A queen finds something to believe in

Oprah has retired her day-time talk show, but luckily Marie Antoinette is available to step in where the media mogul has left off, sharing sage advice on love, life and whatever your heart desires. Send her an email at whatwouldmarieantoinettedo at gmail dot com to have your question answered Sundays.

Madame my queen,
I started an at-home business with a friend of mine. It seemed like a great idea at the time but I realized I dread every aspect of the project. I hate it so much I can’t bring myself to do my share of the work and hate that I’m leaving my friend in the lurch. What do I do?
None of my business


Bad things happened when Marie Antoinette was bored. So why would you take a chance and bore her?

While you have no head for business, I had no head for politics. Like you, I cared more about people. I’d do anything to help them or please them. In this way, I’d cower from my mother to advance an Austrian strategy or scramble to please a favorite like Madame de Polignac or the Baron de Besenval. Sure, I wasn’t informed and couldn’t argue a case against anyone’s request. Sure, it was easier to back the stronger personality. But mostly, I didn’t care enough to challenge anyone or deepen my understanding.

During the revolution, things changed. Not because I became more informed (although, I did) but because I became more impassioned. I believed in an absolute monarchy and that my husband ruled in God’s stead. Any position other than that was a sort of blasphemy to me. This is why when the decree to take the royal family to Paris after their escape was thrown on the bed with my children, I snatched it up and tossed it on the floor. This is why when the revolutionaries asked me to wear the liberty bonnet, a symbol of the new change, I dismissed the bonnet and wore instead a cockade with bourbon and Austrian colors. It’s also why I could plan for escape when my husband sank into deep indecision and depression. I was finally fired up by a cause in which I believed.

Do what you do best and be kind to your friend. Tell her that you aren’t fit for the project. Ask her to help you make a plan to ease you out of it, so she isn’t left in the lurch and you can be free. And then find a project that fires your imagination, not your sense of duty.


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