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Todd Parker takes on literary love stories

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Advice columnist answers questions classic romances should have asked

Happy Valentine's Day, losers!

Since the letters I've received regarding this year's holiday have been generally crappy, I decided to give you folks a little something special, a sort of literary retrospective that I've been kicking around for a while. I thought you lamewads might find it interesting to hear what kind of advice I might give to those characters in literature dealing with relationship complications.

As you might have guessed, the end result is f---ing BRILLIANT.

Rather than confine myself to just one of these magnificent constructions, I instead chose to give my adoring fans a selection that spans centuries on the literary timeline. It's a holiday celebrating love, after all, and since I definitely don't love the st questions you morons sent me, I figured I'd put something together that is both entertaining and educational.



Dear Todd Parker,

So I've been dating this girl for a while we'll call her 'Rosaline' and things have been going great. She's really pretty and really nice and she seems like all she wants is to make me happy.

But then there's this other girl.

I don't really know her all that well I just kind of met her at a party, but we didn't get a chance to hang out much before my buddies and I had to jet. I can't stop thinking about her. She's all up in my head and I can't get her out. The thing that really sucks is that I'm not sure if she's into me or not I mean, I'm pretty sure she is, but I haven't gotten a chance to talk to her and find out for certain.

I hate the idea of hurting Rosaline's feelings, but it doesn't seem fair to string her along when I'm into this other girl. What's the right thing to do? Should I break up with her and go after this other girl? Should I try to make it work and forget about the other girl?

What should I do?

Vexed in Verona

Dear Vexed,

Wow you really are an a-hole, aren't you?

Think about what you're asking me here. You're asking if you should totally bail on a relationship with a nice, attractive girl who really digs you so that you can go after another chick? One who may or may not even like you? Hell, do you even know this other chick's name?

Long story short, you're a moron.

Come on, dude use your head. This is the kind of grass-is-always-greener crap that can get a dude into serious trouble. Look, I get it there's always going to be something attractive about the unknown. New and exciting is great, makes you feel all exhilarated, like no one in the world has ever felt the way that you feel. You're probably composing lame poetry about her in your head and junk like that.

But here's the thing YOU DON'T KNOW THIS GIRL!

She could be crazy or boring or stupid or some combination therein. Sure, she might be the be-all end-all that you've built up in your mind, but what are the odds of that? You kids, always grasping for this star-crossed love for the ages horsest.

You've got a girl that likes you and that you like. Why throw that over for something that probably isn't even real? This other chick whose name you don't know probably doesn't even remember you, dude. It's not like she's sitting in her room pining away, crying laments from her balcony.

Just let it go, bro. Why risk what you've already got?


Dear Todd Parker,

I feel like I may have made a terrible mistake, but I'm not sure how to undo it.

Growing up, I was friends with this guy Heathcliff. He and I spent a lot of time together, even though we kind of operated in different social spheres. I'm pretty sure I was in love with him, but I couldn't marry him it was a class thing.

Fast forward a few years and my old friend is back as a wealthy gentleman. However, I'm involved with someone else at this point. Heathcliff doesn't care for it at all and it kind of hurts to see him so upset, but I'm so glad to see him again. My husband doesn't like that Heathcliff is back, which I totally understand. However, I'm also a little peeved because Heathcliff is getting into something with my sister-in-law.

Am I being unreasonable to want to spend time with my friend even though my husband doesn't like it? And is it wrong to want Heathcliff to stop dallying with my husband's sister? It's not that I want to be with him, but he really shouldn't be with her either.

It's all very complicated what do you think I should do?

At a Loss in Thrushcross

Dear At a Loss,

You need to take a step back and reexamine your priorities.

I get it you had your whole youthful infatuation and now he's back and he's probably all dark and brooding and mysterious and crap. Plus he's rich, which clearly doesn't hurt considering your priorities.

So now you're looking at your hubby, who probably looked pretty great when your boy Heathcliff was broke, and you're thinking 'Maybe I want true love after all.' Which, let me tell you, is some bullst. You only want him because you realize that you blew it back in the day.

Big surprise that Hubby doesn't like that the old flame is back in town. You're probably mooning all over him and making a scene. Also it's none of your business who your boy wants to woo. If he's into your hubby's sister, that's his prerogative.

(Bear in mind that Heathcliff could be playing some sort of long game here, going after your sister-in-law specifically because it's going to drive all of you nuts. If so, well he's probably a sociopath and you're better off without him.)

Regardless, you need to take a step back. You're a married woman, for God's sake. Act like it. Get yourself together and act like an adult. You blew your shot years ago and some people just don't get a second chance.

Dear Todd Parker,

Me have question, not know who else ask.

Live in jungle for long time. Only friends apes and other animals. Happy.

One day, others come. Others like me. One of them woman. Beautiful woman. Her name Jane. Me fall in love.

Me not know how talk Jane. Not know what she like. Want only make her happiest woman in whole jungle. Not sure she like guy like me. Not sort of guy girl like that go for.

What me do?

Jumbled in the Jungle

Dear Jumbled,

Seriously? What the hell is this st?

All right, Encino Man, fine you want to play it this way, we'll play it this way.

You're living in the jungle by yourself, hanging out with, I don't know, monkeys and junk. All of a sudden, this girl shows up and you're looking to throw game at her, mangled syntax and all. I get it, but you're going to have to take it slow. You don't want to scare her away.

Think about it. If you just fall out a tree wearing nothing but a loincloth and grunting syllables next to some vine-swinging chimp, she's probably going to have some questions.

You're probably a big deal in the jungle and whatnot, but here's a hint put on some pants and keep the talking to a minimum. Regardless, all you can do is be yourself; hopefully, your girl will be into it.

Finally and I can't believe I get to say this try to keep the monkey business to a minimum.


Dear Todd Parker,

I've been in love with this girl for years, but I don't know if she even knows I'm alive. Like, literally she probably thinks that I'm dead.

We were really close when we were younger, even though her dad was my boss and she was discouraged from hanging out with the help. She started out all haughty, but she came around pretty quickly; it probably didn't hurt that I would do anything that she asked. We loved each other, but we knew that her dad would never go for it, so I left to seek my fortune.

That was a long time ago. A lot has happened since then. My ship got taken by pirates one of those crews with a name for killing everybody so she probably thinks I died. But I didn't. In fact, I wound up finding my fortune. Granted, it was by becoming a pirate (one of those awesome masked ones) and stealing a lot of stuff from a lot of people, but still I'm rich!

Only when I got back into town, it turns out that she's getting married to another guy. Everyone knows that her groom-to-be is a jerk, but he's also royalty, so he can be a jerk and everyone just has to take it.

My question is: should I try to track her down and tell her I'm still alive? Or should I just let her marry this guy and be a princess? She'd probably be pretty happy being a princess, but I'd totally quit piracy if she wanted to be with me.


Forlorn in Florin

Dear Forlorn,

A pirate? Really? That's so badass.

As to your predicament, well it's a tricky one, for sure. While it might seem like a no-brainer to tell her that you're alive, you definitely need to think about things. She's had to spend a lot of time getting over your perceived death if you just suddenly reappear, that might be really hard on her. What if she's moved on or changed and thinks that this jerky royal guy is actually pretty cool? And let's not forget, you're still totally a pirate someone somewhere definitely wants to catch you and keelhaul you or whatever it is they do to pirates.

Ah, who am I kidding? True love is true love. Go get her.

You're going to have to be careful, though royal dudes aren't usually super keen about getting cuckolded by masked buccaneers, so tread lightly. There are a lot of weirdos out there who will probably stand in your way as well. You probably shouldn't kill them (you've got enough on your legal plate with the whole piracy thing), but do what it takes to get her back.

Trying to do this alone is nutso, but you're probably one of these asshats who thinks he can do everything better than people who actually are the best at those things. Whatever you're a badass masked pirate, you'll figure it out.

Just be the dude that she knew way back when and you'll be fine.


Dear Todd Parker,

I've been struggling with this for a long time. I'm not sure who else I can turn to, so I'm writing to you.

I've been dealing with some pretty intense stuff recently; I spent most of my life living simply in District 13, hanging out with my friend Gale. But then I wound up in the Hunger Games (it was a whole thing, don't ask); the other tribute was this guy Peeta that I knew a little bit, but not particularly well.

I always kind of thought that I was into Gale I know that he's into me but part of my whole Hunger Games deal was that I had to pretend that I was in love with Peeta. Only after a while, I wasn't sure if I was pretending or not. He's definitely not pretending.

Gale saw all of this on TV, so now he's mad at me. And Peeta knows that I was kind of exaggerating my feelings about him, so he's mad at me too. I honestly don't know what to do. They're both great guys who have done a lot for me and my family over the years. They're both really special to me and I don't want to hurt either of them, but I'm still not sure which one I want to be with. I've known Gale longer, but Peeta has been really sweet and he definitely has helped me not get killed.

I can't keep them both dangling indefinitely. What do I do?

Confused in the Capitol

Dear Confused,

Not to be judgmental, but this seems pretty cold-blooded.

Look, lady you say that both of these guys mean a lot to you, but it doesn't sound like you're really all that invested in anyone other than yourself. Seriously this letter tells me literally nothing about either of these guys except that you like them. They're people too, you know. It isn't like their sole purpose for being is to force you into some sort of weird inner conflict about the choices that you make.

Frankly, the most confusing thing about this to me is why anyone would be the least bit interested in a girl who is obviously completely self-absorbed.

But whatever, they've fallen under whatever bullcrap spell that you cast, they're both inexplicably in love with you. Fine. I'm not going to blame you for their feelings (though I'll admit to having some pretty significant questions). It's good that you have at least enough self-awareness to realize that you can't lead both of these poor schmucks on forever.

Ask yourself this: which one's company do I most enjoy? You can't rely on physical appearance or nostalgic memory or any of that stuff it has to boil down to which one makes you happiest with his presence. That's the sort of stuff that lasts not running around District 13 or fighting to the death in the Games or any of that. Which one can you talk to? When you can answer that, you'll know which one you want.

And if you want your choice to continue wanting you back, maybe try being a little less of a jerk.

Last modified on Wednesday, 10 February 2016 13:39


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