Sign up for our newsletters   

Baltimore City Paper home.
Print Email

Think Mink

Gotta Sing

Emily Flake

By Mink Stole | Posted 1/12/2005

Iím 15 years old, a sophomore in high school, and I donít know what Iím going to do with my life. Iím smart and get really good grades, so of course everyone expects me to go to college, but Iím not sure I want to. A lot of my friends come to me for advice, so I think I might like to study psychology or something, but, to tell you the truth, school is pretty much a big bore and I donít have a single teacher that even remotely inspires me, so the idea of four more years of drudgery after high school kind of freaks me out. I love music, so even though Iím not religious I started going to church again just so I could join the choir. My secret dream is to be a singer. Do you think thatís crazy? I know the chances of making it big are really small, but some people do it. When I mentioned it to my mom, she just laughed, which really hurt my feelings.

Dreaming of Stardom

In my world, DOS, the craziest people are the ones with no dreams, and the saddest are those who had them but either didnít pursue them or gave up too soon. Donít let your momís reaction get you downóitís normal for a parent to need proof that youíre willing to work and make sacrifices for what you want, and that itís not just something you sorta think would be cool if it happened. Standing in front of a mirror lip-syncing into your hairbrush may feed a fantasy, but it doesnít get you nominated for a Grammy. Joining a choir was a smart moveóa lot of the greats got started that way, and itís a good way to get the basics of voice training and start developing your style. It also shows youíre working at it, which is how you get people to believe in you. Learn guitar or keyboard; as much fun as having a band is, if you can accompany yourself you wonít be limited to working with one. And songwriting is a lot easier when you can actually hear the notes.

All this work may cut into your social lifeóthatís the sacrifice partóbut what you donít get to give up is school, at least not yet. As bad as high school can suck, college can be so much more stimulating. Keep your options open. Find one that offers psychology and music. And if youíre really smart, youíll take some finance courses. You donít want to work your way to the big bucks just to have some sharpie business manager steal it all while youíre on stage.


I just asked my girlfriend to marry me and she said yes. Weíve been dating for two years and I love her a lot. Sheís kind and funny, and Iím sure sheíll make a great mom. We both want kids and weíre really good together, so we have a great shot at a happy life. Weíre planning an October wedding. But for some reason Iíve started fantasizing all the time about my old girlfriend. I hadnít thought about her in years, but ever since we got engaged I wake up every morning thinking about my ďlost love,Ē wondering where she is, what sheís doing, and if she still loves me. I think I still love her. So far Iíve resisted the impulse, thinking itís probably best to let sleeping dogs lie, so to speak, but I desperately want to see her to check out whether what Iím feeling is true or if Iím just imagining it. Iíd hate to hurt my fiancťe, but Iím scared I might be marrying the wrong woman.

Which Woman Woes

Youíve got a bad case of the what-the-fuck-have-I-gotten-myself-into jitters, WWW. Which may or may not mean you shouldnít marry your fiancťe, but it doesnít necessarily mean youíre in love with somebody else. Youíve trained a kind of blurry, soft-focus lens on the memory of your old girlfriend, creating a romantic aura around your love affair and obliterating the reality of whatever fundamental incompatibilities ended it. There is a reason youíre not still together. At the same time, youíve got a fisheye lens trained on your current relationship thatís exaggerating every tiny flaw. Your fiancťe doesnít stand a chance against that kind of competition, imaginary though it may be.

Before you contact the ex, though, try switching focus. Instead of romanticizing it, concentrate on why your old relationship ended, and at the same time remember what you loved so much about your fiancťe that you wanted a future with her. If that doesnít fix your perspective, go ahead and call the old girlfriend. Prenup jitters are normal, but marriage is too important to have major doubts. But you owe it to your fiancťe to make the meeting as unromantic as possibleólike lunch at some fast-food joint. If the reunion scenario youíve concocted in your mind can survive the realities of bad burgers and harsh fluorescent lighting, and if the old flame is as eager to be relit as you hope, it would probably be wise to call off the wedding. But if you decide to start up again with the ex, please have the decency to break it off with your fiancťe first.

Related stories

Think Mink archives

More from Mink Stole

Pick and Choose (4/12/2006)
First of all, homosexuality isnít like snake handling or Catholicism; it isnít a cult or a religion you can be recruited for or converted to.

Territorial Rites (4/5/2006)

Family Guy (3/15/2006)

Comments powered by Disqus
CP on Facebook
CP on Twitter