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Parallax - Advice            June 19, 2000

   Psycho femme fatale camping out in his pad

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After living in France for two years I moved back to New York last January. Before leaving I broke up with my girlfriend there - things weren't going great and I was leaving, so it didn't seem to make much sense. Since I returned I started seeing an old flame and we've gotten pretty intense. Then a few weeks ago French girl calls and says she's landing in NY the next weekend. She implies she'll be staying with me. I say yes because where is she going to stay anyway? Now she's been here two weeks and won't get out of my face. She pleads and cries and makes me feel miserable about leaving her. My New York girl hates her and I think she's going to dump me soon. I'm just about ready to drag her to the airport and put her on a plane back home. Or is there a better thing to do?

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Her view:

Dear MisÚrable,

Nope - there is no better thing to do. You must get her out of your house or I guarantee your current girlfriend will leave you. It's just creepy to have exes around - much less living in your apartment. You can be nice and help her find a new place, but that's all. You must absolutely give her a date to leave and a nice introduction to your boot. I know it sounds harsh, but it will actually be better for her too. Clearly she should be moving on with her own life as you have done with yours.

The worst that happens from your end is she leaves thinking you're a jerk. Okay, so what? And if this is the case it will be much easier for her to forget you. If I were you I would worry much more about your new (old) flame and what she thinks, as I'm sure she is moving fence-ward with all this ridiculousness. So, be firm and move on - it's better for all of you.

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His view:

Dear MisÚrable,

Love is a sick thing. It makes people obsessed, borderline psycho. It is so numbing, so blinding, that only brutally cold honesty will cure it.

Have you had a really straightforward, absolutely no-nonsense conversation with her? I presume you didn't have it before you left France, and you haven't had it since she arrived. In fact, she's in a state where every time you don't say NO, she assumes you mean YES, and every day you don't ask her to leave, she thinks she's being asked to stay, and every instant you spend with her instead of your new girl tells her that you are coming to your 'senses' - and back to her.

All this senseless behavior is as much your fault as it is hers. So, by all means, drag her to the airport, but make sure you tell her very clearly that it is completely over - make sure she sees it in your eyes. If needed, go overboard and hurt her feelings - even if it hurts you as much - just don't let there be a doubt about how you feel. Believe me, I don't envy you the task, but it's the only way she'll realize the truth - and she may even thank you one day (though unlikely).

One last thing. If you do take her to the airport, might as well book her on a plane to Chechnya - just to be sure.

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