Joey, revealed

Confession: I’m not an advice column kind of person.

Problems? Sure, I have them, but I don’t necessarily want to share them with a stranger in the pages of a publication.

I read them as a nerdy kid, actually. But, eventually, the advice all started to sound the same: Sterile and patronizing at best, condescending and judgmental at worst.

Ann Landers? Oh, please, no. Dear Abby? Hard pass.

Then I met Joey Garcia.

I first came across her in the pages of SN&R: She’s been our Ask Joey advice columnist for 20 years. Initially I read out of mild curiosity—what kind of viewpoint would someone have in the pages of an alternative weekly?

Quickly, I learned, Garcia is no Dear Abby or Ann Landers.

Unlike so many other such columnists, Garcia’s guidance isn’t pedantic, banal or egotistic. Rather, her advice is rooted in life smarts, spirituality, love and, always, a push to go deeper.

Over the years I’ve had the chance to meet Garcia in person and, I can tell you, the person behind the column is just as smart, just as willing to push deeper.

Find out for yourself. This week’s feature story reveals Garcia in her own words (See “Meet Joey Garcia”) and here she chronicles her column’s origins.

It’s a must-read, one filled with lessons, insight and, perhaps unintentionally, a little life advice for the rest of us.

Want to meet her as well? This Thursday, October 20, you’ll get that chance with a special anniversary party at SN&R’s office from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Learn more and RSVP at SN&R’s Facebook page,