WWMAD: Help! She’s a chronic-coffee-breath-close-talker!

Due to technical difficulties, this post should have aired Sunday and did not. Your blog mistress is much mortified that her carefully pre-scheduled post did not run while she was out of town but its Hoot Suite scheduled Tweets most certainly did. Fear not: This Sunday series will return on Sundays, allowing readers to ask the queen for advice on life and love. Ask your own questions at whatwouldmarieantoinettedo at gmail dot com.

Venus will promote one of these cherubs to head angel. I promise you, it won't be the smelly close-talker. Francois Boucher, the Toilet of Venus

Dear Marie,

I have a coworker who is very nice but she’s the type to wear blue panties beneath her white slacks and bring her coffee cup into the ladies room. These things are odd and sometimes disgusting but don’t really impact the rest of us, so we’ve said nothing. However, she is a chronic coffee drinker and has interminable coffee breath. She’s also what Seinfeld calls “a close talker.” What do we do?
–The Cubemate

Mlle. Cube mate,

Grooming is an essential issue — one that can interfere with one’s rise to power. My sister-in-law, The Comtesse de Provence, Marie Josephine Louise of Savoy, on paper, seemed a fitting rival for someone like yours truly. Mme. Du Barry planned her a wedding that was grand as mine, and having Louis XV’s gal on your side is no small feat. The Comtesse was younger than me and not Austrian, and seemed well on the road to being everyone’s favorite. At least that’s what she thought. She once even declared:  “If I am not to be a queen, I am of the stuff of which queens are made.”

Sadly, my darling Comtesse was smelly girl. A smelly, smelly, smelly girl. She was smelly even for Versailles, which was something since this was a palace where courtiers relieved themselves in stairwells. Louis XV asked his ambassador to have her father, King Victor Amadeus III, have a talk with her. Among the French King’s recommendations were that, if she had the chance, to wash her neck, clean her teeth and comb her hair. Her father wrote her and reminded her not to neglect herself, but her stock had already plummeted. She couldn’t keep the interest of Du Barry, who started to dislike her, King Louis XV clearly preferred my sparkling company to that of the Comtesse, and since the Savoy princess could not produce an heir, she lost any hope of influence she might have had at Versailles. People still disliked me, but that was because I was pretty and the daughter of an Empress. No one could deny I looked – and smelled – like royalty.

If this is your dear friend, you need to say something. Don’t be coy, or she might not understand it’s a problem. You might even bring a travel brush and paste for her to use straight away.

If this is your rival or someone that you do not especially like, do nothing at all. Conduct as many affairs as possible through the email, phone and the post if you must to suffer through. Odd people who cannot floss don’t usually move ahead and it won’t be long until you are installed in an office somewhere upwind from your colleague.


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