Good Advice December 15, 2013 7:26 PM   Subscribe

What is the biggest life decision you've made based on answers to one of your AskMe questions? How did that decision work out for you?

I asked if I should move to NYC, and then I did! I'm really not sure if I would have done it without the advice I got there- I am pretty risk averse, but the answers I got both lessened my fears and gave me concrete advice for addressing the fears that had a basis in reality. I've been here two and a half years now, and while I don't think I will stay much longer, I certainly don't regret having moved here.

Anyone else made any life-changing decisions based on AskMe answers?
posted by showbiz_liz to MetaFilter-Related at 7:26 PM (172 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite

I'm applying to grad school! That was pretty nearly a done deal before I posted my most recent askme, though.
posted by mismatched at 7:33 PM on December 15, 2013


I got some pull-out bin drawers under my kitchen sink. They're pretty good.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:33 PM on December 15, 2013 [21 favorites]


I bought a USB cable to transfer camera pictures to a computer. And it worked perfectly! But then, shortly after, the ancient camera died.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:38 PM on December 15, 2013


Picked a grad school and bought an apartment, more or less inspired by AskMe responses. Thanks, internet!
posted by mlle valentine at 7:41 PM on December 15, 2013


I ate it. I died.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:43 PM on December 15, 2013 [89 favorites]


I've never really posted meaningful life questions on AskMe. Almost everything I've posted has involved bars/restaurants, computer questions, or commerce/shopping, mostly NYC-related. One time, my wife posted a "should we eat it?" question and we got emphatic "NO!" answers, so I guess that was good.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 7:46 PM on December 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I didn't eat it. I lived.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:48 PM on December 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


The AskMe question of mine that has helped me most is How can I save each day from failure?, the answers to which were amazingly helpful when I was first dealing with depression, and which I come back to, time and time again, on days when I'm feeling low.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:48 PM on December 15, 2013 [17 favorites]


Interesting... I went back and reviewed my askme questions, most were mundane, but this one, from 2007 stood out. Yep, I bought the bike, rode it from 2007 until 2013, and then sold it. It was a great 6 years, I did a couple of short road trips, spent a lot of hours cruising country roads, taking photos, connected with a couple of groups of bikers, and felt about 20 years younger... And, perhaps most important, connected with some wonderful memories of my son...

So, to those of you that encouraged me, thanks... I loved every moment of it...
posted by HuronBob at 7:51 PM on December 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


I didn't make a concrete decision based on this question, but the answers were more helpful than many conversations I've had with therapists over the years.

While not earth shattering or life changing, I did find Delicious through this question.
posted by tafetta, darling! at 7:54 PM on December 15, 2013


It was an anon thing and I did the thing and it was good.

Also I bought a cat an ugly sweater.
posted by elizardbits at 8:08 PM on December 15, 2013 [13 favorites]


I chose my dog based almost solely on pearlybob's suggestion (well, also he went under the porch and brought me a disgusting gardening glove, so I thought, cool maybe I can train him to go to the fridge to get me a beer - hasn't happened yet).
posted by mannequito at 8:11 PM on December 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I snagged a handmade Hong Kong suit that fits me like a glove and looks amazing for like 20bux and an Italian suit that's incredibly nice for like 10bux as a result of this thread.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:11 PM on December 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I bought a car. I love my car!
posted by oceanjesse at 8:11 PM on December 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I threw a Gatsby party and an Anne party, but probably the most important thing is that I am still jogging. As a ninja.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:14 PM on December 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Three years ago I complained about being stuck in a dead-end job. A user messaged me and offered to forward my resume to his company's recruiting people. I interviewed with the company and didn't get a job. Two years later they called me back and asked me to interview with them again. This time they did make me an offer. I moved to the west coast and have been working here for about six months. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the outcome.
posted by Nomyte at 8:17 PM on December 15, 2013 [36 favorites]


Had it not rained torrentially, I have no doubt that the answers to this question would have made me "dad of the year" amongst my son's friends. It probably would have alos raised expectations on birthday parties rather exponentially.

Also I feel that I have had an immeasurably better life for NOT having joined the coast guard.
posted by salishsea at 8:18 PM on December 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I made travel decisions for my trip in Argentina based on this AskMe. It was pretty awesome.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:24 PM on December 15, 2013


I'm not sure if this rises to the level of life-changing (it was more like the opposite) but I asked this question about whether I should go to library school, and the answers tipped the balance. I'm a fairly risk averse person but was feeling pretty desperate and stuck and at the point I asked I was half-convinced that my science background made me a special case.

At this remove I think I regret that decision. I'm still in a holding pattern, haven't even had any job offers outside the library paraprofessional world (and, at this point, I'm four years away from my last non-library job, where it seems harder and harder to get interviews in non-library positions) but unable to advance because I'm not in an MLIS program. Who knows? Better errors of action than inaction, I guess.
posted by pullayup at 8:26 PM on December 15, 2013


I had an anon ask-mefi where I mentioned a bunch of my talents (QA, etc) and that I was looking at game industry jobs. A bunch of people told me, some in all caps, not to get a QA game job.

Well I did anyway, and so far things have been pretty good. My company treats me better than any other place I've worked. It got me to move out to Seattle. I've met a bunch of amazing people. It's been generally okay. This is the first job I've had in years that I don't dread going to work.

Will the good times last? Maybe not. Right now this gig is pretty alright.
posted by hellojed at 8:27 PM on December 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


I beanplated
posted by dfriedman at 8:29 PM on December 15, 2013


I had a really great time in Paris, quelled my hypochondriac tendencies, and got a fancy hairstylist! I have not eaten any of them...yet?!
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:31 PM on December 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I ate it and threw up. I lived, but I wished I was dead for awhile.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 8:32 PM on December 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


To be honest it's the questions I haven't asked that have been most helpful: I don't beat myself everyday about not being in a PhD program. I love where I live more. I'm a better partner and I ask better questions in real life, and I hope I have better answers too.
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:34 PM on December 15, 2013 [12 favorites]


I learned to ride a skateboard despite being old and have really enjoyed it for years now.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 8:34 PM on December 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Moved to upstate New York based 100% on metafilter's advice when we had no idea where to live. We never, ever want to live anywhere else.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:37 PM on December 15, 2013 [12 favorites]


I realize my tone is more somber than the other answers, but...

I left my abusive, cheating husband and, ever since, my happiness and well-being has exponentially changed.

As those of us who have experienced abuse know, I felt I was flawed and wrong and at fault until I sought help from AskMeFi. The selfless members who took time to answer gave me the courage to understand I was not at fault and deserved better. In particular, [usernames redacted] memailed me to support me and help and that love and caring from internet strangers helped me believe in human goodness and love in the midst of isolation and torment.

Thank you all and much love and holiday blessings!
posted by Punctual at 8:43 PM on December 15, 2013 [130 favorites]


Took the cat to a new vet. I can say this plainly since it didn't happen - if not for askme, we 100% would have taken her home and waited for her to die. Cat is happy and healthy now.
posted by ftm at 8:44 PM on December 15, 2013 [32 favorites]


I originally posted a wall of misery question to askmetafilter because I was miserable in a job and had no idea as to what else I could do.

Now there was more info that went into my decision besides askmetafilter, but this answer described exactly how to get hired at a company in the industry that I selected. I may not have gone that direction without the answer and it was exactly as the person described. I don't know if I will stay in this industry forever, but it is a better fit than where I was when I posted the original question.

Since I changed careers, I no longer needed my human skeletons. They found a new home thanks to a person who memailed me in response to the question and adopted them for use at a nearby college (I think they have a new home...I mailed them away to an address that was provided).

I've learned a great deal by reading many of the other ask metafilter questions.
posted by Wolfster at 9:01 PM on December 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was moving anyway, but AskMe has helped me in moves to 3 countries on 2 continents and I didn't even send a postcard. You are welcome to stay on my couch though.
posted by arcticseal at 9:06 PM on December 15, 2013 [1 favorite]




I haven't washed my hands in the kitchen sink for 6 years. As a consequence I haven't had one instance of cross-contamination.
posted by unliteral at 9:16 PM on December 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I decided not to fuck Fozzie after all

Better errors of action than inaction, man
posted by pullayup at 9:17 PM on December 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


I think the biggest benefit of AskMe is that if you read it long enough, you sort of get an AskMe in your head that tells you what to do in certain circumstances:
  • "DTMFA!"
  • "Therapy!"
  • "Yes, you can ask them out, but only once, and don't be a creep about it"
  • "That's inappropriate, talk to HR about it"
  • etc.
I recently had something come up in my life that I didn't post an ask about, because I totally knew what AskMe would say. I followed the advice that I knew I would have gotten, and it was the best thing I've ever done for myself.
posted by jcreigh at 9:18 PM on December 15, 2013 [113 favorites]


With much effort and self policing, I entirely removed a specific type of sentence construction from my vernacular after AskMefi verified that most people outside of my region would consider it very rude.
posted by Shouraku at 9:22 PM on December 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had an anon askme and almost everyone called me names and blamed me for the issue. Based on the feedback, I completely blanked the person at all times no matter how socially awkward it made me feel at our frequent encounters. She's recently started being civil to me because I got a promotion even though I behave exactly the same way as before.

So all the answers that made me cry and think it was all my fault were wrong, because really she is just a bully who should be nibbled to death by ducks.
posted by winna at 9:34 PM on December 15, 2013 [16 favorites]


AskMe changed a whole lot of stupid plot points in a lot of things I wrote.
posted by The Whelk at 9:37 PM on December 15, 2013



I think the biggest benefit of AskMe is that if you read it long enough, you sort of get an AskMe in your head that tells you what to do in certain circumstances:


Yes, you start thinking "if this was an AskMe question how would people respond?" And then your inner AskMe Council appears (in robes, there are always robes) and starts to reach a consensus.
posted by The Whelk at 9:41 PM on December 15, 2013 [23 favorites]


My AskMe council always looks the King of Dragon Pass clan ring.
posted by ignignokt at 9:45 PM on December 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


i sometimes imagine the advisers of Civilization 4.
posted by The Whelk at 9:48 PM on December 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


just a bully who should be nibbled to death by ducks mauled to death by geese.

FTFY.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:10 PM on December 15, 2013


AskMe convinced me to move to my first house in Philadelphia, and helped me write the note to my roommate-to-be saying yes, really, this is the place I want.

I live in a different house in a different neighborhood now, but that first place was about the best intro to Philly I could have asked for.
posted by ActionPopulated at 10:25 PM on December 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


winna: "I completely blanked the person at all times no matter how socially awkward it made me feel at our frequent encounters"

Just curious to know what you mean by the word "blanked" in this context. I'm unfamiliar with this usage.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:29 PM on December 15, 2013


Hmm, I think I need to ask more human relations questions, or research less before asking - as I've had a pretty mixed response to some of my questions. I usually turn to ask me when I can't find the answer anywhere else - turns out, more often then not, neither can anyone else, so I end up with a bunch of unqualified guesses or answers that ignore the criteria. I also once asked an anon question, half the answers were kinda mean and upset me, but half were really lovely.

Hands down, most I've gotten out of questions I've asked was additives to porridge, and Romances like Heyer.

But, as mentioned above, I get as much or more from the questions I don't ask that are tremendously informative and interesting. Likewise, I find sometimes when I'm really putting an effort into an answer - a human relations, more metaphysical answers - it crystallises nascent thoughts I've not confronted, or considered in that way. Selfishly, I suspect sometimes those answers are more help to me, than the OP. Hopefully we both get something out of it.
posted by smoke at 10:48 PM on December 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Moving to Los Angeles.

I did it!

It has worked out... Okay. If nothing else, the weather is much better and I have my own apartment.

I've had much poorer luck with every car question I've ever asked. (The prognosis has always been way worse that the ever-optimistic folks at AskMe have been willing to suggest.)
posted by Sara C. at 10:56 PM on December 15, 2013


I've also asked a million questions about leaving TV/film production to do something else, and never acted on any of it.
posted by Sara C. at 10:57 PM on December 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I anonymously asked the question about disposing of a body. It worked great, thanks!
posted by Justinian at 11:08 PM on December 15, 2013 [12 favorites]


Just curious to know what you mean by the word "blanked" in this context. I'm unfamiliar with this usage.

Watch and learn.
posted by flabdablet at 11:10 PM on December 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hmm, I think I need to ask more human relations questions, or research less before asking - as I've had a pretty mixed response to some of my questions. I usually turn to ask me when I can't find the answer anywhere else - turns out, more often then not, neither can anyone else, so I end up with a bunch of unqualified guesses or answers that ignore the criteria.

Yeah, of the actual responses to my questions, I have found few to be on target. I know we're supposed to separate the wheat from the chaff ourselves, but there's a hell of a lot of chaff. The responses that did fly true were mostly the ones where I didn't bother to check on Amazon beforehand, like "how to attach a soap dish in the shower." I also got some pretty great reading recommendations from misteraitch in response to something. But since I've idolized him for almost a decade now, I think I could have just asked him directly.
posted by Nomyte at 11:12 PM on December 15, 2013


I also got a really weird Mefi message from a user I'd never heard of, who told me that Mefites everywhere have complained to them about me confidentially, that I'm probably habitually abrasive to the people around me, that I must be rude to waiters, and that it's very likely that this was the reason why my career had stagnated.
posted by Nomyte at 11:27 PM on December 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh that, I send that to everyone.
posted by bongo_x at 1:12 AM on December 16, 2013 [38 favorites]


Went with the answers for this question I asked. I'm now in my 2nd year abroad! Definitely has been a great experience so far!
posted by astapasta24 at 1:32 AM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


The responses that did fly true were mostly the ones where I didn't bother to check on Amazon beforehand, like .......

That's an interesting use of Amazon... do you buy stuff on Google?
posted by HuronBob at 4:01 AM on December 16, 2013




I asked an anon question, and one of my assumptions was repeatedly questioned. I didn't get an answer, but it did make me think carefully about how I was approaching the problem. I still haven't solved it, but it's not weighing on me so heavily now.

However, my most life-changing advice came from someone else's AskMe, about arguing: asking for "your 100%". I have used this one more times than I can count, and it's got like a 95% success rate for ending arguments. It's a proper game-changer.
posted by greenish at 4:36 AM on December 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I got a dog. youcancallmeal (in this thread and via email) turned out to be a big help in making that decision. Dog has been a wonderful, energetic barn buddy and a pain in the ass on more than one occasion...but I like him anyway.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:44 AM on December 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I bought a boat (although the advice was that I maybe shouldn't) and named said boat. You also helped me add sensors to the boat, restore power to the boat and make the boat easier to get in and out of.

Maybe I should start asking questions about something else...
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:06 AM on December 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I moved to San Antonio and he moved to Austin. Then he dropped out of grad school and moved in with me. Still trying to learn to trust my instincts.
posted by muddgirl at 5:26 AM on December 16, 2013


And then your inner AskMe Council appears (in robes, there are always robes) and starts to reach a consensus.

Uh oh. Mine don't wear robes; they just wear regular clothes. Hmm.
posted by rtha at 5:41 AM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


In the grand scheme of things this question I asked about how to get carpet off an iron wasn't a big deal. But at the time I was just so stressed and so broke and I was sad and scared and nothing in my life was working right, and on top of that I was at my boyfriend's apartment when I shouldn't have been and then I fucked up his iron and it was just like OH GOD NOW WHAT WHY IS EVERYTHING SO AWFUL AAAAHH.

The iron got cleaned off, but iconomy and carbide both gave answers that made me feel human again, instead of like a whithering bag of suck, and I needed that.
posted by phunniemee at 5:46 AM on December 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


I bought a table saw and have used it quite a bit since then. It has turned out to be a very useful addition to my garage/shop. I don't know if I consider it life-changing, but I'm certainly cutting more wood than I used to. Also, potential projects don't get shelved (ha) as easily now that I'm a little better equipped to handle them.
posted by jquinby at 5:56 AM on December 16, 2013


Yes, you start thinking "if this was an AskMe question how would people respond?" And then your inner AskMe Council appears (in robes, there are always robes) and starts to reach a consensus.

This is so, so true. I don't use AskMe much, these days, and it's because every time I start to compose the question, searching for related questions and thinking about how it'll get answered makes it unnecessary.
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:03 AM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Six years ago, AskMe convinced me to go to medical school. I graduate in 17 months.
posted by The White Hat at 6:03 AM on December 16, 2013 [36 favorites]


Congratulations in advance, the (Dr-to-be) White Hat!
posted by the quidnunc kid at 6:05 AM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


This isn't my question, but I thought the advice given in it was superb.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:10 AM on December 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


In 2011, I was offered a temp position with hellaciously long hours on a six-month temp-to-possible-perm basis. I asked if I should do it, and everyone talked me into it because I'd end up with a big horkin' bunch of money and be almost out of debt. I did it.

However, it ultimately didn't work out well - but only because no one in AskMe could have anticipated that only one month into it, the guy I'd have been working for would be fired because one of his underlings was brought up on insider trading charges.

I did sort of land on my feet - I was offered a full-time job with shorter hours, just because they felt bad and that lasted a while, but the mega-overtime we all were counting on also didn't happen because of those shorter hours, and ultimately it just wore me down and I didn't get out of debt and then they ended up laying me off this May anyway so fuck them. But currently I'm currently in a temp position in a different place which may be less money, but much more sane and I like it better, and am courting them for a full-time gig there. (This industry is also way less prone to laying people off than my last one seems to be.)

Tangentially, this may have been one of the most helpful AskMes I asked for different reasons, and AskMe got a thank you in a play's program notes as a result.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:11 AM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Another vote for AskMeFi told me where to live and it's awesome. I don't know that I would have had the confidence to do the reverse commuting thing without lots of people saying it was possible, and we are so very very happy living in town with this fun city life instead of out in the burbs.
posted by hydropsyche at 6:34 AM on December 16, 2013


You know what, my actual questions have usually either have a specific answer someone nails right away (I should have googled better first) or nobody answers/I get random guesses.

However. The real help if AskMe is the empty text box and weighty responsibility of asking a question people can answer. Many a time I have typed out my question in detail, and while previewing it, realized I really didn't need any input. So, thanks for helping organize my thoughts.
posted by blnkfrnk at 6:46 AM on December 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


I looked great at my wedding! Seriously, without the good advice of askme I would have done it all wrong. I should probably go post a follow-up pic in that thread...
posted by sundaydriver at 6:54 AM on December 16, 2013


Mitheral once fixed my fridge. For the record, I think it cost $205, so you owe me a fiver, Mitheral.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:56 AM on December 16, 2013


(I should amend my last comment to add that the advice of Mefites in that life-changing question was excellent, more than I ever expected).
posted by muddgirl at 6:58 AM on December 16, 2013


I asked, anonymously, about six years ago, if I should start a relationship with someone who did not match my life goals (in regard to marriage, children). I was unanimously told no. My heart felt so strongly against the AskMe reaction that I decided that the relationship was worth trying. We have been together five and a half years, have a domestic partnership, and have the best relationship of anyone I know.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:02 AM on December 16, 2013 [27 favorites]


I followed some advice in an AskMe question and ended up in a hotel room where there was some rather personal touching and photos taken of me.

Six weeks later, a really nice suit arrived in the mail.
posted by griphus at 7:03 AM on December 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


Hey you signed a waiver, no talking about it in public!
posted by The Whelk at 7:04 AM on December 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


I never took my dog back to the bad vet after our bad vet visit.

Beyond that single issue, I think that Ask Mefi reassured me that I should trust my instincts. I doubted my gut feelings about the vet because, well, he was the expert and in a place of authority and how could I know better than him how to do his job...right?

Anyway, I've been paying closer attention to my instincts.
posted by Elly Vortex at 7:07 AM on December 16, 2013




I also got a really weird Mefi message from a user I'd never heard of, who told me that Mefites everywhere have complained to them about me confidentially, that I'm probably habitually abrasive to the people around me, that I must be rude to waiters, and that it's very likely that this was the reason why my career had stagnated.

So, did you eat it?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:24 AM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


This doesn't exactly fit the question you're asking, but it has marked a major change in my life. I wasn't having a heart attack. Instead I was very hypothyroid, and that was most likely the cause. So, so many of the issues I was having (some I didn't even realize, others I had dismissed as normal aging) are related to my thyroid, and I'm working with an endocrinologist to get things on track.
posted by zarq at 7:29 AM on December 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I reverted to my family (maiden) name after my divorce, thanks to AskMe, and it was the right choice. Not long after the divorce, I ended up sick in the hospital with a devastating diagnosis and the people who came to visit me were the people who raised me. My ex was across the country and had no idea I was even sick. Still doesn't.

It meant a lot to me that I had the same name as the people who cared for me most and who are still in my life. I've never regretted it.
posted by mochapickle at 7:42 AM on December 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I bought a tuxedo for my wedding online because people in the AskMe thread recommended doing so.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:42 AM on December 16, 2013


I looked great at my wedding!

I posted pics in mine, it's only fair.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:50 AM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I sort of figured mine would be really boring, but I wasn't expecting it to be quite so boring as "we decided to play this one card game fairly regularly for a year or two." I guess I don't really use AskMe for important life stuff.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:54 AM on December 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, I decided to go ahead and save a few bucks and replace the starter in my '86 Buick Century myself!
posted by Mister_A at 7:55 AM on December 16, 2013


Me too!
posted by griphus at 7:57 AM on December 16, 2013 [10 favorites]


I followed AskMe's advice, and woke up in a bathtub full of ice, missing my kidneys.

but I haven't bought that lemon tree yet, even though I keep thinking about it..
posted by k5.user at 7:59 AM on December 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I fostered a (pregnant) cat. I am now a crazy cat lady with 3 foster fails. Best decision ever.
posted by cgg at 8:09 AM on December 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


This one made my sister-in-law happy, this one got us a good mover, and this one helped my inlaws sell their house. Thanks, AskMe!
posted by languagehat at 8:15 AM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I read a really excellent perspective changing non-fiction book and incidentally, last month, ate in a bar/restaurant that is the main setting for said book (quite by accident I sat at the same place the cover photo was taken!). It was tiny, like 10 customers total capacity tiny.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:23 AM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I couldn't think of anything, so I went back through my questions and discovered that the problem I'm having with my car now is the exact same problem I was having in 2005! Same car, too. Now if only I could remember how it got resolved. So this isn't really anything that changed my life, but it is sorta interesting. Oh and to those two answerers, I'm still not going to replace the car.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:00 AM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dutifully listening to the answers to this question, no matter how scathingly-painful to my ego, has made me a 95% more-tolerable person.

The answers to this question are supporting my substantial prow RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND, and every single day, to boot.
posted by julthumbscrew at 9:02 AM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've been reading a lot of smut.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:03 AM on December 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Saw a tweet this morning that pretty much sums it up, "My neighbor thinks I am crazy because I decided to home school my kittens."
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:18 AM on December 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I too left my abusive husband, and spent a year and a half being HIV tested on the advice of Ask.
posted by FunkyHelix at 9:20 AM on December 16, 2013 [14 favorites]


I asked an anon beanplate-y does-he-like-me-or-not type question. Someone told me to STFU and call the boy, already. I did, and am happily cohabitating with him, five years later.

I gave his mom the benefit of the doubt, but subsequent behavior on her part has made it clear that she has a problem with my continued existence. Several of the answers helped me remember that I'm an adult and am allowed to a) be autonomous and b) not engage with people who are jerks to me.

I am also a much better cook than I used to be, and find enjoyment in it.
posted by coppermoss at 9:48 AM on December 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Y'all gave me good advice about bringing a second "foster" dog into my household. Of course nobody gave me the "don't give the dog a name or you'll end up keeping it" warning. Little jerk quickly became a permanent member of my family!
posted by radioamy at 10:08 AM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I now look great in my passport photos. I am a happier traveler.
posted by tavegyl at 10:15 AM on December 16, 2013


AskMe helped me care for my Dad as he descended into dementia, helped me figure out what to do with a subsequently failing relationship (it had failed far more than I knew and far more quickly).

You helped me explore and establish a new relationship (still going strong!)

You helped me relocate myself, my property and my cat and my Dad back to our home region in California.

You helped me spend my money on things for me and to take care of me and my desires (newly in control of it after a decade-and-a-half of having my ex spend all of it).

TBH I still haven't bought the floor robot but I probably will soon.

You helped me kick the SodaStream habit and go full Homebrew DIY (Still use it faithfully and in fact it's time soon to get the CO2 tank refilled.)

You helped me reconnect to the places where I grew up. You helped me figure out a sticky problem with friends new and old (advice that worked: stay out of it and let friends manage it themselves - they did).

You helped me package up long-planned (infused liquors and bitters) gifts that I started in summer so I could give them as gifts to my family and my friends, new and old.

Of the 32 non-anonymous questions I've asked, these total 16. So half.

AskMe, I'll never forget how much you helped me. Even if I didn't do exactly as you said, you gave me the oppty to talk and think it out and gave me choice and conversation and you cared enough to give me your opinions, which I value beyond measure.

Thank you.
posted by kalessin at 10:15 AM on December 16, 2013 [11 favorites]


On a serious note, I asked a couple of questions through a sock puppet account about a major life change. I made the change. It's still really difficult.

On a lighter note, I asked for veggie pie recipes. I made a mushroom and onion pie. It was yummy. (If you knew how little I cooked you would know that this too was a major life decision.)
posted by billiebee at 10:32 AM on December 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am happy to report that the friend I wanted jokes for has finished all her chemo, and yesterday we celebrated her daughter's first birthday. She enjoyed the distraction during her infusions, and I was grateful for AskMe's assistance in that project.

Years ago AskMe taught me that feeding my dog better quality kibble would fix his room-clearing farts. We had to put him down in 2012, but we all enjoyed his company a lot more while he was with us.
posted by ambrosia at 10:41 AM on December 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


In 2010 I was in major flux in my life. Everything felt upturned and unstable. I asked this question.

I cannot even begin to explain how much my life has changed since then. While it probably wasn't the entire cure (nor am I entirely cured), it was a pivotal point on which my relationship with food and my body tilted.

I have lost weight, but that's just side effect. I grow a not insignificant portion of my own food. I do not obsess about food every day. I am with an amazing therapist. I am loving my job. Overall, I'm a happier person and MeFi is definitely a part of that.
posted by Sophie1 at 10:47 AM on December 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


We went to Tavern on the Green for Christmas dinner. My dad loved it. My then teenaged siblings hated it. We ended up in a Cuban restaurant for New Year's Eve. All the adults got blackout drunk and I spent New Year's Day on bed, hungover. Success!

My business attire was perfect for Tokyo's summer.

Our Sheltie is now house trained, but in the process we realised she's an very anxious dog. She gets fine with the cats now and we're a very happy family.

I might go to DragonCon this year, but will still try to get tickets to SDCC.
posted by clearlydemon at 10:51 AM on December 16, 2013


The most actionable advice I received resulted in some very nice meals in Phoenix as well as some tasty drinks to make when I don't feel like drinking booze - but I think my favorite discussion (as well as the longest) was in response to my question about Santa Claus (and I bought the book Miko recommended, but haven't actually read it yet).

And thank you, showbiz_liz, for starting this conversation.
posted by nickmark at 11:00 AM on December 16, 2013


I moved to Los Angeles. I might have done it without ask.mefi, but the answers to that question pushed me over the edge.

Changes in my life that resulted from this move:

I make 5x what I did in ND.
I built my dream workshop.
I bought my dream truck.
I live in an ideal space for a maker/inventor.
I travel all over the world building things for my job.
My life outlook has dramatically changed for the positive.
I met the love of my life and we are engaged to be married.

No regrets.
posted by fake at 11:05 AM on December 16, 2013 [30 favorites]


Well, there were a couple of women that decided not to become human trafficking statistics thanks to AskMe answers.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:06 AM on December 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


Congrats, fake!
posted by zarq at 11:08 AM on December 16, 2013


Obviously, the other best advice I ever followed was getting in touch with that guy from the State Department.
posted by fake at 11:08 AM on December 16, 2013 [11 favorites]


Hahah! YO POLLOMACHO! JINX!

thanks Zarq!
posted by fake at 11:08 AM on December 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I asked an anonymous panicked AskMe about a relationship choice. You guys helped me resolve it, and now I'm happily married!
posted by corb at 11:14 AM on December 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


Can't find the Ask for the life of me (and I've tried before, to try to find the answerer and send a thank you), but someone posted a list of small presses as a possible solution to getting lost in the agent query process, and now my first novel has been accepted for publication in November of next year (!)
posted by Mchelly at 11:23 AM on December 16, 2013 [14 favorites]


I have fond memories of being the sort of person who would get this tattoo, and AskMe helped sort out the details.

I wouldn't get that done today, but I still enjoy having it.

One thing that I have noticed is that responses to it used to be "Hey, awesome tattoo!" (to which I know the response, it is "Awesome, thanks!") and now they tend to be, "What's the deal with your tattoo", which I only have a good response to if I think you have ninety seconds to listen to philosophy of language stuff. Sometimes I'll give up and say something like, "Well, sometimes you're young…" with a smile and a shake of the head, but that is not how I actually fell about it so I hate the lie of that response, however easily comprehended it is.

I also have acquired some degree of infamy in Chicago.
posted by Kwine at 11:29 AM on December 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I also asked an anonymous panicked overrationalized AskMe about my failing relationship and you guys gave me a lot of much needed perspective about who was ultimately responsible. I think you were right even though the ex didn't. But there's a reason she's my ex. All my remaining friends as well as my girlfriend and all of my new friends agree with me (as well they should).

In fact, putting the ex and those who thought I was the villain away and far from my heart and not trying to recover any of that at my own expense turned out to be a great decision and played a great part in forging what seems like a much less random and unstable new life that feels more centered and stable.

All that was based on the answers I got from my panicked AskMe, and I can't thank you enough for that help either. Really, your perspective saved me from being desperate and alone, trying to salvage something with people who ultimately didn't give a shit about me.
posted by kalessin at 11:31 AM on December 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I got my sister's kid a Rody. Not only did she love it, her little brother also loves it, and I get to see pictures of my sister's friends drunkenly riding the rody on Facebook, as predicted in the thread.
posted by jeffamaphone at 11:33 AM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


now they tend to be, "What's the deal with your tattoo"

What you should do is get a tattoo saying "AskMe" on your other bicep which you can point to, leading to a pleasing question-answer loop.
posted by billiebee at 11:37 AM on December 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


My AskMe council always looks the King of Dragon Pass clan ring.

somehow I can never get that twerp who worships the trickster god off the damn thing
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:06 PM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


somehow I can never get that twerp who worships the trickster god off the damn thing

They're just one of those guys that the other guys like having around for some reason, and you just don't get it. How to deal with them is a good candidate for an AskMe question, actually.
posted by ignignokt at 12:22 PM on December 16, 2013


To eat at Black's BBQ in Lockhart, TX during a recent trip to Austin, TX (and in so doing, made it possible to reconnect with a long lost old friend who was -- and still is -- responsible (directly and indirectly) for a lot of the positive stuff in my life now, even now, almost 30 years after we first met, starting with accidentally introducing me to my significant other of 25 years).

Thanks, AskMe!
posted by notyou at 12:26 PM on December 16, 2013


I'm really, really glad I didn't see this question at the time.

When I was a kid (but a lot older than I'd like to admit) I wanted to do a really big burp in my sisters face, so I spent an evening swallowing air to give me superhuman belching capabilities. For some reason the opportunity never arose so I went to bed. I woke up in the small hours of the morning with excruciating abdominal pain. I thought it was appendicitis and I remember calling out for help. Whilst my parents were deliberating on taking me to A&E I remembered all the air I'd swallowed, and wondered if it was related. I gently massaged my stomach and felt a little better. Then I let out a massive fart and felt better still. I lay there in bed farting happily for a few minutes, before getting up to tell my parents I'd miraculously recovered.

So my advice would have been along the lines of: 'Your husband was probably just trying to do a really big burp. Don't bother taking him to hospital, that's a waste of time. If he does a huge fart he'll get better all by himself'.
posted by Ned G at 12:44 PM on December 16, 2013 [10 favorites]


I was smart from the very beginning.
posted by klangklangston at 12:54 PM on December 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I bought my bike. And now I actually commute to the park and ride on it and ride it on weekends, at least during our months with longer daylight hours.

Less life-changingly, had fun knitting socks for me and Bear, and am almost done now with my first ever sweater.
posted by bearwife at 1:03 PM on December 16, 2013


This was me. I've since brought my blood sugar down to a healthy level and have dropped at least 2-3 pant sizes, depending on the brand. I now enjoy experimenting with healthier foods, and I love trying different exercises-- I'm addicted to kettlebells and Pilates right now. My doctor checks my weight periodically, and she's confirmed that I am losing. I was really anxious when I wrote my question, but it's the best decision I ever made. Thank you.

I've also asked various other anonymous questions over the years. Some had answers I disagreed with and therefore disregarded, some had answers I followed, either because I agreed with them or I initially disagreed and (often begrudgingly) later admitted that the commenter had a point. 'Tis the way of AskMe, I guess.

There was also that one question I posted under a sock puppet that had extremely helpful answers. Again, thanks.
posted by bookwibble at 1:14 PM on December 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I figured out that that I was in an abusive relationship, and then I left. I decided not to go back, even though I wanted to. I haven't heard from him in awhile, and no longer care if I do.

I now have a much better life.
posted by sockermom at 1:47 PM on December 16, 2013 [20 favorites]


I found out that the Rheinsteig exists and had one hell of a good walk. Well 60 miles worth anyway.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 3:13 PM on December 16, 2013


I keep my dish sponge in the dishwasher now and it doesn't get eaten by my cat. Except when one of us forgets to put the sponge in there.
posted by matildaben at 5:09 PM on December 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I got the Poetry Foundation's Poetry app on my phone and I now read poetry sometimes!
posted by Area Man at 5:41 PM on December 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I bought the Norelco, from the large South American river company. It works fine. My hand isn't numb after I trim my beard.
posted by Bruce H. at 5:51 PM on December 16, 2013


I keep my dish sponge in the dishwasher now and it doesn't get eaten by my cat. Except when one of us forgets to put the sponge in there.

Your cat remembers to put the dish sponge in the dishwasher?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:15 PM on December 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


I found out that my cat is just kind of a dick.
posted by sonika at 6:16 PM on December 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


This question. I am a HAES advocate, I have a decent understanding of the research and literature about gastric surgery, but what I really really needed was someone to pat my head and tell me good stories. I just wanted someone to tell me it would work, he wouldn't die, and all that.

As it turns out he's had a reasonably good experience (he ended up having a gastric resection I think). He's still a big fat guy, still immensely strong but unfit, still deaf, still in pain. But thinner, somewhat more active, and more likely to engage mindfully with food.
posted by geek anachronism at 6:22 PM on December 16, 2013


I bought the Mini. Handles fine in the snow.
posted by initapplette at 6:49 PM on December 16, 2013


Well, this is going to seem silly, but this question about Penzey's spices has seriously enriched my spice cabinet. The Vietnamese cinnamon... yowza.

I also asked this weight-loss question in 2011, didn't take all the low-carb advice, lost a little weight, but have since joined the low-carb bandwagon and lost another ten pounds. It has changed my life for the better.

On a more serious note, Metafilter has helped me get my butt on a plane (it still causes massive anxiety, but I can do it) and most importantly, helped me help my friend stay sober in 2008. We spent most of that weekend texting, chatting, meeting at a 24-hour Starbucks for overpriced coffee. He is seven years sober this month.
posted by rachaelfaith at 7:35 PM on December 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I D'd him. He was not a MF. It was hard, but ended up being one of the most mature actions I feel I've taken w/r/t relationships. We are cordial now.
posted by psoas at 6:01 AM on December 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm really surprised by the number of people in this post who figured out they were in abusive relationships because of Ask Me. Reading through I was struck by that. There are at least three. I think that really says a lot about Ask Me.
posted by onlyconnect at 7:06 AM on December 17, 2013 [9 favorites]


Count me in on that if you didn't already. One of the real epiphanies I got from just getting an average reaction was that I'd been emotionally abused, taken advantage of and had my good intentions taken hostage for YEARS. I had simply had no idea and wouldn't have characterized it as that at the time, but it's definite as I look back.
posted by kalessin at 7:31 AM on December 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


I identified my birth mother and asked how to get her cell phone number (since she doesn't have a landline) so I could call her to make first contact. It became clear as the answers came in there was no great way to get it that didn't involve asking her or doing something illegal. So I resorted to another method of contact: I sent her a Facebook message. She responded within 90 minutes.

I was happily reunited with my birth mother on June 8 of this year. In addition to her, I've met and formed relationships with her mother, 3 half-siblings, and numerous cousins and in-laws, plus a grandmother and 2 aunts on my (deceased) birth father's side. Every single family member I've met has been full of joy and love for me.

We told a story about it to 500 people. I spoke about it at Ignite Baltimore in front of 400 people. And in January, my birth mother, birth aunts, and my parents will all gather to support me as I speak about adoption searches and the law at TEDxBaltimore.

My life couldn't have undergone a bigger change. Thanks, Metafilter.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 8:08 AM on December 17, 2013 [44 favorites]


I'd never written an Ask about it – or a MeTa (yet) – but reading ask.mefi was what got me out of my own 5+ year abusive relationship too. It really was the push like no other resource; I could write reams about this.

This coming February I'll be celebrating two years out of it. And I do mean celebrating, though sombrely.

There are a lot more of us than you might think. It's why I can't really handle kneejerk critics of 'the DTMFA/abuse culture' here.
posted by lokta at 8:15 AM on December 17, 2013 [8 favorites]


onlyconnect: "I'm really surprised by the number of people in this post who figured out they were in abusive relationships because of Ask Me. Reading through I was struck by that. There are at least three. I think that really says a lot about Ask Me."

It does. There are also quite a few of us reading and commenting who have been in abusive relationships and are able to offer advice, which makes it a pretty fantastic resource. To be honest, I wish AskMe had been around when I was a kid, teenager and in my 20's.
posted by zarq at 8:35 AM on December 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


I also got a really weird Mefi message from a user I'd never heard of, who told me that Mefites everywhere have complained to them about me confidentially

I don't know why people do this, it's sort of crappy behavior. Sorry about that Nomyte. Please feel free to block that person and/or report them to us if you get further harassing emails.

The bulk of the questions that I have asked that weren't about solving a specific problem were of the "Does this tool exist?" and the answers have usually been "Nope." I did get some very good advice about running my father's memorial service which helped me power through the day feeling like a lot of people who had already been there had my back.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:40 AM on December 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


The answers to my anonymous AskMe made me realize there weren't actually any special snowflake considerations in moving out of my parents' house and it was as easy as just...moving out. I did, and it was one of the best choices I've ever made.
posted by capricorn at 9:36 AM on December 17, 2013 [9 favorites]


I didn't ask the initial question, but I first heard about developer bootcamps on AskMe. I quit my job as a librarian and attended a bootcamp this past summer/fall and I'm now working as a software developer. Big change!
posted by mskyle at 11:43 AM on December 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


I don't know why people do this, it's sort of crappy behavior. Sorry about that Nomyte.

I do not hold the mods accountable for anything sent in a private message. For all I know, the sender was sincere and meant well, but just proceeded in a way I found really unpleasant.
posted by Nomyte at 12:49 PM on December 17, 2013


I would like to break in to briefly compliment the mods on one thing: they are extremely responsive to MeMail harassment. I was once harassed by memail, though I don't remember the name of the offender. Why? Because mods took care of it immediately once alerted and it never happened again. So A++ on preventing that sort of sheisty shit.
posted by corb at 1:35 PM on December 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


Not to chase this MeMail thing too far -- just wanted to say how incredibly nice MeFis are, in my experience, when they memail. I truly think it isn't just our awesome vigilant mods that keep MeMail pleasant, it's the attitude of the vast majority of the Mefi denizens.
posted by bearwife at 3:00 PM on December 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I quit smoking for good in 2005 with the help of AskMe's non-mint candy suggestions. I also wrote my best reviewed novel to date with the help of research suggestions from AskMe. Is there nothing you guys can't do?
posted by headspace at 3:47 PM on December 17, 2013


The only problem with memail is that I feel guilty when I don't check it for a couple of days and then it's something that would take a fair amount of effort to answer so it just sits there in my inbox and after a bit I just say fuck it and decide to ignore it from there on out.

If pb could get on whipping up a solution for that, I'd appreciate it.
posted by klangklangston at 6:40 PM on December 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


people often quite inexplicably send me very nice memails saying very nice things and i don't really know how to respond to sincere and earnest pleasantness so i just close the browser window and hide under a blankie

how do i human interactions
posted by elizardbits at 6:45 PM on December 17, 2013 [10 favorites]


i don't really know how to respond to sincere and earnest pleasantness

Send them a picture of a cat in an ugly sweater.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:47 PM on December 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yes, every mefite who has ever emailed me to tell me how awesome I am and I just responded "thanks this made my day", it was because you scared the shit out of me and I don't know how to take a compliment. It's seriously nothing personal.
posted by Sara C. at 7:02 PM on December 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think this thread made me start listening to The Best Show on WFMU. That was the most life-changing.

.
posted by one_bean at 7:29 PM on December 17, 2013


This was not my question, but Solomon's advice in particular, "They shush you in public? DTMFA," did a lot to keep me from backsliding on a decision to friend-dump someone who had a history of treating me like dirt in just that way. It's been great.
posted by sculpin at 8:00 PM on December 17, 2013


elizardbits: "people often quite inexplicably send me very nice memails saying very nice things and i don't really know how to respond to sincere and earnest pleasantness "

Don't worry, I only send you emus.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:13 PM on December 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, every mefite who has ever emailed me to tell me how awesome I am and I just responded "thanks this made my day", it was because you scared the shit out of me and I don't know how to take a compliment.

*Meekly raises hand*

Another one for the "pathologically inable to accept a compliment" club. A couple times people have memailed me with compliments and I didn't respond at all, for the same reason.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:34 AM on December 18, 2013


Geez, now you’re all making me sad. That’s not a compliment, so you should be OK.
posted by bongo_x at 2:31 AM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


As a long-time lurker, it was definitely questions asked by other people that have helped me the most. The day I found out I was pregnant I read, I think, every single AskMe about pregnancy, babies, and children, and they helped me know what to expect and to take it in stride. Thanks AskMe for basically being my doula!
posted by lollymccatburglar at 3:56 AM on December 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


people often quite inexplicably send me very nice memails saying very nice things and i don't really know how to respond to sincere and earnest pleasantness

Yes, every mefite who has ever emailed me to tell me how awesome I am and I just responded "thanks this made my day", it was because you scared the shit out of me and I don't know how to take a compliment

A couple times people have memailed me with compliments and I didn't respond at all, for the same reason


I am someone who quite often sends random memails to people to say they made me laugh or I liked a comment or something. Sometimes people reply and sometimes not. This is making me feel better about the ones who don't. Most of the time I know people have better things to do, but sometimes the Voice In My Head sings "You seeeee? No one wants to play with you cos you're boring and also smelly" and I have to drink some gin to make her go to sleep again. I'm much happier to think I've just terrified someone.

Yes. That's why they didn't reply. Fear. Don't listen to her. You just had a bath last night. *begins slicing limes*
posted by billiebee at 4:30 AM on December 18, 2013 [20 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: " Another one for the "pathologically inable to accept a compliment" club. A couple times people have memailed me with compliments and I didn't respond at all, for the same reason."

I'm terrible at that, too. Have never understood why.
posted by zarq at 5:31 AM on December 18, 2013


The memails I send elizardbits are usually full of swearing and ranting, and she memails back in kind, so that seems to work.
posted by rtha at 5:42 AM on December 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I've gotten very awesome memails too - an overwhelming majority - some great support, aid/assistance, props, and even some thoughtful, calm arguments with some of my favorite hotheads. You know who you are. Mefites: great 99.9% of the time.
posted by corb at 6:07 AM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I asked whether it would be a bad idea to give my soon-to-propose boyfriend an engagement BBQ. I was worried it would be weird. People thought it was a great idea and encouraged me to do it, so I did. He fucking loved it and told everyone how his fiance is so awesome. He was all "My fiance got me a freekin' engagement BBQ!! How incredible is that! Best proposal ever!" He also said it was the most thoughtful thing anyone had ever done for him. In a weird way my getting him an engagement BBQ made him feel really appreciated. The fact that I got him ANYTHING for an engagement gift was shock, such a huge shift from the relationships he had in the past. Rather than just expecting, demanding, and taking, I was giving back and thanking. He also said that the fact that I got him a BBQ showed that I really did get him, that I knew what he liked and knew what he would appreciate.

So yeah. Convincing me to go ahead and re-propose to my fiance with a BBQ.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 7:21 AM on December 18, 2013 [12 favorites]


I recently had something come up in my life that I didn't post an ask about, because I totally knew what AskMe would say. I followed the advice that I knew I would have gotten, and it was the best thing I've ever done for myself.

This is so true, I have done something similar several times I have an issue in my life of writing it out like an ask me question and then thinking about what ask.mefi would say about my situation. I think there are two big benefits, First - I have to actually sit down and figure out what the problem actually is on paper/screen rather than letting it sit in my head as a big confusing emotional mess. Second, when you have it down on there in just words it helps a lot to cut through the special pleading and rationalisation that most of us are incredibly good at doing about ourselves when we are just in our own heads, your problem is only what you have written down there, and after reading askmefi for a bit you become very very good at recognising this kind of avoidance, because you've seen it all before from people with hugely varied circumstances. Overwhelmingly reading ask me has helped me realise that despite the magic pixie part of my brain repeatedly pretending it - I am not so special or unique, but not uniquely messed up or specially weird either.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 10:45 AM on December 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


"I am someone who quite often sends random memails to people to say they made me laugh or I liked a comment or something. Sometimes people reply and sometimes not. This is making me feel better about the ones who don't. Most of the time I know people have better things to do, but sometimes the Voice In My Head sings 'You seeeee? No one wants to play with you cos you're boring and also smelly' and I have to drink some gin to make her go to sleep again. I'm much happier to think I've just terrified someone."

It's a really, really kind thing to do to send someone such a message, or compliment them in the thread. Seriously, it's positive and generous and I think that most people feel good about themselves for it, even if they are also freaked-out by it.

That's true for me. My standard reply is something like "it's so kind of you to say so", which I totally genuinely mean, but it's the best response I can come up with. And I can't think of anything to say in response when it's a comment in a thread.

For me, anyway, the reason is this huge fear of replying with anything that sound like, I don't know, I'm agreeing with the person. Or something. I've had a long journey in my adult life to a point where I can internally accept a compliment and feel like it's honest and it's okay for me to feel good about myself for it, but what I can't do is figure out how to accept it without feeling like I'm acting impressed with myself for it, or something. It's confusing and it stumps me.

I'd not respond at all to the messages except that I think, as I wrote above, that it's really awfully kind and generous for someone to reach out to someone else that way, to be willing to say, hey, you did good. I think there should be more of that in the world. I try to do it. So I absolutely don't want to hurt the feelings of the person being complimentary by ignoring them, both because I worry about how they will feel and I think such behavior should be encouraged. But with public compliments, like stuff in-thread, I end up not responding because the weight in that situation is that it's public and so I not only worry about how that one person might perceive my response, but everyone else. It's like, when it's public, then responding is calling more attention to it and that makes it seem like I'm wanting to call more attention to it.

So I'll often (but not always) send a private message thanking them for the compliment.

This probably seems to many people be way over-thinking it and absurdly anxiety-ridden. But a lot of us really have trouble with compliments for numerous reasons. A lot of people just don't think they deserve them at all. I said that I've gotten over that problem, but I haven't, completely. And twenty-five years ago, I didn't believe any compliments at all. I felt like a fraud accepting them, so I never did. This is pretty common, sadly.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:01 PM on December 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yeah, agreeing with Ivan that I do appreciate the kind comments. I just freeze up when it comes to EXPRESSING that appreciation.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:10 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


This thread is making me realize that you bastards are not appreciating me enough.
posted by onlyconnect at 3:49 PM on December 18, 2013 [14 favorites]


So yeah. Convincing me to go ahead and re-propose to my fiance with a BBQ.

Does not say "re-purpose", just to be clear in case anyone else had that problem.
posted by bongo_x at 9:25 PM on December 18, 2013 [7 favorites]


I got a lot of good, solid advice in my first AskMe question. I followed it for a little while and then didn't, and quit that job in early 2008, right before the bottom fell out of the economy, without having another job lined up. And you know what? It turned out awesome.
posted by yomimono at 7:48 AM on December 19, 2013


I'm still here, and all of the related financial problems are resolved.

I won't lie and say that I never thought about joining her, but you folks, my friends - both those I know or have met in person and the folks I've only talked to in MeMail, Twitter, etc - you have no idea how much you mean to me, and how much you helped.
posted by mrbill at 3:10 PM on December 19, 2013 [12 favorites]


I got the dog i wanted after a suicide attempt. I told my therapist about being raped. I didn't get back together with ex. I kept the dog after learning I wasn't making her depressed and that I wasn't too boring for her even though she sighs dramatically. I learned my suicidal ideation was just mindless chatter and ignore it well now. I decided I wasn't going crazy and can get through dealing with child abuse. I still kept the dog. I am making a chocolate cake to woo a new woman...

I apparently post a hell of a lot of depressing questions and obsess on my dog...
posted by kanata at 8:58 PM on December 19, 2013 [13 favorites]


Mr. just_ducky and I had a great wedding, with tasty brunch food, lots of fun games (including giant Jenga), and everyone was really okay with not taking pictures during the ceremony, thanks to some particularly thoughtful advice.
posted by just_ducky at 1:12 PM on December 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Six years ago, AskMe convinced me to go to medical school. I graduate in 17 months.

So is your BND going to be The White Coat?

tip your waiters
posted by en forme de poire at 12:15 AM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


It was an anon. Everyone said that I was making a mountain out of a molehill. They were right. I married the guy and I've never been happier.
posted by 26.2 at 12:04 PM on December 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


AskMe introduced me to my favorite band, and, with them, pushed my life towards theatre and dramatic provocation—a direction that's factored into a lot of my art ever since. Woo!
posted by Rory Marinich at 3:33 PM on December 23, 2013


You all got me a lot of mail! Which made me really happy, especially when I went into a really rough patch that year.

I looked through my past questions and noticed one from years ago that nearly mirrored a situation I am currently in. It was comforting to see all the support, and a good reminder that I can make it out OK.
posted by divabat at 2:50 AM on December 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I DTMFA--something that happening but AskMe helped me sort through the over-burdened problem I'd set up for myself. Turns out you can sufficiently protect one's self and live separated while establishing residency in a state. It also turns out that one can then track one's suddenly irresponsible spouse and get paperwork served and signed after a year. It may take a few attempts however. It also turns out that, in a weekend of depressed self-loathing one can make a bitingly cynical profile for an online dating website but use an utterly hilarious picture of one's self to attract one's perfect mate. It turns out I'm so much happier these days and the folks on AskMe played some small part in that.
posted by Fezboy! at 3:27 PM on December 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


« Older Metafilter Youtube Rolling Playlist?   |   Mefites' Choice 2013 winners, Week Two Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments