Matters of the heart, throwing shade & the age game

Matters of the heart, throwing shade & the age game

Dear Rachel,

Why don’t humans have to take heartworm medicine like my cats do? Is there no heartworm that can survive a human being? Or is there simply no heartworm that can kill a human being, so we’re all just walking around with benign heartworms living in our ventricles and doing whatever heartworms do because it’s not worth taking a monthly chewable mixed into our dinner in secret so we don’t spit it out?

– Wormy Worry

Dear Heart Attack,

Great. Just when I was starting to leave the house again, and readjusting to this whole maskless approach to life, you give me reason to cover everything up and never eat again. Sike! I will never stop eating. Even better, because food is not where heartworms come from. Thank heavens. Heartworm comes from mosquitos, and that’s as far as I got before I shut that browser tab. If we don’t have to learn about slavery in school anymore because it makes white kids squeamish, then I refuse to learn about heartworms in my chest cavity. 

– Getting squirmy, Rachel


Dear Rachel,

Are shades and blinds the same thing? Or are these terms interchangeable? I believe that curtains are different… yet I can convince myself that curtains and shades are related. Also, can they all be drawn? Window coverings are fraught with peril, now that it’s me and not a landlord replacing them. I’m preparing myself for a trip to the orange store, and I shutter at the thought.

– Blinds Man

Dear Tint Job,

You just tapped into my inner [insert famous designer here], which I left blank because my inner designer is nonexistent. I notice, however, that you did not ask about drapes. I do not know what drapes are, only that the curtains are supposed to match them. Which, now that I think about it, is not referring to interior design at all. Because who needs two sets of window coverings, unless you’re walking around with both your curtains and your drapes exposed?

– Throwing shade, Rachel


Dear Rachel,

I have spent much of my life figuring out the polite ways to reference someone’s age. My personal favorite works around birthday time. You simply exaggerate the person’s age to a ridiculous degree in either direction. If it’s a kid, shoot up (but not with heroin). Telling an 8-year old they must be turning 25 is surefire giggles. I try the opposite with older women, to mixed results. You might be 60? I’ll say happy 40th. But there is no good way to play this game with men. What would you try?

– Dating Game

Dear Tree Ring Circus,

I wouldn’t try. Mostly because men don’t care. They will not be flattered if you guess them to be younger. They will not be offended if you guess them to be older. They would much rather you stroke their ego with things like how shapely their arms are, or how full their beard is, or how much bigger their intelligence is than average. And you have no need to know their age anyway, unless you are a bartender or you need to prescribe the right heartworm medicine.

– Eternally thirty, Rachel

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