Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dear IT Support Desk,

I came by to solicit your help. What I got was three underutilized, socially inept and very thin twenty-somethings with an attitude.

Please understand, that my computer is a lifeline. It's allows me to work and thus is a source of income. It's my vehicle for communication, my link to friends and family. So, if I ask you how long you will need it for, it's not to irritate you. Please console me with a fair estimate. Three days seems like a very long time to scan it. And please don't let that soulless Ginger girl touch it. I don't trust her.

I realize that you have 'special' knowledge about computers I may not have, but that doesn't mean you need to patronize me. I don't patronize you about sex or having a social life.

In retrospect, I realize I only came to you when I was desperate. I never reached out to you when everything was going OK. So, maybe that's why you treat me so badly. Maybe we can start over. Can we make a fresh start? Forgive and forget?



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dear Cliche',

We all do our best not to buy-in to stereotypes; to judge each human as an individual; to refrain from making judgments too quickly. But you, cliché, you seem to want to propagate the negative stereotypes assigned to your demographic group making it nearly impossible not to pigeonhole you.

You are Asian and gather and cook fish from anywhere in anything.
You are black and swagger through the street slowly, refraining from using the crosswalk or sidewalk and blocking traffic with attitude.
You are a Somali taxi driver and your wife nearly killed me as she cluelessly weaved downed the interstate at 35mph in a caravan.
You live in Linden Hills and come to yoga with your hair and make-up done.
You are an engineer and you can’t talk to girls.
You are a 40-something, recently divorced Cougar getting your drink on at Crave in The Shops at West End. “Go ahead. Feel them. They are new.”
You are Latino and have a “Rodriquez” decal in Gothic typeface in the back window of your white Ford Ranger with new spinners.
You are from North and you wear your pants on the ground.
You are a Minnesotan and you pronounce ‘especially’ ‘X-specially’ and call lunch "supper.:
You are a Jewish man with a gold Star of David necklace entangled in your bushy chest hair, which is peeking through your shirt.
You are a hipster and you wear the exact same 80s sunglasses, skinny jeans, and scarf as all 4,000 of your closest friends.
You work at the tech help desk, use a condescending tone and appear to be overstaffed and underutilized at all times.
You hail from the northern suburbs and brag about your aunt’s new double-wide.
You are a black mom and you name your daughter “LaMonQuiesha.”
You are a white mom and name your kids “Charles” (we call him Charlie) and “Emma.”
You are a hippie and you smell bad and make it worse with patchouli oil. People who smell nice to start with, never add patchouli.

And I’m sure the list can go on and on . . . and it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is, before you get dressed, before you get that tattoo, before the next comment comes out of your mouth, take a moment and ask yourself, how will the other people in my demographic group feel about this? What will people outside my group think about this? Am I making it easier or harder for people to stereotype me? Perhaps those additional considerations will make for less bias on the part of others.



Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dear BP

Dear BP,

While most people are cursing you for your systematic downfalls in safety, environmental protection and overall drilling practices, we feel the opposite. Your neglectful practices and the ensuing Gulf disaster have entirely taken over the public's need for a corporate whipping boy to temporarily boycott and hate as a national point of pride. This has saved us a ton of grief. In fact, we are going to stop running our ads thanking people for 'sticking with us' through our little bump in the road awhile back, mostly because it's now only serving as a reminder. Thanks for taking off the heat, we really appreciate it. We'll try to sell one or two less Priuses to thank you.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Dear Newlyweds

Dear Newlyweds,

You really are adorable. Despite my hesitation about the entire forever and ever thing, I think y'all are very sweet. To those who have only been dating for a little while and just decided to go for it to those who have been together for years and years and just thought it was time to make it official. You're all great. And the way you interact is nearly inspiring. But I have just one question. Do you REALLY think you married the one BEST man or woman in the entire world? Really?

I know you love them more than anyone else. I get that. Love is a crazy thing and makes us do and say crazy things. And heck, everything right now is rose petals and sunshine and cooing. We'll bare with that part. But let's have a little honesty. She is no Mother Theresa in Taylor Swift's body. And little wifey, he does not have super hero strength and a willingness to sacrifice his life for starving children. Sorry to break it to you. She just works at Target, and laughs at your jokes and cooks you dinner, and he just works at Best Buy and loves to be outside, and buys you nice things. I'm really not trying to downplay your love story, or how wonderful of a fit you are - you're great! Let's hang out. But let's be honest about who we all are... I'm just someone who speaks the truth even when it's a bit harsh, and you're probably just pretty average, kinda boring, pleasant and giddy newly married people. And that's okay.

Here's hoping you have endless years of delusional love,


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dear Socially Awkward Doctor

Dear Socially Awkward Doctor,

I came to see you to make sure my health was in check - - for one ailment or another. I understand the dynamic of our relationship fully. I describe my symptoms, offer my hypothesis and let you ask necessary questions, examine me, and make your diagnosis.

Sometimes we make pleasant conversation to make the transaction more tolerable, but that's the extent of our interaction. Unless, you are socially awkward.

In that case, you sheepishly look at my body, as though you aren't supposed to. No doctor, I need you to look, thoroughly. We both know I'm naked under this gown for a reason. Now look already. I don't care how it might make you feel.

You use words like "slice" and "punch" and "stitch" that indicate a great deal of pain is in my future. Some things, doctor, are better left unsaid. Consider substituting "slice" with "remove" or "extract." That's a little less graphic and scary.

You ask multiple times, if the patient wants to watch or see. I can forgive the first time, when I politely declined. However, if I wasn't comfortable watching 1 minute ago, it's unlikely my opinion changed. Stop trying to persuade me.

Same thing goes for, "Do you want to keep it?" If a patient seems squeamish about needles or knifes, they probably don't want anything in a jar for a souvenir.

Finally, when you say, "We will call you with the lab results in a week," please call. Doctor, if something needs to go to a lab and the results need to be communicated, please know that your patient is anxiously awaiting. It's not like a bad date, where "I'll call you" is just a polite way of saying, "I will never see you again." Lab results are part of the deal.

Well, doctor, I hope you find my suggestions helpful. Who knows? If you follow my advice, get a sense of humor and smile, you might even attract a med student to give you a good reason to feel awkward.



Monday, July 19, 2010

Dear Microsoft Customer Service

Dear Microsoft Customer Service,

We all know that IT Customer Service is notoriously the bane of modern existence, so I find no need to rub it in. But I would like to make some suggestions.

1. Please stop calling me ma'am. I'm not necessarily 50+ years old.

2. I know many customers call because they cannot figure out how to use your products, however, please don't assume that this is the case. Sometimes your products have legitimate issues. Don't act entirely shocked by this. Things DO malfunction from time to time.

3. If your phone system has an auto-route feature based on my answers to questions and somehow I ended up talking to you, please don't refer me back to the same number I called originally to get to you. Instead, perhaps you can give me to anyone who could actually help?

4. If all methods of troubleshooting fail, it is still your responsibility to make it right. Just because your product is based on codes and softwar eand you don't know how to fix it, doesn't mean you can't fix it by either by issuing new equipment or software, or even reimbursing me for my time. Yes, your company has a blatant monopoly on office software and we cannot avoid using it, but please treat paying customers as people, or we will revolt and stop buying Zunes... well... or... we'll find some way to rebel. Don't test us.

5. A good way to simply the whole process? Don't give 100 codes each with 25 digits to identify any products. It does make the entire exchange unbearable when I have to read 4000 digits out to multiple people over a 2 hour time period of phone transfer tennis, in which I'm the ball.

Every day I'm more in favor of open software development and use. Obama can just tax me for it later or something.

I'm sorry your job sucks, thanks for sharing the wealth,


Friday, July 16, 2010

Dear Oprah Winfrey,

Dear Oprah Winfrey,

Don't worry. This isn't a letter asking for money for charity. Nor is it a request to review a book for your book club. I'm not writing to enter your 'Have My Own Show on Oprah's Network' contest or tell you how that one show changed my life. I'm not even going to tell you I'm overweight and you inspire me.

On the other hand, I know you also receive hate mail from time to time. Don't worry, that's not my intent either. This isn't a letter from an angry cattle farmer. I'm not pissed off because I had to pay taxes on a car I won in your "Dreams Come True" giveaway. I'm not a disgruntled server that suffered from the Oprahession you created when you told America that tipping 10% during a tough economy is acceptable. And no, I don't think you are the anti-Christ. Many do, but not me.

But that doesn't mean my letter to you isn't a request for divine intervention. In Jesus name, will you please get over yourself? Can you find someone new to be the covergirl for O? If we made an animated flipbook using just the cover of O, we'd have something that resembles a balloon inflating and deflating several times - - but not much else.

Oprah, variety is the spice of life. Let's mix it up a bit! After all, it's been TEN YEARS. Even if we stuck to a niche cover model category, like "Talk show hosts with weight issues," there are still many opportunities to add diversity. Rosie, Tyra, Sharon, Star, Ricki, Roseanne or Mo'Nique would all make excellent choices. But, whatever you do, please don't make me look at your face on the cover one more time. I am sick of looking at your face.



Dear Fake Homeless Guy,

Dear Fake Homeless Guy,

There you are, cardboard sign in hand. "Need help. God Bless." It's 92 degrees and humid; you clearly look uncomfortable standing on your chosen plot while sweat drips down your face.

We agree, you do need help. But, perhaps in the form of advice rather than coins and bills.

You see, just as the thought, "Should I give this guy some money?" begins to creep into the passerby's brain, other thoughts likely follow. "He's kinda cute. Nice haircut. Wow. That white t-shirt sure is crisp. No armpit stains. His face as smooth as a baby's butt. Nice shave. I wonder where he keeps his backpack?"

At various moments in this thought process, depending on the intellect of the passerby, a light bulb floats overhead and the following conclusion is inevitably reached:

"Wait a minute, he doesn't look homeless. I will not give him money."

So, here's our suggestion Fake Homeless Guy. When you wake up in your boyhood bedroom in Edina and your mom starts nagging you to get a job, but you decide you'd rather stand outside than work, consider the following: Grab a little dirt and some water from your 'water feature' and smear it around your body and clothes. This will make the idea that you've been outside for awhile more believable. No matter how much your mom nags you, do not get a haircut within a week of begging - same goes for shaving. We know she will get upset, but it definitely works against the homeless look. Leave the styling gel alone, a less groomed look is completely acceptable. Finally, you might want to get a little tan, as the homeless people tend to appear to be overexposed. There are a few great tanning spots around some of the wonderful lakes in your neighborhood.

If you follow our suggestions, you should have some more success.


Ellie and Lia

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dear Sales Tax

Dear Sales Tax,

Most times we meet, I don't even acknowledge you. You are just the extra $7.37 that's part of life when buying a text book, or the extra $2.43 when buying gas. Hardly noticeable in our exchanges. Apparently my cold shoulder to you has made you angry, though, and in true Minnesota fashion you struck unexpectedly with harsh passive agressivity. Today, I saw your force while writing a check for over $800 to the State of Minnesota in your honor just so they'll recognize I actually bought my car. I forgot about you, and so you slapped me across the face. That was not very nice of you, but probably justified. So, can we just make friends now? I'll remember you exist and you won't need to abuse me so abruptly from here on out. Deal?

With a woefully sad bank account, I bid you adieu,


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dear Summer Fruits,

Dear Summer Fruits,

Why are you so shy about being in season when you are so delicious? How is it that I can buy decent apples, oranges and bananas all year long, but peaches and raspberries are temperamental all summer, and then entirely absent from my life for the other 10 months?

Even if you are entirely too high-maintenanced, I really love you summer fruit. Please do not leave me again this year. Our summer fling excites me each time and then you dash my hopes of a long term relationship. It breaks my heart.

Longingly, and with sincere taste buds,


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dear Metro Transit Bus that Nearly Hit My New Car,

Dear Metro Transit Bus that Nearly Hit My New Car,

I have literally owned my 2007 Mazda3 for less than an hour. You can imagine that I am quite excited about it, since I have never had such a shiny new car all of my own before. You might also be able to imagine that I am a little protective of it, since it's like a newborn baby less than a day old (to me). Now, if you saw a woman cradling her new born while crossing the street... would you abruptly pull out and nearly miss her in a hurry to get around another bus, just to get to a stop literally 1 block away? Probably not. I would venture to say you would NEVER do this. And yet, when I turned left, on a my green arrow, you felt it was appropriate to cut left with your 10 ton metal death trap and attempt to crush me, and my baby, between your bus and the neighboring Yukon. I find this behavior both irresponsible and disrespectful. I spent a large sum of money today to purchase a large, lasting investment. I followed all rules properly, and yet had to honk 5 times, and then back up into an intersection for you to pay enough mind to not crush and kill me. This doesn't even mention the level of anxiety I have now experienced. I feel a lawsuit might be in order for my emotional distress.
Buses like you are why Americans hate public transportation and refuse to be nice to the environment by using it. You are singlehandedly causing global warning. You might as well just go club baby seals and call it a day.

In summary: I hate you.

I hope your license is revoked,


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dear Weekday Shopaholic,

Dear Weekday Shopaholic,

We were all there checking out together . . . waiting in a slow line held up by a woman who was clearly dead set on getting a full discount for a shirt that happened to be misplaced on a clearance rack. She wanted it to be 30% off and she wasn't leaving until she got it. A heated argument ensued.

Our single-file line grew longer and longer as the minutes passed by and the conflict grew stronger. I was next in line, you were at least four annoyed patrons behind me. The frazzled cashier called for back-up. When he arrived, he asked for the next person in line to step forth. Then you, Weekday Shopaholic, darted over to the relief cashier before I even had a chance to blink.

What? How can this be? You were waiting in line with 4 people in front of you for at least 5 minutes. Did you not see them? Were you oblivious? Did it not occur to you that the one who has been waiting the longest is the same one who should be next to check out?

No, you were standing there, merchandise in hand, designer bag on your shoulder, pretending as though you didn't notice a line and anxious to jump in your Audi to head to greener pastures.

Screw you horrible human Weekday Shopaholic. It was my turn!



Dear Minnesotan Merging,

Dear Minnesotan Merging,

Why are you so angry today?

Here is an opportunity for one of the simplest forms of cooperation - - an opportunity for members of a community to share our roadway. But you seem determined to make our driving relationship contentious. Are you pretending not to see me as you stare intently ahead? Did you not notice my blinker or my polite wave?

When I speed up, you do as well, when I slow down, you follow suit. Are you intentionally hiding in my blind spot? It feels like a horrible mind-game. Why won't you just let me in?

Oh, I think I understand. Did you just have a bad day? Maybe you received a snarky email from a coworker that has put you in a foul mood or your boss broke a promise for your raise. Maybe if it were a different day, you'd let me in.

Or maybe, you feel as though I have some how budded in merging line and you are here to do justice for all drivers before you. Perhaps you feel as though I utilized the lane a little too long and didn't merge 1.5 miles earlier, in violation of an unspoken Minnesota merging rule.

Whatever your motivation, please, please just let me in. I promise I will merge sooner next time.



Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dear Single Men Worrying About Women

Dear Single Men Worrying About Women,

I know that women are very scary to you. We're pretty, and we have soft body parts you like, and our laughs bring unicorns back to life. I know. I also know we talk a lot and it's hard to know what we really mean. Summaries aren't really our thing. I get it. It's hard to know what we're getting at when you have to listen to all that chatter. I respect that. BUT... really. There is NO reason to be afraid of us. Do you think we're cute and perhaps even fun to be around? Yes? Ask us to hang out. If we're not interested, we won't go. And no one will die. Or if we do say yes, and four dates down the road you think... eh... she smells like wet dog, or she talks like Paris Hilton, or she's just going out with me because she thinks I'm rich and I'm not... well then, no harm no foul. Cut it off. No need to lie, just say 'Hey Random-Chick's-Name, I think we should be friends' or 'Hey Girl-I-Barely-Know-So-My-Rejection-Shouldn't-In-Any-Way-Hurt-Your-Feelings, I think we want different things.' Again, no one will die. Just calm down, try to enjoy your life. Don't make it all so very difficult please. Your stressed out attitude towards the entire thing is SO not attractive.

Love you all dearly, even though you're dysfunctional (and perhaps BECAUSE you're dysfunctional),


Monday, July 5, 2010

Dear Ikea

Dear Ikea,

We have to have a talk. First, I want to say I agree that homegoods should not cost 1000 dollars each, and should be easy to fit in unnecessarily small cars. As an owner of a very small car, I appreciate this. I can fit nearly everything you sell in my trunk with the seats down, except perhaps a couch. It's absurdly efficient. I also actually enjoy the satisfaction of fake building my own furniture. It's the guitar hero of carpentry really. Completely underrated.
However, I do have one issue. Why do you believe that everyone who does not have appropriate closet space and needs a wardrobe has 11 foot ceilings? If I could afford a loft with huge ceilings, I probably could buy a better wardrobe. Though, even with 11 ft ceilings, I couldn't reach 1/3 of the wardrobe you would like to sell me for it, so this seems absolutely pointless. Perhaps because you Swedes are all very tall you forget that the lowly American's are not all over 7 feet tall? Please explain. If you can offer a proper explanation, and send it certified to my home (ideally with a 6 pack of those magical cinnamon rolls), I suppose I will forgive you and humor the one wardrobe that you sell that will fit my apartment.

Best wishes you giant Swedes,


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Running Skirt

Dear Running Skirt Girl,

Did you get all gussied up before your run just for me?



Dear Universe

July 4, 2010

Dear Universe,

I have a tendency to address you, or subsets of you, quite often in letter form, even verbally. Perhaps in a past life I was a great lover of letter writing, or the Midwest is seeping into my soul and letters are the only passive aggressive outlet I find socially acceptable. Whatever the reason, it is how I communicate reality to you. So, should you find a letter on this site addressed to you, please read it, absorb it, process it, and receive the honest, albeit sometimes snarky, feedback on who you are and what you do. And in return, I will graciously receive such letters of honesty, adoration and sarcasm at