Meg and Mom Mull Over Your...Questions (Damnit)

Hi Mom.

Hi Meg.

So the first item on today's agenda is actually from me, and it's not so much a "question" as something I want to show you because it's going to blow your mind.


So, I wa
Valley of the Dolls last night and was completely distracted the entire time by how much Barbara Parkins, aka Anne Welles, looks like Becca. But exactly like her. Like in a sick, disturbing freak show kind of a way. Look:

Yeah. She does in that picture.

..........That wasn't the reaction I was going for at all.

Well. She doe

. Put Dad on the phone. I want to hear his reaction.

[Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle; pleasantries, pleasantries, pleasantries]

Dad: Oh!
SHE DOES look like Becca! That's crazy! That's crazy talk right there!

THANK YOU! That's what I'm saying! It's insane, right??

Dad: It's
the eyes. And the nose and the mouth. And the chin. Basically it's everything. Wow. You'll have to show her. Ooo, Evie's tail just got closed in the computer! She just said, "
Damn technology." She's sad we're not looking at pictures anymore. I think she was hoping one of them would be of her. Ah! Now she's scampered back into the family room to finish watching Interview With the Vampire.

OK, just put Mom back on. None of this worked out how I thought it would.

Question #1!

Dear Mrs. McBloger,

My fr
iends and I have been in a debate about this since we've graduated from college last year.  Is it better to be in a job that you love, but a location (geographically) that sucks, or to be in a location you prefer with a job that pays the bills/is at least tolerable?  From my personal standpoint, I am currently in a job that I love, but I live in the middle of nowhere, Midwest USA.  However, I don't mind because I know this location isn't permanent, and the job I love will be a great resume-builder for when I want to move on to a "better" location.  What are your thoughts?


to be Movin' on Up

My first instinct is to say that the longer you work, the more important it is to be happy with and enjoy what you do. I think when you're just entering the work force, it's easy to say, "I have to love where I am and be surrounded by all sorts of amazing social opportunities," but remember, the majority of your time is spent at your job and it's been my experience that if you're not happy there, nothing else really works out.

Based on New York, I completely agree. [I've always wanted to live in New York City. After I graduated college, I finally moved there and got what was supposed to be my dream job in magazine design, but it turned out to be the job from hell and one by one, everything else fell apart until my dad had to come up and physically remove me by the scruff of my neck because I had turned into a giant, self-destructing, hot-ass mess. It was a
time. One day* it's going to make a really entertaining memoir.]

[*Probably not, but it's so cute that I still have dreams.]

I think it's something of a personality difference too.

What do you mean?

It's like the old saying, "some people eat to live, others live to eat". If your job is just how you pay the bills and your social life and where you live are more important to you, then go for it. But having observed people who have been in jobs that they're miserable in, it's my opinion that your job affects everything else in your life. When you hate your job, you rarely stop to say, "But
God damn I love this neighborhood!" What about you and New York? Would you have put up with anything to stay there? Well, obviously not; you left.

Yeah. ["Yeah." Christ. I'm sorry I wasn't very vocal on this one. It hit too close to home. And by "home" I mean an incredibly disturbing part of my life. This took me to a place and all I wanted was a Xanax, but I only had pizza. So here we are: three slices to the wind and feeling emotional. Thanks, guy.]

I think this guy has a good long term attitude. He's saying this isn't where he wants to live forever, but this is a job that he could do forever and he can eventually do it someplace else. And when you're just out of school, you need experience. Not too many people have the luxury of being able to say, "That's a great job and it's exactly what I want to do, but no thanks
the location isn't to my liking." Because you don't have to stay there. You'll eventually have a great job and live somewhere you love, but you have to make compromises along the way. And personally, I'd rather make compromises to have a job I like, than live somewhere exciting. I'm sure there are people who do odd jobs just to live somewhere really beautiful on the west coast or something, and that's fine, but over time, that'll get old. Your job is eight hours or more of your day. I just know when I had a job that I didn't like, I was living someplace beautiful, I was happily married, and I was completely miserable.

What job?

Bank teller. It wasn't so much the job—I had worked at banks before—it was my boss and the entire situation.


Uh, real asshole.

Where was this?

New Canaan [Connecticut], which I love, but that didn't mean I didn't get a stomach ache every Sunday night. And we all know the Sunday night stomach ache.

PREACH. I still get the Sunday night stomach ache and I don't even have a job, technically.

Well, that's probably just your IBS acting up.

OK! OK! OK!...Moving on. Question #2:

OK, I need dating help. I think I am coming off as prissy or sheltered and I don't know how to fix it.

I keep
dating men who won't swear in front of me. Like, none of them, not even "damn." It's starting to freak me out. GODDAMNIT, I AM NOT THAT  KIND OF GIRL.

I'm do
ing online dating, so I'm pretty much running the gamut of neverending rando dudes, and it's starting to get a little weird. EXAMPLE: Last night I went out with this burly construction worker who was all, "And then I told that motherfucker to - oh, wait, I should watch my language. Sorry." It was charmingly polite at first, but now I'm starting to get paranoid. I mean, fifteen out of fifteen guys all do it. I actually confronted one guy about it, and he said I gave off a "professional vibe" so he was on good behavior. I'm a lawyer. I assume he means that kind of professional, not, like, professional streetwalker...  I hope. Anyway, since it hasn't worked out with any of these men, who all become disinterested with time, I am wondering if I am unknowingly giving off some kind of stern librarian vibe? No one stays interested in the stern librarian! The burly construction worker actually shook my hand at the end of our date, but confusingly enough has since asked me out again.

s this is a symptom of an overarching problem with my image, or should I just take this as guys trying to impress their date with their politeness? Should I just start swearing immediately upon meeting these guys? Maybe do something really badass, like rip the head off of a small bird with my teeth as I open the door to say hello? (I would use a fake bird and stage blood. Obviously.)

n you help me, Mom McBlogger?

on't Ask Me Nothin' (DAMN)
Well, I think she should start by looking at things like how she's dressing. Making sure she's casual enough, you know? A business suit isn't exactly date appropriate.

I like imagining her as a high-power female executive in 1986. Big shoulder pads, plucky attitude, pantyhose that aren't
quite her natural skin tone, modest pumps. Basically this woman:
Do you think she's leading with the information that she's a lawyer?

If she's doing online dating, I'm sure it's in her little "about me" thi

Well, maybe she should check her profile and make sure that isn't giving off a prim and proper impression.

It's weird because her writing is really funny and gives me the impression that she'd be laid back. I don't think her profile is the problem. I think that some people just naturally
give off an extremely professional vibe and truthfully, it can be a little off-putting. Maybe this girl is just one of those people.

If she has some good friends who will be honest with her, I'd ask them.

let's say she asks her friends and they're like, "Oh yeah, totes, you've got a great big stick up your ass," what does she do then? Call the waiter a cunt and challenge him to an arm wrestling competition?

I don't think she should do anything she normally wouldn't, because obviously the way she acts, dresses and talks is a big part of who she is. But if she wants to seem more approachable, she's going to have to make small changes.

What kind of changes?

Well, like the way she dresses.

So, what, she has to go out on dates with a pair of big 'ole tiddays swingin' every which way?

No, but she also shouldn't show up dressed like the female Perry Mason. Just dress down a little and let her sense of humor show. Why, do you think she should let a "damn" or two slip?

I think it can't hurt. Chris and I were on this really tense conference call last week and somewhere along the line, I made a little joke and dropped a casual F-bomb and it totally lightened the mood. Everyone's tone noticeably shifted and it became more like a conversation and less like, BEEP-BOP-BOP-BOOP—WE ARE ON A BUSINESS CALL. SYNERGY. BOT-TOM LINE.

Well. I guess she could pretend to drop her knife or something and be like, "Oh, damn!", but I don't think she should come flying out of the gate with, "SO ANYWAY,

No, that's not what I'm saying. I just think that peppering in a little profanity here and there reminds people that you're human. And as I said, that can't hurt.

What did she say this guy was? A truck driver?

A construction worker.

How realistic does she think a lawyer having a ton in common with a construction worker is? Not saying that she's above him, but they live in two different worlds. If she's dating guys with less education and a lower income, maybe they're thinking, "Oh shit, I have to act like I'm on her level" the entire time.

So, what, just because she's a successful woman, she can only date successful, yuppie douchebags? That's bullcorn. Take me for example: you know there's nothing I love more in this world than a good old-fashioned redneck. I mean, I live slightly below the poverty line and I'm not that successful, so maybe that wasn't the best example, but still. She shouldn't be restricted as to who she can date just because she's a successful woman. STOP GENDERING THE SPACE, MOM. Gawd. Go back and learn your Herstory.

I'm not saying she has to date on her income level, but I am saying that she should understand that her success could be intimidating to some men, and that intimidation might be what's affecting their behavior.

I can buy that for maybe like the first 10 minutes of a date, but this sounds like she's going on dates plural with each of these guys.

Well, when a date swears in front of her and excuses himself, does she say, "Oh please, that doesn't bother me," or something? But then again, if this is happening over the course of more than one date, it's got to be something that's built into her, you know? Otherwise they'd just get to know her and become more and more comfortable. You'd hope someone who feels comfortable around you can at least swear around you after a few dates. I think either she's just got that professional vibe or she's not being herself.

That's a good point. Maybe she's not comfortable, so she's not being herself, which in turn is making them uncomfortable. I can see people interpreting her nervousness as being uptight.

Oh, absolutely. That always happens. Shy people are easily perceived as snobs.

So what are your tips to loosen up on a date?

Get drunk before.

HAHA, right?

I was kidding.

Oh, I wasn't. If I had a nickel for every time I had a cocktail in the shower, I'd have enough money to...buy more alcohol...to drink in the shower?

Maybe she's nervous because of how she perceives a date.

What do you mean?

Well, maybe she's looking at every date as a potential long term boyfriend. That certainly won't make her comfortable. It's like, if you look at every single man you meet as a potential husband, you'll never find one.

Yeah, but to be honest, I do that to a certain extent. I'm not saying I meet a nice guy and run out to get the towels monogrammed and have my eggs thawed, but when I'm on a date, I absolutely think to myelf, "Could this go somewhere? Can I see myself being with this person long term?" Because if not, then what are we doing here? I could be at home watching "Modern Marvels" or some shit and not talking to you about your adult kickball league. It's like a job interview.

You can't do that.


It just won't work. 


Because you're forcing it. You need to think of a date as exactly what it is—you're having a meal with somebody and getting to know them. Not, "OooOoo, where could this go?!"

I guess. But I also think people get nervous on first dates because there's always the possibility of rejection.

Right. But if you think about it again as a job interview, people who go into job interviews thinking it's not the end of the world if they don't get it typically do better.

Let's go back to the scenario where she asks her friends if she's a Prudence Primrose and they say yes; how can she loosen that shit up?

I do think that humor works wonders.

And her email was so funny! The subject was "99 problems and a stern bitch is me?" That's funny!

See? Humor works. As long as people get it. And you got it.

So you're saying we should date?

There you have it! Both of your problems are solved! But really, she should: ask her friends how she's perceived; make sure she's not overdressing, especially if she's coming straight from the office; if her date does swear, make sure he knows that she wasn't offended; drop a "damn" or a "hell" here and there, nothing heavy duty; and she's obviously a funny person, so use that! People are comfortable around funny people. I'm not saying do 15 minutes of your best stand up, but when you make someone laugh, they're instantly more comfortable around you. Also, maybe there's a bit of "I'm on a first date, I should be on my best behavior, I need to be a gentleman," going on with these guys.

PFFF, not the guys I date. Or go on dates with. If I get a compliment and a free Yuengling, that's like the win of the year right there.

Well, I think that has something to do with the age difference.


The age difference between me and you, not you and her. Jesus.

I'm sorry. You know I've been feeling Old Man River-ish these days. I gets weary and sick of tryin', Mom, you know that!

.....And then that sort of disintegrated into a conversation about the state of my life and how I need to borrow my dad's car for the weekend, which probably isn't of interest to you. So. Here's a video of Paul Robeson singing "Old Man River" from the 1936 version of
Showboat instead. Enjoy your Monday!


J said...

It totally threw me off that your mom's stuff was capitalized and all that...I was like, where is Diane's?! hehehe, I'm guessing you went through and did all that Meggles? It kind of bothered me even...weird? I loved it though, more more more!

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

Well, at first we were going to do it like we did Queer Abby with my mom's reaction and then mine, but then I decided to post a transcription of our conversation. I can't decide which I like better. I think we'll just have to see how it plays out. If we do do it a la Queer Abby, there's no way in hell I'm going through to capitalize everything. I have a lot of time on my hands, but not that much.

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

...I do have that kind of time. I just don't want to.

Sara said...

Meggles, if you need a good ol' Redneck fix, have you tried watching Swamp People on the History Channel? Surprise surprise - catfish noodling makes a guest appearance in 1 episode. It's right up your alley, girl. P.S. - Thank you for making me laugh (in a stifled, office-appropriate manner) every morning. You have a serious talent and I know something incredible is going to work out for you soon!

The Genius Savant said...

Love the logo! Look at you, putting that AU degree to work! Also liked, no LOVED, the unnecessary but wholly welcome Evie reference.

The Genius Savant said...

Also this:


Check out No. 6. You might literally pee your pants.

Liz said...

Love including Diane, but jury's still out on the format.

I can't decide how I feel about this transcript structure. I think I would like condensed reactions better. This got a little cumbersome (well...as cumbersome as reading a blog can be) to follow.

It's kind of like, you don't want to see how the sausage gets made, you just want to enjoy the final product of porky goodness. Ya know?

Anonymous said...

In response to question 2, I think maybe she's so obsessed about the cursing that she's making a face everytime they curse and THAT is what the dudes are reacting to. Which would be just generally related to being anxious and a little uptight during dates. So shots and relaxing would fix that, I think.

I like the transcript format!

Laura said...

Oh wow, that totally does look like Becca! Before I started reading I thought you had just posted a picture of her. Also, asker #2 really hit home for me because I'm often thought to be by strangers as very conservative and religious and like I need to be sheltered. And I'm friends with Meg so we all know that's not true. You do need to be laid back but also yourself. If they freak out about something they say around you just tell them you don't care and laugh it off. Thank them for being so chivalrous and then explain it's not necessary. And if you're multiple dates in and they still feel like they can't be themselves around you it's probably just as much their problem as yours. That's just my unsolicited advise.

J said...

I like the transcript format a million times better than the Queer Abby format. It used to be frustrating when questions would be left unanswered because of that format. It's far more enjoyable to read and less anxiety-inducing. I would always want to scream out, BUT IF QUEER ABBY COULD JUST RESPOND TO WHAT MEG IS SAYING! Which isn't very healthy to scream at your computer. I definitely want Diane's writing to not be capitalized though, how odd is that? It was only one time but I found it so endearing and kind of became attached.

Monica said...

I realize this is completely unrelated to this post - but have you seen this - the "25 Coolest Pugs at Puglandia" ?!?


Anonymous said...

love this format better than queer abby's. it's like advice column mixed with regular entry - PERFECTION.

also, you know hypothetically, what would you trade evie for?

Some Girl said...

I am so overwhelmed that you featured my question. I AM FAMOUS! Wheeeeeeeeeee!

Anyway, for the record, "construction worker" isn't really fair. He was a historic restoration specialist/ wood working artist who owns his own business and makes like 3x my yearly salary. He was very cool, but I think I just dated him so that he could complete my Village People group Halloween ensemble. I am a planner.

Also, I definitely look like that '80s lawyer at this exact moment. Clearly I need to revamp my work wardrobe. Off to go buy a cooler skirt suit and tell some people about my motherfucking fame...

The Genius Savant said...

I wonder if I can find @SomeGirl on Match. Any hints...?

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...


Also, Laura, I immediately thought of you when I read question #2. I have actually described you to someone before as the following: "Laura? Laura is just so lovely. Laura is like a modern day Audrey Hepburn. But like a really dark and sarcastic Audrey Hepburn who knows how to kill a bottle of tequila and wears the hell out of a pair of boots. So...really nothing like Audrey Hepburn."

Anonymous said...

thought of you when i saw this:


love the new mom mcblogger post!

love from Portlandia :)

Anonymous said...

I personally like the Queer Abby format better because I feel like you can craft more hilarious and relevant responses; not to say this wasn't funny though!

Laura said...

Wow Meg! That might be the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me, and I mean that in the least sarcastic way imaginable. Can I have your permission to boldly put that in a cover letter someday? And to Some Girl: While reading about your problem I couldn't help but remember that the last guy who thought I was super religious on date one thought I was an alcoholic on date three so I really should not have acted like I've got this figured out.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree on the general advice on the second letter: Have a drink or two and casually drop the f bomb. Life's more fun when you're cursing and drinking, anyway, and this is coming from someone who actually *is* a stern librarian.

abbey said...

One more vote for this style! I too wish there had been more interaction on Queer Abby. Plus I love your mom and you two have a readable beat.

And for your third book, "Conversations I Have With My Mother by Meg" I would read the hell out of that. :)

BF said...

Happy Wednesday: Puglandia:


Anonymous said...

Cute post. I think you should let your Mom blog these answers alone; I feel like you end up unintentionally turning the subject matter back around to you, and your Mom is more interested in actually addressing the questions.

What did the uptight lady end up saying? Did she ever send a pic?

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