Ask Rachel

Ask Rachel

Email Rachel at telegraph@durangotelegraph.com

Dear Rachel,

I came to the realization over the holidays that not only do I not actually like my family, but that I don’t want them to know anything about me. Once the family hits the pub after Christmas, all the questions come out. Can I explain my relationship status again? Do I even want kids? What’s so bad about Trump anyway? I’m deciding that they don’t need to know anything about me at all, and I just need a simple diverting statement to deflect them. Any ideas?

– Silent Bob

Dear Deflector Shield,

I had a friend back in the days of yore who would find a great moment to interrupt chatterboxes, and then he’d say, solemnly and laconically, “The war killed my grandfather as a child.” This took the air right out of everyone’s balloon and ended most every unwanted conversation. And the very few who picked up the thread that wait, if his grandfather was a child when he died... Those became much more interesting conversations. Now presumably your fam knows your grandpa, but hey, just run with it.

– Sad trombone, Rachel

 

Dear Rachel,

Why do some tea bags come without strings? I can’t bob them in my mug. I can’t pull them out without burning my fingertips until my tea is lukewarm and oversteeped. And I have nothing to do with my hands but hold the mug. I’m guessing this is a so-called “eco-friendly” step to reduce waste, but I end up using more spoons to fish out tea bags, and then I have to wash them, which uses more water. So what’s the deal here?

– Tea Totaled

Dear Teabagged,

I’d rather have no tea tag at all than read one more of those milquetoast inspirational lines that’s meant to perk up my spirit but ends up making me irrationally angry. I don’t need reminded that the best moments are often the quietest, or that a smile is a lighthouse to a friend in need. Someone gets paid to write those, you know. Or maybe they are spit out by an automated tea-bag quote-writing application. That might actually make me feel less like sticking my whole hand in a boiling cuppa.

– Bag the tag, Rachel

 

Dear Rachel,

I remember when Y2K happened that you had those sticklers walking around talking about how the next millennium didn’t technically start until 2001 because of reasons. Where are those people now that we’re allegedly in a new decade? No one in my sphere is spouting off. I’m inclined to pick up the slack, because I can’t shake those millennialist arguments, and worst of all, THEY WERE RIGHT, and this decade doesn’t actually start until next year.

– Jumped the Gun

Dear Roaring Tweenies,

I’m reminded of how everyone calls bison “buffalo,” even though they’re not technically buffalo, yet still everyone knows exactly what you mean. Sticklers get their heads stuck in toilets. Do you want your head stuck in a toilet? But actually, correcting how we refer to decades may be a great way to get Silent Bob’s family up there to stop talking to him.

– Thanks for the tip, Rachel

Top Shelf

Remembering two singing cowboys
Remembering two singing cowboys
By Chris Aaland
07/09/2020

More than a century ago, Ada Habershon and Charles Gabriel wrote what would become one of the most popular Christian hymns of all-time, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”

A secret mission
A secret mission
By Chris Aaland
06/25/2020

Gather the backyard 'quaranteam' for reimagined community concerts

Bluegrass through the years
Bluegrass through the years
By Chris Aaland
06/18/2020

For 23 straight years, I packed my car and coolers for Telluride Bluegrass.

Lucinda unplugged
Lucinda unplugged
By Chris Aaland
06/04/2020

Don’t question the compassion of Lucinda Williams. Ever since her mid-teens, she has spoken truth to power.

Read All in Top Shelf

Day in the Life

A day at the beach
A day at the beach
By Stephen Eginoire
06/18/2020

What does one do when their favorite summer swimming hole is teeming with reptilian and amphibian aquatic life?

Soaking it up
Soaking it up
05/21/2020
Local color: Telegraph coloring page winners
Local color: Telegraph coloring page winners
04/30/2020

A look at some (OK, all) of the Telegraph's coloring page submissions

Sole man
Sole man
03/12/2020

At the age of 19, Durango’s Mervin “Merv” Stilson started making shoes and never looked back (except for the time he made a Western-style jacket for Neil Young).

Read All in Day on the Life