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Writing by Luz Michelle

Artwork by Justin Negard

Dear Luz,

My best friend is driving me crazy! She’s smart, independent and has a great job, but her taste in men is abysmal. She never seems to date anyone for more than two months. Every time her relationship ends, she calls me in tears. She’s always a total wreck for the next week, and the phone calls just don’t seem to end. Of course, I help her – we’ve been friends since high school. But it’s getting old. How do I help her break this bad cycle?

– Sick of being an unpaid therapist

Dear Unpaid Therapist,

Well, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Maybe you should start dating the men your friend dumps after two months. That way, you’ll always have something to bond over and talk about. Plus, it might just teach her a lesson about picking better partners. Just kidding, please don’t actually do that. It’s tough watching a friend go through the same relationship cycle over and over again. Help break her of the habit by encouraging her to try new hobbies, meet new people and just enjoy being single for a bit. And if all else fails, just remind her that there are plenty of fish in the sea – not all of them are piranhas.

Dear Luz,

I just don’t understand texting etiquette. It seems like everyone does something different. Some people respond right away, some take days to get back to you and some don’t respond to me at all but they will respond to group texts. I always want to respond quickly, but I don’t want to look too eager. Is there a rule I just don’t know about? Should I make my own rule for myself or respond to others the same way they respond to me?

– Perplexed by texting

Dear Perplexed, 

Texting etiquette, oh what a wild and wacky world it is! It’s like a virtual jungle out there, with everyone swinging from texting vines in their own unique way. Some respond faster than a cheetah on espresso, while others take their sweet time like a sloth on a lazy Sunday. And don’t even get me started on those elusive creatures who only respond to group texts but leave you hanging solo. Talk about a head-scratcher!

But here’s the deal, my fabulous friend: you’re the star of your own digital show. Let your unique personality shine through those magical pixels on the screen. And if someone doesn’t appreciate your texting flare, well, they’re missing out on all the pizzazz you bring. Focus on those who love your spunky style and respond in kind.

Now go forth, embrace the texting jungle, and conquer it with your dazzling flare, wit and infectious charm!

Dear Luz,

The walls in my house are so thin, and sharing a wall with my sister is starting to make me lose my mind! She talks on the phone for hours, and I can hear every single thing she says. Whether she’s gossiping with friends or fighting with her boyfriend, I hear it. Part of me wants to help her, and part of me wants to tell her to shut up – it’s a strange combination of affection and frustration. But mostly, I’d just like some peace every now and then (and to go to sleep at a decent time). What should I do?

– Accidental eavesdropper

Dear Eavesdropper,

Well, well, well, looks like you’ve got a front-row seat to the drama extravaganza happening next door! Living with walls as thin as a potato chip, it’s no wonder you’re teetering on the brink of insanity. Fear not, my adventurous friend, for I’m here to bring you a couple of lively and edgy suggestions to tackle this noisy conundrum. Embrace the noise-filled adventure by trying the Reverse Megaphone: amplify her voice playfully. Or, DIY soundproofing with funky flair. You could also serenade her during calls for a hilarious twist. And if nothing works, splurge on some noise-canceling headphones. 

Remember, my daring friend, the key is to approach this situation with a dash of adventure and a sprinkle of humor. Embrace the absurdity and cherish those moments of affection and frustration. These moments are what make family life oh-so-colorful.

Dear Luz,

I just got a new job, but it requires me to spend one week a month at my company’s headquarters in San Francisco. I knew about this before I accepted the job, but now that I’ve actually done it, I’m worried I made the wrong decision. My husband and I both thought he could manage parenting alone for a week, but he and the kids called me constantly to complain. I really like my new job, and I don’t want to quit, but I’m worried it’ll ruin our family. What should I do?

– Moving up the corporate ladder

Dear Moving Mama,

It’s tough balancing work and family, especially when your husband and kids are really missing you. Consider getting them a dog to keep them company while you’re away. Or, you know, you could try talking to them and figuring out what’s really going on. Maybe they just need some reassurance that you still love them and aren’t going to abandon them for your fancy new job. Are there any parents you know with a similar situation? Maybe they can give you some tips?

Alternatively, you could just pretend to have really bad reception in San Francisco and blame all the missed calls on AT&T. That seems like a foolproof plan. And if all else fails, just remember that wine and ice cream are always there for you….and a NANNY!

Disclaimer: It’s okay to laugh – this is a humor column! We welcome your Dear Luz questions, but we’re legally obligated to say this is not a substitute for real advice by professionals.

This article was published in the July/August 2023 print edition of Katonah Connect.

Luz Michelle

Luz Michelle has channelled her unique life experiences and background into a successful comedy career, gracing stages such as Caroline's, Gotham Comedy Club, The Stand, The NY Underground Comedy Festival, The North Carolina Comedy Festival and more, with her malapropisms and unique style. As Founder of Hard Headed Comedy™, a comedy entertainment company, Luz produces live and streamed showcases featuring a diverse mix of established and up-and-coming comedic talent.