DEAR SUGAR, The Rumpus Advice Column #27: Starting Fresh


There’s a new Sugar in town!

FAQ Redux

Q. What sort of advice column is this?

A: If you took all the by-the-book common sense of Dear Abby and the earnest spiritual cheesiness of Cary Tennis and the butt-pluggy irreverence of Dan Savage and the closeted Upper Eastside nymphomania of Miss Manners and crushed them down into a single diamond-hard gem of pedantic know-it-allism, that’s the sort of column that would make the old Sugar puke. But the new Sugar? Kinda digs it.

Q. Where did the old Sugar go?

A: The Fox News Desk in Reno.

Q: What does the new Sugar have to say?

A: Come back here every Thursday to find out.

Q: Every Thursday?

A: Yes. The new Sugar is a calendar-obsessed Virgo with a penchant for Thursdays, which may or may not have to do with a song by Morphine, a beer, and a game of pool.

Q: Are any questions off limits?

A: No.

Q: Can I ask my question anonymously?

A: Yes. Just fill out the form at the bottom. Sugar won’t see anything but the question. Promise.


Dear Sugar,

I dated this girl for a while only to reach the realization she was a self-absorbed crazy. Last year she and her best friend got into an argument and they stopped being friends. My ex’s friend called me up one night and asked me to hang out with her at her house. One thing led to another and I ended up sleeping with her. A few days later, this former best friend of my ex tells me she’s engaged. She wears this weird short-haired wig while she breaks off our friends-with-benefits relationship. The thing is, I connected better with her in the two weeks we hung out than I did with my ex in months. Please help me figure out if I should never talk to either one of them again. I’m not a smart man but I do know what love is.

– Gump


Dear Gump,

I’d rather be sodomized by a plastic lawn flamingo than vote for a Republican, but as I ponder your situation, I can’t help but quote the most bewildering right-winger of our times. Of course I’m talking about the former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who said: “There are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

Shall we start with the known knowns, when it comes to your little triangular quagmire, Gump?

a) You found your ex-girlfriend to be crazy and broke up with her.
b) You fucked your ex-girlfriend’s ex-best friend for a fortnight and felt “connected.”
c) In spite of such connection, your ex-girlfriend’s ex-best friend donned a wig and announced that she has no interest in continuing to fuck you, claiming to be on the brink of a (presumably) monogamous and eternal connection to someone else.

Which brings us to the known unknowns:

a) Why the wig? And if the wig, why the unnervingly short hair?
b) Is the ex-girlfriend’s ex-best friend actually engaged to be married or is this simply a grandiose ruse to shake you from her disinterested but chickenshit tail?
c) How can it be that so many people’s ex-girlfriends are crazy? What happens to these women? Do they eventually go on to birth babies and care for their elderly parents and scramble up gigantic pans of eggs on Sunday mornings for oodles of lounge-abouts who later have the nerve to inquire about what’s for dinner or is there some corporate Rest Home for Crazy Bitches chain in cities across the land that I am unaware of that houses all these women who used to love men who later claim they were actually crazy bitches?

Lastly, there are the unknown unknowns, the things, Gump, that you don’t know you don’t know.

a) You have nothing for these women.
b) These women have nothing for you.
c) And yet.
d) And yet!
e) You are loved.