Monday, September 26, 2011

To Whom It May Concern

Under my new plan, a
therapist could help you,
even if you didn't know
you needed help.
I am constantly having conversations in my head that I never get to have in real life.  This is most times because I don't actually know the other person.  I really think they would  benefit from our chat, but strangers find it alarming when you approach them and start giving them life advice.  Also, some of these people wouldn't really understand what I am telling them nor would they understand why they may have annoyed or inconvenienced me.  In essence, there is a high likelihood that many of my imagined conversations would not be fruitful in real life and I would end up more agitated.  It would be like many of the conversations I have with my children.

I am sure you too have wanted to share your thoughts, concerns, displeasures, and occasional compliments with others, but like me, have no way to do this.  This leaves all of us stuck with these random conversations and comments just rattling around our heads, taking up valuable space that could be used by other more important things.  Things like "Where is my other shoe?  Why wouldn't my shoes be together?  I took them off together."  You might also use the extra memory space to keep track of your keys, street your house is on and your children's names.  Imagine how awesome life would be if you didn't forget what you were talking about in the middle of saying it.

I have come up with a solution.  There needs to be chat room/bulletin boards for everywhere.   Every business and neighborhood would have one.  If you don't see one you need, you could just start it.  We could all just go to these sites and leave pleasant, helpful letters to the strangers with whom we wished to communicate.  When needed, of course, we might be forced to leave something more strongly worded, but you know, tough love and all.  People of the world (ourselves included - you never know when a stranger might want to compliment you) would check in on the sites where they work, live, hang out, etc., and see if there is anything they need to know.  I think if we all cooperate, the world would be a happier, less unfortunately dressed place.

For example, if I was the cashier at Giant, I would check in at the Giant Chat Room/Bulletin Board and see the following letter:

Dear Cashier,

I was trying my best to help us move along with our day by bagging as you scanned things through.  For some reason you kept scanning things even though we had run out of room.  You had started scanning before I starting bagging and I couldn't catch up.  You persisted in shoving the stuff in my direction.  Mightn't it have been better to stop scanning for a minute or two and help me bag some of the items so we'd have more room?  Alas, you did not think so.

Once you were through ringing me up you did start to help bag, which I appreciated.  I would have appreciated it more if you used paper inside of plastic, as I asked, but apparently you were upset I had forgotten my reusable bags and felt I only deserved plastic.  That would have been okay if you had put more than 2 or 3 items in each bag.  Doing it your way, I had 157 bags.  That was cumbersome.

I do want to thank you for being pleasant and wishing me a good night, you do get points for politeness.  I hope our future encounters will be more successful.


Knowing the cashier would see this would thrill me.  Further, she would be able to, in a non-confrontational atmosphere, realize she was not as helpful as she might have been.  Also, employers could then see how their employees are doing and supervise and train a little better.  This really is one of my better plans.

Here's the cool part.  You could avoid making mistakes other people make just by reading up on what's going on around you.  Just the other day I wished I could send out a gray hair/ sad haircut letter.  I think that letter would benefit a lot of people.

Dear Gray-Haired Couple,

See, this hair is just
wrong, wrong,
alarmingly wrong.
I appreciate that you are choosing to be down-to-earth/ natural/ granola and have chosen to let your hair turn gray as you age.  I can see that although your hair is gray, you are not old.  You might be in your late 40s.  Sadly friends, you must make a choice.  Aging gracefully in an au natural fashion or trying to look younger than you are.  You can't do both.

Female friend, if you are choosing to have gray hair, please stop wearing it super long.  It's one thing if you are elderly and it's in a bun, but otherwise it's a little scary looking.  Long, crazy, gray hair is slightly witchy and I am sure you are too lovely on the inside to want people to be frightened by you.

Gentleman friend, your problem is similar, yet somehow a little sadder.  Long gray hair on a man, pulled back in a ponytail is not a look.  Further, you are balding, and that's not helping things.

Wishing you a lovely day as you enter Cracker Barrel for lunch.


Since I think it will take awhile for all these chat rooms to get up and running, it is my suggestion that you unencumber yourselves by starting to write letters as you see fit and leave them on the cars and houses of the people to whom you are writing.  You may have to follow someone off public transportation now and again, but it will be worth it.

*please forgive the ridiculous spacing.  Blogger is hassling me again.  Don't think I won't be writing Blogger a letter.  


  1. This entire post is wonderful but that first paragraph is sheer perfection! What a great idea!

  2. This is sheer genius!! Until these chat room/bulletin boards are up, I will use my facebook status for such things and hope there is less than 6 degrees of separation between me and the intended, and someone shares my helpful hints. What a great place the world will be!

  3. So, I'm not supposed to be saying this stuff to the people directly? Crap.

  4. I've often thought about leaving little messages in peoples mailboxes when I am out walking. For example, "Your home looks lovely, all that yard work is paying off. Good job!" or "You may want to consider cutting your lawn this month. Small children and animals have disappeared on your property." Not confrontational, just direct. Let me know when you get that neighborhood bulletin board up,...I will have me some fun on that! LOL

  5. Tea - you CAN say it directly, it's just more risky that way. There are a lot of sensitive people.

    Irene - our neighborhood needs one!

  6. Excellent!! (Oh, did I say that aloud? Oops.)

    Actually, the whole having total conversations in your head must be a family thing. I find myself doing it often, but mostly when I'm trying to fall asleep.

    Your grandmother was the queen of it, but in later life, it started to leak out into the here and now. Not good. I'll be sure to warn you if that starts to happen to you. I'm sure you'll do the same.
    As always,

  7. I do not have an over-abundance of tact, so being able to write it down rather than stew and/or say it wrong, would be truly delightful. Also hilarious. I am a much funnier writer than I am person.

  8. I'm all for these letters as long as I don't get any. I know full-well that I am rocking the unattractive look right now (although not quite as bad as long grey hair on a balding man).

  9. Girl, you are hilarious! I loved the whole post,and yes I do have those conversations in my head while eating out alont at Panera.

  10. I am actually in hysterics over here. I live in a kind of "old hippy" (or is that "Old Hippie'?) town and I just cannot abide all the greasy gray down to their butts pony tails on the men in the grocery store. And the gray beards and mustaches that look like yesterday's lunch is still stuck in there. I have to bite my tongue so I don't say "take a shower dude" but now I am loving your idea! I wouldn't actually have to say it to their face? Genius!

  11. Dulcibella - I am feeling your pain. I hope there are some pretty people to look at in your town as well. Or at least ones that bathe. Until the system is up and running, you should definitely go with the plan B of leaving actual notes.


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