In Which We Monitor Everything About Your Young Life

Hard to Say is This Recording’s weekly advice column. It will appear every Wednesday until the Earth perishes in a fiery blaze, or until North West turns 40. Get no-nonsense answers to all of your most pressing questions by writing to


My boyfriend Kirk received a Christmas gift from his brother. It was a FitBit, and apparently it is an extremely advanced model, since Kirk feels the need to discuss it at every single moment. It monitors his sleep, his resting heart rate, and a variety of other bodily functions. I’m surprised at this point that it doesn’t estimate the amount and variety of his shits.

The amount of focus on what is going on in Kirk’s body is in some sense healthy, but I’m not sure how much longer I can talk about this. I’ve thought about just smashing the FitBit in a trash compactor or giving it to Goodwill. Is there any way to make this madness end?

Amy B.

Dear Amy,

There is no reasonable solution to your problem. Setting back technology will only retard the progress of the human race. Soon your boyfriend will be driving an electric car, reading Kant on a holographic display, and guesstimating the number of his pubic hairs at any given time.

The best practice is to give him another hobby, since men can rarely enjoy more than one at a time. He sounds like a do-gooder, so perhaps he would enjoy a pasttime which benefits those less fortunate than himself, like synagogue or the Bernie Sanders campaign?

If he simply won’t move from this state of hyper self-focus, trying talking about the things you like a lot: The Bachelor, Amber Rose’s fashion sense, and how cream cheese is actually made.

Illustrations by Mia Nguyen.


I have been dating my boyfriend Pelle for around six months. (We met on Tinder.) Previously to this, I had a somewhat tumultuous thing with another guy who pretty much ghosted, leaving me with a lot of unanswered questions and anger towards him. I don’t feel any residual attraction or desire for this asshole, but it’s hard to not keep thinking about it, especially when we do things in the same city, in my same apartment. I find myself getting depressed because of this, and I am unsure how to explain it to Pelle without making him question what we have. Is there any remedy for this?

Lauren E.

Dear Lauren,

Jesus, this whole thing sounds like an Elliott Smith song, and didn’t his significant other stab him with a knife or something? I recall reading that in Spin.

Bad, failed past relationships haunt us all, especially Christie Brinkley. People will tell you it goes away with time, but for those of us with excellent memories, this luxury is more difficult to come by. Some of these horrid individuals from our past are not terribly effective at giving us closure, either, popping up out of nowhere for reassurance or penetration.

It sounds like you have a good thing going with your new boyfriend, By no means tell him about your ex for any reason, this would be disastrous. Everyone gets depressed sometimes, and most reasonable people find this an attractive quality, given that it allows them to do something for you; e.g. make you feel better.

If there are aspects of your current surroundings that remind you of your ex, change them. If they cannot be physically altered, replace them with a new specific memory — but not one with Pelle, since if you break up with him because he sleeps with your friend Justine, this would just mean the trigger would be doubly awful.

“Strangers” – Monica Lionheart (mp3)

“Taylor” – Monica Lionheart (mp3)

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 9.37.15 AM


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s