Mary’s answers

Problem no 10 Rivalry

i have been pursuing a man for some time and i was pretty sure he liked me too but now he seems to be infatuated with this rather common barely tolerable girl. how do i win him back?


Dear Desperate, I suggest that you try to spoil his admiration for the lady by subtly commenting on her faults. No doubt in time you will wear him down and he will start to see her as you do. You could also animadvert on any aspect of her family, connexions and manner that might help him to see more clearly. I have found this method to be infallible, and guarantee that he will return to you.

Problem no.9 OCD

My dear Miss Bennet

I wonder if you can advise me?

Persons of a less punctilious persuasion than myself have recently made rude and hurtful comments that I demonstrate an excess of zeal in maintaining order in the household. Apparently, my insistence upon straightened cushions and perfectly drawn curtains is too exacting.

I fail to understand how observing high standards of tidiness can be deemed a failure.

Yours very truly

“Miss Conscientiously Precise”

Oh, Miss Conscientiously Precise, how I have suffered from the same treatment you describe! It is no less than a tragedy that people such as ourselves, who aspire to the very highest standards of perfection, are too often at best unappreciated, and at worst, vilified, when what we are, and what we do, should rightfully inspire gratitude and admiration. I can offer you no comfort: it is our lot to endure, the victims of our own moral superiority.

Problem no.8 Childish wickedness

Dear Ms. Bennet, I am having a very trying time with my 12-year-old daughter. She speaks most disrespectfully to me and her sisters and refuses to follow our instructions. I’m concerned that she will grow up to be too wild and headstrong. How can I get through to her?


Dear Distracted,

Has it occurred to you that your daughter might be troubled by whatever upheavals are going on in your family? Perhaps if you were to try to distract her – does she like to play with the atlas? Or climb trees? Some young ladies have to go through a hoydenish period before they settle down.

Problem no.7 Lazy Procrastinator

Do I have to go to the AGM tomorrow?


Dear Conflicted,


Problem no. 6 Loyalty

my sisters ex is really flirting w me. is he fair game?

“Determined flirt”

Far be it from me, Dear Determined, to depreciate such pleasures! But I ask you one question: Which is more important to you, your sister’s continuing love and esteem, or your passing interest in this man? I think we both know what the right answer is. And we both know what you will do.

Problem no.5 Doubt

an old flame is back on the scene. i stll REALLY like him but he seems determined to ignore me. i wouldnt say anything but the other day i am sure that when he helped me out of the car he copped a feel. am i just imagining it or could he be interested again?


Dear Persuadable,

It is of course possible that his affection might be reanimated. But it is well to be cautious. Nobody can understand the ways of males and what they mean by their attentions. They are known to be fickle, and if he has already vanished once, then he is probably less reliable than most. Until you have written confirmation, I advise you to proceed no further in this matter.

Problem no. 4 Loneliness in marriage

Dear Ms. Bennet: Every time I tell my husband something he says yes but doesn’t look up from his iphone. then he denies I ever told him. what can I do?

“No Rest”

Dear No Rest,

The levity of dissipation, the vanity of parade, and the fury of gaming, now so prevalent, have concurred to cure completely in the fashionable of both sexes any tendency to mutual fondness. Let me then advise you, dear madam, to console yourself as much as possible, to throw off your unworthy husband from your affection for ever, and leave him to reap the fruits of his own heinous offense. Or get yourself an iPhone?

Problem no.3. Sibling rivalry

my sister is so uptight and judgemental: just coz her boyf has dumped her shes giving me a hard time for being too ott with my new man. what shall i do?


Dear Sensibility

Beware the the hollowness and the horrors of vice. Stem the tide of malice and listen to the words of your sister. I have a sister like you, and frankly she’s a right royal pain. Behave yourself.

Problem no 2. Regret

a man i am most determined to dislike has been excessively kind to my family. how do i repay him as i have been so rude in the past?


Dear “FineEyes”,

Every impulse of feeling should be guided by reason. Your determination to dislike a man who obviously has a very fine character is based upon unregulated feeling, even blind prejudice. The only reasonable recompense you can make to this man is to marry him. If you really do have ‘fine eyes’, no doubt he will overlook some trifling rudeness on your part.

Problem no.1: Douche

‘So the other day I heard this guy talking, I didn’t think much of him at first but then I overheard him talking to his friend and he said I was barely tolerable, not handsome enough to tempt him. He’s a douche anyway, and I laughed it off with my friends but if I’m honest it really got to me. Should I care??’


Dear “Mortified”,

There are very few of us who do not cherish a feeling of self-complacency on the score of some quality or other, real or imaginary. Clearly, the words of this gentleman offended your pride. If he is a ‘douche’, as you say, then you must endeavour to put his words out of your mind. However, if he has an estate worth £10,000 a year, then I suggest you suck it up.



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