The winner!!!

Congratulations to Mary Catherine Miller for winning the Be an Advice Columnist for a Day contest. She’s a doctoral student at Ohio State University working in Literature for Children and Young Adults. Check out her excellent blog, Travels with Mary.

And read her pithy and fun advice below:

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

I’m not short, but my girlfriend is taller than me. My friends laugh about it. They call me stumpy and pat me on the head. I don’t want to go to school anymore. Should I just break up with her already?

Taller Than Average

Dear Taller than Average,

Miss Fortune Cookie says: Long legs let the heron see more than the duck.

Don’t your friends know that the average height of a model is 5’11”? Tell them there’s no way you’re going to set them up with her friends if they keep patting you on the head.

Miss Fortune Cookie
angry girl avatar

Mean girls

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

I recently transferred to a new middle school and found myself welcomed into the popular clique of girls. At first I felt lucky to be included but now I’m finding that many of the girls are cruel and two faced. I don’t want to be a loner but hanging around with these girls makes me uncomfortable. What do I do?

Miserable in Middle School

Dear Miserable

Miss Fortune Cookie says: If you don’t change direction, you can end up where you’re headed.

I know that sounds inane, but it’s true! If you stay with these girls that make you uncomfortable now, you might become just a little bit cruel and two faced to fit in with them. You should feel comfortable around your friends. They should fit you just as well as your favorite sweatshirt. That’s the whole point.

Now go and find some real friends.

Miss Fortune Cookie
angry girl avatar

Overly dependent friend

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

I have this talented friend who doesn’t believe in herself. She is smoking hot on cello, but won’t stay in orchestra unless I do. I would rather sign up for drama next year.

If the situation were reversed, she would stay in orchestra for me. We are going to be friends forever, so I don’t want to mess that up.

Co-dependent

Dear Co-dependent,

Miss Fortune Cookie says: Just sign up for orchestra with her, and then drop out after the first two weeks. Bad joke

Miss Fortune Cookie says: Cloning is the sincerest form of flattery. Second bad joke.

Miss Fortune Cookie says: True friendship is as rare as twin lotuses on a single stalk.

Still, you should never martyr yourself for anyone. Honesty is the only foundation for a long-lasting friendship. An open conversation will make your friendship stronger.

Miss Fortune Cookie
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She hangs back

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

My friend and I don’t agree on something. She likes this boy, but won’t talk to him. They, btw, are meant for each other.

I’ve come up with a hundred and one ways to get her to talk to him, but she won’t listen. She says that if it’s meant to be, *he* will approach *her*.

Eros
 

Dear Eros,

Tell your friend that Miss Fortune Cookie says: A man stands for a long time with his mouth open before a roast duck flies in.

It’s true that if they’re meant for each other, they’ll find each other … eventually. But she might be wrinkly by then. Give fate a hand. Invite them both to a party, maybe?

Miss Fortune Cookie
icon-heartcookies

Pressure-cooker school ruined his future

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

Lowell ruined my life. I was happy when I got in. Now that it’s senior year, I’m disillusioned. Every UC I applied to rejected me. I’m going to City College next year. If I’d stuck with my local high school, I would’ve been at the top of my class. My best friend avoided Lowell. Now he’s going to UC San Diego, and I’m smarter than him.

Middle school nerds take heed. Don’t come to Lowell!!!!!

Matt

Dear Matt,

Miss Fortune Cookie says: The water that floats sinks your boat will also sink float it.

If you give it some thought, don’t you have good memories from Lowell along with the bad? Maybe you learned some cool things, made true friends, or did an amazing project. Maybe one teacher really inspired you.

Since Lowell prepared you well, you’ll ace your classes, and transfer to the university of your choice. It’s not about what you know, but what you do with it.

Sorry for being annoyingly optimistic! ☺

Miss Fortune Cookie
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Friend is a mooch

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

My friend likes to go out for lunch all the time. I don’t have much money, so I order cheaply. My friend always eats way more than I do, and then she wants to split the bill. When I try to pay for my share, she says, “I hate people who make a fuss over a few dollars.” What should I do?

Mad

Dear Mad,

Miss Fortune Cookie says: The richer your friends, the more they will cost you.

Then again, John Lennon said money can’t buy you love.

Maybe they mean the same thing.

Here’s a little practical advice. Whenever you go out with your friend, tell her you’re not hungry. Don’t order anything, and see what happens.

Miss Fortune Cookie

Dad asks too many questions

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

My dad is driving me crazy. Whenever I bring a boy over, he asks a ton of embarrassing questions. Can you do your own laundry? When was the last time you changed the oil in your car? What’s your gpa? How fast can you run a mile? And if he doesn’t like the answers, he says we can’t go out. What should I do to keep myself from strangling him?

Sneaking Around

Dear Sneaking Around,

Miss Fortune Cookie says: A girl with one chopstick will go hungry.

Think of you and your dad as a team. He’s looking out for you, making sure you don’t end up with a loser—a slob that will expect you to do his laundry.

Start a conversation with your dad about what to look for in a partner. And—if you don’t care about how fast your boyfriend can run—share your feelings on the matter.

Good luck!
Miss Fortune Cookie

bad news in an email? don’t do it!

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

Thank you for the advice last week! I’m sending my acceptance to Cal Tech tomorrow!!! I’m scared to tell my friend that we won’t be going to college together. Can I do it by email?

Natalie

 

Dear Natalie,

Miss Fortune Cookie says: A closed mouth gathers no feet. Just don’t tell her. Bad joke!

Tell your friend about your decision when the two of you have time together alone. And bring her favorite treat to sweeten the bitter news.

Miss Fortune Cookie

an urgent question!

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

I can’t imagine life without my best friend! So we applied to all the same engineering programs at major universities!!

Now I’m scared because we just had a huge fight! I really, really want to go to Cal Tech!! It’s number four in engineering!!! She wants to go to Northwestern! But it’s only number fourteen! What should I do?

Natalie

Dear Natalie,

First of all, stop using so many exclamation points!!!!!!!!

Miss Fortune Cookie says: Always choose opportunity over friendship. Also, you should consider the weather. It snows at Northwestern. Would you really deny yourself sun and warmth for a friend?

Miss Fortune Cookie

meh

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

Did you know that fortune cookies are not Chinese?

Jillian

Dear Jillian,

Miss Fortune Cookie Says: If you travel on the road paved by your intelligence, you will not go far.

Interesting question. The answer is “yes.”  For further reading, visit my page a short history of the fortune cookie.

Miss Fortune Cookie