Dear Alfred Hitchcock, I am in love with a girl who doesn't know I'm alive. Well, that's not entirely fair. I've known her for years, and she says that she likes me, but she doesn't like me in that way and doesn't want to ruin our friendship. But I'm totally positive that, if she could just see how much I love her and what a great boyfriend I'd be for her, she'd give me a chance. Any thoughts? —Desperate in Detroit
Alfred Hitchcock Presents the Answer to Your Question
Good evening. I'm Alfred Hitchcock.
Tonight we have before us the strange case of a man in love. Before proceeding, I will state that I am absolutely against violence—unless, of course, the plot should call for a bit of light garroting or a slight stab wound to catch your lady's eye.
But I joke.
In response to your query, I must ask: Is the lady in question—a blonde? For if she is, you must not believe a word that she says. Beneath an icy exterior, she is full of fire: fire and ice, drawing you closer and closer, luring you with every glance, every breath–
So sorry, I lost myself for a moment.
Though this woman professes not to care for you, I have found that you cannot trust these minxes, these felines, these—females. Go in pursuit of her. No, not wooing her. Actual pursuit. Find an unoccupied cabbie and tell him that he must follow her car—in absolute discretion.
See where she goes. Has she a lover? A husband? A decrepit mother? I must warn you, my friend: none of these things are good. A man holding her hostage is slightly better, for then you may be able to help her escape his grasp. Just one thing: beware of Mount Rushmore! And low-flying planes!
The end of the story is—you must find out everything there is to know about her and proceed from there. In an ideal world, you shall become her accomplice, then her knight in shining armor. In the worst possible scenario, she will marry a prince from a country nobody has heard of, and you will never see her again.
Ah well. All good things, and so on.
One last word before I leave you, my friend–
Ha! But I jest.
Dear Alfred Hitchcock, I never write letters like this, but I figured, if I can't ask you, whom can I ask? I'm a single man in my mid-30s, and I've recently discovered that all the women I'm attracted to remind me in some way of my mother. That's not the worst part, though—none of them ever seems to measure up! Am I completely crazy? Do I need therapy? Any advice much appreciated. —Freudian in Florida
I shall say it only once: do not over-analyze.
It matters not from whence these attractions came. It matters only to where they lead. And so I say to you: it is time to turn the tables.
With the next woman to whom you are drawn: you take her aside. You tell her how perfect she is. A goddess, an angel. And then you make suggestions as to your taste.
Is your mother—blonde? Tell your lady she must be so, too.
Did your mother wear pearls? Tell the woman that she must rid herself of the cheap baubles currently adorning her in favor of these gems of the sea.
Was your mother an Englishwoman? Is there anything more utterly devastating on this planet than the clipped tones of the British voice commanding you—compelling you.
Tell her to take voice lessons.
I believe that chaps these days have a term for this technique. "Negging," is it?
Well, my friend. Neg away.
Dear Alfred Hitchcock, I'm at the end of my rope! My apartment faces out over a courtyard, and I just can't shake the feeling that I'm being watched. I've had this feeling for some time—and then, last week, I caught my neighbor staring at me through a pair of binoculars! I'm pretty sure that a blonde girl was with him in the background, too. Now I can't get it out of my head that I'm some kind of player in a weird sex game of theirs. I'd call the police, but I don't have any proof! Help! —Nervous in New York
To the Paranoiac Across the Yard:
Do not be afraid.
Are you a dancer with a string of male callers? You are probably fine.
Are you a single lady with a dog? Keep him from digging too much in the yard, or he may meet his maker sooner than either of you would like. But you are not the target.
But now, I must ask: Are you a married woman? Of middle age?
Do you have life insurance?
Have you or your husband ever worked for a foreign government?
Are you the sole heir to a large English fortune?
If so, madam, I am afraid that this is not a question of sex, but one of suspense. You are soon to be murdered. The only question that remains is when.
I hope that answers your question. Happy to be of service!
(A postscript, dear lady: for heaven's sake, get your head out of the gutter. Where you Americans got that strange idea that carnal pleasures are linked to suspense is entirely beyond me.)