Dear Aunty Social: The Jacket


First of all, do you know my third cousin, twice removed Pearl Mesta? I think you two should meet, I can just imagine the raucous conversation. Secondly, is it Aunty, as in the tiny bug that trespasses my kitchen floor, and rhymes with panty, or Aunty that rhymes with Monty, as in Python? I need to know because I never like to offend.

Now down to the main reason for my note. Whenever I visit the local coffee shop, well when I used to visit the local coffee shop prior to this whole social distance behavior, I always arrive with a laptop, my iPad, several spiral notebooks, my valise, and of course my iPhone. You can well imagine I need a lot of space on the table and of course a second chair for my jacket. It never fails that once I am well situated and very busy at looking important, I always seem to get interrupted by someone who wants to sit in the chair reserved for my jacket and take over some of my tablespace. Nine times out of ten it is the same man, now albeit he is tall, handsome and has the most luxurious wavy gray hair, and any gay man, did I mention that I am Gay, would love to chat him up and welcome the chance to sit next to him, but I am not that gay man. I want to be left alone and uninterrupted. My question is, once this distancing policy has been lifted, how do I politely tell him to bugger off?

Stay Safe, and keep your distance,
Always Preferred Being Socially Distant
In Jesus’ name Amen!



First of all, I do not believe I have had the pleasure nor displeasure, as the case may be, of meeting your third cousin twice removed, Pearl Mesta.  The Pearl I am thinking of is the one that did that thing.  You’ll know what I’m talking about if she’s the same Pearl.

Secondly, you are such a dear for inquiring as to the correct pronunciation of “Aunty.” Indeed the term rhymes with Monty as in Python. There really is only one correct pronunciation and you appear to reside in a geographical area of the states that perhaps could use a little help in the elocution department.  Please use your astute tutelage to help educate your fellow men and women.

Now let’s talk about your little situation or as I shall henceforth simply refer to it as your baggage and I am not referring to your valise.  A valise is essentially a small bag that is utilized for short trips, particularly overnight stays away from home.  My late father referred to every suitcase as a “valise”.  It’s quite possible he used the term, “valise” due to his mother.  My late grandmother took the boat over from Poland all by herself as a teenager and most probably reminded my him on a daily basis, “When I arrived at Ellis Island all I had was a valise! Now take your shekel and do something useful with your life!”  Both the term as well as his mother issues remained with him throughout his lifetime until his untimely passing.

This begs two questions:

  1. Is your use of the term, “Valise” correct?
  2. Never mind. I have no more questions.

Now back to your baggage.  I believe you are perhaps suffering from a form of transference in addition to a bit of spatial hoarding.

Transference describes a situation where the feelings, desires, and expectations of one person are redirected and applied to another person. Most commonly, transference refers to a therapeutic setting, where a person in therapy may apply certain feelings or emotions toward the therapist.

In your case, not to be confused with your baggage nor valise, you are suffering from a little-known form of transference that was recently identified, well, since the writing of this article, “Possessional Transference.”

Possessional Transference describes a situation where the feelings, desires, and expectations of one person are redirected and applied to a possession such as your jacket.  In essence, you really long for the connection with this tall, handsome, luxurious wavy gray-haired neuter, I mean gay man, however; you are transferring all of your desires onto your jacket, even going so far as to give your jacket it’s very own chair.  Along with your spatial hoarding tendencies, this makes for quite the vexed question on par with the difficulties associated with plastic surgery and PEZ dispenser addiction.

My advice for this quarantine conundrum involves a 3-step process you can do at home:

  1. Thrice daily, place your jacket on a chair of equal distance as the chair at the coffee shop, and sit across from it. Each day move the chair a few inches further from where you are seated toward the direction of the closet.  Once the chair and the jacket are next to the closet and as soon as you are emotionally able, remove the jacket from the chair and place it on a hanger. When you are able, place the jacket in the closet.  You may keep the closet door open if you must for a maximum of 4 days.
  2. After a week or two, write a letter to your jacket sharing your heartfelt feelings along with a goodbye letter to explain your sentiments. The letter must include the following, “You are but a jacket, an inanimate object and unworthy of my affections.”  Do not hold anything back.
  3. Once you have written the letter, remove the jacket from the closet and place it in your valise. Take both items to the trash.

These items no longer serve you, dear Matthew. Please remember, your valise was not really a valise in the truest sense as there is no sleeping at the coffee shop thus negating the need for a valise as well as addressing your spatial hoarding issues. You have now, literally and figuratively, removed the jacket providing an opportunity to expose yourself to your heart’s truest desires, an open chair to invite the possibility of love!


Aunty Social


Editor’s note: Dear Aunty Social is masterfully written by Shelley Brown, whose career as an advice columnist continues to blossom, as she offers comfort and a reality check with unparalleled candor. Her unique ability to read between the lines and respond with, wit, wisdom, and radical in-your-face honesty will continue to win her the loyalty of millions of fans worldwide. Click here to enjoy your favority Aunty’s entire archives of tastefully delivered bad advice.



Aunty Social
Aunty Social
Modern life can be hideously complicated which is why I, the sassy, irreverent Aunty Social is here to help. From heartbreaking relationship issues to table manners to nosey neighbors, I always do my very best to deliver brutally blunt, in your face, no-nonsense bad advice with the wit and wisdom of a lady thrice my (none of your business) age. I'm ready and willing to solve your problems without beating around the bush. Need some bad advice? – Just click on my email icon below to send me your problems and leave your cares behind! And then come back and visit me now and then because who knows? –I might actually get around to answering my emails. Please be patient, because what I lack in speed, I make up for in gibberish.

SOLD OUT! JOIN OUR WAITING LIST! It's not a virtual event. It's not a conference. It's not a seminar, a meeting, or a symposium. It's not about attracting a big crowd. It's not about making a profit, but rather about making a real difference. LEARN MORE HERE