Dear Levenson: How do I get my ex back?  – Josh, Toronto

Dear Josh,

We've all experienced that feeling for a girl from our past. Sometimes it's a college sweetheart and the timing wasn't right. Sometimes you know she's gone forever, but you still can't help but spend every day using your tattoos to hunt John G. for bitter revenge. That's just the plot of Memento, but it seems like a bitch. Overall, movies have taught us that amnesia can make solving stuff pretty tricky, and also that when your whole mind's erased, you're still the go-to guy for tattoo spots.

If your ex is still alive, that's a good start. Not to stereotype or whatever, but dead girls are crazy stubborn. That's what my cousin Tony says, anyway. I asked him how to get my girlfriend back, and he said to just throw her like a boomerang. Think there was more to it, but it's hard to hear stuff on that jail phone. 

The first step to reuniting with an ex is finding out if she's single. There are a few ways to do this, and all of them are Instagram. Instagram is a fun way to make right now look like 30 years ago, back where it doesn't matter that you're dead in your heart. Whenever I have regrets about my present, I just whip out my phone and do a selfie, no matter where I am in the bathroom. It's really personal. Not looking for anyone's approval. I'm just frantically refreshing to see if anyone Liked it. Instagram is deep like that. When you get old and look back at your life, it'll go '80s, '90s, then '70s. Or maybe just '80s again, depending. Think that's a pretty good “fuck you” to anyone making you flip through a photo album. 

Now that you know she's on the market, you should make a grand gesture, like planning a camping trip to the front of her apartment. If she threatens to call the cops, just pull out your badge and shout, “Stop! In the name of love!” Probably helps if you draw your gun, too. Not really sure if this works. Badge probably needs to be in the shape of a heart or something.

A lot of girls won't be interested in the old you, which is why you need to travel to the future to terminate him. He'll basically be you, but wrinkly. Might be flipping through a photo album. In that case, you're doing him a favour. Not sure if eliminating your future self will strand you in a space-time paradox, but it seems easier than smoking less weed.

You could also consider a more straightforward approach, like asking her to dinner in disguise. Some good disguise ideas include mailman, bus driver, shark, banana or laughter. Last one's more of a general thing than a disguise, but it's usually pretty good to hide behind. If she starts to get suspicious, just bite her leg and dive to the bottom of the ocean. That one kind of works best for sharks. Above all, remember that you've dated her, so you already know the key to her heart. Into art? Do something spontaneous, like cutting off your ear. Likes big surprises? Scale her fire escape. Movies? Just try changing your Facebook status to “Bradley Cooper.” Shit totally works sometimes.


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