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Dear A Mitch: Tell Her

October 14, 2009

by Alex Mitchell
Dear A Mitch: Tell Her

Dear A Mitch,

A man's figurative closet is often packed with skeletons the size of Wayne Gretzky's manhood-- mine certainly is. Everyone makes mistakes, but some of us live with the daily consequences of actions that happened years ago. While bundling this up is usually fine, I have been dating a woman for 2 years now and I think when we graduate this May, I want to live with her and start settling down. How do I tell my main squeeze that I have to pay child-support? I am worried that she will wig out, break up with me, and tell everyone about the result of sowing my seed in high school.


You’re worried she’ll wig out on you? I’m worried she is going to drop thesis and begin planning your assassination. Holy conundrum, dear A Mitch, how do I cure AIDS? Hmm, okay… Focus. We can do this.

Can we talk priorities? Numero uno, your child. The one not involved in your life. The one you can hide for two years from a woman you’re close enough to want to live with. Your kid is what, between four and six years old? Do you even talk to your “seed?” I understand you are in college, probably too far away to visit on a regular basis, but if you are maybe trying to, you know, give a shit about this human being you have brought into the world, revealing their existence should be a joy. I am sorry to be so harsh and un-empathetic, I know you aren’t proud... Alright, lashing complete. Now get your hardhat. I have some jorts and a ratchet, let’s be constructive.

First off, you need to remember that all this is in the past. It’s easy to get caught up in regret, but the only thing accomplished in remorse is feeling horrible. There’s nothing you can do about it, decisions have been made and that beezie Hermione is the only one with a time-turner. That’s not to say it isn’t imperative to remember the lessons we’ve learned from mistakes, just that dwelling on those errors only encourages unproductive self-loathing. Look, shit has happened, and when it hits the fan, all you can do is clean it up. Wear white, you’ll be bleaching, but it sure is going to feel good to wash the grime off.

So now you have “the talk.” Just to preface, probably unnecessarily, this is not an inner-tube water polo discussion. You don’t want her drowning you. And don’t play it up, the Montclair Olive Garden employees will be heated if they have to clean up her never-ending pasta mess. Pick an un-stressful weekend for her (preferably before finals), kick your goonie ass roommates out, maybe have a glass of wine to loosen your groove and relax her – she may be sensing something out of the ordinary. Then, with all seriousness, tell her your story. The whole watermelon, because every little seed you leave out will bite your ass down the line. These are creeping, biting seeds, understand? They hurt both parties. So get it out, tell her why. Be more truthful and sincere than you’ve ever been, and whether you are hit with thunder or rain, stand exposed to the elements of her emotion, and apologize.

However this scene goes down in your mind, know it will happen differently than you imagine. Try to stay consistent in your fight to keep your girl, always supportive, never defensive. Don’t make it an argument, rather a process of assuaging her grief. And lastly, call your kid. Tell him or her you love them before it is too late to be taken seriously.

Sincerely, A Mitch

Dear A Mitch,

I have a giant crush on this girl I met the other week. I thought she was feeling the same way about me but my efforts to get to know her better have been shut down. I mostly text her, only to receive meager responses many hours later. Someone told me she recently broke up with her boyfriend and I am not sure what sort of dynamic she is dealing with. My friends are telling me to tread lightly. I agree, but all I want is a moment of her company. How do I get that?

Yay, crushies!

There is nothing better than a crush, except for maybe a returned crush. Crush Trade! Obama’s next policy – approved by anxiety and butterflies everywhere. Get out your charm, friend, let’s get it merry popin’.

Okay, you don’t actually have to be charming to get the girl to like you, I mean, have you met Chris Blees? He has a girlfriend. For cereals! So we know different strategies work for different individuals, but for the sake of success you should stay away from his tactics. Unless you interpret “crush” as denoting a strong dislike for someone. Shoot, digression, this paragraph is not helpful.

Advice, take two.

What you really need to do is let her know how you feel. However, you don’t want to overwhelm her. While you are feeling chipper, eager to progress with the rituals of relationships, she may be struggling to put on her happy face. The joy Fiona Apple’s Across the Universe gives you might drown her in weeping nostalgia. You have to be realistic about her wanting, needing, to be single for a while, no matter how well you click or how perfect you think you are for each other. When it comes down to it, your crush is on her clock, which can be tremendously difficult for some to handle. But if you think she is worth it, well, all you can do is let her know why.

It's not going to happen in a text message. Sporadic texts often seem like poor attempts to hook up. The what are you doing tonight? text at 10pm Saturday – only because now you are intoxicated enough to conjure the courage. New approach (for all of CMC): Call her during the day! Crazy, I know. If you get her voicemail, leave a message. After hearing your voice, she might be reminded of the smiles you gave her. Say, “Hey lady! I was wondering if you want to get dinner with me Friday or Saturday night.” Don’t be vague, have a place in mind, but be lenient on time. Make it difficult for her to say no. Like applying to college, the hardest part is getting in. Once you sit down to eat, it’s on you. Do yo thang, gangsta. Tell a shorty why you be gaming her. If it doesn’t work out, oh well, let it slide. Life is too short to be under-appreciated.

Sincerely, A Mitch

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