Wednesday, November 12, 2014

6.12 Dream - Letters I Wish I Could Send

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twelfth day of each month is "Dream."
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Dear Unnamed Relative,
Thanks for the unsolicited Facebook message in which you bitched me out for not acknowledging my appreciation on Veterans Day. Your insinuations that I don't understand the military life, despite my upbringing as a child of two members of the armed forces, despite my work with college students, many of whom have served overseas, and despite my every effort to thank every active and retired member of the military I saw yesterday (or any day, frankly), really pissed me of.

Also, you don't get to say that my father would be ashamed of me. You don't get to say that I am not worthy of my father's name. You don't.  You don't understand our relationship. It was complicated. It was hard. He did not walk me down the aisle at my wedding because I am not property and he was too sick to know what was going on that day. I don't write remembrances to him on Facebook because social media is not the proper place for that. I don't fucking link to his wall in every post because it's just not who I am.

You, sir, have been officially taken off my holiday card list and are no longer my friend on Facebook.

NGS


Dear Unnamed Speaker at School,
Why do you lie to all those impressionable young people?  Stop telling them that they can do anything that they want to do if they put their minds to it. It's just not true.  We all have cognitive and physical differences, as well as life responsibilities, that may make things impossible.  I cannot be a linebacker for the NFL, no matter how badly I want to - I'd need to gain a couple of hundred pounds and spontaneously become a man. I cannot be a cartographer, no matter how much I love to look at maps, because I have no spatial reasoning skills.  I thought it took a lot of courage for you to speak those words when there was a person sitting in the front row in a wheelchair who has had both of his legs amputated.

Also, it was all well and good for you to run off and run ultra-marathons, bike across the country, and row across an ocean. You are young, healthy, and privileged in terms of education, income, and race.  You have access to resources that a poor single parent in inner-city Milwaukee could only dream of. You have the ability to plan long-term and the discipline to do it.  You have a supportive family to fall back on if you fail.  You, my friend, are one of the lucky ones.  I'm not taking away any of your accomplishments - you go, girl!  But I do want you to know that the lies you are spouting can be harmful.

I understand what you're trying to say, I really do.  We can do more than we frequently give ourselves credit for, we should push ourselves, physically and mentally, and we should create goals that are achievable, but ambitious.  We should be creative with obstacles and try some out-of-the-box thinking.  I don't disagree with any of that - but that's not what you said. You said I could do anything if I wanted to. Well, I want to go to Saturn, but that's just not going to happen.

Words. They mean things.

Respectfully,

NGS

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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

2 comments:

  1. I am super pissed off at your relative. What the hell?

    ReplyDelete
  2. And...another reason I hate Facebook. People comment on what you said. People comment on what you did not say. People make their little comments, their little asides and their giant rants. PEOPLE. [/littlerant]

    ReplyDelete

 
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