By Aunt Acid

The role of Aunt Acid is played by Brooklyn-based know-it-all Ester Bloom.

  1. Thank you so much to everyone who commented and emailed and entrusted me with your secrets over the duration of my time as Aunt Acid. I had many more good questions than I could answer, especially for this last column. I will miss you.

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  2. Your job isn’t to fix your friend. It’s to empathize. To remind her that help is available, and that your help is also available.

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  3. Dear Aunt Acid,

    Am I asking too much? Is there a way for me to realign what I want out of a career, even if that means being okay with picking up other people's lunch every day until I die? At what point should I admit that I am not a strong enough writer to make it a career? Or do I just need a thicker skin?

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  4. The Toast's advice columnist, Aunt Acid, responds to a reader whose partner doesn't like to save and another who is worried about her sister's marriage.

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  5. This month Aunt Acid advises a reader whose boyfriend is down about his unemployment, and another who is wondering how to tell her husband about a past sexual assault.

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  6. Don’t expect the conversation with your friend to extinguish your anxiety; your anxiety won’t go that easy. It’s braided and baked into you, part of your dough. She won’t have any magic words to change that. Honesty doesn’t trump anxiety. What it does often do is reduce it down to proper proportions, make it a more manageable size.

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  7. Dissatisfaction can feel like a hailstorm happening inside our own heads, an endless window-rattling howl-a-thon so insistent and destructive that it seems amazing our partners can’t hear it – and yet, that’s subjectivity. Your partner is probably distracted by his own internal hailstorms, or else by “Bojack Horseman.” You have to tell him there’s a problem for him to know.

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  8. It’s exhausting to be imposed upon, to be the always responsible party – to be, in essence, the parent in what is supposed to be a household of grown-ups.

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  9. Dear Aunt Acid and Businesslady,  I'm writing to both of you as my question is both professional and deeply personal. One of my coworkers is my age, but she has a much more senior role. She is sort-of-not-really my boss but she is also clearly interested in finding a work friend. To this end, she asks me numerous personal questions that are not entirely appropriate for our relationship. While I have no problem not answering many…

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  10. Dear Aunt Acid, I'm an undergraduate woman participating in a summer math research program. My project team consists of me and two other students, both men. Both of them curse constantly and casually. As long as they're just swearing, it doesn't bother me enough to make it worth bringing up, but I do object to their misogynistic language -- "what a little bitch," "don't be such a pussy," and so on. (Whether or not these…

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  11. Feel free to ask Aunt Acid a variety of questions at advice@the-toast.net at any time. Previous installments can be found here. Dear Aunt Acid, As my understanding of racism and white privilege has grown over the years, I have learned to recognise subtle behaviours and microaggressions that are, despite declarations of "not racist," definitely racist. I grew up remarkably liberal and free from overt racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and general…

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  12. Feel free to ask Aunt Acid a variety of questions at advice@the-toast.net at any time. Previous installments can be found here. Hi Aunt Acid, I have quite a lot of creative and artistic friends, working in various bits of fashion and art and culture and design. I don't have such a job -- I work in a mildly interesting, stable office job in a sector that is interesting and fun…

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  13. Feel free to ask Aunt Acid a variety of questions at advice@the-toast.net at any time. Previous installments can be found here. Help. Help. Help.  I have a large and spread-out extended family; my mother has six living siblings and they are spread from California to Pennsylvania, so we rarely all get to see each other in person. Most all the aunts and uncles and cousins are extremely liberal humanists, with…

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  14. Feel free to ask Aunt Acid a variety of questions at advice@the-toast.net at any time. Previous installments can be found here. My dear friend's sister just passed away, suddenly, in her early twenties. They have asked people to keep in touch, but I am wondering what to keep in touch with (i.e., pictures of cats, asking how they are doing, invitations to social stuff?). We are close but…

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  15. Feel free to ask Aunt Acid a variety of questions at advice@the-toast.net. Previous installments can be found here. Hi Aunt Acid, I need your advice please. I am 37 years old and am in my 8th office job. I've always left my jobs because I think the grass is greener on the other side. For me it gets to the point where I feel bad waking up every morning to go to work. There…

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