Unpublishable: An Open Letter to my Unborn Wife


By Alex Colvin

To my darling wife,

I write this letter, having been divorced from my wife of eight years for three months now. I have been thinking a lot about what I want to do next, my responsibilities, and about you. You’re not alive yet, in fact, your mother might be younger than me. But I know I’ll find you one day and I’ll love you for the rest of my life.

I expect I’ll be busy raising my kids for the next two decades, and I have a frantically busy job as a professor of neurobiology at Sheaffe University. But once I have the time and am ready, you’ll be a young woman and I’ll be ready to love you for the rest of our lives. Well, the rest of my life. After that, you’re on your own, I guess. But the age difference won’t matter; I’ll love you even if you’re twenty, thirty, or thirty-five years younger than me.

I keep thinking about how we’ll meet, and I play the scene over and over again in my mind. Hundreds of brilliant and beautiful women who also are on university sports teams & wear tights as if they were as pants come to my classes every year, and I can only imagine you’ll be one of them. You’ll be dazzled by my mane of silver hair, my charming wit, my nurturing (but not exactly fatherly; that would be weird) way of teaching you and guiding you through my classes. You’ll linger just a little too long at my office hours and take my classes even when they create scheduling conflicts that threaten your very academic career.

Once you’ve graduated (Definitely after. We can’t have another debacle like what happened in the history department a couple years ago) we will stay in touch. I’ll invite you over for a totally platonic candle lit dinner and sure both my kids are out of the country, so they don’t show up and make me seem less youthful and virile.  

We’ll keep our love a secret at first. No one will know. Except my housekeeper, who will get some of the texts that were meant for you. She’ll be really flattered until I tell her it was a mistake. From then on, she won’t dust as thoroughly as she did before. Both of your names start with J or something. Easy mistake. And my oldest daughter will get suspicious when she finds a different brand of tampons in the bathroom closet when she’s looking to boost just enough of my prescribed painkillers to get seriously high over the weekend. But whenever we get found out, you can show them a scrapbook of news articles about huge age gaps in marriages and show them that it’s totally normal and natural. They’ll be cool with it.

Yes, it is a beautiful life I envision for us. Well, a beautiful life for me. You’ll have people wondering if you had an absent father in your childhood. Like that episode of ‘Friends’ where Richard is a hero among his friends for dating his buddy’s daughter; while Monica is called a ‘Twinkie.’ I think it came out in 1995. That was a fun year for me. My tenth birthday was in 1995, I got my first bicycle.
But let’s move on.

Because I want to make you these promises, promises to be carved in stone with the very diamond I will place on your finger. Actually, it will probably be a lab-grown synthetic diamond. They’re conflict-free and almost as good as the real thing. Way cheaper too, but with that lab-stone, I make these vows:

I promise to hold you with the same tenderness when I’m 80 that I will when we marry. I’ll probably be sixty-seventy around then. But for those 10-20 years, I vow to still hold you lovingly.

I promise to let you buy my clothes. So instead of an old man who dresses like an old man, I’ll look like an old man who has been a Forever 21 model for fifty years and doesn’t know when to throw in the towel and retire.

I promise to stay in shape to the best of my ability until my children take my licence away and I can’t drive to the gym anymore. After that’ll I’ll still go for walks until I wander off and am brought home by the police for trying to break into my childhood home.

I also want to apologize for some things. I am sorry for the times we argue. I am sorry for the difficult days in our marriage that we will work through. And I am sorry that I will children nearly your age. They might be two or three years older than you. That might be awkward. But I’m sure through your care and support, they will come to see you as an adoring mother figure who they’ll so desperately need since my ex is such a cold bitch. I can’t see age being a factor as you step in to fill that void and give them the motherly love, which they’ll need in their mid-to-late 20s.

I’m am sorry that our sex life will become more challenging as I age. I’m aware of pills you can by at the corner-store, which I can use to prolong our lust for each other. “Old Oak Enhancement Pill” I think it’s called. But when even that fails, we’ll get you a top-notch vibrator. An expensive one.

So there you have it, my future wife. “Hullo. It’s me. I was wondering if after all these years, you’d like to meet,” as that Adele song goes. But you probably don’t know it because you weren’t alive when it came out. They may not be talking about it by the time you get to read this. But if you knew the song, you would know beyond the shadow of a doubt…

That it was a profound reference. It’s a very moving song.


Herbert Lech