I seldom say what’s really on my mind. It’s not that I lie; I frequently just don’t say anything at all. Sometimes I remain quiet because I just don’t think of the right thing to say in the appropriate amount of time, but more often I’m silent because I don’t have the courage to say what I really think. I don’t want to offend anyone. My mom and grandma both tried to teach me to be a lady, and according to them, ladies are always tactful and polite, non-confrontational and kind.
Sometimes being a lady sucks.
So with apologies to Mom and Grandma, here’s what I really want to say:
Dear Charlie Sheen: Get help. Grow up. It really is that simple.
Dear Skinny Girl in the String Bikini: I was here first. Get off my beach. And take all your skinny little friends with you. (And that fat guy in the Speedo who’s been slobbering all over himself while watching you prance up and down the beach–yeah, take him with you, too.)
Dear Disgruntled Wal-Mart Customer: It’s the holidays–peace and good cheer, remember? It’s not the cashier’s fault you’ve been waiting in line for 15 minutes, it’s not her fault you couldn’t find half of what was on your list because you couldn’t manuever through the crowds, and it’s not her fault Fluffy’s favorite canned dog food went up 29¢ since last week. Can’t you see she’s having a long day with no end in sight? Leave her alone and take your cranky ol’ self on home now.
Dear Zac: Oldest child of mine, you are dearest to my heart, and you have always been my favorite (but please don’t tell your brothers).
Dear Waitress: Why, yes, I believe I will have dessert. Triple chocolate cheesecake, perhaps? Life is too short to always skip dessert, right?
Dear Small-Town Cop with Little Man Syndrome: I have great respect for law enforcement officials who every day put their lives on the line to protect me and all the other citizens of this great country. I also realize that I deserve a speeding ticket for driving 40 mph in a 35 mph zone through “your” town. I’m guilty, I’m caught, and I will pay my fine. However (just so you know), I’ve been driving longer than you’ve been alive, and this is my very first speeding ticket, so is it really necessary for you to lecture me and to threaten to sentence me to driving school if I ever speed through “your” town again? I don’t think so. (And by the way, Punk, your pants are unzipped.)
Dear Lady Buying Cigarettes in the Convenience Store: I’m assuming the small child you are carrying on your hip is yours. Perhaps you have not noticed, but his clothes are filthy, and his little face is smeared with dirty, dried snot. If you can afford to buy cigarettes, you can afford to buy soap. I’m just saying.
Dear Sam: My blessed middle child, you are dearest to my heart, and you have always been my favorite (but please don’t tell your brothers).
Dear State of California: First I read about Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneger announcing that welfare recipients can no longer use state-issued debit cards at medical marijuana shops, psychics, bail bond establishments, bingo halls, cruise ships and tattoo parlors. Really? Shouldn’t that have been understood from the beginning? No wonder your state is in financial distress. Then I heard that more than 1,000 rats (that’s right–rats!) had been “rescued” from a California home featured on the show, Hoarders. The rats were transported to a local pet store and are currently awaiting adoption. Seriously? In my neck of the woods, we kill the disease-carrying rodents. That’s just weird.
Dear Elizabeth Edwards: I am saddened to hear that you have lost the battle against breast cancer. You were an inspiration to millions of women, and I admired you for your courage, your dignity, and your class. May peace be with you.
Dear Doctor: Please stop telling me that I need to “eliminate” some of the stress in my life. I have my job, my husband, and my children; which of these are you suggesting I eliminate? Perhaps instead you could advise me on how to better handle the stressors in my life–but what do I know? I’m just the patient.
Dear Dressing Room Attendant: Seriously, if I needed your help, I would ask for it. Please stop opening the dressing room door while I’m changing clothes; you’re creeping me out. (And if I had known my semi-nude body was going to be on display today, I would have worn better underwear!)
Dear Ms. Payne, Wherever You Are: In your senior English comp class so long ago, you taught me how to be a better writer and how to be a stronger woman. Thanks for your wisdom and encouragement, and thanks especially for telling me that the only thing a man could do that I couldn’t was pee on a wall (and why would I want to do that anyway?!).
Dear Lucas: My beautiful youngest child, you are dearest to my heart, and you have always been my favorite (but please don’t tell your brothers).
Dear Julian Assange of WikiLeaks Fame: I am a firm believer in freedom of speech and freedom of the press. However, I also believe that with every freedom comes responsibility. When you knowingly released information that would endanger the lives of countless innocent people, you acted irresponsibly, and therefore I agree with those who are now trying to deprive you of your freedoms. Sorry dude.
Dear Ralph Waldo and Henry David: For a couple of old guys who died well over 100 years ago, you guys still rock! Thanks for all the inspiration!
Dear Weight Watchers: Do you have any weight loss programs for middle-aged women who would like to lose about 20 pounds but don’t want to work that hard?
Dear Local TV Weatherman: Please stop toying with my emotions. First you tell me there’s a good chance of snow next Sunday night, and I’m already dreaming of a possible Monday morning school cancellation. Then you take the snow completely out of your forecast. Then you put it back in but on Saturday instead. And now you’re telling me that the snow will most likely stay to the north. You’re killing me!
Dear Lady Gaga: A dress of raw meat–are you kidding me? Thank you for helping me to realize that I’m not that weird after all.