LIFE IS HARD. It seems like every new day brings a new question that, try as you might, you’re just unable to find an answer for. The Smoking Jacket understands this, and we’re here to help. TSJ’s editor, Melissa Bull, and Headshots columnist, Mike Spry, set aside some time in their busy schedules to answer your questions in a feature we’ve cleverly named “Ask TSJ.”
This week’s incredible question comes from a TSJ reader in Vermont.
I have this problem where my ex-boyfriend keeps putting stories about our relationship into his comics. I dig his comics, and I want him to make what he wants, but is this fair? Can I ask him to stop? I’m tired of all of our friends knowing private things about me. Plus I’m also way prettier than the girl who is me in his comics. I’ve been working out since we broke up and stuff.
You’ve come to the right (write?) place. As a writer, I’ve lost at least a half-dozen promising relationships to the manner with which I’ve “borrowed” from my own life and that of my fleeting partners for “fictional” works. Is it it fair? No. Is it right? No. Is there anything you can do about it? Fuck no, Trudy. Jesus, girl, you hooked up with a comic book writer. What were you expecting, that he was going to roll over in bed one day and all of a sudden be a lawyer? This is what dude does. Embrace it, or get back on J-Date.
Oh, and one of his characters isn’t as pretty as you? Well, sweetie, I’ve got some news for you: She is. In fact, she’s prettier than you. No writer worth his salt is going to create a character based on his or her partner and make that character anything less than 11 percent hotter. That’s a rule, hard and fast. You’ve obviously got an unnaturally inflated sense of self.
Remember emails? And telephones? You have them both in one place, and you’re paying too much for your data plan.
So Trudy, pick up your muy expensive ringer and give Comics Boy a shout whydontcha. Say, “Hey dude, you are one sweet, squirrelly man, and that’s what I so loved about you. But could you possibly change your protagonist’s name from Judy to Beatrice/Hilda/Jennifer Aniston? Could you make her less of a cloying bitch? Could you stop telling your friends it’s about me? Even if it is and that’s a conceit we both acknowledge? Because it’s making me feel shitty.” (In your own words.)
Comics lads aren’t so thuggish they wouldn’t listen, right.
If that doesn’t work, try option 2: You’re probs one of them young kids, which means that telephone of yours is full of dirty pictures. Threaten Comics Boy with them. Gently-ish. “Remember when we made fun of Paris Hilton in that sexty way?”
Don’t think I don’t I sympathize. I do. I’ve written about dudes, and I’ve been written about by dudes. All of it is embarrassing. Though if I had to choose a which is worse, I’d say it’s infinitely more shameful to have nothing better to write about than the person you’re hung up on than it is to be the subject matter.
So remember that. Unless Comics Boyo a total stalky creep, in which case use that phoner of yours and dial up the old 911. Tell the cops what’s up. Say: “Excuse me, Officer? I’ve been slandered in a comic!”
Good luck, dear Trudy Muse. Date yourself a normie next time and stay out of the presses.