Helping You Help Yourself #28

Relevant to my and probably your interests: how to organize your tea, and ways to use tea in cooking when you realize you have way too much of it and it will go stale.

Making fresh flowers last longer.

Keeping your off-the-shoulder top in place so you don’t have to adjust it all day.

In the last installment of this column, we made our kitchens smell fresher; now it’s time to clean and refresh your mattress.

This is a fear that haunts me constantly, so it’s great to know how to navigate airport security if you’ve lost your driver’s license (although realistically, I’m sure these are only options for people usually considered nonthreatening by airport security and not already harassed or ‘randomly searched’ every time).

An app that organizes and keywords the photos on your iPhone camera roll, picking out your best photos automatically and making them easy to find.

Science-backed ways to combat distraction when you’re trying to power through a lot of work.

We’ve mentioned in this column before different ways to tell if you’re being underpaid, but if you find out you are, what do you actually do about it? Well, this.

An innovative strategy for saving money that might work for some of us: picking a couple days a week where you don’t spend at all.

I searched for this because it is a problem that plagues me personally: how to get back in touch with a friend after a lot of time has passed and with every passing day you feel more and more awkward saying something. Break the cycle! Send an email! You can do it!

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. So I went through airport TSA twice with dodgy ID – I forgot my passport (it was for domestic flights but I had forgotten that I still needed it as a non-citizen) and my San Francisco City ID was both non-recognized (most places thought it was fake) and also expired. I thought I’d have major issues flying esp since I pass most “terrorist” filters, but after showing them my bank cards and being extremely apologetic about it they actually let me through, provided I go through extra security. This involved a pat-down, but both times the staff were super apologetic and gentle about it. I wouldn’t do it again (who knows how lucky I would be next time) but it worked out better than expected!

    • (oh it’s twice because it was one flight in the middle of a big trip that I started on the bus, and the return flight from that same trip)

  2. Love the advice about getting back in touch with friends you haven’t spoken to for a while! I recently had lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen for upwards of two years and it was totally wonderful. I frequently find myself being “the one who keeps in touch” in my friendships, and while it used to annoy me that I felt like I was putting in more effort than my friends, I’ve recently decided to embrace the role! I realized (through some very helpful advice) that the only person I was hurting by not reaching out to friends was myself, since I just ended up being sad that I wasn’t keeping in touch with people; and that when I do reach out to people, they almost always respond and want to catch up, so it’s not like everyone secretly hates me, they’re just busy :P Anyway, I liked that article and the reminder that people will most likely be happy to hear from you, even if they aren’t able to rekindle the friendship at that moment in time :)

  3. That article about getting back in touch with a friend was SUPER helpful! It actually got me to finally message a friend I’ve been procrastinating about messaging for the last two months! It didn’t really tell me anything I didn’t already know, but made me realize there was something that happened this weekend that was sort of the perfect jumping off point for finally getting back in touch.

  4. welp. i knew i should start meditating, but apparently i should really start meditating. basically my whole life is distracting thoughts.

  5. That’s awesome there’s a website for people to learn better social skills (from one of the links). It looks pretty useful too: www dot succeedsocially dot com.

  6. You are guaranteed to get a pay raise if you leave a job every five years. But remember after twenty years you max out most of the time. So be careful. And don’t burn bridges, ever.

  7. Once I was flying out of Altoona, Pennsylvania, and they didn’t like how faded and hard to read my ID was (Oregon does stickers to update old info and they always eventually become impossible to read) so the TSA had me pull up my Facebook on my phone cuz I had NOTHING else. #truestory

  8. I want to refresh my mattress but I don’t have a vacuum! Also, why can I never spell vacuum right?

  9. Last time I went to the airport, I didn’t realize I’d lost my ID until I was halfway there. By the time I went back home, looked for it, and returned to the airport; there were only 30 minutes left until my last-of-the-day flight. The TSA agent felt so bad for my late, flustered soul that he let me through security patdown-free using a grainy costco card as my photo ID. Miracles do happen, folks.

Comments are closed.