Somebody To Love


DEAR CHARLOTTE: I have been a loyal reader for some time and I am normally so excited to read your amusing words of wisdom.  However, I was disappointed when I read your “Tales of An Eighth Grade Nothing.” You were posed a question from a reader who is obviously enamored with someone and seeking advice, but rather than be supportive or helpful, your harsh advice basically suggested that she was potentially so hideous that it was not worth continuing her crush.

Your reader, 30-Something Going on 13, sounded sweet albeit childish, but when it comes to matters of the heart – aren’t we all 13 inside?  And therein lies the fun, and heartache, of having a crush.  Every look brings joy and/or despair, and every spoken word a code for unknown feelings.  And yet, the fact that your reader reached out to you tells me that she knew that her feelings were beyond her control, and her imagination potentially running away from her…

I know it’s not easy to like someone and not know if they like me back.  But what I would hope and sincerely ask of you, is for some different advice on what to do with those feelings.  Telling me that I could be delusional is not helpful.  I think you owe me, and your reader some kindness.  After all, aren’t we all looking for somebody to love, and to be loved in return? –QUEEN OF HEARTS

DEAR QUEEN OF HEARTS:  Thank you for your courage in writing to me from the heart.  I am ashamed to say that I took a reader’s struggle and not only made light of it, but turned on her personally in an attempt to thwart her runaway feelings for a few laughs.  For that, and any pain I may have caused to any of my readers, I am truly sorry.

As you very wisely pointed out, Queen of Hearts, knowing that you care for someone and not knowing if they feel the same can be a very painful situation.  How can we tell if the other person sees us for who we are?  Likes us just as we are?…  Beyond all that, I sense a deeper question: Am I a lovable person, worthy of love?

As an improved service to you and others in the same predicament, here are three suggestions to help cope:

Continue reading


Tales of an Eighth Grade Nothing


DEAR CHARLOTTE: I met a guy a few months ago, and now every time I see him, we eventually make eye contact, and sometimes he even smiles at me. I’ve consulted my Magic 8 Ball but it keeps changing its mind. And our interactions are limited so I don’t have much else to go on. I need your help. Do you think he likes me likes me? –30-SOMETHING GOING ON 13

DEAR 30-SOMETHING GOING ON 13: I am so glad you reached out to me. Thinking about a question like this, especially in the emotional state of an eighth-grader, can drive you bananas as you consider multiple possibilities and secretly hope he just wants to be your husband and have a million babies.

But as a service to you and other people who obsess of such things, I hope it’s helpful to share three valid possibilities you may or may not have already considered:

Continue reading

Can’t Find Me Love

Online Dating Ad

DEAR CHARLOTTE: I’ve been on a mission to start online dating to ‘get myself out there’ and start meeting new people.  But, after creating a profile and checking regularly in the first week, it’s now been months and I can’t seem to make myself go back online, at least regularly…  Now my current online dating subscription is about to expire.  I want to start dating again, but I’m not sure if online is right for me.  Should I renew my membership and keep trying, even though it feels futile? – LOOKING BUT NOT LOOKING FOR LOVE

DEAR LOOKING BUT NOT LOOKING FOR LOVE:  First off, I should congratulate you.  It’s not easy to get yourself out there, as you put it, and signing up for an online dating service is a good step to meeting new people.

But, it sounds like you’re unsure whether online dating is right for you, so here are some questions you should ask yourself in deciding:

Continue reading

Freshly Pressed and Sweating

DEAR CHARLOTTE:  I lead a relatively quiet life.  I write sometimes, and try and make folks laugh, but I’m generally uncomfortable with attention, especially the flattering kind… and then people look at you. And now, through some crazy miracle, I’ve been thrust into the spotlight and I’m not sure know what to do…  I don’t feel like I deserve it.  And how can I keep up with others’ expectations of me?

I definitely don’t want to seem ungrateful for all the good that’s coming my way, but what advice can you offer for someone who’s going through an awesome, and yet unsettling, time in their life? – FRESHLY PRESSED AND SWEATING

DEAR FRESHLY PRESSED AND SWEATING:  I know that life can seem tough, even in times of plenty, but you’re wrong.  I firmly believe that if I won the lottery, for example, I won’t be one of those people whose life goes down the crapper – I’d know what to do with my good fortune…  But I digress.  What I see you clearly need is both good advice and perspective, and so I offer you golden nuggets of wisdom from Idiocracy:

1.  “Welcome to Costco.  I love you.”

We long for human interaction and affection, wherever we can get it.  Costco of 2505 knew this, and created an environment for every patron to not only know where they are, but that they are cared for, unconditionally.

This attention that you’re receiving is a bit like this, except it is conditional in the sense that if you sucked you wouldn’t be getting it.  So there’s some comfort in that…  But you should also take comfort in knowing that regardless of whether you suck or not, just the fact that you showed up means a lot.  And the bigger in bulk, the better.

2.  “A pimp’s love is very different from that of a square.”

Wherever you are in life, it’s always easier to think the grass is greener on the other side.  It’s not.  For Lieutenant Colonel Collins, the world he entered to earn Upgrayedd’s trust was fascinating, but it ultimately led to his demise, gold tooth cap grill and all; and for the Human Hibernation Experiment.

While this flattery you’re receiving now can seem glamorous, like double doses of pimpin’, you’ll want to be careful to remember that you are not a pimp.  Don’t sacrifice yourself or your baby* for a quick turn, but stay true to your art and calling in life.

3.  “Brawndo’s got what plants crave.  It’s got electrolytes.”

Let’s face it — we sometimes don’t know what’s good for us.  We’re too busy reciting what we’ve been told to say, that we never stop to think why plants crave electrolytes and why Brawndo has electrolytes that plants crave… electrolytes.

In the same way, try not to make all accolades about whether you deserve them or not.  Sometimes you get lucky in life, though that’s not meant to discount the hard work that you and other people put in…  I can tell that you work hard and you try to be conscientious, but you are just one of many deserving people.  Still, accept the good and use it fuel your future efforts.  Just lay off the salty foods some.

4.  “People wrote books and movies, movies that had stories so you cared whose ass it was and why it was farting, and I believe that time can come again!”

As President Not Sure pronounces, even in the darkest of times there can be greatness ahead.  It doesn’t matter if the ecomony sucks, or if people grunt instead of speak…  We can easily get caught up in the failures of our past or the blog posts we want to re-write, but what is important to focus on is the potential of the future.  Smart people did things, like write things that made you care.  And yes, your readers may not like everything you write, but hopefully they’ll see that you write because you’re smart.  Or at least, because you didn’t get out of the way…

* Euphemism for work, not an actual child.  Please don’t send complaints or the Department of Justice on my ass.


Dear Charlotte is written by Woman at Tastes Like Onion.  Write “Dear Charlotte” at

Plan of Attack

DEAR CHARLOTTE: I used to be a happy woman.  I ran long distances, slowly, and enjoyed it immensely.  But since about five months ago, I think I sprained my ankle – it’s been hurting and still swollen, and I can’t really run on it anymore… other than that marathon and that other half-marathon I ran…  What should I do? – OUCH ON THE COUCH

DEAR OUCH ON THE COUCH:  I am truly sorry to read that you are still in pain but seriously – you ran 39 miles on an ankle sprain!?  Of course it’s going to hurt!

But, I understand your frustration and love for running, so while I’m no M.D. I did want to share some friendly advice:

1.  Drug it.

Some of the ongoing pain and delay in healing can come from inflammation or swelling.  Ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory pain medications can help reduce swelling, which in turn limits the pain.

2.  Bind it.

Wrapping an ankle with an ace bandage or other elastic bandage or ankle brace can help support the injured ankle, and reduce inflammation.  With greater stability, it can support the injured area and help reduce additional injury from weak joints.

3.  Stab it.

Acupuncture can be an effective way to directly address swelling and inflammation by triggering histamines and anti-inflammatory responses at the needling site.  In other words, it continues the work of antihistamines and icing to reduce inflammation and swelling.

With this plan of attack, I hope you can focus on getting better.  You don’t have to be a victim.  I hope you get back on your feet and run, slowly, again soon.

Be careful out there.


Dear Charlotte is written by Woman at Tastes Like Onion.  Write “Dear Charlotte” at