Foster Cares: The Art of Rejection
Dear Merriel, There's this girl, and I think she has a crush on me but I don't feel the same way. It's gotten to the point where it's a little bit weird and creepy, and I'd like her to stop, but I'm not quite sure how. Can you please help me? Just an example of what I'm going through:
She sends me these long emails all of the time. She calls me pet names like "chickadee." These make me feel very uncomfortable. She sends me strange YouTube videos and invites me to the movies every weekend.
Finally, if that weren't all, she follows me to parties. Rarely is there a Thursday or Saturday night that I don't see her, awkwardly standing in the heart of the party, just looking around searching for me.
Merriel, I know this woman has feelings too, and the last thing I want to do is break her heart, but her campaign of harassment must stop. Please advise.
Utterly Annoyed Student
Dear Object of Too Much Affection,
Adoring someone from afar is hard. Before figuring out a way to deal with this “problem” directly, you should first stop and appreciate how wonderful you must be. Her attempts to gain your affection must be justified since they are manifested in such an overt and relentless manner. There has to be something about you that really makes this girl say “Who cares if I look like a desperate-stalker-psycho… this kid, his dazzling personality and defined jawline are worth it. I’m going to endlessly contact him until he is mine. Nomnomnom.” Go you!
Also, consider how lucky you are to be so wanted. You have a loyal and admiring prospect waiting and searching for you at every party. You have the potential for consistent Thursday Night Cuddle buddy and you scoff at this opportunity because the girl comes on a little too strong. I think it is fair to speak on behalf of the rest of the student body when I say that we take no pity on you. This situation is equivalent to the junior who complains about having “too many” internship offers to choose from. Or the girl that laments about having boobs that are too big. Everyone knows you don’t actually have scoliosis… stop the bitching, girlfriend. So yea, you’re the over-employed girl with huge boobs and no back problems. We don’t feel bad for you.
Now, I’m not getting paid $8 to guilt trip or lecture you. With how few articles I’ve been writing, I may actually even be castigating you free. Regardless, you’ve come to me in a vulnerable and helpless state, so the least I can do is impart some of my highly coveted wisdom. Thus far, it sounds like you’ve been adamantly trying to avoid the situation: averting eye contact when you see her at parties or sending her emails directly to spam as if they never really happened. But I can tell you, much like your PE requirements or that uncomfortable rash you got freshman year, this is a problem that won’t go away on its own.
A good option would be writing her a letter. Express your appreciation for her invitations and attempts to court you, but poetically inform her of your inability to reciprocate the feelings. If you’re having trouble voicing this on your own, try throwing in some Usher lyrics: “I’m sorry to let you down like this, but I’ve been feeling like the party ain’t jumpin' like it used to, let it burn, let it burn… you have GOT to let it burn.” While the party never was jumpin’ for you, personally, in the first place, I bet she has not realized this, so a break-up song is fully applicable. Her heart may be in pieces, but you will have conveyed your message with the emphatic tone that can only be captured by early 2000’s R&B. The glory days.
Alternatively, you could find her and let her know of your feelings in person. Proceed carefully though. If her tendencies are as aggressive as you claim, her reaction may be less than docile. There is safety in numbers so have a friend trolling nearby in case something goes very, very wrong. CampSec on speed dial is always a good call. Or practice your Coug Call and you’ll have several 'strong' laxers coming to your rescue in seconds. Unless they’re busy getting drunk. Which they probably will be.
In reality, the girl may be hard to shake, but if you are straightforward with her, she’ll eventually get the hint. While you may be the current caramel-covered apple of her eye, after you break it to her, she’ll surely find someone to replace you. But be careful for what you wish for and appreciate her devotion while it lasts. There may come a lonely day when you search your inbox for an invite to a movie in the village and all you’ll find are updates about the #KravisPrize. So it goes.
All of my love,