Week 6: Mrs Springer / Simon Says

23 February 2008

Dear Mrs. Springer,

I’ve been kind of seeing someone for the past month or so–we never really discussed what was going on with us, but every time we see each other we end up staying together. We’ve been out for drinks a couple of times, but very casually, and neither of us referred to it as a date. I mentioned Valentine’s Day to him, and he freaked out, and since then I’ve not really seen him. I miss him.

– Deserted

Dear Deserted,

It sounds like your casual relationship is too casual for you. The more you see of this boy, the more you like him–but he doesn’t seem to respect you enough to make your relationship official or tell you where you stand.

Blanking you for simply mentioning Valentine’s Day is proof of his immaturity, and of his inability to commit. If you continue like this, you will just get hurt.

You deserve someone who feels the same way about you as you do about him. Talk to him–and if he makes it difficult for you to meet up, then he is absolutely not worth your time; the only thing you can do then is try and forget him. Tell him that you both need to know where you stand: if you are going to carry on casually, are you both happy with that situation? Will this ruin your friendship? Are you exclusive? Do either of you want a relationship?

You need to be on the same wavelength, or you are leaving yourself vulnerable to some immense pain–and with very little gain.

Dear Simon,

When I’m stressed I eat, and when I’m in Cambridge I’m stressed. This term has been tough so far and I can only see essays ahead. I know I’ve put on weight recently and people have started to make jokes about my chubbiness. I’m a boatie, but that doesn’t seem to be helping. What should I do?

-Chubby of Churchill

Simon says…

Obesity, aside from its obvious health problems, has social consequences. Fat is not fit. You need change your lifestyle now, before it gets worse.

Just think of proportions. Shedding a few pounds now will have a much more noticeable effect on your body than it will after another term of indulgence. If Kate Moss loses a pound or two you’ll notice; if Dawn French does it, you’ll never realise.

Chew gum when you’re working, never when you’re in public (that’s just unsightly). It should help you avoid the biscuit tin. Fidgeting is useful too: it’s unconscious exercise. Do not overuse these techniques; Simon does not want to produce an army of underweight, twitching, masticatory wrecks. Cambridge already has enough of them.

Fat and lycra have never worked and never will. One of them must go. The fact that you row does not give you an excuse to consume as many carbs as you can. People already have little respect for rowers, let alone fat ones; it merely implies that you are devoting your time to exercise without getting any fitter.