Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dear New Kids at Orientation

Dear New Kids at Orientation,

Remember what your mom said when she put you on the bus the first day of school? Ok, ok... not 'don't pee your pants' nor 'don't pick your nose.' No... the other one. The 'Just be yourself and the kids will like you' thing. You know you got it. Or you got it later when you went on your first date. At some point, though, this was a trusted mentor's advice to you.

And it's still true.

It's really hard to see if you're a tool if you
just clam up and never talk about anything
interesting or with passion. I'd actually
much prefer you rant fervently about
your neo-nazi conservatism or obsession
with rail transit. Honestly. I may not find
it appealing or interesting topically, but
a passionate person is an attractive person.
I need to know you have a spark.
My heart hurts from meeting so few
people who show that inner flash of
inspiring brilliance... I know some of you must
have it. Quit hiding it under polite small talk
and clich├ęd apparel (from hippie skirts to
business casual) please.

Thanks. It'd be much appreciated.

Love,

Lia

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dear Generation Flake


Dear Generation Flake,

Please keep in mind when making commitments to those of us born before 1980, we take your word at face value. So, if you say you are going to do something, we take it literally. For us, plans are not automatically tentative unless otherwise stated. Agreements aren't hypothetical.

I realize with advancements in technology, you like to keep options open as something better might come along at any moment.

Yet, we were raised in the time of landlines. Back in our day, if you said you were going to meet someone at 7:00 on Thursday for 2 for 1 Margaritas at Chi Chis, it was absolutely vital you came through on your commitment. The consequence of failing to show up was the loss of the friendship and an automatic reputation for being an asshole. We didn't have texting to make last second adjustments to our plans. Plans were set in stone as soon you put the phone back on the hook. Because after we hung up, we entered a communication-free zone out in the big bad wild world. Therefore, we take commitments seriously. No one wants to be alone, belly up at a chain Mexican restaurant.

Thanks for your thoughtful consideration when making plans with me.

Sincerely,


Ellie

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dear Glenn Beck

Dear Glenn Beck,

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
That's really all I have for you.

-Lia

Friday, August 27, 2010

Dear Mary Bale


Dear Mary Bale,

What's got you so worked up? Your behavior indicates you are progressing towards serial killer.

I would venture to guess you are mad at God for having an unfortunate look about you. While I agree, you are very ugly, that doesn't mean you can't make some simple changes and get you back on a track towards emotional stability. Your 45 not 85. Lose 15 lbs, dye your hair, wax your eye brows, get some contact lenses and you'll see instant improvement. See if that doesn't help you mind the wheelie bin.

Sincerely,

Ellie

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dear Moms to Be

Dear Moms to Be,

First, you are gorgeous and saintly. Pregnant women really are amazing. It cannot be comfortable or fun to gain tons of weight, be nauseous and still feel pressured to 'glow' and coo all the time. Seriously - I respect the entire deal. Also, I think babies are adorable, so thanks for making them. I hope to join your ranks one day.

But can we have a little chat about pictures?

Let's think about the women in our lives that we consider classic. Our grandmas, or even moms, for the most part, right? Women of grace and poise and, most likely, a little mystery. Though some of us had hippie parents who did some wild stuff and freely documented this on film (for those who are very young, film is the stuff that we took pictures on before we all had digital cameras - google it), many parents photos of themselves are pretty sparse. We have a wedding photo, and a few cute couples photos of our parents, and then we skip right to the day the oldest sibling was born. Mom is holding us,
Dad is smiling - it's lovely and sweet. But in the last 10 years or so, with the expanding use of digital cameras and camera phones and Facebook picture posting... we've gone a bit overboard. Now we have digital files of our ultrasounds with baby body parts labeled (I still cannot tell that's an elbow, I think it's an ear), and we do photo shoots of naked moms to be and post them on the internet for pregno-philes to peruse... it's quite weird.
If it doesn't bother you to share photos of the inside of your uterus, nor of you laying exposed on some black velvet cape with swollen breasts and watermelon tummy... think of the children you are currently nurturing in your body.

One day, they are going to be online, or going through your records, and find this. You may think this is adorable now to share with everyone you went to church camp in 3rd grade with and their friends of friends, but in
15 years, your womb pics are going to scar your children. And the barely covered preggo breasts with dad kissing your belly will NOT bode well with the middle school bully OR the girl they'd like to ask to 8th grade formal. You think the minivan will be embarrassing? Ha!

It's really not about my dislike of these pictures (though they do not add ambiance to my Facebook perusing experience, I'll say at least that much)...no, it's about the kids. For the love of God, think of the kids! Keep those ultrasound pics for the fridge and those nudey 'glowing mom' pics for your baby daddy. You're beautiful - we agree - but let's keep the really intimate beautiful parts to ourselves, ok? Your child's future eyesight and mental stability is in your hands. Honor that.

With love and good wishes for your family,

Lia

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dear Everyone

Dear Everyone,

If you can read this, then you are old enough to know the truth: You are not big enough to control very much. Don't get so worked up about that, but instead control what you can and try to at least pretend (for everyone around you's sake really) like you enjoy your life.


Thanks!

-Lia

Dear Craigslist Scavengers

Dear Craigslist Scavengers,
When searching for items, please note what section they are listed under. If items are posted in the 'free' section, then asking me how much they will cost alerts me that you are an idiot and I probably don't want to have to meet you even to give you free boxes.

Though I have considered just telling you the 'free' boxes are now $1000.

Good luck paying for your boxes,

Lia

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dear Cable TV,

Dear Cable TV,
Thank you for showing documentaries about people who are crack addicts, hoarders, pregnant at 16, parents of 18 children, bounty hunters, celebrities in rehab, rich old ladies fighting each other, celebrity families sabotaging each other... etc. ... seriously. Such a great reminder that I'm not THAT crazy. You may be a complete waste of time but I really appreciate the sanity check.

Best wishes to all the crazies and those who document them,

Lia

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dear Readers

Dear Readers,

If you:
a) don't think we're funny
b) think this is just an angry chick thing (though if we were men you wouldn't have noted the writers' gender but would have chuckled instead)
c) generally have no sense of humor
d) smell like rotting cheese (hey... you never know)
Then: Don't whine, just stop reading.

Love,

Lia

Dear Somali Women

Dear Somali Women,

First, I would like to tell you the many reasons that are not why I have a beef with you. It is not because you are black, as I have aspired to be a fat black gospel singing woman for many years. It is not because you are Muslim, as I think any diversity that can be brought to white, Norwegian, Lutheran Minnesota should be embraced and cultivated. And it's not even because you agree to wear head to toe black billowing layers of clothing even in 95 degree heat - I'd much rather see you walking about like that than half the barely dressed whales laying out at Calhoun beach (note: if you can't buy shorts in the normal section for your gender, please don't
take that as a sign to just wear a string bikini). No no, all these things are entirely wonderful aspects of who you are as a Somali woman. However, the moment you climb into your teal 1997 Ford
Winstar, you lose all credibility to me.

I've tried to figure out why you do what you do. Why do you refuse to use turn signals? Or why, when driving down a narrow two lane street, do you direct your vehicle straight down the middle without regard for other drivers, and why do you triple park outside the Mogadishu Mall blocking all lanes of traffic where there are spaces to parallel park in 9 feet from you (though you're right... parallel parking is really difficult in a van so better not try)? Is it because your peripheral vision is obstructed by your head scarf? Is it because you didn't grow up driving and therefore do not know or acknowledge common driving standards? Is it because you hate that the federal government destined you to live in the tundra instead of somewhere at all similar to your homeland and so you rebel however you can in slightly passive aggressive ways such as rogue driving? Whatever the reason... please resolve it. I hate to honk at you or yell, but I will continue to do so if you continue to try to side swipe my baby, Tyrone, or block all lanes of traffic on my narrow city streets. Seriously, don't push me... I'm a mass-hole driver at heart. I can have the attitude of a drunk Southie Irishman when driving... don't make me use it.

Please just surrender your license... I'll buy you all bikes.

Love,

Lia

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dear OKCupid,


Dear OKCupid,

Please help me find a boyfriend (toy) that is suitable for dating (bating around, biting or snuggling with) when I am lonely (bored).

Sincerely,

Ellie

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dear Wake Attendee,

There are few things all of us would rather be doing. We are all here to offer condolences and then be on our merry way. After all, tomorrow, there's a funeral and burial and I still need to go make dinner and put the kid to bed.

While I realize most people live with absolutely no self-awareness, do you think you could try to muster a little something up? A little awareness of what's going on around you for the wake would be greatly appreciate.

What I am referring to specifically is when you cut in a line of 15 people who were patiently waiting to hug the brand new widow and then proceeded to carry on a 10 minute conversation with no regard to anyone else.

I realize you want to tell her how sorry you are, but so do those of us waiting in a long line behind you. There's a process here and we are all trying to follow it. First, you look at the poster board of photos of the deceased. Second, you look at all the flowers and read the cards saying, "Aren't they beautiful?" Third, you get in line to hug the grieving widow and tell her you are "so sorry for your loss. He was such a great man." It's okay to make it quick - - she won't remember, she's still in shock. That's why she has a guest book, to remind her who came, for the obligatory thank you notes.

I digress. Just look around you lady. A line of 15 people standing behind a widow isn't hard to see. Just because there's no cash register or check-out counter, doesn't mean you shouldn't get in it.

Sincerely,

Ellie

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dear Squirrel playing Chicken,


How wonderful your life must be.

You frolic along the banks of the Minnehaha, enjoying the soothing sound of the moving water, the gentle summer breeze, the shade of the park benches, and the freshly mowed grass.

Hundreds of passersby dropping delicious human food for your endless consumption, so that you can fatten up for the winter. Rarely to you worry about a predator or motorized vehicle ending your little blessed life in your acres of protected park wonderland.

So, why do you insist on playing Chicken on the bike path? Are you bored? Are you sadistic? Is there a pile of acorns at stake in some bet you made with Mr. Chipmunk? Why must you run directly into the middle of the bike path and stop cold staring blankly into my eyes, only to scatter a moment before the pending crash?

My heart skips a beat, my hands squeeze the brakes . . . I see my life pass before me, all to save your life.

I screech to a halt -- 20 MPH to zero MPH in two seconds; you scatter off. Then, it occurs to me . . . you are nothing but a rat-like rodent with a cute bushy tail and you nearly ended my life in a monstrous bike crash in some rat vs. bike game of Chicken.

I only attempted to save you because of those big brown eyes. I'm such a sucker for brown eyes.

In any case, I have news for you squirrel, it's hard to get by just on smile. It's a wild world.

Screw you Squirrel playing Chicken. Next time, you're road kill.

Ellie

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dear Body

Dear Body,

Look, I know we've been together a long time, and I know that you're getting sick of my abuse, so I'm writing to say I'm sorry. I'm sorry we haven't been on a run in awhile because I hate when you get really hot and sweaty in the summer, and I'm sorry I sunburned you in Mexico, and I greatly apologize that my friends think that 7 shots in 90 minutes is an appropriate level of drinking for my birthday. I really should be more responsible with you. But, can you just stop punishing me now? How about a fresh start. Fruit and eggs for breakfast? A nice bike ride to work tomorrow? Call it all water under the bridge? Thanks.

Sincerely,
Lia