Dear Public Figure,

Don’t do it.

Don’t hire the hot maid, don’t put the dog on the roof, don’t cheat on your dying wife, don’t buy a phone with a camera.

Don’t have sex with anyone who doesn’t have wrinkles.  Don’t have sex with anyone who says, “don’t worry, I’m infertile.”  Don’t have sex.

Don’t type “how to kill someone” into your search engine.  Don’t type “how to disappear” into your search engine.   Don’t type.

When someone asks you what kind of car you drive, don’t say Cadillacs.  Don’t say Cadillac.  Don’t drive.

When someone asks you how much a gallon of milk is, don’t guess.  Don’t say you don’t know.  Don’t say you’ll ask your hot maid.  Don’t drink milk.

Go to the movies.  Read a book.  Eat ice cream.

Pay for everything yourself, and know how much it costs.

Because everything you do will cost you. Everything.

Very sincerely,

Your constituent

Dear Person Wearing Black Walking Their Black Lab At Night,

Dear Person Wearing Black Walking Their Black Lab At Night,

Did you think your blonde hair would save you?

Perhaps it did. Something glinted in the moonlight, after all, warning me and the driver behind me that you were not a shadow, but a thing.  

I’d like to think you aren’t stupid. I’d like to think you set out in daylight and meandered longer than you should have, wending through the streets, admiring the cherry blossoms, waiting too long for your pup to dither and sniff.

I’d like to think your pet was constipated, instead of thinking you were dropped on your head as a child.

But I doubt it.

I’m happy I didn’t hit you, of course.  But I’m even happier I didn’t hit your dog.

Very sincerely,

Your neighbor


Dear Former Workplace,

I am not leaving by choice, but by necessity.  The knots in my stomach, the throbbing in my head, the sick feeling in my chest when you give me the side-eye for daring to leave at 6:30 pm.  I must go, because of you.

Don’t make it personal, you always said.  But this isn’t personal, because I am not human to you.  I am a well-oiled machine, a complicated combination of skills, a sum of parts.  I am the hands that make charts and powerpoints, a head with a moving mouth that spouts the figures you need and makes the presentations you don’t want to make, a pair of legs that runs for taxis to go to airports to fly to meetings you couldn’t bother to attend.  

Because I am a thing, I am replaceable.

You will not mourn me, and I will not mourn you.  You are a building, a tax code, a profit margin.   You are not my family.  You are not my friend. 

And you are not my future.

Very Sincerely,

Former Workaholic



Dear Mean Girl,

Dear Mean Girl,

Enjoy your moment in the spotlight. I mean it.  Embrace it.  Revel in the power you have over other people now, because supplicants won’t always do your bidding.  I’ve seen your lizard-skinned mother, your puffy father, your spoiled sister.  This research yields certainty: That eighth grade is as good as your life is ever going to get.  So drink up.  It’s all, literally, downhill from here.

Very sincerely,

Mean Mom

P.S. Enjoy your shotgun marriage to the guy who failed the bar four times and had to go work for your dad.

Dear Person Who Asked Me To Volunteer At School,

Dear Person Who Asked Me to Volunteer at School,

The problem is if I say yes to you now when I’m feeling charitable and have a light schedule and the sun is streaming in the window that does not guarantee that on the date 12 days from now when you need to count on me being chipper and active and fresh that I won’t be miserable running late juggling a deadline and resentful of all the other mothers who have no job and plenty of time to wash their hair and volunteer so I am saying no.

Dear Friend Whose Mother Just Died,

Dear Friend Whose Mother Just Died,Image

There will be people who tell you it is a blessing. That her suffering is over. And those things of course are true. But what’s also true is that the only person who has known you your entire life is gone.

When something wonderful happens, you will think, “Oh, I have to tell my Mom.”  So tell her.  Raise your face to the sky and mouth the words so you don’t forget that ritual.  And when you are sick, and she is not there to tell you to stop working so hard, to rest, remember to take a moment and tell those things to yourself.  To hear her voice in you.

As time goes by, you may notice the presence of people around you whose grace reminds you of your mother. A small word of encouragement. The offer of homemade soup. An exclamation over how nice you look in that shirt. May those people spring up for you now.  And I promise, I will be one of them.


Your Friend Whose Mother Died Awhile Ago

Dear Person Who Blocked My Driveway At The Beach,

Dear Person Who Blocked My Driveway at The Beach,

Because I am a kind person, I am giving you the benefit of the doubt. I am assuming you are from another country where it is considered good manners to block someone’s driveway when their daughter needs to be driven to the hospital.

For that reason, I am not calling the police.  I am merely opening your unlocked car door, using your not-very-cleverly-hidden keys, and reparking your sandy Range Rover several blocks away, beneath this unfortunate “No Parking Anytime” sign.

You’re welcome.

And by the way, love your sunglasses.

nice day to one-up a fool