The Fallback Plan for Exes and Ohs
The Fallback Plan is a weekly column, offering advice to those undergoing a second adolescence. For an illustrated fallback plan of your own, write to Leighstein@thefastertimes.com
Dear Miss Leigh,
I fell head over heels for the most lovely man a few month ago. I adore him, but I have to end it. It will never work because he’s married (whoopsy!) and I’m moving to the big city anyway. Please help! How do I break up with my married boyfriend without smashing his heart into smithereens?
Your biggest fan,
Get your hands off my husband. Totally kidding! He says your hands are really soft.
There are many ways to break hearts, in addition to your sledgehammer strategy. Try writing a note and leaving it under his windshield wiper. Try standing outside his bedroom window with a boombox over your shoulders and play “Don’t Know What You Got (Til It’s Gone)” by Cinderella until you either start crying or your ears start bleeding.
“But Miss Leigh,” I hear you saying, “I don’t have a boombox! I’m a modern woman!”
You have lungs, don’t you? Sing, Nina. I dare you to sing, “I can’t clear my heart of your love it falls like rain,” and see if your married boyfriend doesn’t get the hint.
Best of luck,
How does one gracefully get one’s spare keys back from an ex-boyfriend who is not known for being reasonable?
Do you know how many times I’ve had this problem? About eight million. Because that’s how many ex-boyfriends I have.
Here’s your plan: hostage situation. Find something dear to your ex, like the Alice in Chains concert t-shirt you’ve been using as a nightie, or the USB stick containing draft six of his dissertation on the Wandering Jew in 19th century literature, which he left sticking out of your laptop one night when you said it was OK for him to come over and use your printer, not realizing it would be the last time you ever had sex.
Got it? Now go photograph yourself holding your hostage out a window, and click send. Arrange to meet at a public place. Exchange the goods.
Then go home and never look back.
Illustrations by Lauren Kaelin
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