Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't.
— Erica Jong
Since I didn’t have a clue what to write today, this is a weekly meme or a journal writing prompt from the blog called ...in other words... that I just picked at random from The Memes List. Now I have to decide what the quote means to me. Hmmm…
I’m not actually a big one for asking for advice from other people. I usually am the one to give it — at least about all things “fibrous”. (That’s just because I’ve been doing that stuff almost my whole life and some folks have discovered that I know a few things about it! 'Snot my fault.) In my personal life, I do use my friends and family for sounding boards sometimes but I don’t believe I’m really looking for advice. Reassurance maybe. Just an ear to hear me perhaps. But I don’t need personal advice as a rule because I usually know what I’m doing and where I’m going. Except maybe advice from my life partner. Yeah! Come to think of it, I do ask for advice all the time from him. He is my best friend after all. He gets the brunt of my enthusiasm, complaints, lectures, whining, squeals of joy, and occasional grumpiness. And I, of course, return the favour for him. That’s what this relationship is all about. Or maybe it’s why he goes to work to escape? Nah. We get along even better than we did when we were young. Can’t wait for him to retire! (I’m not holding my breath though on that one.)
We once decided that the best advice we could give a newly married couple was to never both go crazy at once. You’ve gotta take turns! That’s so the sane and sober one can help the other to get back on track. If you both go nuts, who’s going to stop you from jumping off the deep end? Somebody has to keep their head and their feet on the floor. Often for us that’s been the T-Man because it took me many years to learn to deal with those female hormones that often make women temporarily nuts. You should have seen me when I was pregnant! No, maybe not. Occasionally though, he flips out and I think I’m surprised by it when it happens because he’s usually so calm and sensible. I guess he’s entitled however. Good revenge tactic! No, that’s not true. It’s because he feels responsible for so much (even things that aren’t really his responsibility) and sometimes it just gets away from him. It’s understandable but disconcerting for me. We always joke that we take each other for granite! Guess you can tell that right now it’s my turn to be the rock.
So the quote means that what we’re looking for isn’t really advice at all but confirmation that what we suspect is true and that we should just get on with it even if we really don’t want to. Am I being too literal? Ms. Jong said it much better of course. She’s a Poet and Writer after all. I’ve never read any of her work since I don’t read regular novels or poetry either, come to think of it. I find fiction novels very strange, much weirder than the fantasy/sci-fi that I normally read. It’s true! The best fantasy takes ordinary people and puts them in strange situations whereas fiction takes ordinary situations and peoples them with strangers. I don’t get the point. Yes, I’m odd. I live with it.