Dear Nicole: How can I get her to pull the cork?

Dear Nicole,

I have a friend who is a great cook, so when I am invited to dinner I make a point of finding out what she’s preparing and I go out of my way to buy a good (translates: pricey) wine that pairs well. When I arrive, I present her with the wine. She thanks me profusely and then serves some other (translates: inferior) wine, never uncorking my offering. WTH?

— Wine Not Mine

This person probably has no idea she’s doing this. Usually, I assume hostess gifts are an after party thing, mainly because I don’t want anyone who didn’t bring a ‘gift’ to feel bad, so I thank them profusely and tuck away the offering. (Maybe this question is about me?)

Next time you go over, tell her, “This wine goes perfect with the Chicken Marsala you are making tonight; I can’t wait for us all to share it together!” That should get things uncorked for you. And if you’re telling me that, we’ll all know I am the clueless host.


Dear Nicole,

How does a newly single 30-something navigate the world of singlehood on social media without making her head spin? It’s a different game out there! HA!

— Ready To Mingle

Your social media is part of your public life. Think about it: your boss is on there, your mom is on there, your 14-year-old niece is on there. Sure, put your singleness out there in a public way, but don’t hit people over the head with it. List that you are single in your profile and ask your friends for introductions.

The great thing with social media is you can actually meet friends of friends in a much lower pressure way then the dating sites from back in the day (i.e. 10 years ago). Use tools such as Facebook to build friendships and if it turns into something, great. But please don’t use Facebook to date in a real way. (We’ve all gotten the creepy friend request from the half naked person with one friend in common. Don’t be that guy/gal.)

To actually date in a real way, use websites and apps built for this purpose. I’d try Tinder. In using a dating website, you can tailor your profile to search for romantic interests.

Think of your social media profiles like job interview references. You meet someone on a dating website and when you eventually friend them, follow them, etc. they can use social media to verify what you’ve said about yourself (and vice versa).

Remember getting to know new people is exciting and interesting. If you go into it expecting fun, that is what you’ll find.


Dear Nicole,

Why do you get to write an advice column and I don’t?

— Smarter Than You

Great question and so politely put!

I’m sure you’ve seen my disclaimer. In researching the great advice giving minds of our time, I’m sure you’ll notice no one has a particular degree, background, etc.

I’ve been putting my writing out publicly for free going on seven years. I started my blog in September of 2007 with a terrible post that is still online if you want to read it. I’ve gotten through writing more than 1,000 blog posts!

I know the right people (newspaper editors) who have been reading my blog (honestly I had no idea they were). Having a thousand eyeballs on something is great, but all it takes is the right ones to have things move a little faster.

Thirdly, I have always very publicly loved advice columns. I even added a short line to my bio at a local conference: “Nicole has always secretly wanted an advice column or to try standup comedy, whichever she decides would be funnier.” I figured a public declaration to hundreds of people may spur me to finally make one of these two things happen.

Every time I look back on something that worked in my life, it has involved me putting in the time, knowing someone that could help, and being willing to articulate what I wanted to everyone.

Please email me and let me know when you’ve set up your blog. I’d love to read it, especially if you are smarter than me.

Nicole Ouellette

Nicole Ouellette

When Nicole isn't giving advice she's completely unqualified to give, she runs an Internet marketing company in Bar Harbor, where she lives with her husband Derrick and their short dog Gidget. She loves young adult novels, cooking and talking French to anyone who'll talk back. [email protected]
Nicole Ouellette

Latest posts by Nicole Ouellette (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.