If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know I like saving things. Scraps of paper, wooden spools, thread, and maybe a cocktail napkin or two. I’m not a pack rat nor am I a hoarder.
Fortunately, I have a few friends who are also collectors and when they get tired of saving the letters I’ve written to them, they package them up and return them to me. Back in my possession are over 1,000 selected letters, cards, and postcards I wrote to my BFF Samantha Van Hopper in the 15 years I lived in the chicken coop-sized condo.
Last night, instead of going to bed early, I read old letters, searching for blog ideas. I found this Beau Brummel card.
I cropped out the text which read “Who’s your fat friend?” Apparently, Brummel said it back in 1812, about the Prince of Wales. But that’s his story, not mine. Inside the card, I had written “I am your fat friend. And don’t say it isn’t so. The reason I can’t get up in the morning is because my bed is my fat coffin.”
I’m glad that phase passed.
There were references to the carefree days at the University of Maine at Orono and Lady Alone Traveler trips to homecoming and campus events. Like one letter I called “Remains of the Orono Day…”
I have returned from the ribbon cutting at the Shawn Walsh Center, apparently mistaken as a hockey wife. Almost everyone I met asked “whose wife are you?” Sadly, I could not claim to be the wife of any former player, but it was fun to live vicariously for a moment and a bittersweet compliment. I even got hit on by a former defenseman, but these men are so short without their skates. It could never work out.
There were many, many paragraphs devoted to condominium living. Stories about the kidney-shaped pool in the middle of the complex and the sounds of upstairs neighbors. Samantha must have been hoping I’d write a book some day with all this evidence.
There were disappointments:
Jane Doe SAID she was going to send me a sample of some marvelous skin care products, but when I got her mailing, all that was included were these LOUSY lipstick samples. I’ve had these before and they’re not enough to cover a small pimple, let alone your lips. These (makeup brand) promoters ought to be ashamed to consider this worthy of giving. What are your thoughts? Were you able to cover your lips with this crud?
There were sympathetic letters, devoted to hair dilemmas:
I am saddened to read of your coiffure woes. The problem, my dear, is that it does appear you are under the spell of bad hair color divas. It’s not rocket science, but it is INDEED a science, and most of the stupenagles working in hair salons just want to sell you some high-priced shampoo, even if your blonde hair is as black as Elvis’s when you leave.
There was the “heart attack” card, from February, 2006.
I read your recent letter with great interest. I, too, have been feeling like I will have a heart attack soon…in all seriousness, you simply cannot have a heart attack. Please, girl, keep it together until we can have another trip to Mabel’s Lobster Claw, OK?
It’s funny how cavalierly we joke about such things when we’re young, like it won’t happen to us.
And even though I might have been rather casual about heart attacks, I took my ultimate demise very seriously in these letters.
Only YOU may speak at my funeral and if I am married at the time of my death, my current HUSBAND may speak, if it is his desire. I would like the closing hymn to be “How Great Thou Art” and if you can get it played by some hillbillies with hammer dulcimers, all the better. I should probably line them up now. I would like Proverbs 31:10 – 31 read. I would also like two passages from the book of Hebrews worked in. I will write out the whole agenda for the ceremony once I find my burial plot, which will probably be in the next year or so, God willing. If I should die before the selection of a burial plot, please save this letter as proof of my wishes. This is the basic skeleton of my funeral, no pun intended. Thank you.
Oh brother, how bombastic! I hope I’m just a smidge humbler these days. And I still haven’t purchased my burial plot…
These letters, these pompous missives, kept me up late last night, howling with laughter. Mostly, the laughter was at myself. Laughter is good medicine, no? One of these days, I’ll have to burn them all, but not today, because I need them around for the next episodes of writer’s block.
It’s Friday, do keep laughing! And a shout out to Nick Lowe and Rockpile for additional inspiration.