Monday, September 16, 2013

Ask Ethel- Back to School

Note from the editor: Ethel Epstein is a native of New Jersey who started writing this advice column in 1973. Since then she has helped countless people with her quick wit, concrete principles, and no-nonsense approach. After several requests we have added her column to the blog. It helps if you read with a New Jersey accent. The contents of Ethel's column in no way reflect the attitudes, views, or opinions of Tanner or Bryan.

Dear Ethel,
    Today is my first day of college. Do you have any advice on how I should dress, what classes I should take, and particularly, how I can attract men?

Yours truly,
Freaking Out Freshman

Dear Freaking,
     Oh how I love to hear from Fresh-fries. You all are so adorable in you little roller backpacks and your hopelessly lost expressions. It reminds me of the first time I accidentally wandered into a army barracks after hours. But that's a different story dear. We're here to talk about college, and I am the perfect person to do so. After all, I hold several degrees from prestigious universities.

     First of all, there's no need to "freak out."Compose yourself darling, you're an adult now... unless you're one of those freaky home school children that goes to college when they're ten years old. My, that's horrific. Imagine a toddler in college! Not that there's anything wrong with homeschool, mind you. I myself home schooled my son Johannes Brahms well into his 30s. Unfortunately the lousy excuse for our government doesn't recognize his degree as legitimate. They even said that Canasta Theory and Practice isn't even a real course! As if! How insulting. What happened to America?
     Don't worry about classes. I never graduated college (or high school for that matter), and I never regretted that. Why worry about class when you have bigger proverbial fish to fry? College isn't about going to class; It's about having class! Which brings us to the next point...
     What should you wear? The worst mistake that a college girl makes is dressing like a jungle floozy who could only be comfortable on a corner of 7th Avenue. Here are my "Five Don'ts of College Fashion:" 1) Don't wear read. It's the color of flappers, stop signs, and fire hydrants. 2) Don't wear leather. Leave that to the animals and mature humans. 3) Don't wear too much makeup. A woman's face is a canvas, and unless your name is Leo Da Vinci, you shouldn't be painting. 4) Don't expose yourself. Wolves like raw meat darling. Wolves. 5) Don't wear lots of expensive jewelry. It will intimidate a man. He will never buy you pearls or diamonds if he thinks you already have enough.
     Now we arrive at my specialty, attracting men. It's a curse really. I've never touched a man, but oh how they flock to me! Why Robert Redford once told me.... oh dear, I'm getting ahead of myself.... Let's just say we all have our crosses to bear, and beauty is mine. So what's the secret? Genes, dear. Genes. You got it or you don't and that's the truth. I won't sugar coat it for you. However, if your genes don't quite cut it, you can read another one of my letters about How to Win a Man.
     Remember, college is all about being who you want to be. Love yourself. Do what makes you happy. Clothes don't make a person. Classes don't define your class. And good strong relationships begin with good strong individuals.

Ethel Epstein is a mother, cosmetician, fashionista, Christian, Jew, Bingo player, 2 time winner of the New Jersey State Lottery, and athlete (Gin Rummy). Questions to "Ask Ethel" may be posted in the comments section of this article.


  1. Just the thing to ease the worries of any college student, fresh-fry or not.

  2. I read in in an new jersey accent. You're right. It made it better.