Time for a Chat

I can’t remember if I found Carolyn Hax when I interned in D.C. in the spring of 1999, or once I moved here for good in 2000, but she’s been a part of my life ever since. The Washington Post’s homegrown advice columnist, Carolyn (after all these years, I can’t think of her by anything other than her first name, good friends who’ve never met that we are), doles out her brand of direct — sometimes overly so — advice in daily columns and weekly marathon chats.

She’s syndicated now, so you may have read her columns, but it’s her chats that grabbed me way back when I was looking for ways to procrastinate in the summer of 2000. Those chats provided the basis for a great and enduring friendship with my officemate (if you can call the closet-sized, door-free space that we co-occupied for four years an office), and these years later, it’s still a rare weekend — or the odd free Friday lunch hour — that I don’t pull up Carolyn’s most recent chat to cringe, laugh, and nod along.

I recommend any of her weekly chats, but by far her best chat of the year is her pre-Christmas Hootenanny of Holiday Horrors, in which chatters write in with their families’ strangest holiday traditions and quandaries. Her father even lends an offbeat (and often off-color) version of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas to get the whole thing going. There are bacon pants and death chairs and reindeer poop. (I really can’t explain. You just need to read.) Last year’s holiday chat is here.

The annual ridiculousness takes place next Friday, December 10, at noon EST. I’ll be reading somewhere where I won’t embarrass myself with the amount of laughing out loud I usually do, and I’ll probably be careful not to be drinking anything that could hurt coming out of my nose. If you and I share any of the same sense of humor, I might suggest you do the same.

 Happy reading!

(And yes, I originally came here to post a Sunday thought quote from Carolyn, but then I remembered about the holiday chat, and I just didn’t see how a thoughtful quote and reindeer poop could co-exist in a single post. So I’ll have to write that one later.)

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