better with margaritas. Unless you have too many, and then you’ll have a hard time with tequila, and you definitely don’t need an adverse relationship with tequila if you’ve got a broken heart.
4. Try to go out with your oldest and dearest friends, but you might want to make some new ones, too. I’m just saying that “Sometimes new friends ask really good new questions.” And can provide a whole new outlook on you and your “situation.” They can also gently force you out of your comfort zone in brand new, buttery soft kid gloves. The kind that never ever go on sale at Macy’s. They just don’t, and neither does the crystal or china. I can understand why with the china because people are always getting married, but surely there’s an off season for gloves in San Antonio, Texas?!
5. Also, try to do something you haven’t done in a really long time. The activity should be something you used to do easily as a child or adolescent. This is to help you avoid too much over-thinking. And you know how easily we can do that when somebody dumps us! I personally have a tendency to sit around and obsess about what I did wrong, but I’m sure as shit getting sick of that song and dance (and you know how I love the combination of song and dance). Especially since I have been getting therapy every single week for the last two years, so I don’t think it’s all about me. But whatever. You can’t fix everybody. Okay, so we were trying to get you to stop overthinking by avoiding activities which require overthinking in the first place. It’s got to be something you can lose yourself in on a visceral level. Like riding a bike, going swimming, miming if that’s your thing and you’ve been doing it long enough that you can honestly say you’re on autopilot when you’re miming and NOT over-thinking it. In fact, shoot for an activity which requires no analytical thinking whatsoever. For me, this state is achieved through immersion in music; music I have loved forever as well as new [to me] music. And a teeny tiny little bit of marijuana in moderation, but I really do have PTSD, okay? So let’s go ahead and stay away from that topic: I’m most certainly not advocating lawlessness here! But Girlfriend, there isn’t a Heartbreak Alive without a soundtrack! And if yours doesn’t have one, you need to get one yesterday, so go ahead and sign up for Spotify now. Trust me: you’re going to need it. It’s only $10.81 per month and you can cancel at any time. You’ll also need a decent pair of earbuds if music is also going to be your “visceral thing” (a good soundtrack is a fluid concept, so you’ll need to be listening to it practically 24/7). Just remember to take the earbuds out before you shower or go to sleep, as I had two ENT appointments in as many months because those plastic ear cover thingies came off and got stuck deep down in my ear canal. Yikes! The same ear both times, because I always sleep on my left side. Isn’t that so gross? Not to mention it felt like the guy was poking an icepick into my ear both times to fish them back out. Not to mention, I even had to take antibiotics, I shit you not! But if YOU are willing to be responsible with your earbuds, you won’t need to spend more than $35.99 [in my humble opinion, okay, and this is just my opinion!] for a decent and relatively durable pair. Especially if you’re an Amazon Prime Member ($10.99/month). Plus, if you add an Audible membership ($16.99/month), the earbuds practically pay for themselves. Except for the fact the analogy doesn’t work because you’re getting nothing back, but Amazon ($0) always offers rebates and sales on earbuds, so that’s where I recommend you start. And REMEMBER: these are merely investments towards your recovery, so garbage-in/garbage-out❣️ Or is that FIFO vs. LIFO? I can never remember the difference.
6. Okay, we’re upping the ante and hitting our crescendo now, so buckle in, girls. Do one thing – just one tiny little thing – that you’ve never ever done before. Just to say you did. And to see what happens. For me it was Actually Going To A Bar By Myself. I’m 54 years old (I know I don’t look it), and I literally had to talk myself into it 4 times [out loud, that’s why I said “literally”] in my car before I was able to Walk. Through. That. Front. Door. I had to psych myself up for it like the worst session of arachnophobia de-sensitization training ever! But what’s really important is that I did it❣️ And guess which bar I chose for This Little Experiment? I chose the karaoke bar down the street. I chose it because it was [like I said] down the street, next to the sushi place I always go to (literally always because I’ve been there 25 times in 2 months), and the parking was and is extensive and “up close” (think 7-11 vs. Kroger). Which is important if you’ve shellacked your hair and makeup in preparation for your Terrifying New Adventure and you live in San Antonio (aka “Little Hades”), Texas. The windows were blacked out so I googled it first to make sure it wasn’t a “gentleman’s club” for my first-ever “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” experience. Yes, some people and a throuple-in-waiting gave off a weird vibe, but the female bartender made sure nobody slipped roofies into my drink. And the miracle of the whole night is that I had such a wonderful time! I got up for my virgin karaoke performance on my virgin “night to a bar by myself” and belted out, in my terrible voice, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap by AC/DC. I found my muse in Karaoke and She is Me! A fellow female patron videotaped my performance, and I can tell you that empirically and undeniably, it is SOLID! Nothing like what I’m capable of now, but it was A Night of Two Firsts, so I couldn’t be prouder. Not to mention, I looked totally hot (or at least that’s what a grubby looking guy at the bar said).
<<put your finger to your tongue, get it slightly (just slightly!) wet, put it back up in the air, and make a sizzling sound; yes, that gesture>>.
7. Take solace in familiar comforts which have soothed your abrasions in the past (because those comfortable things are indeed comforting), but also:
8. Make the decision to spice up your heartbreak this go around. Be willing to switch things up a little bit. At the very least, be willing to just do one or two things differently. C’mon, let’s say it together: We can and will heal our hearts better/quicker/deeper this time❣️
If I were your Official Love Doctor (that’s an OLD, so you know I’m highly qualified), I’d write you a prescription for “Karaoke On an Off-Night”. Which is the perfect time to practice for an “On-Night.” And look: what started out as a new Guilty Pleasure for me has now turned into my very own YouTube channel called Karaoke Konnection with 15 captivate-ated subscribers to prove it! I like to go to MY “local karaoke place” as often as I’m able (anywhere from 0 to 2 nights per week) to video-capture both talented and artistic local Karaoke performances. I don’t know what differentiates the two, only that no one would mistake my karaoke performances for either one. But the Big Picture here is that now I’m starting to envision myself as the Restaurant Critic of the Karaoke Industry: the one who’s known for spotting the hidden gems. Kind of like social media’s version of American Idol. With me hosting❣️ My mission will be: To travel the world in search of the Best Karaoke Performances. I’m fully aware there’s a decent chance I’ll get picked up by the networks, but I know it probably isn’t likely. As in 100% guaranteed. But at the very least, I have a good reason to go to ALL karaoke bars by myself now❣️ And I make sure someone videotapes me when I get up there to conduct my performances. Then, as the channel’s Founder and Visionary, I get to bury my videos among the videos of the truly talented and artistic. Don’t let anybody tell you the company you keep isn’t important! At the end of the day, my last heartbreak just might be responsible for revolutionizing Global Popular Music. It’s an indisputable win for humanity❣️ And that makes me feel personally fulfilled in a whole new way. I know it can happen to you as well. Dreams really can come true at any age. ❤️
III. Q & A:
Question: You don’t think you ever stand up and sing in front of a room full of strangers.
Answer: “Where better to find out?”
Question: You’re worried you’ll make an complete and utter ass out of yourself.
Answer: “Where better to find out?”
IV. PARTING WORDS:
No one will care [too much] if your voice is horrible when you go out and do this New-Old Thing. Mine certainly is! In fact, I have objective proof that one Karaoke Jockey [referred to as a “K.J.” by those of us in the Biz] in particular always turns off the mic when it’s my turn to sing. And I don’t blame him! He’s working for tips, after all. And for me: it’s all about the “dancing and prancing in front of a crowd” [gerund] for me, anyway.
But regarding YOUR Passion Process To Be: continuing with our Karaoke metaphor (you didn’t realize it had become a metaphor yet because it hadn’t before now), don’t forget that you’re PAYing to PLAY the rock star in this fantasy, so why not maximize your investment?
Oh, wait, I do have one final piece of advice for you before you all head out to your local Karaoke bars tonight, all alone and by yourself: Don’t try to sing any of The Dark Child’s songs yourself because then you just will be making a total ass out of myself. I’d suggest avoiding songs by Beyoncé as well. Let’s start with the low-hanging fruit, shall we?
#DarkChild #LoveMeSomeToniBraxton #HeartsHeal #BabySteps #Don’tJudgeABookByIt’sCover #MoreStallsInWomens’Bathrooms! #MissSmartyHearts #MissLonelyPants #KaraokeKonnection