America's Smartest Girl

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portland, oregon
America's Smartest Girl, Nicole Georges, channels her powers for good as she drums up answers to the world's most complicated questions.

Romance, Career, Health, Pets, Finance. Send questions to Nicole via twitter (@nicolejgeorges) or addressed to her via No suicidal inquiries. Please limit all questions to 150 words or less.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Halloween, Vegan Tips from the 90s, and Your Girlfriend's Friends

UNSOLICITED ADVICE OF THE DAY: Pick up your loved ones from the "Departures" area of the airport, as opposed to "Arrivals" in order to save time and beat the crowd.

Oh My God, I WISH this is the costume the person below was writing about. I'd snatch that crabby girlfriend right out from under them if I saw her punching the air in this Venom suit! 

 Dear Nicole, 
My girlfriend says her Halloween costume is too small and she's fat and she doesn't have time to come up with another one before tomorrow night and I told her she is really hot and too small clothes is a bad feeling but doesn't say anything about her and offered another two suggestions for costumes and she said I don't understand and she spent money on it and I don't know what else to say. Like she's all angry and it's just a Halloween costume! 
 Haunted in Hooverville 

Dear Hooverville,
 Step away from the angry girlfriend. Just put your hands up and back away slowly as she thrashes and tears at her poly/rayon blend alone, muttering and cursing Jack Skellington's name.
This problem has less than nothing to do with you.
 You've done an adequate job trying to say something nice, which is within your jurisdiction as a girlfriend, but aside from that, bitch has to reconcile with her own Halloween Higher Power.

 It's good that you are there, and not I. I would personally suggest she be a ghost under a sheet. And then she would probably slug me. And then we'd have to have a community forum on whether she's allowed in "Safer Spaces" or not, and on and on and on.



This is a typo- it should say VEGAN! 
Dear Nicole, 

I've recently seen "Faces of Death", and I have decided to become vegan. I am trying to take this VERY seriously. But I was just wondering, you started becoming vegan when you were a teenager right? How did you do it? What gave you inspiration? What products do recommend now at stores such as Target or Vons?
Sincerely, Vegan Vexed

Dear Vexed, 
I am not sure what Faces of Death has to do with being vegan, unless you've been dining exclusively on monkey's brains, but I'm with you. I support you.
I became vegan as a teenager. In Kansas. In the 90s. I am currently experiencing a 1990s vegan renaissance in my new "historic village" of White River Junction, Vermont. Asian food is my dearest friend, and when offered the chance to check out "really cool diners", I relegate myself to a fantastic portion of french fries and salad. This is what you will do.
You will also learn to cook for your self. You will get a book like Veganomicon, and learn to cook vegetables.

They are sold virtually everywhere. It's not hard. Eat vegetables at home, eat beans at home. I don't care if you cover them in ketchup, just eat them.

I believe (through my divine powers of clairvoyance) that you are a teenager.
When I was a teenager, I made a lot of Boca Burgers and chili. I ate so much chili. On top of french fries. I am not sure how I am still alive, but I survived on Veggie Chili Fries and Chocolate Cokes. A chocolate coke is a coke from a soda fountain (ask your grandpa) with chocolate syrup in it. There gets to be a chocolatey froth on the top, and it is really delightful. I also dined upon Mexican food.

When you go out (to a restaurant), do not ask the waiter if they have something vegan. That's not going to fly in a small town. Look to the vegetable section of the menu (or the "sides" section, in some dire cases) and parcel something together. Ask if it is vegetarian, or if it has dairy. That is a parlance that most people waiting tables understand.
If you are at Indian, ask if there is dairy. If you are at Thai, ask about fish sauce. If you are at a Chinese restaurant, ask if it is vegetarian (you will thank me for this tip after viewing a dish of tofu covered in pork crumblins).
I will gladly stitch together a meal of sides. Beans, salad, home fries, no problem. Also remember that you can eat when you get home if you need to. And always carry a snack. If you find a store with tons of things you would love to eat, like a mountain of Luna Bars or a jar of almond butter, buy as many as you can fathom wanting at the time, and leave some in your bag. This way you will never be the whiny vegan, or the hungry one. You will be the "food hoarder", but at least you won't be HANGRY.

 LASTLY: Sit down with yourself, take a look inside, and decide what you truly care about.
When I first went vegan, I would make myself CRAZY reading labels in the grocery store, and then come home to find that I'd trucked back something with a minute amount of honey included. I think I started open-mouth crying at some point based on this mistake.
 I had to say, "Nicole, do you care this much about honey?"
I answered, "I know I am supposed to, but I don't think I actually care.",
So I read as many books and pamphlets about honey as I could. I studied honey, to see if it was worth it to have a mental breakdown over graham crackers. At the end of this research I decided that though I would not seek OUT honey, or chug a honey bear at random, I would also not beat myself up if honey was an incidental. My mental health and longevity as a person with a plant-based diet was more important.
I have not had meat, dairy, or eggs in coming up 17 years, and the only way I've done so is by being fair and easy on myself. Be fair and reasonable, and good luck! Being vegan is really fun, especially with modern fake cheese technology.

P.s. Go look up Isa Moskowitz, and purchase her entire catalog. She is your new queen.

Good Luck!
Love Nicole

Your Girlfriend, Giving You the Scoop on Her Hateful Friends' Every Thought About Your Job. 

Dear Nicole, 
 My date is friends with a bunch of heinous second wave feminists who think the sex industry should be abolished,and say that white women sex workers ignore the mass rape and kidnapping inherent in the sex industry. She doesn't agree but I don't get how she reconciles these idiot friends with dating a sex worker. How can I talk about this or am I just being too controlling? 

Annoyed by Dworkin Dorkin' 

 Dear Dorkin',

A couple of thoughts:

 1. You can't control any of these things.
You can have conversations with your girlfriend and explain to her your politics and reasoning and thoughts about sex work. You may even be able to convince her of a few things. Her friends, however, are out of your jurisdiction. She likes them, she chose them, and they are separate human beings who are free to form their own judgments about whatever they like. If you complain to her that they are idiots, you may cause a rift within your relationship (she chose them, she likes them).
You don't want to isolate her from her pack, because being someone's only pack-mate is a little Misery-esque and too much for most of us to handle.

Conversely, If she chooses to inform you of every hurtful thing they say about your job and industry (and self), then she's obviously not done baking and needs to go back in the oven.
 OR, she needs to be told that it is hurtful and you don't need to know every single thing that every idiot says behind your back.
She's not a fucking reporter, tell her to take the "SCOOP" sign out of her fedora and chill out!

2. It is a bad sign if you detest the friends of the person you are looking to date.

You will have to be around them A LOT.
You may have the idea that maybe you could get around this, but only in the most casual, hook-up arrangements is this so.
 People like their friends. They make them feel good. They like to be around them, and they would probably like to blend their friends with their date. Otherwise, it's awkward.
If you'd like to keep seeing this person (and have to be around her friends) , it would serve you very well to repeat that not everyone has to agree with you, and come to a place of peace with the fact that these people have their own opinions on something you feel very strongly about. Then leave it. If you commit to staying in this relationship, and joining this person's community, that is what you are committing to do. To leaving this topic off the table in lieu of peace. This sounds very hard, because your job is very personal and (through my clairvoyant powers, I know) well-considered. Never being able to talk about your industry in front of these people (say at parties or a holiday gathering) without a fight is filling me with a stifled, tense feelings, and I'm not even you.

Good Luck!