Ask Amanda: Personal Style

This week I thought I’d post an Ask Amanda question and answer here on my “home” blog instead of the usual Converge. This is a friendly reminder that I am still answering your toughest questions about life, love and anything in between. Send me your questions and I’ll answer them asbestos I can.


Dear Amanda,

What does it mean when someone is complimenting your style and says it’s classic, unique and…homey?!

 Hollie, 20, Elmira

My dear Hollie,

Thanks so much for writing in with this conundrum. I’m so #blessed to be able to provide you with some insight. It’s people like you with issues like this that keep my column afloat. Thank you. Your trust in my words is so affirming.

I’ve read and reread your question in depth and I think I have some words of wisdom to dispense. I pray that your heart is prepared for what it is about to receive.

A compliment is always nice to hear. The punctuation in your letter makes me think that you weren’t appreciative of the compliment. Please remember to always smile and say thank you to EVERY compliment you receive, ESPECIALLY those that are mildly offensive. This way people will know you are a kind and grateful human being and not a giant snot. Those ellipses and that question mark/exclamation mark combo definitely don’t portray that about you. You should work on that. Always, always, always be mindful of your punctuation. It could damage lives if you’re not careful.

Now on to the words in your question. Let’s talk about this classic and unique thing. It tells me that they’re grasping at words to try and explain your style. The discrepancy between “classic” and “unique” means they are confused by what you’re wearing. They can’t figure you out. Sometimes this is a really good thing, but in this case I’m not so sure. Maybe all of your pieces that you’re wearing are fine and dandy, but the combination is off. Did you get dressed in the dark again? Are you maybe wearing a mini skirt with sneakers? How about a blazer with sweatpants? Classic, but unique. You are a walking contradiction.

And now about this “homey” piece. I don’t know why you even asked this question, to be honest. The answer seems very clear to me. There are two possible explanations for the use of this word:

1. You’re incredibly gangster. The person in question appreciates all the time you spent in the “hood” (that’s gangster speak for “neighbourhood”). Do you wear lots of bandanas? Maybe you roll up one pant leg but not the other (and it’s NOT for bike riding purposes. Gangsters don’t ride bicycles). Maybe they’re terribly afraid of you and think you went off the rails a la Martha Stewart and you’ve done time in the big house. Maybe they mistook your single clown tear tattoo for a gang tattoo. Maybe they are just appreciating your gold teeth (or “grill” as one might say). This is one logical explanation for the word “homey”. Although, I think the spelling you’re looking for might be “homie”. You could always consult dictionary dot com on that one, though. I’m no expert.

2. You remind them of their living room. Maybe your floral print cardigan is reminiscent of their throw pillows. Maybe your lampshade hat is a little too extreme for their taste. You don’t need to carry coasters with you wherever you go. Maybe you shouldn’t lie under peoples’ coffee tables and call yourself “Matt” when you go for a visit. Maybe – just maybe – you should stop covering yourself in thick plastic to keep your clothes clean and good looking for special occasions.

Girl, every day is a special occasion, and no one wants to sit on that plastic anyway. Throw away your inhibitions! Get rid of your protective armor! Don’t be afraid to spill something on your clothes! This is your chance! Embrace life! Take chances! Be BRAVE! YOLO, amirite?!

My dear friend, don’t be disheartened. This kind soul was only trying to tell you something that you can’t see for yourself. Listen to their words. Have an open and receptive heart. Maybe go on a shopping spree or something. I’m excited to see what’s in store for you.

Lampshades and pillow shams,



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If you have a question, leave a comment, send a tweet (@mandiemariebee) or an email ( Please include your first name (I won’t answer any questions sent in by bubbleguppy5000. Unless that’s your real name), age, and place of residence. I’ll do my best to answer your questions. Please note: Converge Magazine reserves the right to edit your questions for spelling, grammar, and brevity.

If you’d like to read less absurd and more serious Ask Amanda columns, please visit Converge Magazine.


Q & A with J & A

I am once again happy to present you with another round of Q & A with J & A. In this post, my accomplice, THE Joseph Craven and I will answer your questions about life and love. We’re totally qualified to do this.

Q & A with J & A
Solving the quandaries of life and love

This edition is entirely devoted to two eligible bachelors with initials in their names, M. Scott Anderson and D.A. Broughton. You’re welcome, gentlemen.

I’ve been told there’s a line between “intentionally getting to know” and “creepy stalking.” Is this true, and where is said line? – D.A. Broughton

A: If you approach her with a smile and a genuine interest in who she is, she’ll respond positively. If you’re open and honest with her, she’ll likely begin to be open and honest with you. Intentionally getting to know her means asking her questions about herself, her interests and the people around her. If you’re honest and genuine about wanting to get to know her, it’s not creepy. Most women would be flattered if you told them that you found them interesting and you’d like to get to know them better. If they’re not most women, you’re going to be able to read body language pretty quickly. If you persist even when she says she’s not interested, you’re crossing over the creep line. If you show up places where you know she’s going to be when she’s told you she’s not interested, then you’re getting a little creepier. Being intentional isn’t pushy or creepy. It’s being genuinely excited and interested in getting to know someone.

J: You know how cats will bring you dead animals as signs of affection? The line is riiiight before that. It’s okay for cats. It’s creepy for people.

Where is the best place to meet someone? – M. Scott Anderson

J: I understand the job markets in Boston and Washington D.C. are the best in the nation, so that could be a good starting point.

A: Probably the comment section of Tyler Stanton’s blog. Or if that somehow doesn’t work out for you, a place where you genuinely enjoy being. If you hate bars, then that’s a terrible place to meet someone. If you love church, then church is a great place. If you love horseback riding, go hang out at a stable. If you love coffee, smile at the cute barista. Volunteer at the local animal shelter. Join a gym. Start busking at the farmer’s market. The world is your oyster. Or, I have no idea how to answer this question. Uh. Go back to college?

Is a DTR as uncomfortable for gals as it is for guys? – D.A. Broughton

J: Relationships are supposed to progress naturally. You meet somebody, and you deliberately take the time to get to know them, and things get clear from there. But we have DTRs thrown in the mix. It’s a lot like comparing Tetris and Dr. Mario. Sure, it’s practically the same game, but Dr. Mario added in these little viruses that just make the game more complicated. So DTRs? They’re little complicating viruses. It’s uncomfortable for all, because it’s breaking the natural flow.

A: That all depends on whether you’re with a girl who is comfortable with awkward situations, and if the timing is right. If it’s way too soon, then it’s going to be uncomfortable and forced. Like Joseph said, they’re uncomfortable because they break the natural flow. Don’t force it. It will likely come up naturally. If the girl you’re DTRing with routinely avoids uncomfortable situations, you better believe your DTR is going to be aw-k-ward. If she’s ok with dealing with tough stuff and isn’t afraid to talk it out no matter how awkward, then you’re likely going to have a more comfortable DTR. Also, you’ve found yourself a winner.

I’ve kind of given up on finding someone to share my life with ie “My groove”. How do I get my groove back? – M. Scott Anderson

J: I understand it’s difficult to do that. I mean, you could have a great career going for you as a San Fransisco area stock broker, but still feel like you’re missing something. I recommend a trip. A nice, first-class, luxurious trip. Maybe to an island or something. Jamaica, perhaps? Just soak in the beauty of the island. Who knows what may happen!

A: I don’t get it.

At what age does PDA move from being gaggy, to sweet and cute, to see? (or is it another factor besides age?) – D.A. Broughton

J: It’s always gross. I don’t wanna see old people macking on each other. DISGUSTING.

A: Yeah, pretty gross all around. Couples should just ignore each other unless they’re in the privacy of their own homes.

If you have a question about life and/or love, leave it in the comment section and we’ll answer it in a future edition of Q & A with J & A.

Q & A with J & A

Please journey back with me a few months. I asked if you had any pressing relationship questions that needed answers. I was flooded with questions. I asked The Joseph Craven to help me answer them. Some of our answers appeared over at Rob Shep’s site just in time for Valentine’s Day. But…THERE ARE MORE! I would have done this sooner, but I forgot, okay? Please enjoy this dose of wisdom.

Q & A with J & A
Solving the quandaries of life and love

Should women pursue or wait to be pursued? How I deal with the guy next to me at Starbucks hinges on your answer.Jamie

J: I’m sorry it took so long to answer and we ruined your chances. Look, pursuing and being pursued….that’s all hunting talk. So it comes down to this: do you want to be the hunter, or the hunted? Do you want to be a trophy who is chased after, or the bold one who does the chasing? All depends on how you want to appear. Also, hunting is an awful comparison to dating, so just don’t ever use the word “pursuing” again.

A: We totally dropped the ball on this one, Jamie. I think sometimes we want to go out and pursue a man ourselves. Let’s face it: sometimes men are clueless and need a little…nudge in the right direction. I don’t think it’s wrong to pursue, but I do think it’s fun to be pursued. My advice is this: make it known that you are available (eyelash batting, excessive flirting, “Oh I’m SO FREE this weekend I don’t know WHAT I will do!”), but don’t do the asking out. If he’s still too dense to figure it out, then move on. He probably won’t be bright enough to figure out your taxes either.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how fun is a long distance relationship?Heather Summers

A: Fun is what you make it! Obviously, actually seeing each other is a fun part of a relationship. It’s easier to have fun in person. But Skype can be fun if you have funny hat collections or you are really good at funny faces or you’re a good story teller. I mean, talking is lots of fun. No, you can’t hold hands or cuddle or cook dinner together or go for walks on the beach, but Skype’s fun, right? Talking to a computer is great? Yeah? Almost as good as a real face. Totally. Right?

J: Oh, it’s awesome. You can totally fire up Skype and have ESPN3 running at the same time. Sure, the video will get a little choppy, but you don’t miss a second of the game. Skype even has this “pop-out” option that allows you to have her face in a tiny little corner so it doesn’t get in the way! Technology, guys. So cool. Technology.

What does it mean when a girl says it’s time for a “big boy haircut?”Chandler

A: It means that she thinks you’re not mature enough for her, but she can’t figure out how to say it properly, so instead she just talks about your hair. She sees herself as mature woman in need of a mature man to fulfill her every whim and desire. As soon as you don’t do that, she thinks your hair is stupid and childish. In reality? She’s not mature enough to realize that you’re probably more mature than her.

J: It means it’s time to dump her.

What does it mean when a girl gets mad you get along with her 30 year old cousins better than her 3 year old cousins? – Chandler

A: Women find men who interact well with little kids extremely attractive. A man having a make-believe tea party while wearing a plastic tiara? Super hot. If you can carry on a conversation with a tiny human, a woman will automatically assume that you’re going to be a great dad. She’s looking for a dude to make babies with who will actually be good at more than just the making part. The lady in question was probably excited that she’d get a chance to observe you with the little ones. So when you chose to carry on an adult conversation instead of playing duck, duck, goose, all of her high hopes of you being the father of her children went out the window. Her biological clock is ticking and that makes her mad. She just happened to take it out on you. Sorry dude. Ladies be crazy.

J: It means it’s time to dump her.

What does it mean when a girl gets mad at you for being an introvert when you are, in fact, not an introvert? – Chandler

A: It means she has unrealistic expectations of how communication should look in your relationship. Let me guess. She’s a talker, right? She talks about anything and everything, regardless of the fact that no one wants to hear what colour she is going to paint her toenails next Tuesday. She talks about everything, so when you don’t tell her which belt you decided to wear this morning, she thinks you’re bottling up your emotions. Assure her that although you may not say every little thing that pops into your brain out loud, that doesn’t make you an introvert. Is this the same girl? She seems high maintenance.

J: It means it’s time to dump her.

What does it mean when a girl gets mad at you for living with your parents but she lives with her grandparents? – Chandler

A: She doesn’t think you respect your elders. And if you don’t respect your elders, how can you ever respect her. She – wait a minute. Is this the same girl?

J: It means it’s time to move out of the house and dump her.

A: What he said.

If you seek wisdom from Joseph and myself, make sure you leave a question in the comments. It could be featured in another Q&A with J&A.