I Took A Year Out To Find Myself And Didn’t Even Get A Boyfriend: What do I do? VERSA

Dear Vice Chancellor,

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, Chaing Mai, Thailand ~ 25th April 2016

So: my gap year was great fun – I rode some elephants (cruelty-free obvs).

Sampled some amazing cuisine that disappointingly means I can never enjoy Wagamama’s again, and, what’s more, my Instagram followers have more than tripled #followmetointernetfame – am even tempted to start a blog because it’s honestly a crime the amount of well-edited photos on my camera roll that won’t see the light of day. All in all, an amazing experience.

Still, there is just this one thing. Yes, I feel emotionally fulfilled and altogether more zen and spiritual…but there was a real lack of male validation throughout the trip and I’m not really sure how to cope with this.

Obviously, I grew as a person – a 16-hour layover in Hong Kong was real proof that what doesn’t kill you makes you able to cope with what I’m pretty sure was a yet undiscovered strain of bird flu – but what are all my interesting stories worth if there’s no one around who’s obligated to listen to them?

Also, it’s not that I’m not a feminist (I have, like, three T-shirts that say so), but it’s always nice to have someone constantly by your side to witness just how self-sufficient you are.

Eat, Pray, Lo-, uh, that’s two out of three – not bad, right?

A Vexed Victoria

Turl Street Kitchen ~ 2 Days Ago

Dear Vicky,

Totally feel you on the “Waga’s” front – did you know they don’t even serve real wasabi here in Europe?! The ‘wasabi’ here is actually horseradish! You don’t know flavour until you’ve had the stuff fresh from the root. Glad to hear about your internet fame and photos, though it’s hard for me to recognise that achievement with my limited social media exposure.

Now on to the main course: your problem is not the want or even need of sustained male company (trust me, it’s not worth it). I can see right to the problem – the symptoms are classic. It’s not an emotional affliction, darling, it’s a physical one. Who can blame you for feeling a little lusty on your yah – especially after what I can only assume were some fairly rhythmic movements on the back of that elephant? Me – I’ve rode the cobbles of Merton Street on a tandem without suspension. Difficult to hold a straight course – you know what I’m talking about.

I think deep down you’ve recognised your own diagnostic, too. You’ve told me about your satisfaction in so many of life’s little tendrils, all resulting from the year off: you’ve got the interweb-based gratification, and you’ve clearly bought yourself some of those ghastly harem pants with a sub-continental animal print – you’ve lived. Emotionally, it’s all there. But I see your plight. Luckily for you, I’ve got the medicinal advice to get you right as rain.

There’s no beating about the bush here – what you need is a good old-fashioned porking. Find yourself some useless humanities student who ‘wants to get to know the real you’ (RadCam a good hunting ground). Take him back, and while he tries to tell you about how he’d have played Richard in Joyce’s Exiles, or his theory about the importance of Klimt for Art Nouveau, strike. Malady mitigated.

I know it sounds like I’m trivialising your indisposition, but you really must give this a shot. Trust my experience on this one. Once you’ve got all this bottled physical angst out, you’ll be rid of this burning desire to regale the world with your stories, because, sorry, but (and this might hurt) nobody wants to hear them.

Hope all goes well,

V-C x