A child sits down for dinner without any siblings to accompany them.
A child sits down for dinner without any siblings to accompany them.

Advice Column: A Lonely Only Child

October 1, 2019

As you know, for the past two years I have been doing a biyearly advice column for all my valued readers. I realized it was time for the latest installment when one email from a fan caught my eye:


Hi, Josh!

I’ve been reading your work for a while now, and I really enjoy it! Keep up the good work! I have a son who has recently been left at home by his three older siblings, and I was wondering if you have any advice for him on how to make the best of a tough situation. Again, keep up the good work. I’m your biggest fan!




Thanks for the question, @mom. As it turns out, I am also an only child. I actually have three older siblings whom I love very much, but they have all gone away to college, either because they do not love me back or because they are pursuing a higher education. Regardless, I am now officially the only minor currently residing in my household unless you count my ten-year-old dog as a minor, which you shouldn’t because the law goes by dog years. Even with Argus to keep me company, being an only child is difficult. My parents can now turn their focus to pestering me about work and I am extremely lonely, which makes sense because parental pressure and extreme loneliness are the top two reasons someone would be writing an article for Maroon at any given time. Anyways, for all the abandoned younger siblings out there, I have put together a set of tips to make the best of your new way of life. I hope this answers your question, @mom.

1: Go make some imaginary friends.

Whenever you are bored, it helps to have an imaginary buddy to spend some time with. Just try to be your most confident self when you approach this potential imaginary friend and say “Hi there, magical creature from the rainbow world of Friendland. Would you like to be my imaginary friend?” Chances are he will say yes, provided he doesn’t have an existential crisis after you call him “imaginary.” If he rejects you, banish him to Meanie-pants World until he learns his lesson. Note: Making real friends is also an option, though it is a more advanced move that should only be attempted by more experienced readers. Click any or all of these links for some good step-by-step strategies on how to make real-life friends: 




2: Blend in.

If your parents are really leaning into you about doing your schoolwork, wear low profile colors to go unnoticed. Your parents will never catch you procrastinating when you are covered head to toe in a light heather gray that matches your wallpaper. If you really want to blend in, camouflage ghillie suits can be purchased at this site: https://www.theghilliesuits.com/

3: Your siblings are replaceable.

Try doing all the same activities you used to do with siblings with a pet instead. So far this week Argus and I have had a baseball catch, played video games, and enjoyed a Bock family favorite Belgian chocolate Dazzler sundae at Häagen-Dazs. He was not great at baseball due to the lack of opposable thumbs, but we still had fun. He also wasn’t too good at video games ‘cause, you know, the opposable thumbs thing again. Fortunately, you don’t need opposable thumbs to eat a chocolate sundae, but you do need the ability to effectively metabolize chocolate so maybe this idea wasn’t very well thought out. But if you happen to have a pet primate at home with a sweet tooth then this tip still applies perfectly for you.

4: Invade your siblings’ rooms.

What are they going to do about it? While your brother or sister is away being a nerd, you can make yourself comfortable on their bed, and they cannot stop you. Take what is yours, and if it is not yours, take it anyway! You are a lawless crusader, expanding into newly deserted territory with little regard for its past inhabitants. Oh ye who hath abandoned me, thy kingdom kneels before a new ruler!

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