Ask an Adult!

Let's face it: high school didn't prepare us for much.

Even in our twenties and thirties, there are questions we don't know how to answer. What's the best way to save money? How do you know you're ready to get married, or have kids? Taxes???

Don't ask us! We don't know either.

In search of answers to life's scariest questions, we're Asking an Adult, and we want to hear from you! Specifically, we’re asking Kimberley Clarke and Shanda Leer, for their best advice on being a functioning human in these fraught times.

Meet Shanda Leer:

Shanda Leer

Shanda Leer

“It was 1977 and I was a spry 16-year old who had a good head on their shoulders, $8 in their pocket, and a ticket to see The Goodbye Girl at the local cinema. It had been getting some hot review in the local trades and as a confirmed double triple-threat, I knew I had to be among the first to see it opening weekend. What followed was one-hundred and ten minutes of the most saccharine, overwrought TRIPE I had laid my eyes on. Watching the faces of the hoi polloi as they streamed out of their seats into the damp autumn evening, I knew there and then that I was different. Elevated. It's a deeply concerning lesson to learn as a precocious yet approachable teen. I immediately understood what it was like to grow up and, if I may dip a toe into the syrupy world of cliche, not be able to go home again.

I'm 58-years old. Hard fought and world weary. But eager to impart my wisdom to the younger generation. I'm a hip old auntie who can hip-hop, be-bop, dance til ya drop, yo yo, and make a wicked cup of cocoa. I'm also a chaotic bisexual Gemini who carries a rose quartz just in case even though I know it's just a shiny rock. So send me your questions, queries, quibbles and quandaries. I'll set you straight (figuratively).”

Meet Kim Clarke:

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“Okay, here goes. I am originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba. I am the product of public and some private and some independent school education. I attended the University of Winnipeg, the University of British Columbia and the University of Manitoba and UBC (again) in that order. I love learning, I love teaching and I would love to tap dance.

What makes me a reputable adult is that I am old. I have always been old. Because I was an only child, which made me unusual in my neighbourhood, I always thought of myself as mature beyond my years. Running away to Vancouver, spending my adolescence wailing away to Joni Mitchell albums, pogoing with disenfranchised punks, and experiencing existential ennui because of a questionable hair-do, gives me a little street-cred as an adult. Oh and I haven't been arrested, ever.

The best piece of advice I ever got was "Get a good dentist." I followed the advice and have smiled ever since.”

Got questions?

Send your worries and questions to or use the form below by October 5, and select submissions will be answered by a Kim and Shanda Leer, two Reputable Adults, and shared in the Future issue of SAD, out this fall. Feel free to use your real name, a pseudonym, or ask for anonymity.

Name *
Ask away!


SAD Mag is an independent Vancouver publication featuring stories, art and design. Founded in 2009, we publish the best of contemporary and emerging artists with a focus on inclusivity of voices and views, exceptional design, and film photography.