Well HERE is an interesting twist on a common narrative courtesy reader "Mandy"! Usually when you date a writer and he is a selfish asshole who forces you to break up with him because breaking up with you would require him to verbalize the full extent of his idiotic assness, the silver lining is that you can get a bunch of writerly man-hours out of him because he feels guilty. My ex-boyfriend edited all my stuff for years after we broke up, to the point that I realized he was actually a decent person. This is in stark contrast to "Josh," who dated Mandy for nine months while they were editors on the college paper. He cheated on her the whole time with a reporter at the paper — ever worked on a college paper? this = not easy — then broke up with her, only to commence nagging her via all the various modes of correspondence with little editing chores and proofreading requests. This particular email came with a ten-attachment cargo of stories to read. (Hey Josh, I know some guys who are really good at this sort of thing!) But it was not without a fairly thorough self-criticism! Try not to get an ulcer…

Mandy,

I know you don't want to speak with me, but I just wanted to thank you for forcing me to realize my own repugnance, the blackness of heart and vanity of spirit I've ignored. So thank you, and I wanted to say that you will love again, sooner than you think. With your tenacity and strength of character, you deserve someone who loves you and who is actually happy to see you every day. Through your inadequacy to fulfill me, I have realized my own egotism. I can' t thank you enough.

I know I'm in no position to ask you for a favor, but I am currently vacationing in New York City, making it damn hard to edit news stories. I know you are interning all day, but if you could edit the stories I've attached I would deeply appreciate it. I believe that you editing my stories would make things less weird between us and would help forge the road to friendship. You have no reason to like me, but I would like to be your friend. I miss you.

You may be wondering why I did not email someone else and ask them to fill in for me, but I chose not to because of their intense hatred toward me. Since we broke up, I have started to realize that the reason people put up with me was because I was dating you. None of those people will ever be my friend, and The Post is just a job for me.

Again, I am sorry that because of me, you are broken. I am a terrible person because your love couldn't sustain me, and what I did to you is the most terrible thing I've ever done. Everything you ever said to me was completely true, and I feel awful.

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Please let me know if you can edit those stories. Thanks

Josh.