Ask Anna and Ant

“Anna has been many things to many of you.  Friend.  Family.  Confidante.  Life coach
And everyone started laughing.  Nay…snorting. 
This was the opening paragraph of my dad’s Father of the Bride speech.  He went on to nail it.  But he had a point.
I like giving advice.  I always have.  I always will.  I don’t think I’m wise but I can see both sides of the argument and a wider perspective – it’s a quality my job has knocked into me.  Being able to see shades of grey, being able to argue both sides, being able to appreciate context.  I also do my level best not to rock the boat or upset people.  So when I do give that advice, I try my damndest to do it with tact and diplomacy.  I thought that was the way everyone did it.

And then I met Mr K.  
He does usually look happier than this, honest.  It may have been because I asked him to “look autumnal”
My husband doesn’t really do small talk, or as he puts it “bullshit phrases that have no meaning”.  He has an ability to seek out the essence of a problem and resolve it in the most efficient way possible.  This works fantastically well at work.  This does not work so well when it’s you, asking the question, wanting to hear the answer you want to hear.
But that’s the beauty of it.  It does work.  People can’t seem to get enough of asking Mr K for answers to their predicaments – from their love life to their career to their existentialist woes.  Cut to me, jumping up and down in the background, waving like a loon going “Hey, guys!  I’m over here! I’ll do it tactfully!”
There’s a market for this, it seems.    
We woke up one morning recently in the Lake District. Ant was trying to nap, and had the pillows over his head.  I was talking relentlessly about my plans for an advice column on Any Other Wedding.  Advice fits in so well with our philosophy.  Because we encourage discussion, debate and varied points of view from our diverse community, why not put our proverbial money where our mouth is,  get our hands dirty and solve some problems?  I got quite carried away, with visions of Any Other Ask Anna.  
“I’ll do it, too”
“Er…hang on a minute”
“No, no.  It’s a good idea.  People write in, ask for advice on a problem they’re having, and I’ll troubleshoot and tell them how to resolve it, the truth, the blunt way.  They you can use your fancy vocabulary to tell them what I meant to say.”
“It won’t work.  You’ll alienate our readers”
“It’ll work.  You should give your readers perspective.  And trust they can handle the truth.  I’m right.  I’m always right”
 “You are not always right.  I’ll run it past A and C.  Who will say no”
A and C said yes.  In fact they loved the idea.  

Hmmph.

Alright alright occasionally he gets it right…
Erica Jong once said that “advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t”.  She’s also been married four times, but hey, this is a marriage blog, right?  She’s right.  Chances are you already know the answer, but just need the proverbial kick up the backside.  Or maybe you just need another perspective, unique and impartial.
We can do that for you.  We’d LOVE to do that for you.    
So…let’s do this thing!  Write to us.  Ask us anything.  Love, life, everything.  Ant will give it to you straight.  I’ll use such outdated concepts as perspective, perception and delicacy.  It may not be the answer you want to hear, but it will be honest.   
Call us the crime-fighting duo.  Bagsy the cape.    
Do you know how hard it is to find crime fighting pictures of you and your husband?  Do you?  So 28th birthday party it is.
   

        

Categories: Ask Anna, Ant and AOW, Life Experience, Written By Anna
20 interesting thoughts on this

17 Comments

  1. Be ca, Princess of Power
    Posted August 31, 2011 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Neither the boy or I are tactful. Think bull. Think china shop. Him because he can't be arsed with the bollocks anyway. Me because I do.not have any kind of poker-poker face.

    This is great. Any ideas on bike-gate? My friend suggested selling it on eBay and buying wedding shoes. If I did that there probably wouldn't be a wedding as I'd be 6ft under.

    You are also forgetting having knee high boots and a crown and a unicorn. I am obviously channeling a kind of She-Ra Princess of Power vibe***

    ***and I know EXACTLY who I'd cast as Skeletor.

  2. Posted August 31, 2011 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Erm wowsers! I am beside myself with excitement at any other advice columm!
    You do realise I will be writing in daily with any other problem for you to solve! And I will take the straight talking tough love answer too! Haha!

    Great idea! I will compile a list this weekend of my great dilemmas and leave them in your capable hands!
    Alex xx

    P.S. I am of course joshing, I will be very restrained!
    P.P.S. I am in love with that quote! I am having it tatooed on my forhead!

  3. Posted August 31, 2011 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Fantastic idea!

    My new husband and I have been arguing over sofas recently.

    We have my great grandma's sofa at the moment, from the 1960s, and it has a hard back, and not much cushioning. It was meant to only be a temporary sofa, but six years on, and we are ready to splash out on a new one. Do you think we should go for Andy's choice of most comfortable sofa either of us have ever sat on, but its a very pipe and slippers ugly leather recliner sofa, which I would think would be counterproductive to our lives, as we'd never leave the living room. Also, in my opinion, we are both far too young for a recliner sofa. Or should we have my choice of chic elegant fabric sofa, which is admitedly not as comfy.

    Or is sofa advice really inane and boring, and you and Ant are really only wanting to give advice on the juicy stuff (sexual)?

    Katie xx

  4. Posted August 31, 2011 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Bahahaha. Katie, I am dying at the thought of a Mr and Mrs K sex column. Fear not, you won't be subjected to any of our "sexpertise"!

    Sofas, bike gate, Alex's woes and relationship dramarama (have had emails already!) it is…watch this space!

    PS – Bad Becca! So funny, but bad Becca!

  5. Posted August 31, 2011 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    haha my woes! Love it. My woes are all entirely family based. And insomniac dog based.
    I will email as soon as I get a minuten!
    Laughed out loud at any other sex therapists! Now THAT would be a good read haha x

  6. Becca
    Posted August 31, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Like you weren't thinking the same thing.

  7. Posted August 31, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    YES! Mr K is the new East Side Bride! I'm not sure what that makes you though Anna. Trisha? ;)

    Px

  8. Sarah M
    Posted August 31, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Great idea – looking forward to reading it!

    I'd like some inspiration for what to wear to the AOW party, please! I've just come back from a week on cricket tour so looking forward to wearing something a bit nicer.

    Sarah M

  9. Posted August 31, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I take it you only want serious problems? Not sure my 'Husband loves our cat more than me' woes qualify?

    (he doesn't really. Just sometimes. Especially when I steal all the bedcovers/turn the heating off/make him empty the dishwasher)

    Fab idea though – looking forward to reading the first 'problem shared'

  10. Posted August 31, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Sarah, I am actually worried about what to wear to AOP, but as my husband refuses to define anything clothing related as an actual 'stress' I have to keep quiet about that one. I love the concept (and the alliteration!) of ask Agony Aunt Anna though…

  11. Posted August 31, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Gemma and Sarah M – fear not, whatever you wear at least you do not have to deal with the basketball down the top look. That look is reserved entirely for me. And anyway, we are ridiculously excited to meet you all whatever you're wearing.

  12. Sarah M
    Posted August 31, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Gemma – Mr M knows not to ask how much the 'clothes fund' runs to!

    Clare – looking forward to it! How have you found maternity/basketball fashion to be?

  13. Posted August 31, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    TBW – nope, all problems qualify! I mean, as long as they are real problems, obviously. No…"what would I do if a badger attacked me and I looked like a squirrel", please.

    Ah…what to wear to AOP. It is the bane of my life. And Aisling is ON HOLIDAY. In IRELAND. Doesn't she know how much Clare and I need her? How does she expect us to assemble an outfit plus accessories without her spiritual guidance? Such selfishness is breathtaking.

    (Only joking, A. But if I turn up in something that makes you wince, you have only yourself to blame)

  14. Posted August 31, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    An advice column? C'est fantastique!

    Can you call it "Any Other Option?"…? (when I say it to myself my intonation goes up at the end, and takes one eyebrow and one ear with it. Strange)

    Can you also stop talking about AOP, I'm jealous that I'm not coming! :-(

  15. Posted August 31, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    I'm jealous too, Victoria cause I want to come too! And Anna, I know what you mean about the advice giving…I have to bite my tongue sometimes to avoid giving advice before its asked for…I'm terrible, but I can truly say that because I can see potential outcomes of actions and both sides of a story, I'm usually 90% correct in my advice giving.

    Unless its to do with shoes…and clothes…and bags…And…meeting relatives for the first time.

    Oh, grief, that reminds me…meeting the boys grandmother for the first time ever on the 10th September. Anna, I may need you and your husbands advice on clothes, hair and etiquette…I've heard stories about this woman that have made me very nervous about meeting her.

  16. Posted August 31, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Any Other Advice has a great ring to it. Can't wait for this. I wonder whether you'll do one of those two sides of the coin type advice columns like they do in the weekend papers or is that a bit tabloid for AOW?

    I cannot wait to read what Mr K has to say.

    Victoria, my ear also goes up when I raise my left eyebrow but doesn't move one bit when I raise my right. Is that normal?

  17. Posted August 31, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    I'm sure it's more normal than my problem… mine only does it when I say the word "option?". Hmmmmmm

3 Trackbacks

  • [...] a wise one, Mr K.  A wise owl, hidden under layers of smart-assery and sarcasm.  Hence, Ask Anna and Ant (which, by the way, we need you to send us your insurmountable problems, readers…come on!  [...]

  • By Ask Anna and Ant: Disliking your friend’s partner on February 29, 2012 at 9:21 am

    [...] friend’s partner  Good morning readers!  A while back, we introduced the idea of an advice column with a difference.  Mr K would take the problem, and in his own delightful way, seek out its essence and resolve [...]

  • By Ask AOW: If you love them, do you let them go? on May 30, 2012 at 7:01 am

    [...] made a bit of a name for ourselves what with calling on our readers in emergencies, and of course Ask Anna and Ant. Laura wrote previously about the fear she feels at getting married and the response was, [...]

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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image by Lucy Stendall Photography

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