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Letter to Jack

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My dear Jack, I’m sure you’ve heard about The Seven Deadly Sins. They’re the stuff of legend in Hollywood. There’s even a movie with that title, though of a disturbing nature. The movie is about a psychopath. (Why do they always have those psychopaths for these things?) The seven deadly sins are Solomonic actually. They are the seven abominations. Though “The Parson’s Tale” in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales as well as artworks like Dante’s Purgatory, help illustrate the sins. If you want to have a successful marriage you have to be mindful of the seven deadly sins.
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My dear Jack, you have to be careful about escalation. Escalation is always potent in marriage. The thing about escalation is, what started out as something trite that can be swiped like a fly might end up growing into a movie monster. And it starts with hardening of positions, often preceded by silences and disregard. Instead of discussing the issue both of you withdrew into silence, each not talking to the other. Be fearful of escalation of small quarrels in your marriage my friend. Be fearful of escalation.
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My dear Jack, didn’t you know what she looked like without make-up before marriage? If after marriage you’re complaining about what she looks like without make-up, I then wonder about the quality of your courtship. Some women look pretty with or without make-up. Your woman in your estimation does not have that grace is what you’re saying. But that begs the question about the quality of relationship you had and how real you were to each other during courtship. It means you never saw her in unguarded moments. Means you never saw her without that mask. How do you court for a year and all you saw were only made-up versions of your girlfriend? What’s the quality of that courtship? Surely you must have known she went to bed without make-up. So it’s reasonable to assume she has an image sans make-up. And it’s also reasonable to assume she won’t always have make-up on after marriage.
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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

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