Take my advice, don't take advice

Here’s Sunday’s column, which I’d like to dedicate to @applez03 on Twitter, whose heart was broken this weekend. Hope you’re feeling just even just an inch better Applez.


People like to offer advice. Get a stain, they’ll tell you how to get it out. Prang your car and they’ll tell you about ‘their guy’ that you absolutely have to go to if you want the best deal at the best price.

We feel strongly about our guys, so we punt them at every opportunity. I for one have an exceptional shoe guy. There isn’t a shoe, bag or zip he can’t fix. I’ve also got a phenomenal hair guy, Andrew. And don’t get me started on my Dentist guy, who is actually a girl. She’ll fix your teeth better, whiter, brighter, and make them teethier than any other dentist on the planet.

So I’m all for recommendations. I’m also partial to the odd how-to. Like how to remove banana from the ceiling, or how to stop bats from nesting in your eves, or how to get red wine stains out of anything. Those kinds of everyday, handy to use around the house tips.

But there’s some advice that I really think we need to retire. It’s time. I’m mainly talking about relationship advice here. You see, I’m no stranger to the dump. In fact I’ve been dumped more times than I care to count. (Please, don’t feel too sorry for me, I give as good as I get.) I think it’s time we got some new advice for people going through any form of devastating breakup. The old pearls just don’t work for me anymore.

‘Time heals all wounds’ is a classic. But let’s be realistic here, when your heart was just broken yesterday, you can barely figure out how you’re going to make it to tomorrow, let alone six months from now, when you may or may not feel ever so slightly better about the whole disaster.

You’re too good for him’ is another crowd pleaser. Yes I’m so good he had to go and have sex with flat-chested Lisa that he met on the Internet. I must be really, really good. See, advice is supposed to help, this doesn’t.

‘Every pot has its lid.’ is another one that’s got to go. We’ve put men on the moon, we’ve invented cell phones that are smarter than human beings, we should be able to come up with something better than a cookware analogy in the face of total devastation.

I’m thinking it’s time we came up with some more modern words of wisdom for recently heartbroken men and women who feel like they’ve just had the rug pulled out from under them. Some advice that’s a little less dusty and a little more practical and realistic. I’m aiming for the kind of advice that will actually make the terminally heartbroken feel a little better about their situation. For example, what about ‘Why slash tires with a knife, when a corkscrew is so much more effective.’

See, practical, heartfelt and soothing.

Or what about ‘Nothing heals a broken heart quite like a bottle of scotch and a one-night-stand.’ Now that’s some advice you can use.

I’m still crafting it, but another one I’m leaning towards could go something like: ‘The more expensive his or her item of clothing, the better it cleans your toilet.’ What do you think? Cathartic right? And just so much more comforting and less annoying than ‘There are plenty more fish in the sea.’

3 responses to “Take my advice, don't take advice”

  1. i would love to read your books,are they available at any book stores?i’m in East London,Eastern Cape.(applez03)

  2. Hi Applez. They’re called This Way Up and A Million Miles from Normal, and are available at all good book stores right now. If they have sold out, please ask them to order more. yippeee! You rock. Thanks for your support. Let me know what you think if you manage to get them. 🙂 hope your heart is mending. x

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