Tag Archives: Friends

Recognizing limitations, expectations key when giving, getting advice

Advice: the fleeting attempt of one to engage and imagine the problem of another with clarity, and provide an immediate, not-before-realized epiphany.

The dictionary would likely offer a more official definition, but applied to my life, the above fit. Recently, I’ve been meditating on the culture and complexity of advice: how we give it, how we receive it and the action-centric nature of it.

Accompanied often by, “What do I do?” the act of providing and requesting advice strikes me as irrational for several reasons. The prevalence of that corresponding question suggests its innate impulsivity.

Frequently, I turn to family or friends not for advice regarding a major hitch in my mentality toward something, but for a quick fix — a tangible action that will immediately remedy a complicated problem.

And when friends or family ask me for advice, I typically assume I’m one step to closer to an illusive sense of enlightenment. I am a pseudo-adult, after all. They trust me with that anxiety-laden next action; therefore, I am wise.

Yet, I recall the advice sessions of my teenage years and realize, to my chagrin, little has changed.

For teenage Taylor, an advice session began with a friend recapping her latest, drawn-out dating woe (interspersed with pauses to text the “love of her life,” clearly) in a breathless span of a minute.

And with that knowledge, the other friends were expected to deliver an articulate solution in another minute or two (we had important things to do, after all, like Facebook stalk the cute, new kid who moved to Newton from Florida or somewhere equally exotic).

Though my problems have grown more complex and more significant in the long-term, I admit I still expect the irrational from advice. I expect a perfect fix in little time.

With more difficult decisions headed my way, rather than exclaiming, “What do I do?” in panic, I’ll contemplate and, if needed, change a deeply ingrained mentality that may provide a more permanent, powerful fix for my problem.

“Blossom” provides a healthy dose of authenticity

I sometimes write about deep-ish things like the power of reflection and the enigmatic nature of time. But sometimes, I trade my wannabe-philosopher self for, well, my inner fangirl. And tonight, I’m fangirling over “Blossom.” Remember that show starring Mayim Bialik that ran from 1990-95? Yeah, that’s the one.

There’s something about ‘90s TV I find irresistibly endearing and most importantly, real. While I feel alienated by the overwhelmingly artificial world of modern TV, the ‘90s put reality in the spotlight. And no, I don’t mean ‘reality’ in the context of “Jersey Shore.”

I mean ‘reality’ in the context that ‘90s TV sitcoms featured plausible problems and people.

After exhausting reruns of “Frasier,” “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Full House” and “Friends” (an era keen on the letter “F,” apparently), I turned to “Blossom.” As a longtime fan of Mayim Bialik’s Amy Farrah Fowler character from “The Big Bang Theory,” I already had a good feeling about “Blossom.”

After one episode, I immediately raved to my younger sister Jordyn about the show’s witty characters and frighteningly accurate portrayal of sibling camaraderie (or rivalry, really). Here are a few reasons I love “Blossom.”

Blossom Russo is a total badass. No, I don’t mean that in the sense that she cliff-dives or bungee-jumps. She’s a badass because she’s open about her feelings, sex and relationships. When things aren’t working in the Russo family, she’s quick to step in with a quirky solution, and in the sitcom realm, it always works.

Blossom is a feminist, yet another reason she rocks. She isn’t afraid to express what she wants and go for it, and she’s more interested in self-development than finding the love of her life (even if Bobby Brewer is ‘totally gorgeous’).

Finally, Will Smith and Blossom shared a beautiful bonding moment in the second season, and all was right in her world and mine.

While too many children are sitting at home watching some Nickelodeon or Disney Channel show in which the characters can’t have a conversation at a normal volume or discuss any issues relevant to growing up, I’ll post another episode of “Blossom” on my 15-year-old sister’s Facebook wall.

In part because Blossom’s latest hat rules (that flower, though). In part because Six’s sassiness is envy-worthy. And in part because I want my little sister admiring a character who’s awkward and talks too much at the wrong time and too little at the right time — a character who’s real.