Dear Barves,

Let me start by saying that I still love you, and I always will. You were my first true love, and I will always hold you in a dear and special place in my heart. You’ll always be the one that helped shape and build me. That said, baby, I think we need to talk.

Look, it’s not you; it’s me, okay? I’ve just grown away a little over the years, right? I’m just not the same goofy teenage kid that fell so fast and quick for you and your sparkly day-glo charms 30 years ago. I mean, people grow apart over time, right? It’s natural, right?

Look, I’ll always remember the first awkward advances and stop and start joys of those early days. It was the 80s. All the other kids were mocking you. But I saw something there, baby. I saw something inside you, a potential… And then, pow! Oh my god, how you blossomed in the college years. You so hit the mark, love. Everything I saw in you in high school just exploding out of the cocoon like a butterfly. God, the passion of those years…

Sigh. Look. That sort of thing can’t last forever, can it? I mean, we’ve been together for damned near 30 years now. You have to expect a little give and take at this point, don’t you? I understand that this is going to hurt and be difficult for you, but you have to understand that it was coming, right? Right? A man changes over three decades, baby! Sigh. Like I said, it’s not you…

Well, you know, it’s kind of you too. I mean, you have to admit, you’ve not precisely kept yourself together the last few years, right? Hey. There’s no need to get angry and yell. Facts are facts, baby. And fact is, you’ve let yourself go a little. Maybe a little more than a little, if we’re being honest. And now your off on this weird Nick Markakis/AJ Pierzynski thing these days… Right, I can sort of understand the new adoptees. I like that Peterson kid well enough myself. Either of them; whatever; it doesn’t matter which one, okay? And that Miller boy sure seems to be doing well under your wing. But… AJ Pierzynski?! I just don’t know.

I’m not sure I have it in me to raise yet another passle of youngin’s at this age, babe. If that’s what you need, fine. But I don’t know that that’s my path right now. We did really well with Hoss. I mean, really well. And we tried our best with the French exchange kid and his roommate. And hell, even Jason is off at college now – out of state, against our best advice. But he’s working at it. I think we did okay there too. And no one can blame either of us for the accidents with Kris and Bran and Mike. Those things happen with active kids, baby. But I’m just not sure I can go through another round of it, right? I mean, really, we’re going to try to rehab that Maybin kid from two counties over now?! Honestly, I had no idea who Williams Perez was until he showed up at the house last week!

Look, what I’m saying is I need a little space. There’s no need to shout or cry. I just need some space, right.

Yes, dammit. I’m seeing someone else. The Hawks, okay! I’m seeing the Hawks. Look, stop cursing and yelling. Call it a “crisis” if you like. Whatever. If you’re honest about it, you’ll admit they’re a little more well built than you these days anyway. A man has needs, dammit.