Lydia, I’m in Love!: Advice for Unlucky Literary Lads



I have true love for the most beautiful women in the world. She has skin the color of wintery cream and long golden hair. She is beyond perfection. I love her so much that I worked years at hard labor just to hear the sound of her voice. Three years ago I professed my love before leaving to make a life in America for us. Unfortunately, my ship was captured by the Dread Pirate “Bob,” whose motto states “There will be no survivors!”

I survived.

For… um…  for a reason I’m not at liberty to reveal to you.

After some time I went home to seek my bride only to find her engaged to an evil prince who arranged to have her kidnapped for his nefarious plans.  I followed the kidnappers in my ship through eel infested waters, climbed the “Cliffs of Craziness,” and  met with a Fencer and Giant in less then friendly circumstances. After that I had to outwit a Sicilian  when any mistake meant death to my beloved “Peanut Butter.” (And as everyone knows “Never go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line” is a classic blunder only slightly less known than “Never get involved in a land war in Asia.”) After rescuing her, due to a misunderstanding, she pushed me down a rock ravine. After surviving the fall and a fire swamp, in an effort to “save me,” my true love walked away from me hand in hand with her evil fiancé, Heimerdink.

I am currently in his dungeon (a kind Albino is smuggling this letter out for me) as I recover from being bitten by a rather large rodent. When I am well, my enemy is going to kill me slowly and painfully, marry my true love, and promptly kill her. Needless to say, it’s been a difficult day.

What should I do?


A Boy From a Farm

Dear Farm Boy,

First off, (and I’m truly sorry but I have to say this) what is wrong with “Peanut Butter”? She left you for an evil prince? She’s going to marry him? I thought you were “in love”? Are you sure she’s worth it? I know she’s the most beautiful women in the world but still, brains and a little consistency are always nice to have. Just sayin’…

I can only surmise by you being so forgiving toward her that this must be some kind of True Love. The truly true love type of True Love, I guess.

I hope she realizes what a lying jerk her fiancé is before it’s too late. My advice (besides trying to escape, stop the wedding, and ride off into the sunset with your beloved) is to stick it through as best you can. In the event of your situation getting any worse (I can’t see how it could get any worse, at least without somebody dying) I think the power of True Love will always sustain you. It’s the most powerful force in the entire world, you know.

Since your situation is so terrible, I highly recommend (which I normally don’t) finding a Miracle Man and seeing what he can do for you. Do you think you could possibly get the Giant and Fencer on your side? They might be helpful.

My girlfriend is extremely smart and very pretty. Her hair is a shade that some people call titian, some auburn, some red, others blonde, and some think it’s brown. N.D. says she is “just a normal 18 year old American girl” but after some thought I’ve decided that isn’t quite true; she’s actually quite talented. She rides horses, tap dances (occasionally in Morse code), deciphers codes, speaks several languages, plays the piano, and the violin. She paints, sings, sews, bakes, swims, acts and cooks. She knows first aid and is a skilled bridge player. She is a superior chemist, quite proficient in art, literature and music, and has studied psychology as well as everything else. She can land an airplane, skillfully maneuvers her car at high speeds, and is an excellent shot. She also has an uncanny ability to discover hidden staircases and rooms. She’s a brilliant amateur detective and I’m very happy to be what she calls her “special friend.”

The problem is, I feel inadequate next to N.D. I’m just a highly intelligent, tall, dark, handsome athletic star on the college rowing, swimming, football, basket-ball, and baseball teams, and I also golf and bowl in my spare time. I feel like a nobody next to her. It bugs me that all the men she meets fall in love with her.

N.D. has always been true to me but it still worries me because I secretly wish to someday marry her, but she never commits to anything in our relationship! Whenever anybody asks her about it, she coyly changes the subject. We’ve been together for forever and I’ve assisted her on many of her cases. But nothing ever seems to change. Does she really care about me? What if she meets a guy just as talented as she is? I’ve heard there’s a pair of brothers down the river who are detectives, I can only pray she’ll never meet them.

While on cases N.D. has a knack for always breaking our dates and then getting into dangerous situations.  I tell her to be careful but she’s always getting kidnapped, or lost, or left to die.  Sometimes I wish she would stop being a sleuth but N.D. only seems happy as a junior detective and I want her to be happy, but I also want her to be safe, and commit to our relationship. I won’t mind if she could be just a little less talented. Do you think I am making a big deal out of nothing?

Please help,

Football Star

Dear Mr. Football,

Ummm…are you sure this girl is real? When does she have time to eat and sleep? (When do you have time to eat and sleep?) Where your relationship is concerned, you are rightly distressed since lopsided relationships are never healthy. You seem to adore N.D and want a deeper relationship, but has she ever shown any non-“special friend” affection for you? The way it sounds to me, N.D. probably just likes you as a close friend and nothing more. Will you be happy with just being friends for now? If you can, then let the relationship continue as it has been, and let things work themselves out. If you want more than just friendship you should try to make N.D. tell you her real feelings. But don’t hurry things, you’re still young and you’ll both grow up eventually, it’s not like she’ll be 18 forever!

Also, you don’t seem so bad yourself. N.D. may be inhumanly talented, but you are an all-around athlete, and sound like a good chap,  although not overly modest.

The bottom line is: If you want her to be happy, you are going to have to put up with her sleuthing, including the broken dates, regular almost dying and having every guy fall in love with her. I find most female detectives have a knack for those things, my apologies.

By the way, I’d watch out for the detective brothers. They sound like competition to me.

Dear Madame,

I, your humble servant, am humbly requesting any help that you might be able to give me. I am a man of the church. I live quite comfortably in my parish (with the help of my patroness, Lady C.). On the occasion of his death, I am going to inherit the estate of my cousin. Although we have never been close,  when I heard that Mr. B. had five eligible daughters I decided to marry one of them. You see, my patroness, Lady C., has advised me to marry, and I have set out with great haste to do her bidding.

When I first entered the house I noticed the eldest girl, whose beauty is spoken of widely, and gave her my attentions. Then Mrs. B. informed me she thought Jan was to soon be engaged. Beth isn’t as handsome as her sister, but she seemed to fit the description Lady C. gave me of gentlewoman who has not been brought up too high. I began courting her. She reserved my attentions modestly, as young ladies who secretly welcome the attentions of an admirer are apt to do.

Thereafter, I solicited a private audience with Cousin Beth and gave her my reasons for marrying:

1) A respected clergy man like me should marry.

2) It would add to my happiness

3) Lady C. had advised it. (In hindsight, I should have mentioned this first)

I told her I was sure Lady C. would appreciate her wit and personality as long as it was tempered with silence and respect; how it would help Mrs. B when after her father’s death if she could live with her daughter in her own home. I said it mattered not that she had hardly any money, and I would never speak of her lack of fortune during our marriage, which was I thought kind of me.

I am sure you think she accepted me without qualm. (I have been told I am quite a catch for any young lady.) You will be shocked to hear that she declined me, twice! A lesser man would have been upset by these refusals but I flatter myself on knowing human nature and young ladies often decline men they hope to marry. I told her she could probably not find a better match, her fortune being so small and her looks unremarkable, and I was the only man who would ever wish to marry her. I said I would not take her refusal as the finality on he matter (as she wished me to do). During this, Cousin Beth tried to dissuade me from my suit but I stood firm. I knew she would come along in the end. Or… so I thought. If she is this stubborn now, how will she be later? Now I’m not sure I should have asked her at all.

I am yours Madame,

A Respected Clergy Man

Dear Mr.R.C.M.

Your letter really doesn’t deserve to be answered, because you’re not in love. But I was “not brought up too high” as to refuse help to the less fortunate. I have some foundational points I’d like to get across.

While proposing, do not:

  1. a) Call her “Cousin Beth” In fact; don’t propose to your cousin at all, it’s gross.
    b) Assume she will say yes to your proposal.
    c) Mention her father’s death
    d) Tell her no one else will ever want to marry her.
    e) Only want to marry her because your employer told you to.
    f) Talk about inconsistency of  females in general.
    g) Talk about how wonderful you are.

I was not surprised she refused you as for goodness sake you were after her older sister! She sounds like a independent young lady who knows her own mind. I say: “Hurrah!” for her for standing up to you when you thick-headedly would not take no for an answer!

If I were you I would leave town at once, and stay away, but I’m sure you won’t take my advice since, as I could tell from your transcript of the proposal, you sir are not very good at listening. I was wondering, did this extraordinary proposal proceed from the impulse of the moment or was it the result of previous study and arrangement?

Please don’t write me again, Lydia ■



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