What’s the Best Piece of Unsolicited Advice You’ve Ever Received? [NOT 3/11/21]

I've been told that...

With Jezebel dying on the vine I trawled their old Pissing Contest posts for inspiration. I thought this was a good one. My contribution was, “Never board a seemingly empty subway car on an otherwise packed train.” This was given to me on a NYC subway platform sometime in the 1980s.

So what about you, DeadSplinterites? This nugget of wisdom is either useless or well-known to you, but do you have any advice to pass along?



  1. stay the fuck out of other peoples relationships

    doesnt matter if you are right or wrong

    you are getting blamed anyways

    also has anyone seen pumpkin?

  2. “Shut your mouth and keep your ears open.”

    -Dad (he’s right, but I don’t listen so good.)

    “Don’t push back.  Play nice.  The bullies will leave you alone.”

    -Mom (she was so wrong as I ended up confronting my bullies with a baseball bat, sent them running and they left me alone)

    “When out numbered/out gunned, go for the throat.”

    -six year old me (unknowingly channeling Sun Tzu)

    “Study hard and get a good job.  Don’t worry about social skills.”

    -Dad (he was wrong on social skills, sometimes not sure about the former either.)

    “Know your terrain”

    -Sun Tzu (right on all grounds, emotional/social/office/personal)

    “Worry about the actual important stuff, the chickenshit will sort itself out.”


  3. The follow-up to not boarding an empty subway car is to not be surprised if you approach the lone empty seating in a packed subway car and find it suddenly isn’t an option.

  4. We walked up to a lady sitting on a lifeguard tower that said information at a zoo.  My sister, knowing the lady was not a zoo worker asked some in depth question about the animals.  The lady, without any hesitation said “ ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies”

  5. As there were some dad quotes above, the two I remember are “Suck it up and do the right thing” (often true, and saves later agita) and “My God Elliecoo, what is wrong with you?” (No answers for that question.)

    • See also;

      “Do it the RIGHT way the first time, and don’t cut corners.”


      And on a sewing perspective, that old adage of “Measure twice, cut once” as trite as it may be, AND, “If you mess up, and are at/past 8 hours on the day, STOP SEWING and leave it for tomorrow” plus, “ALWAYS double check, (sometimes triplecheck!) your Velvets!” (When cutting out garments, in order to be SURE you’re cutting them with the nap of the velvet going the desired direction!).





    • Another absolutely *GOLDEN* bit of advice i was once given, by my mom’s then-county financial worker (the one who made sure her hospital & other bills got paid for by the county/state);


      “If your mom doesn’t have the waivers she needs by Tuesday, DO NOT TAKE HER BACK TO YOUR HOUSE!!! Take her back to the HOSPITAL, to the Emergency Room, and tell them “I am not qualified to give her care, at the level at which she needs’–When you take her to YOUR house and “make do”–even for a DAY or two– the county/state assume that you can provide care for her *all the time* at that level…


      By taking her to the ER, she costs us a LOT of money, and that means she gets immediately moved to the top of the queue, and we WILL find the money *very quickly* to cover any waiver she needs, to move her quickly back into that lower level (and lower COST!) of care.”


      BEST damn advice–along with “Can you have it condemned?” About the building that the county assessed at a value of 20K+, which needed $180K in restoration to be useable–and that mom was 5K in arrears on taxes with(!!!), so that the purported “value” of the building didn’t end up losing mom her waivers & newly-granted SSDI & other benefits.


      That county worker was an absolute GODSEND, and is the main reason I made it through mom’s health crises over those first 4 years alive & upright. She was the BEST resource in my corner, snd literally ALWAYS had solutions & options for me, when the shit hit the fan, and I was calling in a near blind-panic.


      I’d call with s crisis, and by the time I got off the phone with her, I had a plan of attack, a BUNCH of numbers/people/options to look up & start calling on, and she saved my sanity repeatedly, during some of the most stressful times in my life💖


      I really wish EVERYONE who had to deal with the American Welfare system had a guide to navigate it, who was as good, kind, and helpful as she was💫💫💫

      • That experience, with ^^^that^^^ particular county worker and her excellent advice & knowledge of “how the system works” has been invaluable countless times both personally, AND as I encounter students acquaintances, & co-workers who are struggling to access needed supports in the years since.



        She also gave me a solid enough knowledge base, that when the shit started to hit the fan with my dad yesterday, I managed to get out the umbrella & start putting on some muck boots & protective gear *before* getting sucked in over my head (so far!).


        I got a call from my Auntie (she’s also my godmother & Dad’s baby sister), that he has apparently had some pretty massive cognitive declines in the last couple weeks.🙃


        Dad’s other sister–my other Auntie–had gone up with her, to check in on him after he didn’t show up at their “siblings’ dinner out” last Thursday evening, and Dad was… slippery with time.


        He couldn’t remember where his keys were, and told them “I just moved in here yesterday, so I can’t remember where I put everything yet” (he moved into that apartment eight years ago, this month!

        And he was also complaining to them about an incident “a couple months ago,” which happened in 1995…

        It’s honestly the call I’ve *sort of* been expecting for a few years now… I can’t explain 100% why it’s been ticking as an eventuality, but I’ve seen bits & pieces of… “time slippage” I guess I’d call it? With him occasionally for a few years now–and even when I was in high school, sometimes realities the REST of the world had *weren’t* necessarily HIS realities–if that makes sense?… so that call wasn’t the shock others might expect it to be.


        But because of the experiences with that AWESOME county financial worker of Mom’s, I knew some of the steps I could get started with, for dad, right away today, (from 2 hours away from “up home”).


        I called the bank (because I’ve been on both his AND mom’s accounts since the mid 90’s, when Grandpa died & Dad & his siblings had to deal with Probate to get access to the bank accounts to pay bills!), and found out who he’d been paying bills to, and then was able to look up the phone numbers for all of them, and make sure he’s now current on all his monthly bills–so we don’t need to worry about any of those.


        I was also able to figure out today that he’d accidentally let his car insurance lapse in mid-October, “for nonpayment,” and *might* have that all current again already.

        I also was able to get the number & leave messages for HIS county worker, his apartment building manager, figure out where his storage unit is & make sure *it* is all paid up & how to get in, if I can’t find the keys, AND I was able to get a lead on figuring out who I need to call to find out if his minivan loan is paid off, or still has a balance outstanding.

        I knew/know how to get these processes started, because MOM’S long-ago county worker was so helpful in getting those balls rolling for *her* care needs.


        And that’s also why, when I encounter folks who are just starting out on those pathways, and unsure of what steps to take next, I *try* to help get THEM started, too.


        Because I KNOW it can be hard & scary… but I also KNOW that if you can juuuust make it to the *right person* in that labyrinth, you CAN get through it whole & mentally unbroken, too💖💞💗

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