Posted by: Nathan | April 13, 2009

Correcting E. Jean’s Bad Advice

Due to a little kid soliciting magazines at our house and my wife’s kindness, we now receive Elle magazine and Christianity Today. The latter is quite good; the former is not. Both of these periodicals end up in our bathroom’s reading material basket. As we all know, there are times when one will read anything in the bathroom, so I end up perusing Elle from time to time. Wedged somewhere among all the ads (it should be called Ads magazine) is a monthly advice column entitled “Ask E. Jean,” which is better than most of the magazine’s content; I usually end up perusing it. Ms. Jean gets a lot of questions of varying types, but her advice is often horrendous. Thus, in an effort to help those E. Jean damages with her bad advice, I’ve decided to correct her most heinous blunders.

The most recent edition of Elle features the following question and inexcusable answer from Ms. Jean:

Q:I’m in LOVE! He’s a member of a huge, superfamous ’60s singing group. He’s in his sixties, and I’m in my very early twenties. My family disapproves because his kids are twice my age. Should I follow my heart?

A:Yes! Enjoy him! And if he happens to be a Temptation, a Kink, or a Monkee, when he withers with age to the size of a pet rhesus, send him to Auntie Eeee. Aristocratic Spanish ladies once carried monkeys (not Monkees) on their shoulders to make themselves look more bewitching by comparison.

Wha?!? I would say she cannot be serious, but apparently she is. Let me help you out, letter writer.

You’d have to be an absolute fool to date this man, whoever he is. The reasonable and intelligent objections mount to the skies! Let’s start with the fact that the man with whom you’re “in love” is a rock star. In other words, he’s been around the block. In other words, he’s probably slept with as many people as you’ve met in your young life. Feel like getting an STD in your early twenties? This guy has been in contact with more disgusting things and people than your enamored imagination can conjure up.

Second, his kids are twice your age. Where do you see this going? I can tell you where I see it going: nowhere. Do you thing the age difference won’t be a problem in family relationships? How many girls your age has this guy used and dumped on the curb in his career? Dozens? Hundreds? Do you think he’ll change for you, chiquita? He doesn’t love you; he wants to use you because you’re young, probably attractive, and gullible.

Third, you don’t love him. No, you don’t. You’re infatuated with his image. He’s a rock star, a sex symbol,and he looks so great with that guitar in hand crooning out the “heart-felt” lyrics that have made him filthy rich (and just filthy). You probably don’t even know this man. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and say you see him maybe four times a week right now and maybe you accompany him on tour. Do you think you know him—I’m talking about him as human, not the rock star persona? Either you do and you’re ignoring his faults because love is blind, or you don’t and you’re naive. Either way, get out.

Fourth, your family knows you better than this E. Jean character. You’re writing to her because you want someone to tell you what you want to hear; she did (because she gives bad advice). You say your family objects due to the age difference (I bet there are other objections, too); why are you going to trust a strange woman (who, again, gives bad advice) rather than your family? Maybe your family isn’t so great, but they do know you. Listen to your family; they’re an important part of your life. E. Jean is not. 

Forget him. Believe me, he won’t struggle to forget you.

As for you, E. Jean, for shame. I understand that you do not want to be trite and dispense common sense, but sometimes that’s what you have to do if you want to help those who write you at crisis points in their lives. If this girl ends up going out with this rock star, her life is going to be much, much worse than it would have been. If she follows your idiotic advice and gets hurt by this man, which we both know she inevitably will, I hope she finds you and smacks you in the face. Or maybe she’ll send you this guy, and you can be hurt by him and get an STD to boot. It would only be just.

Honestly, Elle could have found a better advice columnist by going to the Midwest and hiring almost any mother there.


  1. Nathan, did a rock star break your heart? This one had me laughing. Worse than a random Midwest mother? OUCH.

  2. I love your take on this! It does my heart good to hear it
    Midwest Mom

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