An Open Letter To People Who Write Open Letters

You wanted to right a wrong. Or, wrong a right. Or something like that.

If you think I looked at your child funny, or asked the wrong question about why your hair was that color, or if you saw me reach for the grocery store conveyor belt divider too soon, why didn’t you say something?

Dear People Who Write Open Letters,

It’s unlikely that you will see this, since you're probably busy writing an Open Letter, but I want you to really know my feelings on what happened. You see, you saw me the other day, thinking I was someone who cared. You rammed right into me and gave me that look. The look that said, Please, please tell me your deepest insecurities cloaked in self-righteousness.

With luck, you had hoped for your message to go viral. Instead, you created an epidemic of apathy. Contagion can only be controlled by Patient Zero so much before the original intent of the message is lost.

Some read your letter and thought, what a smug asshole. Some people read your letter and high-fived each other, albeit through the Internet, so it just looked like a teeny-tiny Lilliputian hand or perhaps a winking smiley face. You do know that’s just a semicolon and a parenthesis, right? A half-parenthesis only, in fact. You aren’t even worth the closure.

Emojis aside, I know you meant well. You wanted to right a wrong. Or wrong a right. Or something like that. Right? OK that’s bullshit. That was a total lie. I don’t think you meant well. You wanted to vomit your discontent to the world. Isn’t that embarrassing? Or is it like a seven-cocktails-and-two-shots kind of vomit? At which point you don’t care anymore who is watching. Or listening. 

If you think I looked at your child funny, or asked the wrong question about why your hair was that color, or if you saw me reach for the grocery store conveyor belt divider too soon, why didn’t you say something? Maybe I would have told you that your daughter looks just like my daughter. I haven’t seen her in four years. Maybe I would tell you that I’ve been looking to change my own hair color and I love the verve in yours. Maybe I just wanted to unload my kitty litter and toilet paper and ramen and 7Up before my arms fell off. I forgot a cart; sorry. 

I realize you are related to "10 Things Not to Say To…" And sure, I can’t imagine how tough that is. A numbered list is: 1. more Internet friendly, given people’s attention spans, 2. easily paired with images or better yet, GIFs, 3. often confused with "10 Ways You Know You’re From…" and therefore may mutually benefit from the same level of fame, and 4. more likely to find its way onto your computer screen, perhaps even bookmarked, shared, or, the e-myth that we only hear of  printed out.

Sometimes we just don’t get to choose our lineage. But we can choose our friends. Or acquaintances. Can’t we be friends?

Sincerely,
That Person Who Read Your Smug Open Letter And Did Not Feel It Warranted An Emoji Lineup

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