Ask Rachel

Ask Rachel

Dear Rachel,

We are all responsible for shoveling our own portions of the sidewalk. My next-door neighbor grooms his sidewalk meticulously. But he stops 6 inches short of the property line. Now I’m normally inclined to overshoot the property line, because what’s a few more shovelfuls going to hurt me? But in this case, I want to stop dead on the line and leave those 6 inches piled up on his side. Ethically, am I a horrible person, or just a petty one?

- Dear Mr. Rogers,

At least your neighbor shovels his walk. Try parking down the street to visit your friend and having to walk down a packed icy sidewalk (where a high-ranking member of the city government lives, mind you) which still hasn’t been cleared this year. If this is any example for us to live by, we should just embrace our Lord of the Flies existence. Or, you could change the world, 6 inches at a time.

– Who’s counting? Rachel

 

Dear Rachel,

It’s impossible to keep a car clean right now, with all the runoff and junk on the road. I have a first date this weekend, though. Normally I would detail the car in hopes of making it through the first date, let alone landing a second one. But now I’m wondering if I should just present myself as I am – which is not a slob but definitely well worn and a bit dirty – and also save myself the hassle of a car wash that will be undone in a quarter mile. Am I endearingly rugged and chivalrously frank, or just an idiot?

– Probably an Idiot

Dear Chivalrous Frank,

Normally when people talk about getting the full wax job before a date, they don’t mean the pull-through car wash kind. Wait, you didn’t bring up waxing. I did. Huh. Not sure how that happened. Anyway, it depends on the kind of messy you are. Old Wendy’s bags and dirty tissues in the backseat? Or just remnants of mud season in the floorboards? Either way, perhaps you should offer to meet your date at the restaurant. There are sadly few Mulligans in dating.

– Rewind yourself, Rachel

 

Dear Rachel,

My rental unit is part of a little complex that shares a recycle bin. Every week, I see all kinds of products in that bin that I know are not accepted by our recycling, from glossy wrapping paper to plastic bags to thoroughly used pizza boxes. My inner eco-warrior wants to sort it all out. The rest of me is queasy at the thought of handling someone else’s garbage. What’s my duty here?

– Two Kinds of Green

Dear Captain Planet,

Oh, you should totally go with the passive aggressive approach. “Dear Recyling Users,” your Scotch-taped note on the bin lid can read. “Please refer to the list of approved recycling items slid under your tenement door. If proper sorting methods are not adopted, your pizza boxes will be placed in your cars immediately before your next first date. Sincerely, the only person here who cares about the planet.”

– That’ll do, Rachel

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