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Dear Daily readers,
In November of 2010, I was tapped on the shoulder and told that a bold new experiment in journalism was in the works. Some impressive folks with deep pockets and brass balls were building a first-of-its-kind daily national news publication that would be available exclusively on the iPad.
They said they were looking for fresh voices and unique perspectives, and I was definitely as fresh as they come — damn near raw. At the time, I had an online advice column with a dedicated following who appreciated my unfiltered style. I cursed like a sailor and gave scathing advice, but I also laid down brutal truth about life, love, and the human condition.
My edges were rough, but the editors at The Daily gave me a short list of four-letter words I couldn’t use and picked me as their advice columnist. It was a gutsy choice, and I respected them for it. Exactly two years ago today, I turned in my first round of columns, and since then, I’ve answered hundreds of your questions on everything from wedding etiquette to existential crisis management.
Writing for The Daily has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience. That’s not hyperbole. I got to speak to a vast new audience. I got to read thousands of letters from people all over the world. I got to learn from brilliant and talented professionals, and I’m proud of the work we’ve all done along the way.
Dream jobs don’t just manifest themselves out of thin air, but this one did, and I was lucky enough to write for a groundbreaking publication from its inaugural issue to its farewell. Now, as The Daily goes the way of all good things, I’m just happy to have been a part of it.
Thank you all so much for reading. It’s been a blast.
Yours in gratitude,
P.S. To those of you who wrote in these past few days asking what will become of me, don’t worry. My advice and pop culture columns will find a new home soon enough. In the meantime, you can keep up with my latest work at dearcoquette.com and thecoquette.net.
Cut to three months after a three-year-long heartfelt and soul-deep relationship ended. I’m on pretty good terms with the ex; we both still have residual feelings for each other but are keeping a little bit of distance (mostly my request as the ex-to-friends transition hurts like a bitch). That’s not the problem. The problem is that now his friends are trying to get at me.
I make no effort to seem even remotely available to these people. We’ve interacted only a handful of times through Facebook, all amounting to more-or-less pleasantries and those stupid-ass game invites.
While this most recent friend hasn’t been explicit in his efforts, it’s still smelling kind of fishy. I want to do the right thing by my ex, and let’s face it, I’m still loyal to some degree. Also, I have a little thing called integrity. I’m in no way interested in my ex’s friends. They were out of bounds the second I started dating my ex (though I honestly wouldn’t be interested in them anyway.) I’m just trying to figure out the most graceful way to navigate the situation. That’s where you come in, hopefully.
Thanks, Coquette. It’s times like these I wish I could call you up for whiskey sours at a dive bar until 3 am.
Sweetheart, the first thing I would do is wean you off of whiskey sours. (If you insist on adding anything other than ice to your whiskey, that list ends at vermouth and bitters.) The second thing I would do is give you a big hug and tell you that you are not alone in this. It happens with such frequency that I’m surprised there’s not a formal name for it.
There will always be a few acquaintances of your ex who come sniffing around after a break-up. It’s inevitable, especially now that they can do it so easily on Facebook and still maintain plausible deniability. After every relationship, I pretty much expect to play a game of post-breakup whack-a-mole with a horny handful of my ex’s douchebag friends who suddenly find a reason to poke their heads into my business. (And yeah, the really sneaky ones wait a few months.)
The most graceful way to handle this is just ignore them. Unless you have a good reason to be exchanging pleasantries, don’t even do it. You are not obligated to respond to these guys, and you shouldn’t be afraid of seeming rude. Don’t make it your problem that they don’t know any better. Shut them down hard and fast the moment they start hitting on you, and feel free to unfriend them if they make you uncomfortable in any way.
Unless one of them gets aggressively creepy, don’t get your ex involved. The only thing worse than telling your ex that his friends are hitting on you is actually hooking up with one of his friends. Leave that kind of tacky behavior to the attention whores and drama queens.
Good luck with the broken heart, babe. I’m sorry you have to deal with a few jokers along the way.
Coquette: An open letter to Kate Middleton’s fetus
Dear royal highness, fetus of Middleton,
Congratulations on your recent conception! On behalf of all Americans who are inappropriately fascinated with the monarchy, I’d like to say how excited we are to hear you’ll be making your way into the world sometime next Summer.
Kudos to you for being the lucky zygote in succession the British throne. It doesn’t matter whether you eventually become a girl or a boy, as it seems the Realms of the Commonwealth have recently done away with the centuries old law of primogeniture.
I do so hope you’ll turn out to be a princess. Word on the street is that if you’re a girl, your parents might name you Diana. You’re much too young to appreciate the irony, but I know your grandfather and great-grandmother will be keeping a stiff upper lip about the possibility of England eventually being ruled by a Queen Diana.
Speaking of princesses, I was terribly sorry to hear that your mother was recently hospitalized. It seems she was suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which apparently is a spell they teach at Hogwarts to make muggle-born princesses vomit for two straight days. I hear she’s feeling much better now, so that’s good news.
Have a wonderful time being groomed for the throne. Never forget that it’s all just an elaborate game, and try not take any of it too seriously. If your head ever gets heavy from the crown, just do a little neck yoga, and remember to stop and smell the rose petals beneath your feet.
The entire world looks forward to meeting you in a few months, but for now, just enjoy being in the womb. It’s the most privacy you’re ever going to get.
Yours in a tiara,
Thanks for all your support, dear readers! We’re feeling the love while pouring over your comments and 1200+ emails.
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So, what am I supposed to do when my Jewish grandmother asks me what I think about the situation in Gaza? Do you have any recommendations for any particular substance that might make this holiday season easier?
When your Jewish grandmother asks you about the situation in Gaza, all you have to do is say, “I don’t know, Bubbe. What do you think?” After that, no matter what comes out of her mouth, just smile and nod.
This goes for all ethnic grandparents and all discussions about Old Country politics. Let the elders say whatever they want, and then just smile and nod. It doesn’t matter if their opinions are ignorant or inflammatory. You don’t have anything to prove to them, and it’s not your job to show them that they’re wrong.
Never argue with a septuagenarian on an issue regarding their cultural identity. It’s a waste of everyone’s time.
I’m 23, halfway through grad school, and not dating anyone seriously. My mom is starting to freak out that I’ll be alone forever (she was married at 21 right out of college) and feels the need to ask me every time she sees me “Are you dating anyone?” Knowing the rest of my family, they will start in with the “So when are you going to find a guy and get married” stuff soon. What’s the polite way to tell them all to chill out and let me live my life on my own time table?
I feel you, sister. This was my go-to line when my family members started asking questions: “Marriage isn’t a high priority for me right now, but I’m enjoying my life, and I’m very happy with the way things are going.”
Five years ago I spent a month in Goma, Congo, teaching art camp at a hospital. Today in the news I saw a photo of that same hospital flanked by soldiers and looking much worse for the wear. The invasion of the city has left me terrified for the safety of the people living there that I have come to know as friends. They are not safe staying, but leaving would bring even more danger as men are systematically slaughtered and women are raped almost without exception. I feel helpless and guilty about the stark contrast between my peaceful life in the states and the terror that my friends are experiencing in Goma.
I ask one thing of the people who may read this (even if it is just you): Please, find something to be thankful for in your life. It could almost always be worse. It is an amazing stroke of luck to have even been born in our peaceful little corner of the world. I would hope that everybody can recognize that and do what they can to preserve that which is so easy to take for granted.
And for those who truly have had devastation in their lives… My heart goes out to you.
I don’t have anything to add, except for thanks to everyone for writing in to me. Thanks to everyone for reading The Daily, and happy Thanksgiving weekend, America!
One of our favorite things about our new (free!) Gadget Guide app is a section that lists our editors’ 50 most-wanted gear this holiday season. It’s kinda like Oprah’s favorite things, but with sweet technology you’d actually want to buy.
Have you downloaded The Daily’s Gift and Gadget Guide yet?