Pour yourself a cup of coffee and let Jim and Mike spill the beans. Proud guncles, they have answers to your questions.
Q: Dear Guncles,
I feel like such a loser! Each year I make a New Years resolution to start off the year right. And 2 weeks in, I feel like an UTTER failure. Last year I said I’d reach out each week to an old sorority sister I haven’t spoken to in awhile (I pledged Gamma Rho Lambda in college). And I even had the time during this pandemic. But I only ended up “liking” some of their FB posts.
This year I said I’d cut back on sugar. But the empty wrappers of Twizzlers and Kit Kats by my bed say otherwise while I binge watched Netflix’s Ratched. Should I resolve to give up on making New Years resolutions? What’s the point? — Feeling Like A Sour Patch Kid
A: Dear Sour Patch Kid:
Guncle Mike is a big believer in New Years resolutions. But he prefers to call them “intentions” since the word “intention” sounds less final and resolute the way “resolution” does. So if you don’t complete your intention, you don’t feel like such a failure. You intended to, but it didn’t work out, right? His advice is to not beat yourself up if it doesn’t work the first few weeks. Try again. Break down the “intention” in smaller chunks by cutting back on the Twizzlers every other day. Or even switch out the Twizzler with the sugar-free Twizzler option (I know, I know, may not taste exactly the same, but it is a Twizzler). Studies show making small changes is easier to follow-through than giant big ones.
Guncle Jim doesn’t do New Years resolutions. Actually, he says he has been working on his for the last 50+ years! So that’s the other option too! 🙂
Muzak to my Ears
Q: Dear Guncles,
I may be an older gay, yet I know I have a good taste in music. My 20 year old niece thinks my taste runs the realm of Muzak. I want to let her know there is an entire repertory of music beyond Dua Lipa, Lizzo and Taylor Swift. Plus, I am horrified that she doesn’t know about Streisand, Garland, and any show tunes.
I listen to a wide range of music from classic rock to classical to country. How can I broaden her mind and ears to other genres of music? — Grampaphone
A: Dear Grampaphone,
It is your imperative duty as a good guncle to ensure future generations know about Babs, Judy, and Madonna. And to support current iconic crooners like Bublé, Melody Gardot (Guncle Jim’s fave), and JHud (Jennifer Hudson – for those in the know!).
You must also broaden your niece’s taste with others from Mozart to Ella to Reba.
But how? With CDs ossifying the way of the cassette tape and LPs, you can’t even give the gift of an album for your auditorily challenged niece to listen to. Send her the albums you want her to listen to. Do NOT send a gift card hoping she’ll use it to buy the music you want her to listen to because she’ll use it for more Shawn Mendes. Trust us, we learned from experience.
To gift a specific album or song, go into your iTunes on your Mac (doesn’t work on your iPhone, iPad or iPod), open the music store and select the album or songs you want to gift. Press the Share button, then select Gift from the items displayed. Enter your nieces’ email address and under the section marked Send Gift you can either pick today or any day in the next 30 days for the email to be sent.
Then call her after she receives it to talk about how that song or album moved you. Your memories and stories will help her appreciate the vastness of the music landscape. It’s also a good way to find something to talk about with your nieces too.
As for whether to sing “Over the Rainbow” on the phone with her, we leave that up to you!
Thanks – No Thanks
Q: Dear Guncles,
Over the holidays (and every year), my wife and I get her parents Christmas presents. We shipped them and don’t hear back whether they liked them or not. So when we are on the phone, I ask them about it. Only then do they say they like the presents. But we never get a “thank you” unless we ask, let alone a thank you card. Should we stop sending them holiday gifts? — Not a Grinch
A: Dear Not A Grinch,
Next year send them a box of Thank You cards as a gift! Or as Guncel Jim suggests “Send them a “You’re Welcome” card!” Kidding! Not kidding!
Dear Guncles agrees with you. All gifts deserve a thank you note or an acknowledgement of having received them even if they aren’t appreciated. It’s up to the recipient to reach out to the gift giver in thanking them. Not the other way around. But you must give them time to do so which we assume you do.
The best way to approach it is to tell them how you feel. They may be oblivious and could be doing that with others.
The other option is to stop sending them gifts. Many families only send holiday presents to the children in the family and do not share amongst the adults. Bring that up as an option. However, then do not expect them to send you gifts.