Eleanor Roosevelt Goes Dear Abby: Tell Grandma Ellie All About It, Part 3Courtney Barnett

Dear Grandma Ellie,

I work with a man who’s so attractive that just one glance in my direction causes the threading of my underpants fabric to unravel. I know that he knows of my existence, but I don’t know if the attraction is mutual. Since he’s a co-worker, I feel that I can’t be as bold (read: drunk) as I normally would when asking out a guy in a setting outside of work. How do I ask a co-worker out without embarrassing myself and possibly ruining a work relationship?

Sincerely,

Cube Mating

Dear Cube Mating,

No man’s face is worth more than a solid pair of high-quality undergarments. I’m not sure if it’s this gent’s chiseled features or your tattered unmentionables that are the problem. They just don’t make ‘em like they used to, Cubie. After you first hunt down a new pair of Fruit of the Looms (nun black and chimney ash grey are my favorite shades), storm into that office with your chin and elastic held high, look him right in his understanding, college-educated eyes and  do what your feel in your heart to be right, for you will be criticized anyway. If you do ask him out, you could easily gain a reputation amongst the desk gals of being some kind of Loosey Lou, but if you don’t, you’ll never know what it’s like to sneak into the copy room for some serious necking during office hours. You already have so many things in common! I don’t see why it wouldn’t work out when both of you can vent about your boss and Mail Lady Rose’s obnoxious perfumes. If I can manage the awkwardness of courting a man of my own blood relation, you get handle the cakewalk of a coworker. And, if it doesn’t pan out as desired, you can always tell the lunch crew that he made the first move but you are too focused on your career because you’re a bold lady with steel skivvies.

xoxo ellie

Dear Grandma Ellie,

The messiest person I know is the same one I share a shoebox of a dorm room with. We both work and study into the late hours, but I don’t understand her complete disregard for cleanliness when it comes to sharing a space with another person. Hair in the sink. Unwashed dishes. An alligator-ridden moat of clothes, books and fast food bags surrounding her bed. I’ve tried to talk to her about it before, but I don’t know how to bring it up again without sounding like I’m her mom or something. I know some people just aren’t the organized type, but how can I keep the peace AND a pleasant space?

Sincerely,

Unfresh Frosh

Dear Unfresh Frosh,

The only advantage of not being too good a housekeeper is that your guests are so pleased to feel how very much better they are, so this jane must be making a lot of people feel pretty good about themselves. I’ll give her the one positive. I may have had a maid and people to dress me all my life, but I know what it is like to live in close quarters with entitled young women from my years at boarding school, and I can safely say the ones who could not treat their own personal living space with care went on to become not wives of presidents. Points for you!  I know it seems difficult to a ask a pig to stop rolling in the mud, but this is a place of higher learning, not some Hooverville shanty town!  You should never allow a person to tell you no who doesn’t have the power to say yes. You are both equally the chatelaines of this “shoebox”  and you should have no fear in telling her to dispose of her scraps and poor judgment.  Beneath that rubbish and worn out, sweat-stained brassieres lies her inabilities to face her own internalized problems. She sees herself in that Psychology homework she has buried under her old high school sweatshirts and you might just be the gal to help her, not war with her. The most noble thing to do, I’d say, is to employ a cleaning woman into your dormitory room. You’ll be the rage of your hall, have more time for studying and resume-building, and will be providing a job for a female member of working class America. Everyone wins! Just make sure to keep them away from your boyfriends. I gained another brother that way.    

xoxo ellie

Need some advice, Eleanor Roosevelt style? Email tellgrammyellie@gmail.com!

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