“Use words like ‘opinion,’ ‘feel,’ and ‘think.’”
—"Stroke Her Ego, Stoke Her Fire,"
Men’s Health, January/February 2009
I feel like we’ve been going out now for several months, and, in my opinion, it’s been great. Like during that first week of our dating, when you felt I should get a job and move out of my mom’s basement and get a place of my own. Your feeling was that I should grow up already. That was a great feeling on your part, and I think having a place of my own has changed us for the better—despite the damage it’s done to the Discover credit-card company’s opinion of me.
My opinion is that we’ve been doing great since then, which is why I think it took me by surprise when you called yesterday to offer your opinion about breaking up. Your opinion was that we should.
As you know, I have the opposite opinion.
Especially when I think back on all the terrific times I feel we’ve had. Remember there was that time, during your parents’ 20th-anniversary party, when I had the sudden opinion that we should have sex in their kitchen, but your feeling on the matter was that it wasn’t a good opinion. And I think I respected that, did I not—even though you looked at me with the eyes of least feeling? After we made our way back to the dining table, you sat next to your father the rest of the night, which I think didn’t completely ruin my meal. I feel that shows maturity.
But, in my opinion, I feel as though you don’t always act like Daddy’s precious angel. For example, the time in Atlantic City with my ex-best-friend Greg and his ex-girlfriend Connie. You had the opinion that I should accompany Connie—who was not feeling well—to the restroom. When I returned to the bar to get some more paper towels for Connie, I feel as though I saw you making out with Greg against a Sopranos-themed pinball machine. My opinion that I should deck him was followed by the bar’s opinion that they should throw us all out into the street. I think you howled at me all the way to the hotel for overreacting.
Sometimes I think you should have chiller opinions, like your younger sister, Jenny. Besides being, I feel, more chill, Jenny also has much bigger, firmer opinions. What do you think? I have often, in moments alone, engaged in long sessions of thinking about Jenny.
I feel it’s good to be honest about opinions we may or may not have. I think, particularly, about that time I paid for us to stay the night at that very expensive hotel on your birthday. I feel as though you refused to sleep with me that night because you thought I called you “Jenny” over dinner. And actually I did. But I think I apologized, didn’t I? There’s this pattern of you being, in my opinion, a not-nice girlfriend at moments when I make the effort to be very nice.
And yet I still wish I could feel you now. But here I am, alone in my apartment, the one you had the opinion I should get. However, I’m a different man from the one you broke up with yesterday. I think it took your dumping me—or, rather, your having the opinion that you should dump me—to make me realize what I felt about my own opinions.
Because I’ve thought about us—I mean, I’ve really thought about us. And I feel like you should have a new opinion of me, before “Death, the gray mocker, / Comes and whispers to you / As a beautiful friend / Who remembers.” That isn’t a threat, by the way, but a bit of poetry I’m really feeling now. Your new opinion of me should include a vision of a man who thinks, feels, reads Carl Sandburg’s poems, and has fewer thoughts about sisters with big opinions.
I am begging you to forget my old thoughtless, feel-less ways. This is the new me! And the new me has this feeling of a thought, this burning opinion of a feeling, this insatiable thought of an opinion that we should be together again.
So what do you think? Feel? Opinion?