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Letter to Jack

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Dear Jack, she isn’t the prettiest of girls but she’s kind. Something about her drew him to her. She is not in his social class either. Very few would be. His father is rich. Very rich. She recognized early on he could date other women – very beautiful women, and yet it was her he chose. He trusts her implicitly. She’s selfless. It was that selflessness that created the trust. Selflessness creates trust. There are no airs about her. She’s as basic as a piece of pancake. No, not American pancake with all its embellishments and retinue of excesses. She’s just a basic person, a good soul. She couldn’t even dress well. Her sartorial taste was terrible and passable in equal measure. She is a friend, a girlfriend and mother all rolled into one. It was to her he turned at the critical juncture of his life. He trusted her with his data and emotions. Not that she totally understands him. But she loves him and cares for him.
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My dear jack, we all make mistakes. Some mistakes are immediately apparent. But some others take nine months to manifest. Yours will take nine months. Impregnating your girlfriend while still in school is the nine month variety of mistake.
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My dear Jack, life is tough. It’s the nature of life and only religion has an explanation. Life is brutal in places, rough in places, tough in places, hard in places. It’s populated by savages with primal instinct. And life can seem unfair. Good people don’t always come out on top. Good does not always triumph. Evil people prosper. We’ve had that equation since the days of Cain and Abel. The evil man even asked for immunity. Just as it is now.
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My dear Jack, you’re only going to create confusion with this binary equation you’re embracing. There are going to arise serious complications dating two girls at once. And contradictions. Fidelity will be an irony. Yes, I know you don’t mean to, and that cowardice landed you in this technical default… But the fact remains you’re in a relationship with two women and you’re going to create something messy, hurt someone. Continue reading

My dear Jack, you don’t know much about life, do you? When the subject of your pursuit ominously warns you you have no idea what you’re trying to get into, shouldn’t you reflect? I mean this is direct warning, it’s not some third party hearsay. The woman herself is warning you. She’s in effect telling you you shouldn’t be pursuing her but if you decide to continue, don’t complain if you suffer. She’s warning you you don’t know what you’re dealing with, that you really don’t know her, or know ABOUT her. In other words, your romantic notions are completely out of whack with reality. There are hidden realities about her below the surface is what she’s telling you, things you know nothing about. But you have decided to be the famed hunter in D.O. Fagunwa’s Forest of a Thousand Demons. You’re ogboju ode! You have decided to go hunting where mortals fear to thread. I admire your courage, or foolishness.
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My dear Jack, you’ve got to summon up courage to ask her out. You’re going to die in silence wishing for her if you don’t summon the courage to ask her out. Granted if she says no it’s going to hurt, and damage your pride a bit, but what if she says yes! You keep dancing around her, circling like a wagon in a Western B Movie, imagining all sorts of scenarios in your head. You’ve seen her going down the aisle with you, even seen her having a baby for you. You’re a couple in your dreams. But dreams don’t produce a wife. And all the desire in the world will not produce a marriage. Ask her out. If you don’t bite the bullet and ask her out, you’ll be friend-zoned. She’ll be the wife you never had. You don’t want to watch another man take her, do you? You’ll have regrets. Right now you’re like a sub on the sideline getting ready to come on the pitch as the referee is about to blow final whistle. If she says no, laugh over the whole thing with her. Make fun of yourself. Continue your life. What else are you going to do? And she may change her mind later – who knows these things! But if she doesn’t, you have your life to live. Seek another.

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My dear Jack, congratulations, you’re dating a goddess! And you and your family must worship her, do her bidding, or she won’t marry you. Well, that’s her attitude. She’s been cheating on you like someone trying to collect frequent flyer miles on infidelity. First there was the ex, then another guy, then another guy, and then another guy. And you keep begging her to marry you. She threatens either you marry her by a certain date, or she’s going to marry another guy. Shouldn’t that give you concern? Doesn’t that already tell you she’s two-timing you and that she treats guys as multiple choice questions? And now she’s come up with a marriage deadline, forcing you to cancel reasonable preparation for marriage and life. Yet despite blowing your plans and expending your all in order to marry her, she’s still not pleased. You can’t please her. Continue reading

Dear Jack, I think you’re conflicting sex for love. You don’t really know the love of a woman, just sex. You’re at that age testosterone is raging like a bull and primal desires are seeking to overrun your life. The love of a woman is much more than sex Jack. You don’t get it. To the woman who truly loves you sex is a sacrificial offering, an oblation – the religious giving of self. Continue reading

My dear Jack, there is such a thing as sad truth and you’ve stepped into one. We step into sad truth when we ignore wisdom. Then when calamity comes, wisdom sticks out her tongue. I did warn you not to go into marriage without a job, a source of livelihood or income. Now you see why. Continue reading

Dear Jack, you can’t afford an unhappy partner. You’d be playing with depression. She’s going to drag you down into a subterranean dark alley. It’s a place off the grid, a pit – a very dark jail. She’ll sap the life out of you, sap all your vigour. You’ll just know you’re growing dull, your energy being depleted. By the time you’re through with the relationship, you’ll be a husk of your self. Your health would have been destroyed. Deeply unhappy people have this conversation going on in their head. It’s a conversation no one knows anything about. An unhappy person lives in a world of interpretation. Everything is interpreted. And so facts turn into another set of facts. Your health won’t survive living with such a person. You’ll always be on the defensive, and the facts won’t matter. It’s those interpretations of facts that are true to her. They’re what she works with. Innocuous acts will take on new meaning. There’ll be negative interpretations attached to simple facts. The thing about such people is that they’re constantly accusatory. It’s their thought process. Anything you do will be turned into an accusation. And if you’re exonerated she’ll create another premise of accusation. You can’t win. Continue reading

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