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Dear Gail: Sleepless in San Diego

A love interest keeps cancelling dates and a group of friends have very different experiences of high school. Comedian Gail Forrest offers advice.

Sleepless in San Diego                     

Dear Gail,
This is a dilemma only you can solve. I met this girl on a dating service. We met for lunch and it was terrific, so good, in fact, that we agreed to have dinner two nights later.

The second date was magic and I even got a little second base. She was gone for two weeks, but corresponded continually. A third date was set up, but the day of the date, she messaged that she was tired from work and couldn’t go out. However, she made a date for 4 days later for another dinner, writing that she couldn’t wait to see me. She then messaged me on the day of the dinner that she had been working hard and couldn’t make it. She rescheduled for Groundhog Day and canceled 3 hours before meeting.

She has suggested dinner in a week. Is she crazy, in love with an old boyfriend, or am I crazy to make yet another date?
Love lost in San Diego.

Dear Love Lost in San Diego:
I am so glad you used the word “crazy” so I didn’t have to. Yes, you are. I wouldn’t spare one brain cell wondering if she is still in love with an old boyfriend. Who cares? She is ghosting, gas lighting, love bombing, zombie-ing and bread crumbing you all at the same time. Wow it was fun to type all those “hip” new words, yet really have no idea what they mean. I think I used them correctly, however. To be more clear, she is fucking with you.

Mr. Love Lost you are living the movie Groundhog Day or did the irony of meeting on that day get lost in your love addled brain? I say pull yourself together and forget Ms. “I’m tired or busy” as apparently she can easily wait to see you.   

Her excuses demonstrate little to no imagination which is disappointing. At least an emergency appendectomy shows an inkling of thought. Or, “I am positive my cat is going to start talking tonight so I have to stay home,” which if she did use…marry her!  

Be happy you had a little magic and got to second base. Now wake up and hopefully it’s a new day.

High School Trauma

Dear Gail,
There may be something wrong with me. Virtually everyone in my aging peer group seems to perversely enjoy talking about what a trauma high school was for them. Egos crushed, rejections galore, lofty dreams mangled, etc. I had a great time in high school. Young, vital, adventurous, hardly any responsibilities at all, big effing deal if I took some emotional bruises. 

I’ve actually stopped proclaiming my fondness for high school because I just get cold stares. Is there something wrong with me? Should I start scouring my memory for the negative events and dwell on them until I’m paralyzed with grief?

Dear Phil:
I’d like to congratulate you on liking high school. Classic repression or a skill set unknown to me. I think of high school as the “best of times and the worst of times.” Mostly the worst. I’m wondering if you were on the football or basketball team as those guys looked like they had a blast. Nothing like girls worshipping you to make those four years fly by. 

I remember high school as a blood sport. I can only guess that you didn’t care if you repeated an outfit in the same week. A Catholic school uniform would have taken the pressure off but I was Jewish. Add to that the catastrophic blow of not making cheerleading. I wasn’t even close as my ground to air ratio was less than two inches.  My crush since middle school found a new girlfriend. I got asked to the senior prom and then ghosted. I had my first kiss but it was a really awful one which caused my lip to bleed and a chipped tooth. I discovered years later I wasn’t invited to Marnie’s sweet sixteen party which actually disappointed me. Was high school sex good, as I missed that? Anyone? 

Phil, feel free to agonize over some of my memories. I’m happy to share the grief.

Need advice? Gail wants to hear from you. Send your letters, questions, and quandaries to: newsletter@weareageist.com

See medical disclaimer below. ↓


  1. So glad to know that there are other neurotic people in the world. I feel less lonely in my thoughts.
    Thank you for more laugh out loud moments

  2. Great stuff, thx Gail.

    Re high school: I can’t speak for Phil, maybe he was the type to flow through his teens years flawlessly and without trauma, but it’s been my observation over the years that such Golden Types *did not and do not exist*. Everyone takes an emotional – and sometimes physical – battering in high school, even the Jock Superstars and the Heathers. I surely did, and I was neither. This what happens when you’re trying to figure out who and what you are. You’re right, HS is a blood sport.

    But I am with Phil in one sense – I do look back on my HS years fondly bc, came what may, good or bad, I felt intensely *alive* and open to the world, which meant I was always learning stuff. Not that we can’t continue to learn stuff and be open to the world and creative, etc. as we get older, but fact is, our senses dull a bit with age, we tend to be less open to the world, less alive,. and it takes a certain effort to counter that. In HS, no such effort was needed, and that was a blessing in its own raw and extremely vulnerable way.

    Not that I’d want to go thru it again, once was enough.

    • Good analysis. And the good news is I am still friends with many of my New Trier crowd. They are a blessing. You never leave so many of them behind. And no, I don’t want to relive it either.

  3. I had a very mixed experience. I went to a small high school in a small Northern California town, and my father was the principal! I dated boys from other towns mostly, and disliked having to be perfect and above the fray. I still enjoyed many of my teachers, classes and activities. Including field hockey and singing groups.

    • My graduating class had 1000 students! The competition on so many levels was intense and pressure packed. I imagine having your father as the principal was pressure packed also, as you probably had to be perfect and held to a high standard. Thanks for the comment and glad you found some positive aspects of high school.

  4. Thank you for your review of your high school years…. I think everyone enduring that trauma should read your reply Gail and that of those who commented about their trials… it would give those in HS the knowledge that know matter who we are most of us were somehow bruised .


    You think you guys got high school scars?


    I limped out of a Catholic seminary after spending the first three high school years there, and finished out my sentence in a work-release prison run by the Jesuits in Chicago.

    Fifty plus years later I still stutter in the presence of those of the female persuasion and constantly wrestle with whether the proposition of even having impure thoughts have sealed my express lane trip to hell when my number comes up.

    And, sad to say, that is the ONLY proposition I have ever had.

    Of course, if one of you ladies out there reading this wants to help a guy out, there’s still time. But, not much.


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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.

Gail Forresthttp://www.gailforrest.com
Gail Forrest is a comedy writer and stand up comic. She studied at Second City in Chicago and has performed at Pretty Funny Women and Flappers in LA, as well as Second City to name a few. She has a published book Gonepausal on Amazon about women in midlife and is working on a new book which includes men and promises to be just as funny with even more insights on aging.


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