ask polly

I always daydream about being an advice columnist. I love giving advice, but this woman really puts my feather-light dreams to rest because I couldn’t pull off what she does. Heather Havrilesky writes an advice column for New York Magazine called “Ask Polly,” and the people writing in usually embryos, like they just got out of college and are panicked about not being special, but sometimes they are not so embryonic. Sometimes they’re my age. Sometimes they’re battling acute illness that has disfigured their face and they worry they will never find love. Sometimes they want to break up with their perfect partner because they crave chaos. Heather Havrilesky takes each letter that gets published very seriously, and her thorough answers feel empathetic and the result of deep, deep consideration. She always is quit snarky and sprinkles Kanye lyrics generously throughout her copy. Mostly, i agree with her advice, though I’m sometimes shocked at how bossy she can be like “break up with him.” I’m like really? Just straight up break up with him? But how can you be sure? I greatly enjoy reading this column and if you google her, she’s made an enormous splash with this feature. But mostly I love this column because it reminds me on my worst day that everyone is suffering, everyone is going through something, and the tender, and sometimes hardcore tough, care this woman shows these readers seeking help is very moving. We’re all just a wisp in the universe going through the same thing. (Cue: All we are is “dust in the wind.“)

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