Selling yourself short, swamp stumper & courting friends

Selling yourself short, swamp stumper & courting friends
Dear Rachel,
I keep hearing about more and more supply chain issues, supposedly related to the pandemic. You know, like how lumber tripled in cost earlier this year. I’m wondering if I can get away with asking more money from my clients in the same way. I can keep it vague, like “my material costs have escalated, I need to raise my rates just to offset even a little bit of it.” Who’s going to question me these days? And don’t I deserve it, with all the other prices that have gone up?
– Fluff It Up
 
Dear Fluffernutter,
The only inflation going on here is your inflated presentation of self. If you have to lie to your clients to justify raising your prices, then you aren’t confident in what you’re selling them. You gotta walk in there like you’re the winner of the latest season of RuPaul and state what you’re worth. And if they don’t like it? You walk back out that door, still carrying respect in your pockets where all that cash was meant to go. 
– Love yourself, Rachel

Dear Rachel, 

What the heck is gumbo, exactly? By which, I guess I mean… what makes gumbo “gumbo” and not just soup or stew? I’ve tried to internet this to no real avail. There are some standard ingredients but also they’re interchangeable, and also things you find in other pots. I thought all gumbo had shrimp, but nah, no such thing. Maybe gumbo just literally means “soup from the Cajun parts of the world?”
– No Know Gumbo
 
Dear Gumbilliterate,
My favorite answer to “What is art?” is “Something that an artist made.” Someone just needs to make gumbo and believe – really believe – in it. Then it’s gumbo! Now some Nawleans snobs might demean your dish, but that’s literally the worst that can happen with gumbo: someone doesn’t like it. That’s it! The end of no worlds at all. So you get out there and call whatever you please gumbo. Just don’t you dare cross it with jambalaya. 
– Full of it, Rachel

Dear Rachel,

I just made my first new friend since 2019. I took a craft class and sat with this really rocking couple. The wife and I really hit it off. Endless Parks & Rec references, and so on. At the end of the class, she insisted on swapping numbers (because we’re both old enough that we still use numbers). But now, I don’t know how to continue the friendship without making it weird. I’m rusty! Help!
– Friendly Reminders
Dear Refresher Course,
I think the only way you can’t go wrong is to invite your new pal over for some homemade gumbo. The only way you CAN go wrong is to call up your new friend and jack up your friendship rates. Anything in between has at least some chance of working. As RuPaul once advised: “Gentlemen, start your engines, and may the best woman win.” 
– Your bestie, Rachel

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