Dear So-and-So

Dear Future Me

Here it is, December 2020 – another year older, another year gone.

Why does this keep happening?

Why can’t some really smart person come along and stop time? Just for a while. Maybe stop it for about … two years? Two years of borrowed time. Two years where we don’t age and we have enough time to really enjoy every moment. That’s not too much to ask, right? Two years. Such a small number in the grand scheme of things. Time is my enemy. It seems to go by faster and faster. Why is that? Did I make you mad, Father Time? Is that it? Is it because I’ve been so lazy this past year that you’ve decided to speed time up to punish me?

Fine. I give. Uncle. Please stop. It’s not fair to me or my family that you’re taking your frustrations out on me. Slow it down. I will behave and do better this year.

At least, I’ll try.

So. When you read this, it will be December 2021. I pray to GOD you lived a much better year. Please tell me the stupid pandemic is over.

I beg you.

Here’s what I expect from you this year, Future me.

  1. You need to figure out a way to stop being so tired ALL. THE. FREAKING. TIME. I don’t care how you achieve this goal, just figure out how to stop being so tired so that you have the energy to get more writing done. Short of doing something illegal? Make it happen.
  2. Stop watching so much YouTube. Seriously man, you have a problem. You watched way too much YouTube in 2020 and it’s got to stop. I know you find people fascinating. But I think this interest has morphed into an obsession and dude, you’re too old for an obsession.
  3. Which leads me into my next point – manage your time more wisely. I expect you to use your time more wisely. And sitting and watching YouTube videos for hours on end is NOT PRODUCTIVE. (Well, it’s sort of productive as that provides blog and podcast fodder, but still!)
  4. Please tell me you participated in Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo, right?? Please tell me you did that because what sort of writer are you if you don’t write? And blog posts don’t count. I mean, they count because technically it is writing, but it’s not the only type of writing I want you to do. Come on man, you know that. Stop trying to pretend there is not an elephant in the room. (The elephant being your growing guilt because you haven’t been writing, in case you didn’t understand what I was talking about. Hey. You’re another year older, I can’t assume you still have your mind. Please still have your mind …)
  5. For the love of God, man, spend more time with your parents. If you didn’t spend more time with your parents in 2021 I’m going to be sorely disappointed in you. Your parents aren’t getting any younger, you need to spend more time with them. (Refer back to #2).
  6. You went on vacation. Come ON. The pandemic has to end, right. RIGHT?! Please tell me that you and Kevin went on that cruise that you weren’t able to take in 2020 for obvious reasons. Or that you took a long weekend and went to Florida. Or that you actually talked Kevin into renting that cabin on the ranch in Montana and that you got the chance to drive through, and hike some trails, in Yellowstone National Park. I need you to be more adventurous. You need to go places so you can take cool pictures and post them on Instagram. Your fans are waiting! Don’t make them wait, it’s rude.
  7. Your body better be toned because we made a deal at the end of 2020 to start walking again. And now that the holidays are over, it’s time to get back on the treadmill. You even ordered wireless earbuds so there’s no excuse!
  8. You finished that oil painting, right? It better be hanging up in your office by the time you read this. (You and I both know I’m talking about the paint-by-number Paris scene you bought. Cause we both know you don’t suddenly develop artistic talent this next year. Paint-by-number is about as close as you’re going to get to being a painter – be real).
  9. How is that calligraphy coming along? Have you even practiced? I expect you to at least have the fundamentals of calligraphy down by December 2021.
  10. And lastly – what is your doctor’s name? Because I’m SURE you will have obtained a family doctor by next year. You’ve been putting this task off for years and it’s time you practice what you preach. You can’t expect the boys to make an effort to get a family doctor if you don’t have one. Don’t be a tool, Karen.
  11. What is the political climate like? I bet things are worse. Especially if Biden gets into office. I hope that’s not true but I’m guessing we’re working harder and getting less money.
  12. How much longer did the lockdowns happen?
  13. Do the boys have girlfriends?
  14. Are you still working at the hospital?

Listen Future Me, I know 2020 was rough. It was sad, depressing, frustrating and unbelievable but 2021 will be better, so make the most of it. (Please tell me 2021 is better???)

XOXO

Me

Dear So-and-So

Dear Grandma

Dear Grandma:

I’m sorry I wasn’t a better granddaughter.

I deeply regret not making more of an effort to get to know you; I have no one to blame for that but me.

No one.

I take full responsibility for not making the time to come see you, to talk to you, to laugh with you, to make fun of grandpa with you – to this day, I can’t tell you why I was like that. There is no one thing anyone said or did to make me act that way.

Perhaps there is something wrong with me, emotionally. I often wonder about this as I’m affectionate to those I love, but only to a point.

Perhaps I’m afraid to love too much.

Perhaps this is something I need to come to grips with and get over. For can we really love one person too much?

I’m so sorry that the latter part of your life was so difficult. I can’t imagine what your life must have been like as the disease took over your body. I’m sure you were scared, perhaps just a bit angry, and I’m so sorry I wasn’t there to offer support. I think, and please, this is not a justification, but my attempt to understand my behavior, I think that I thought that since you had reached a point where you didn’t recognize those closest to you, why in the world would you recognize me? The absentee granddaughter?

Even when I consciously realized what an ass I was being, I still didn’t make amends. I guess, again, not excusing, I thought that by that time, it was too late. I didn’t want you to think I was just showing up because I wanted something from you. That was I being nice just so you would look favorably on me. I think that thought bothered me SO much that I did the exact opposite, I just never made the effort.

Words can not express how hard this is to write and put on display. It showcases a part of my personality that I am not proud of, and yet, I feel like I should stop trying to pretend it doesn’t exist and address it, for I do not want to grow into an old, bitter woman because of this personality defect.

Though this might have been a better post to keep private, for my eyes only, I wanted to show people that I’m not perfect, that I have made mistakes. By posting this, I hope people learn from my mistakes and take my regrets to heart; please, don’t make the same poor decisions I did when it comes to treating your family.

Family is everything. I know my behavior doesn’t exactly support that declaration, but trust me, I believe it from the bottom of my heart.

There is no excuse to treat family as if they don’t exist. None. I have no excuses, I will not attempt to excuse my behavior away – but I want to be honest because it does little good to try to fool myself, or more importantly, others into thinking I’m this good person, when I’m clearly not.

I have flaws. I have made mistakes. And not keeping you and grandpa in my life, on a continuous basis, is clearly one of the bigger ones.

Rest in peace, grandma. I shall see you when Christ comes for us.

Love,

Karen

(Comments are closed. This is too personal and too emotional to discuss).

Dear So-and-So

Dear Future Daughters-in-Law

Can we talk?

Great. Have a seat.

No. That wasn’t a suggestion, have a seat. This is going to take a while.

Look. I have a confession to make. I’ve been a rather …. erhm … controlling mother to my boys. And as a result, they will not tolerate a woman who tells them what to do, yells at them, or tries to brush their unruly, greasy hair before going to a family function; I know these things.

So, word to the wise – don’t do those things if you hope to have one inkling of a chance with my sons.

In addition, it’s crucial that you have a sense of humor. Not only for my boys’ sakes, but for me, too. For you see? I have a rather warped sense of humor and tend to find the funny in the weirdest places. And if you don’t laugh?

I won’t like you.

I like being around people who can laugh at themselves. I like being around people who don’t take themselves too seriously. And it’s important that I like you. Why? Because if I don’t like you, I’m betting my sons’ won’t like you either.

And even if they do, you’re going to, at some point, HAVE to deal with me.

So. Laugh, damn it. It’ll make life a lot easier.

I also should point out, that if you talk too loud? Or you think you’re a know-it-all? I will take great delight in bringing you down a notch or two. Because even though I admire confidence and independence? I do not tolerate cocky ignorance very well. So, check your b*tchy attitudes at the door, please.

But if you must know the deal breaker with me? Here it is:

You must treat my sons like the gods they are. Because even though they are sweet, kind, gentle, caring, intelligent, sweet, handsome, courteous boys, they are human and if you trample on their self-esteem too much, you’ll have me to deal with.

And my mama bear getup? Is scary. (Trust me on this one).

I also feel compelled to add, that you are not allowed to get in the way of my son’s ambitions in life. Just as I fully expect them to support you in what ever you decide to do, I absolutely expect you to do the same. So, if he would like to occasionally (and I say occasionally because his first obligation is to be there for YOU) go out with his friends and have a good time, without you, then you must allow him to do so. It doesn’t mean he’s leaving you, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you, it just means he needs a little guy time.

Get over yourself. ‘Kay?

In exchange for your understanding and your willingness to bend over backwards to make sure he is happy and well-cared for, I will guarantee he will be an excellent husband, and someday father to your future children.

How can I guarantee that, you ask? Because I’ve taken great pains to teach my sons that if and/or when they reach the stage in their life that they have children, it is their top priority to make sure that that child grows up with both a mother AND a father. Even if that means they have to endure hardship (i.e. YOU) to obtain that goal.

But it would be so much more fun, for all of us, if you were the sort of girl that made it easy on all of us.

That is why I pray, every night and any other time that girls are mentioned (which seems to be more and more frequently, much to my chagrin), that when my sons choose a life-long mate, that they take the time to really choose wisely. That they don’t make any rash decisions (or DO anything rash, if you catch my drift) that they will then be forced to re-live either on a daily basis or anytime during visitation rights.

I’m writing this letter to you, not to scare you (unless it’s working and then, well, good), but to forewarn you that I don’t tolerate fools very well. In fact, it’s safe to say, I have zero patience for weak, wishy-washy women who blow dinner into a full-scale drama-fest every other night. That if you have any hope of getting along with me, you will know your mind, say what you mean and mean what you say. And yet, be willing to give in gracefully and to treat those around you fairly, when the situation warrants such behavior.

I respect a woman who is fair. Who is not afraid to admit when she’s wrong and to keep her emotions both in check and under control.

If you can do all of that, if you think you might be the woman of my sons’ dreams, then step forward and let the games begin.

Sincerely,

Your future mother-in-law

P.S. I’m really NOT as scary as I make myself out to be. No, actually, I’m worse.

P.S.S. Okay, so I exaggerated a bit on that last P.S. I will make every effort to get along with you.

P.S.S.S. But if I’ve been fair with you and you STILL act like a brat? All bets are off, missy.