I remember being fifteen or sixteen years old, sitting on the couch, reading the advice column in Teen People (when your biggest worry was how to get rid of your raging bacne and how to avoid lipstick getting on your braces) and thinking, “What would possess someone to write into a magazine for advice?”
Years later, I find myself thinking the same thing. The questions are not much different (some adults still have bacne) and even more so, I find myself feeling sorry for those who write in. If you had any substantial problems, questions, etc., wouldn’t you go to your family, friends, significant others, therapist, random guy on the street corner, and ask them for advice first? Albeit, I can’t guarantee how great the advice would be, but ya get what I’m sayin’. And now, in a world where you can access any topic on the internet, wouldn’t you try that? Type in to Google any physical concern IMAGINABLE and you will not be disappointed in the discussion forums that come up. Do it. I dare you.
So as I was reading the advice column in ELLE (previous readers may recall my complete and utter annoyance of the Ask E. Jean column; E. Jean being their resident advice giver who looks like the last person ever I would turn to) I encountered a question that was unlike any I had ever imagined finding in a magazine. In a nutshell, this woman was writing in because she was convinced her husband was trying to poison her. She believed her husband was putting something in her coffee and/or in her lotions and beauty products that were resulting in her skin becoming discolored, dry, cracked, and her hair becoming dry and tangled in knots. My initial thought was, “If that’s the case, then Lance poisons me every winter” in the freezing tundra of North Dakota when my skin feels like sandpaper and my feet get so dry that they’re reminiscent of the Mojave desert.”
But she then went on to say that, as a “resolution”, she has started drinking tea instead of coffee (Why didn’t I think of that?!) Problem solved.), and has left “decoy” beauty products around and hidden her real products from her husband. Some resolution. Idiot. She tried hiding a camera in the bathroom, but believes he found it and deleted the files. It results in her desperately asking E. Jean, “Do you know a good lab where I can send the products to have them tested for tampering? Should I go to the police before I have proof?”
You guys. Where do I even begin? For starters, who is this Prince Charming she’s married to who she believes could be potentially poisoning her? Secondly, regardless of if he is truly pulling a Lifetime movie stunt on her or not, WHY, IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, WOULD YOU BE WRITING TO A MAGAZINE ASKING WHAT TO DO?!? Get out. Go to the police. Hide at a friend’s house (with new beauty products, might I add). Do anything, but take the time to sit down and write into E. Jean. By the time your letter is published and you are able to read the answer, you could be dead. Finally, why would you need proof? If you THINK, for even a second, your husband is poisoning you, why do you want to stay married to him? Isn’t that the proof enough right there?
Sadly, I don’t know how this poor woman’s story played out. She could still be married to Mr. Rat Poisoning. She could have met her demise. Or she could still be writing to E. Jean asking for a good divorce lawyer. Regardless, I can guarantee you that she has destroyed my hope in all of humanity. And for all those out there who have any questions that you believe warrants writing to an advice column, don’t. Put the pen down. Instead, ask me.
Until next time…