Dear Friends and Family,
Because you are people who care, as it were, you give. Lovely. For this, I probably should be grateful, but I’m not. Not for all things, anyway. Here is a list of things that, if you really cared, you would stop giving me.
Zucchini or anything else from your garden
I don’t labor to grow things that will rot if they go unused and then give them away because that’s silly. You did this silly thing, growing tons of zucchini. You don’t need it (don’t you remember this from last year?), and I don’t want it. I think it’s partly supposed to be quaint, a call to the past when we lived off the land, and used team work to survive. Ten pounds of rotting vegetable on my counter, guilting me into cooking in the heat of summer isn’t quaint to me, though. Perhaps you should join the 4-H or become a farmer. It’s your relish to make. Start choppin.
Pictures of your children/grandchildren/any children
There certainly IS cake all over his face! He really is very dear. I’m truly glad he gives you so much joy. What am I supposed to do with this picture, though? Would you like one in return? I have a waterfall pic from a hiking trip, one of my dog, and one of the toenail I needed to get a better look at.
You: Fumbling for plastic wrap.
Me: Waiting, in my coat, itchy keys, impatience, a smile. It was a lovely dinner party, it was, but I stayed this long to be polite and now I’m staying longer. Oh, yes, shoot, that’s the wrong container.
You: There! Now you don’t have to cook tomorrow!
Me: Yeah! I was thinking about lunch tomorrow and wondering… oh, sheesh, lunch! Now, I don’t have to do that!
I mean, c’mon. We’re not in college anymore. I have a home, a kitchen, a grocery store. Your meal was beautiful mostly for your company. I probably won’t eat the reheated whatever anyway. In a way, you’ve gifted me a parting chore– to wash and return your container– when we both live in a world where no one has time for that. Keep your Tupperware. I’ll keep coming back, I promise.
Seriously, folks. I despise talking on the phone. I smile and laugh, sure. And it’s not all fake. But holding a warm block to my head and having to get through life one-handed while we talk, frankly, is not worth it. The phone is a cage, a chamber of forced yammer. I love you, and I’d much rather write.
Contacts in cities where you have a cousin
I don’t know your cousin and I don’t like most people. That’s why I’m going to a city where I don’t know most people.
I dunno. This piece once had a lot of energy about it. It was supposed to be funny, but it came off as angry. The list was a lot longer, but it was reaching. I don’t want to kill it entirely, but I think I’m going to abandon it in the woods. -E