Agony self

Black and white etching of two men sitting at a table. The older man is talking and the younger listening.

When I read back my old diaries, I’m struck by how obvious the answers to my supposed ‘dilemmas’ were.

Using this magic of hindsight I’ve written responses to my problems, agony aunt style.

April 2001

Someone in my university class is very tactless. She mocked packed lunches to my face and said they were ‘disgusting’. I was eating a packed lunch at the time. How should I respond?

Congratulations on bringing a packed lunch you sensible beast! I will say, however, that you don’t need Cling-Wrap, just put food in small containers, it will be fine.

I am sorry this happened to you. This lunch-mocker sounds appalling and is probably destined for a life of tax evasion. Never sit with her again.

March 2001

I like a guy but I went to a party and had a martini. I was suddenly very tired and spent most of the evening leaning on my crush’s best friend, mainly in order to stand up. My crush was watching and he may have thought we were cuddling. I don’t know what anyone is thinking. What should I do?

Firstly, you inspire me.

However, since you’ve asked for advice, I suggest that the three of you meet for a drink to discuss how angry you are about President Bush’s announcement that he won’t ratify the Kyoto protocol. This is known as the pub test. If these two friends who you like and lean on respectively aren’t angry about it, leave them at the pub and go find some people who are.

October 2001

I confessed to a guy that I have a crush on him. He told me isn’t interested in me in that way. He did say I was ‘a delightful chicken’. Should I hold out hope for us?

Up top; You are braver than the wind.

But I understand why you’re worried. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its third assessment report in September 2001 and concluded that human activity has led to global warming and that this is likely to have adverse effects. It’s bad news but there is hope for the future if people act now.

The IPCC’s report represents an overwhelming scientific consensus. Please don’t feel you need to wait for every single person in the world to agree though. Remember that eight percent of people think the moon is a balloon and that’s why they rhyme.

As a first step, you and your crush should write to your state and federal local members and local councillors to demand policies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If they won’t listen, go to protests together. This may lead your crush to stop viewing you as poultry, or it might not. Either way, I think you’re delightful.

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