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Sincere Advice From A Girl Whose Life is a Mess #12 | 2 questions | Kolleen Carney | Weekly Column

Luxary by James Caley | poetry | #thesideshow
April 19, 2017
Implosion by Alexis Lamb | flash fiction | #thesideshow
April 20, 2017

Dearest Friends,

Hello again. How are you? Things here are ok. If you were keeping track, last time we spoke I was waiting patiently for my insurance situation to sort itself out. Well, I am glad to say that it has, and I have started treating myself to dental, health, and psychiatric care. I feel much better!

And if some of you follow my personal life on various forms of social media, you will know that my family is going through a terrible time with the news that my young niece has been diagnosed with AML and is facing a lengthy hospital stay.  A fundraiser was set up to help defray the cost of traveling, medical expenses, etc., and is doing quite well. I would appreciate if the link was shared on your social media outlets to help spread the word.

Anyway, let’s get to it:

Q: I have disliked pretty much every job I have ever had. 2/3 of the time I don’t mind what I’m doing, but it seems like I just always want to be a thousand miles away. This doesn’t seem normal to me. Any advice? 

A: Trust me, this seems more normal than you think. Pretty much every job I have ever had and hated wasn’t really because of the work itself. To be honest, a lot of the times I loved the actual work, but I couldn’t stand the people. Or, I would finish the work way too fast, and my bosses would think I was too fast and too lazy, and I would get so bored. Oh god. I hate working. Why can’t we just be paid to stay out of society?

Anyway, I think the problem is mostly that you aren’t working a job that emotionally stimulates you. You’re bored, and that’s normal. Why do you think people who dick around on Facebook all day are usually happier at work?

Unfortunately, you probably have to tough it out because jobs are important. However, I will remind you that you’re not married to your job, and you are allowed to look for something different, and more soul- fulfilling, as you toil away. And, whenever possible, try to fit in a bathroom break to play Candy Crush.

Q: I am getting married later this year, and people do not seem to understand that it is a very small wedding (20ish people at max). I have one acquaintance who asks every time I see her if she’s invited to the wedding. She is not, and I keep stressing how small the ceremony/ guest list is. It is so annoying! We have family members insisting on inviting extended family, we have friends wanting to invite people who aren’t invited to the related showers/ activities, and I am so exhausted trying to deal with how no one seems to understand etiquette anymore. What should we do? We wanted our wedding to be less stressful by keeping it small, but it doesn’t seem to be working.

A: ELOPE. Seriously.

Weddings are stressful no matter how big or small you go, and it seems that with every passing year they are worse for the wear.

But if you don’t want to elope, you need to be firm and tell people NO. No, you can’t be invited, sorry. No, cousin Eddie can’t come. Sorry. And if you’re having a shower, please stress to whomever is throwing it for you that it is such a faux pas—and greedy!— to invite people who are not welcome to the wedding to the shower, where they will presumably give you some sort of monetary present.

As for bachelor or bachelorette parties, sometimes people just want to celebrate you and go to the respective strip clubs or dance clubs and have fun. As long as the guest list situation is clear- cut, I don’t see a problem with people tagging along.

I wish you luck. Weddings are sort of no fun, so I invite you to take a Klonopin, have a glass of wine, and just let the chips fall where they may. Remember: it’s your day. Don’t let people take that away from you (and your fiancé, I suppose!).

About the Columnist

kolleen carney Kolleen Carney is a Boston- born, Burbank- based poet with a B.A. from Salem State University in Salem, MA, and an MFA in Poetry from Antioch University Los Angeles. She has served on the editorial team for Soundings East, Lunch Ticket, Paper Nautilus, and Zoetic Press. Her poetry and other writings have appeared or will be appearing in Currents, Vision/ Verse, Lunch Ticket,, Golden Walkman, The Watershed Review, Incredible Sestinas, Uno Kudo Vol. 4, A Quiet Courage, Yellow Chair Review, Drunk Monkeys, Odyssey, and Five 2 One. She is obsessed with California, Pez dispensers, and macarons. Her website is