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After only four hours of poor sleep next to a sexy slut who jilled herself into dreamland next to me all night, I was in no mood for any shenanigans on a Tuesday morning. When I arrived at the office at nine and found my secretary, Miss Gale, was not at her desk, I was perturbed. But when she walked in at 9:15, teary eyed and looking like a whirlwind had tossed her in through the office door, my mood took a nosedive.

“Good morning, Miss Gale,” I said in a stern voice.

“Good morning, Mr. H,” she replied, her voice cracking.

I was awaiting an explanation for her tardiness. Times have been hard and my office is not a charity. Yet, the softness of my heart got the better of me. “Is there something wrong, Miss Gale?”

“No, no sir,” she said, audibly weeping.

“Miss Gale, please sit,” I said, knowing full well that I would soon regret the invitation.

She sat in front of me trying to hold back the tears.

“What is the matter?” I asked.

“I just feel like I don’t know where my life is going!” Miss. Gale said and then broke into inconsolable sobs. I perfunctorily passed her a tissue, careful to not touch her hand as I did.

“Thank you,” she squeaked. When she had composed herself she went into a long and sordid tale about how she was on the phone with her mother on the way to work when her mother made an offhand comment about Marvin, Miss. Gale’s boyfriend, and that set off a series of thoughts that had been corked up inside her.

“I love him, but I just can’t picture myself being with him the rest of my life. I mean, there are certain things about him that, if I could change them, I could be with him for the rest of my life, but. . .”

“Miss Gale,” I said directly, “you are simply not in love. When you are in love, you don’t think, ‘He’d be perfect if.’ Even the most unpleasant quirks about your partner become attractive features of the total package.”

“But, Mr. H, these aren’t quirks, these are. . . are. . . personality features. I mean, these are who he is. It’s not like I’m thinking he could improve on the way he combs his hair or picking up his clothes in the morning. It’s not that. It’s him.”

“Like I said, you’re not in love. You’re in love with being in love.”

“That’s not true. I love him. I couldn’t picture being without him.”

“You love having someone to focus your love upon. But you’re not in love with him.”

“But I want to be.”

“That’s like saying I want to like the music of Philip Glass. Either you like it or you don’t. Wanting to like it isn’t going to help you if you don’t already like it. Sure, you could spend lots and lots of time listening to it, but that will only make you comfortable with it, but not a fan of it.”

I was cold, abrupt, even harsh, but I had had enough of hearing about Miss Gale’s vacillations over Marvin. Believe me, I had been patient, compassionate, and even indulgent — to the point that I said to her, “You should be paying me, Miss Gale.”

When she asked “For what?” I said, “Therapy. Hours and hours of therapy.”

[From the blog:]

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Just your average nymphomaniac next door. I love fan mail:

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