My Old Bike – Dear John

Dear John

Frankie is crushed because Pretty Paulette just wants to be friends.


Moral of the Story

Be gentle with emotions, they are difficult to understand at any age. Teenagers experiencing these feelings for the very first time tend to believe that the world is ending. Learning to deal with emotions is a constant work in progress. Keep in mind that they are real, do not underestimate their effect or value.

Talking Points

This story does not go into the details prior to Pretty Paulette delivering the letter however, the chapter Going Steady in the upcoming book Pretty Paulette does. Here is a preview: earlier that week, Frankie had worked up the courage to ask Pretty Paulette to be his girlfriend and she happily agreed.

  1. Why is this type of note called a Dear John Letter?
  2. Why would Pretty Paulette write a letter instead of talking directly to Frankie?
  3. Why did Frankie's mom yell at him when he said, "What the...?"
  4. Why did Frankie break the ceramic cup that Pretty Paulette made especially for him.
  5. With the note smelling like perfume, was Pretty Paulette sending a mixed signal?


All definitions may be found at

  1. Little League
    Youth baseball or softball under the auspices of an organization founded in 1939, for children up to age 12.
  2. Berserk
    Out of control with anger or excitement; wild or frenzied.
  3. Resistance
    The refusal to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something by action or argument.
  4. Penmanship
    The art or skill of writing by hand.
    A person's handwriting.
  5. Saunter
    Walk in a slow, relaxed manner, without hurry or effort.
  6. Cleanse
    Make (something, especially the skin) thoroughly clean.
  7. Wail
    A prolonged high-pitched cry of pain, grief, or anger.
  8. Trumped
    Beat (someone or something) by saying or doing something better.
  9. Elevated
    Of a level or amount, higher or greater than what is considered normal.
  10. Binky
    A pacifier.
  11. Dear John letter
    a letter from a woman to a man, especially a serviceman, terminating a personal relationship.

Personal Note

The Kübler-Ross model (as found on Wikipedia) of the five stages of grief perfectly identifies the emotions I experienced when my first real girlfriend informed me that we were breaking up:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

In hindsight it was the right thing for her parents to insist that we bring our steamy relationship to an end... we were much too young. However, the emotions were real and at the time it seemed like the end of the world. Looking back on that experience it was small potatoes compared to what was on the horizon as an adult.

Ready to read My New Bike?

Head over to Happy Endings Publications to purchase your signed copies of The Adventures of Frankie!

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