Strip mining, out of fashion and singled out

Strip mining, out of fashion and singled out

Dear Rachel,

It’s my job to make the Chex mix for the holiday family gathering. Every year. And every year, my sister sits there with a martini in one hand and the other in the Chex mix bowl, plucking out all the peanuts and leaving behind pre-handled everything else. It’s so gross and no one wants to take home her leftovers (including me). How can I effectively deter her this year so she never does this again?

–All Mixed Up

Dear Social Mixer,

Ugh, the strip miners are the WORST. I used to work with one in an office where someone brought in the big barrel jugs of Chex Mix, and this guy strip mined all the bagel chips. No one puts bagel chips in their homemade mix. What gives? Probably because their sisters would strip mine them. I think you have to go for the rancid peanuts. Or soak ’em in turpentine before you mix the batch.

– Chexmate, Rachel


Dear Rachel,

I see women are wearing bell bottoms and high top shoes. Converse was my choice for playing B-ball. I think the old bells are worth a lot of money like the old Levis. Do you have some your mother gave you? You may be holding a lot of $$$$. What’s next? Lamb chop sideburns? I hope not. How about large lapels?

– Good Vibes

Dear Excitations,

Why do you assume my mother would have given me her old bell-bottoms and tennis shoes? What if it was my grandmother? What if I lived through that era like you, old-timer? What if I don’t even have a mother?? You should be more circumspect in making even soft remarks about a woman’s age or fashion era.

– Ring them bells, Rachel


Dear Rachel,

I’m the ONLY single sibling left in my rather large family. And I am NOT looking forward to all the direct and indirect remarks about not landing a partner by age 35. What self-preservation tips do you have for me to get through the holiday gatherings with good cheer intact?

– Flying Solo

Dear Autopilot,

This sounds like the perfect opportunity to bring back the tradition of Christmas ghost stories. You know, Dickens and “scary ghost stories and tales of the glories” and all that. Every time your relationship status bubbles up, stare off into the middle distance. Mutter to yourself, “She’s not… able to cross back over… yet.” And if anyone presses you further, just bemoan, “She should never have eaten the peanuts. Don’t mention the peanuts. It’ll make her angry.”

– Deez nuts, Rachel

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