Honeycomb Hideout: Another Year Older, But Wiser?

Photo by Fotografierende (Pexels)

Dear Honeycomb Hideout,

My birthday is coming up. I won’t reveal my age, but it’s 20 something.  Looking at the last year, I realized that I haven’t done as much as I wanted, and the idea of turning older is weighing on me hard. Do you have any advice on how to relieve some of this stress? 

Sincerely, 

Not So Happy Birthday

First, let me say happy birthday, regardless of how you feel about the day, because on this day you came into this earth, so happy birthday. I’d like to say that you should enjoy your birthday. It’s the one day of the year where your loved ones come together to show you that they love and appreciate you. For not feeling like you accomplished anything this year, we were in a global pandemic so cut yourself some slack. Even if everyone else around you got married, new jobs, graduated, whatever, good for them, but you know what that means? Nothing.  Your timetable of how things happen in your life is how they happen. We have this idea that we have to finish school in 4 years, get married by 25, have a house and 2 kids by 30. All of these ideas that society has placed on us have led to huge amounts of stress nobody should feel. Some of our favorite celebrities didn’t become successful until later on.  Samuel L Jackson, Morgan Freeman, even the more recently problematic JK Rowling didn’t get her start until she was 32. Needless to say about any of this is that it doesn’t matter when it gets done as long as you get it done.

You should, however, think of your birthday as a mile marker instead of looking at all you have yet to do. Take pride in all of your accomplishments, no matter how small, because in one of history’s most bizarre years ever you survived! Now, take time to start planning out the goals you want to try to achieve before your next birthday. I personally say you do this the day after your actual birthday. For your actual birthday, kick back and relax. It’s your day, so you should enjoy it and save the existential dread for another day. 

Happy Birthday to you from your friend, HCHO.

Honeycomb Hideout: Lost In a Daze

Dear Honeycomb Hideout,

I recently was in an accident. Thankfully, I wasn’t seriously injured, but it made me think about my life and how it could’ve ended that quickly if I wasn’t so fortunate. Ever since the accident, I’ve been a little bit disconnected from everything. Any advice on how to get out of this funk? 

-Lost in a Daze

First, let me start by saying I’m glad that you’re okay and in good health, especially since the way you talk about this accident it could’ve been a lot worse. I think you may be feeling disconnected, because something none of us think about as young people is our mortality. It’s a scary thought when we feel like we’re invincible at times, and to have that false sense of reality checked is a sort of wake-up call. This is a continuing point, not game over; remember that.

Take this time to reflect on what’s important to you, as this is an opportunity to do just that. I don’t know what your beliefs are in terms of a higher power or karma. If you don’t believe in any of those maybe you believe in the concept of science and how energy is neither created nor destroyed, so maybe that accident was all of your negative energy releasing itself from your life. Take this chance to have a complete reset. 

Moving on from a traumatic experience is hard to do, and if you feel like you can’t do it alone turn to your friends, family, or even look into professional help. Your mental health is something very important and you don’t want to allow yourself to dwell on this experience, because it will then take over your life. Personally, I had a bad experience with geese as a kid and have never recovered. To this very day, I avoid parks in fear of those feathered demons. Seriously though; take a breath and be thankful you have survived an experience that can and will shape how you look at life forever moving forward. This can be something that either makes you more cautious or want to live life even more. Either way, the choice is yours and yours alone. We’re officially in spring, a time of rebirth and renewal, so I truly hope you come out of this situation a happier and healthier person.

-Your Friend

HCHO

Honeycomb Hideout: Divorcing Friends

Dear Honeycomb Hideout,

I am currently stuck between what seems like a divorce of the friend group. Without going into too much detail, my friends got into an altercation without me being present and now it seems like battle lines have been drawn. On one side of the argument I have a friend who feels they didn’t do anything wrong and apologized and on the other side I have friends who won’t acknowledge anything happened at all. It now feels like I am a child of divorce all over again. What advice do you have to offer me in this difficult situation?

First, let me just offer my sympathies to you because this situation is always a complete headache to all the parties involved. There is nothing worse than fighting inside the friend group especially since this is a group of people who are there because you seek to gain comfort from them. 

If you’re anything like me, you treat the small group of friends you have like family and fighting between them can be very stressful and traumatizing. I also noticed how you mentioned being a child of divorce, so this must be hitting a bit harder for you. 

I will say this as a child of divorce: you probably feel like it’s your job to get in the middle of this and try to fix it. While your intentions are in the right place, don’t do it. Since this situation didn’t involve you, don’t put yourself into it; you will only do more harm than good in the long run of things.

In this situation, stay neutral. Be Switzerland!

I know this may be difficult, but keeping your hands free of the situation will serve you well. If your friend group is like a family, something I learned is that families are going to fight and that is a natural thing. 

The only difference between friends and family is you don’t get to choose your family. With that being said, there’s a very strong possibility that you will all come back together in a short amount of time.

If we have to address the worst case scenario that your friends won’t make-up, that leaves you the options of still remaining friends with both parties or picking a side. I personally recommend the former but to each their own. 

Since you’re friends with both and neither side is budging, I have bad news for you: it’s going to be your childhood all over again. It’s going to be Saturday morning soccer games where your mom is in her lawn chair and your dad is on the bleachers with all the other hungover parents. 

This situation is not ideal but you still will have both groups of friends there for you at major events you’d want everyone to be involved in like birthdays, graduations, and weddings. My advice would be to inform both sides that you will be inviting the other so they do not feel like they are being blindsided showing up to an event and the other is there. 

One reality you may have to also face is they may skip events due to this, so you may have moments where you have to pick and choose who you invite to what. In my opinion this option is flawed because eventually you’ll seem like the bad guy for not inviting someone to something. 

Remember you didn’t cause this problem and if your friends care enough about it they can conduct themselves like adults for your behalf.

I wish you the best in your new social circle and if you just want to cause chaos you could try the parent trap method or like an escape room forcing cooperation but the results of this may vary.

Your friend, 

HCHO

Honeycomb Hideout is the anonymous advice column from The Sting.

Honeycomb Hideout: Getting Back Out There

Dear Honeycomb Hideout,

With vaccines and everything opening back up with spring, I feel like it’s time for me to get back out there. I have been swiping through the whole pandemic and after talking to a few people I have a few I want to meet up with. Do you have any advice for someone who has been out of the game for the last year? 

Your friend, 

Back Out in Baltimore

First, let me say welcome back to the outside world BoB! 

Let’s start by getting to the most basic piece of advice I can give in any dating situation, which is be yourself. No matter how fun, crazy or sad you are, just be that. 

Now thinking about how Spring is around the corner and the weather is getting warmer offers you some more options when it comes to going on dates. There’s plenty of outdoor dining all over the city or you could take a stroll around Federal Hill or Patterson Park. 

There’s also the option of walking around the Harbor or Fells Point, however I recommend bringing a jacket because it gets cold by the water. These are just some basic ideas of some date options for you but whatever you and the other person want to do, go for that.

Now about how you’ve been fever swiping: it sounds like you’ve built up quite the roster to choose from. You can play this many ways. You could go into like the bachelor/bachelorette or even like the hunger games where only the strongest competitor survives. However, I just live for chaos so maybe you won’t look at it that way. 

Thankfully all the power is in your hands so I recommend going with your gut and just feel things out. We’re all coming out of this pandemic together and we’re all going to be a little socially awkward and not pick up on social cues cause we’ve been on house arrest the last year.  

Regardless, just get back out there! This pandemic has taken a lot from everyone and life is meant to be lived, so do exactly that. 

-HCHO

Honeycomb Hideout: Springtime Sadness

Dear Honeycomb Hideout,

 I’ve recently felt down in the dumps. I know we all are going through something but between the snow and covid fatigue I just feel like it’s never going to end. What should I do to get me out of this slump? 

-Restless in Remington 

Well my friend, like you said we are all going through it so the fact you’re able to realize this may make this advice work for others too. Let’s start with the basics. The months after the holidays are usually harder on our mental health than any other time of the year.

Days are shorter. Nights are colder. The most romantic holiday of the year just passed and maybe you spent it alone. As students, we’re officially in our “sophomore slump” of Zoom university with no end in sight. 

Part of your bad feelings could’ve come from Mercury doing the renagade, but that’s only because a right swipe on Tinder told me my “Sun is in Taurus.” That’s why I have trust issues. 

Seriously though, this has not been a good time at all for any of us but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

As we approach the pandemic’s first birthday, it gives a chance to reflect on everything that we’ve been through over the last year. Hopefully while being isolated from the world, you’ve taken a chance to learn more about yourself. Even if it’s something as simple as learning you enjoy making bread, reading weird books, breaking down and downloading TikTok, or whatever got you through.

On the upside of things, the weather is officially starting to break. Days are going back to being longer and warmer. Another thing to think about is that vaccines are being pushed out, so even though you may not qualify for your shot yet, the spread of infection is beginning to slow. We are approaching springtime and this year, universe willing, we will not be locked down. 

So just like spring, take the time to enjoy the new beginning. Go outside, interact with friends and family, and enjoy life. The world is doing it’s best to return to normal and it’s time for you to do the same. Go out there and live. I want to hear back from you three months from now as “Rowdy in Remington” not “Restless.”

So in the meantime wear your mask, wash your hands, and get some sunshine. 

-HCHO

Honeycomb Hideout: Flowers, Chocolates, Pandemics, and Situationships

Welcome back to the Honeycomb Hideout!

 I know it’s been awhile but between holidays and the end of the world I was a little preoccupied. However I am back and better than ever (or at least my false sense of confidence allows me to believe that). 

I feel like I picked the best time because this Sunday is Valentine’s day, and with this holiday approaching, I think it’s best to talk about how to approach this holiday as we still face the challenges of Covid-19. 

Valentines is the perfect chance to enjoy the holiday with that special someone in your life, with indoor dining being reopened in the city (at 25% capacity) you can have that romantic night out that most of us have been missing over the last year. I’d personally recommend celebrating Valentine’s on Friday or Saturday to somewhat avoid the chance of not being able to get reservations at a restaurant.

There are, however, many options you have to give that special someone in your life an experience they won’t forget from the comfort of your own home. Many restaurants are still offering Valentine’s Day specials for carryout so you can make a romantic, candle-lit dinner at home. Have a movie night with boxed wine or whatever you know your significant other likes. Just putting in effort is what matters! Don’t let a pandemic make you believe that you don’t have to try this holiday.

Now let me address everyone out there who is in what we call a “situationship.” You know exactly what I’m talking about. You’re not technically dating, yet you spend four out of seven nights a week at their house, you go to dinner together and you cuddle up on the couch. You’ve never defined what the relationship is, and now we are reaching the biggest romantic holiday of the year. This may make it tricky knowing what to do this upcoming weekend. 

Do you make the push to spend time with them? Do you go on like it’s nothing and just let the situationship stay the way it is? It all comes down to your own personal decision. 

I think you can go one of two ways. If this has been going on for at least three months, you have the right to ask yourself where this is going. Just know that it’s very possible you’ll hear something you won’t like. The alternative to this situation is to just say nothing because you personally don’t want it to go further or you enjoy the worry-free grey area you’re in.

Finally, there is the group of people who are single for valentines day and for that my advice is one thing. Self love. I know it sounds cliché but in all seriousness, self love is important. 

Think of it as the foundation for a house. If it isn’t solid, how do you expect it to support the weight of the rest of the house you build on top of it? Solidify the relationships that benefit you now, which include the one with yourself, your family and your friends. So however you spend this upcoming weekend just be safe, wash your hands, wear your mask, and remember on Monday all of that candy will be 50% off. 

HCHO

PS: A friend of mine wanted me to talk to me about her idea of a perfect Valentine’s day being a single vaccinated woman in the midst of a pandemic. For my friend FHP (Fed Hill Princess) her ideal Valentine’s Day would take place at One Star, getting yelled at by the bartenders, hitting on a six only to be turned down. She then buys them a Twisted Tea and the situation changes. From there she would pull out her laminated vaccine card to show that she is 100% Covid immune. She’d end the night by finding someone to leave with, only to ultimately be disappointed. 

But in her own words, “Nothing can disappoint me more than 2020.”