I was recently called a “hoarder,” by a considerable friend, I won’t name names. You know who you are. I do not keep expired food in my fridge like an obese or last season’s shoes piled in my closet like Lindsay Lohan, no, I keep letters, cards, and now emails. Here is my reasoning; it’s an emotion--a feeling--a moment in time that someone had enough cajones to share with me. Things are easily forgotten and therefore, I can keep those memories alive years later (perhaps I have a hard time letting go)! Non-the-less, I was in my home town yesterday and I had to clean out my closet because my little sister is taking over my old bedroom (quite the masterpiece of a room if I might add). I found two boxes buried in the back of my closet underneath stuffed animals and my high school cheerleading uniform (cheering in high school, not my coolest point). In one of the small boxes, was every letter my first boyfriend ever wrote me in numerical order. Who would have thought I was so organized? The letters were more than hilarious and sweet. The boyish handwriting brought me back to knee highs, and Mary-Jane’s, and passing notes in the hall way! He spoke about our friends, going away to college, and of course, all of the things that seem so life or death at 16 years old! The letters were magical and right there, in those letters, Anthony took me back to the innocence of a first-time-love! I will not share his letters here in my blog, but I will share a letter I found in a separate box. This one was written to my mother… I never gave it to her and it is probably with good reason. Please enjoy:
Mom, I separated the darks and the lights and put them into the wash. I even put the delicates up to dry, just as you taught me. I put SPF on my face before I went out to face the day; I know how you get about the sun hitting my face. Why are you so scared of showing your age? Mom, I will fight the wrinkles as best I can. I use non-fat milk in my cereal and the “Fat Milk” for dipping my Oreo Cookies. I hang my clothes up directly after I take them off, that way my room does not become messy. When I buy shoes, I make sure their reasonably priced, that way I won’t feel bad when the heels give out on me. I leave the chicken out over night to unthaw and save the bread to toast as my last task when serving dinner. I will not allow my bread to burn as you always do. I will go to church and pray on my own time, and in my own way, because that is the way I found the Lord. I chew my food with my mouth closed and would never dare put my elbows on the table; instead I will clear the dirty dishes and load the dishwasher. I will sit up straight and present myself as a young woman, but I will go on dates that you will not approve of sometimes, but I have to learn in my own ways. I sing loud in the car and at all hours of the day. I speak my mind and clear my conscious more than you would like, I get that from my father, which makes you hate that about me even more. That boy was just not good enough for you heading down the wrong path! I try to stay away from fast food, I know carbohydrates are bad, but I love “In n Out.” No matter how hard I try, the pedal will not go the speed limit. I got numerous speeding tickets, but I have to learn in my own ways. This is how I apply my eye shadow, and “Mac” is the brand I use. These are the hip-huggers that I wear and that go way too low; these are the mid-drifts that I wear, but I have to learn in my own ways. I memorized my father’s eyes, and know when he is not well. I was always his favorite, but I am his daughter and you are his ex-wife. I am able to take out the trash, but simply do not, just as I know how to vacuum, but wait for the cleaners instead. I take care of myself when I am sick; I go to the doctors and then the pharmacy. I am growing up and coming into my own with your help and with my own sensibility; how hard is it to take out the trash? And yes, it is that hard to take out the trash; it is gross. Xoxo
I can only imagine the payback I will have to endure with my own daughter one day after a letter like that! Who would have thought this letter, nine years later, would go from serious to hilarious? My Mom and I laughed for hours yesterday and it only made life easier on the better child… Madeline! I am sure you can all imagine the intelligent words of my young love at this time, but I will save that for my book one day!
Save whatever your heart desires,
P.s. When did writing a good letter die? Don't let it die!