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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I Am Now Taking Applications For A Personal Assistant

The hours are unreliable; I may become verbally abusive at some point; and it’s an unpaid position, of course, but it’s an excellent opportunity to…

Wait! Where are you going?!

I became aware of my need for help this morning. While I have successfully tracked, carded, and gifted all known birthdays this year up to this point, my sister’s was over the weekend and one of my nephew’s was yesterday. And I didn’t notice until this morning.

Sigh. Now I have to buy those “Happy Belated Birthday” cards.

And honestly, if I were as smart as I like to pretend to be, wouldn’t I already have a stack of these in a drawer somewhere, just for such occasions?

I used to not even notice that I hadn’t noticed. So at least I’ve matured that much. Events came and went, and outside of having an almost pathological need to send a Christmas card to almost everyone I’ve ever met, I was pretty lousy at acknowledging life’s milestones. I don’t know if it’s because I have the memory of a sheep, I’m a bad person, or what.

And it’s not like I don’t keep in touch. I’m not a complete ogre! Sometimes, I send letters just for fun, just so that friends have something to open other than bills. (That reminds me: Time to send my sister another coupon for 50 cents off Bean-O or Depends or something equally as horrifying. She doesn’t need them, but why wait?!)

But cards? Why should I spend $3 to $5 for a card so that someone can open it, say, “Oh, that’s nice. Pearl remembered the anniversary of my birth.” The card then goes on a mantle (or, more likely, the 21st century equivalent of the mantle, the TV) or is affixed to the fridge with a magnet and is then, two weeks later, thrown away, or, hopefully recycled.

Would it be wrong for me to write a “birthday letter”, offer a couple of words of encouragement/unsolicited advice and then just put the $4 I would’ve spent on the card in the envelope? I know that I personally would rather receive a letter than a card…

Dear Pearl,

Well, I see you’ve managed to hang on another year. Good for you! I would’ve thought those years of depravity would’ve caught up with you by now, but there’s just no way of knowing, is there? Well, you know what they say about only the good dying young, huh?! Ha ha!

What are you now, anyway? Early 60s, right?

Anyway, best wishes and keep it up.


A Friend

p.s. You realize you still owe me $20, right?

Honestly, though, I know that acknowledging the important days in the lives of those we love is what we do when we, well, love. I think I’m just bugged by the cards and how often we let the card do the talking. Think of all the cards you’ve received – and sent – that are only signed, no notes or pictures included?

Well, not this consumer, not this time! It’s time I took a stand (again). This year, my sister and my nephew are getting a letter from me – handwritten! – whether they like it or not!

I’m still thinking that a personal assistant may be the way to go here, though. I mean, I’m a busy woman!

Hey. Maybe I could have my assistant write those birthday letters for me…

No. That would be wrong.

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