Campus Life advice

All about Auntie

Auntie Matter on herself

If you have questions for Auntie Matter, please submit them at

Auntie’s readers have long expressed to her that they would like to know more about the mysterious entity behind everyone’s favorite weekly sage advice column. Therefore, Auntie will indulge her more narcissistic tendencies. You’re welcome, readers.

If you would like Auntie to return to actually giving advice, please submit more questions! Otherwise, expect a full column next week of Auntie’s favorite recipes, including her favorite six-ingredient Swedish chocolate cake. She recommends browning the butter before adding it to the batter, even though this recipe does not call for this.

Dear Auntie Matter,

If you could relive your years as an undergrad at MIT, what would you do differently?

— A Curious Reader

Dear Curious,

Given the chance to go back in time, there are things Auntie wouldn’t repeat, but she doesn’t exactly regret any of her decisions. There is nothing (except for working at a certain summer program which will remain nameless) that Auntie feels was simply the wrong decision. She could not have learned from her mistakes without making them, and it’s not clear that erasing them would be the best course of action.

That said, there are a few things she wishes she knew as a freshman:

Lightning round: now Auntie will answer a few short questions about herself.

What are your favorite Central Square restaurants?

Auntie’s two top picks are Asmara, an Eritrean and Ethiopian restaurant, and the Rangzen Tibetan Place (especially the lunch buffet). She recommends the vegetarian combination for two at Asmara and the veggie momo at Rangzen.

What are your dating deal-breakers?

Dreadlocks on white men, people who talk about Marvel movies for the entire first date, people who are too clingy, people who are not clingy enough, people who say they “don’t read,” rationalists, picky eaters, anti-GMO sentiment, cigarette addiction, and patchy facial hair (just shave!).

What do you look for in a friend?

“Complete friendship is the friendship of those who are good and alike in point of virtue, … yet friendships of this sort are likely to be rare, since people of this sort are few.” (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, VIII.3.7-26, trans. Bartlett & Collins).

What is your favorite reality television show?

Auntie is so glad you asked this question! She is an avid viewer of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant. Auntie has learned so much from the show: it reminds her each episode what an epidural is, what pitocin is, and confirms to her that she was sensible in getting an IUD. No pregnancy scares for Auntie! It also taught her this sage lesson: those least qualified to be teen parents are the most likely to become teen parents.

What do you look for in a vacation spot?

Infinite delicious Turkish breakfast, pleasant ferry rides on the Bosphorus, friendly locals who offer to drink tea with you, weekend trips to Ephesus (look for Ali, the shoe merchant, in the nearby town of Selçuk), cheap fresh-squeezed orange juice, and beautiful Islamic architecture. Auntie also enjoys visiting places that aren’t Turkey.