Tag Archives: holidays

Patriotic Pyromania

I hold these truths to be self evident, that I love sleeping in the summer.

Well, I also love sleeping in the winter, spring and fall—I love sleeping—but I especially love sleeping in the summer. The windows open, a gentle breeze blowing through, the sounds of nature serving as a gentle lullaby. Minus the occasional manic cricket cackle, I consider summer sleeping quite possibly one of my favorite activities.

In fact, I actually think about these things mid-winter when I’m huddled in bed under blankets in the fetal position with the windows sealed shut and the humidifier/heater going full blast. The promise of summer sleeping—along with the promise of baseball season and fresh green beans— is what gets me through.

So imagine my displeasure every year around this time when my peaceful nights are no more, when I climb on top of the covers only to be jolted out of my meditative trance five minutes later by what is assumed to be either an apparent drive-by or carpet bombing.

I do not live in either a ghetto or a war zone, so that leaves one other option—pyromaniacs celebrating their independence from maturity and common sense by blowing crap up.

After all, what’s more American than purchasing illegal fireworks and lighting them off in the middle of the night—or even the middle of the day—the two weeks before and the two months after the Fourth of July?

I can answer that—just about anything.

fireworks2

I’m not anti-fireworks.

I’m not talking about the normal explosives people go downtown to see on the actual Fourth of July. (Although I’m not too into that either. At first I go “oooh, ahhh, pretty” then near the end when the dog is terrified and I’m tired from lack of sleep due to constant booming for two weeks prior to that day, I’m pretty much over it and feel ready for a Valium salt lick.)

I’m talking about the idiots that shoot off bottle rockets, M80s and firecrackers, the result of which could result in either the burning down of my house or torching of my sanity.

Along with the aforementioned noise pollution, pieces of the blasted things—actual litter— will be found throughout my backyard and neighboring streets for at least the next week.

Perhaps I’m missing something here, but I just don’t see the appeal of spending large amounts of money on things that go “boom” from a shady man on the side of a road in a striped tent blasting “Born in the USA” from his mobile home.

They want loud noises?

Keeping blowing crap up at 2am, causing me to wake up and hit the deck with “Gangstas Paradise” stuck in my head. If they stop over about one minute after this happens, not only will I give them loud noises, but I can guarantee that my language will be colorful as well (“oooh, ahhh, pretty” will not be included.)

I’m not suggesting people have to stick to sparklers, colored smoke bombs and those creepy snake things that completely ruin the sidewalks forever. All I’m suggesting is that they abide by normal explosive etiquette and keep the pyromania and possible arson with a sonic boom soundtrack to the weekend of the holiday.

After all, this is a holiday to celebrate certain unalienable rights—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

In other words, a good summer night’s sleep.

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Never Any Doubt

Mother’s Day is fast approaching, which means there will probably be a (well-deserved) wave of posts honoring the women who brought us all into this world. While I always make sure to say what I mean and mean what I say, when it comes to being openly emotive and mushy?

momNot so much.

This is not a trait I inherited from my mom, as she openly proclaims her love for people and things at an almost disturbingly frequent rate, hugging people she just met and tearing up over a random card I might send in the mail.

I used to find this annoying, and to be honest, sometimes I still do. Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s often hard to relate to a virtue in someone else that you can’t easily conceive of in yourself.

But as an adult I’ve learned to navigate these differences and approach our relationship differently. She’ll never change who she is—loving, but stubborn as hell—and accepting our differences instead of constantly fighting against them has really been key as the years have gone by.

Which brings me to my point.

I’ve written about my mom’s disability before, but it can be summarized by saying she’s had 13 spinal surgeries, among other issues, and her neck and spine are completely fused.

Even though things weren’t “normal” with my mom when I was a kid—surgeries, braces, body casts—she made sure that everything else I knew was. I was raised with the knowledge that I was special, I was smart, I was loved.

Things haven’t become easier as time has gone on. I still worry about her on a daily basis, and I know she still worries about me. We both have our reasons to worry. But no matter what I might doubt in this world—myself, humanity, the validity of expiration dates on ChapStick—one thing I will never, ever doubt is the love that my mom has for me.

How she does it—how any parent does it—amazes me.

I would be a mess.

The thought of loving something that much, watching that little person leave my side or feel pain or hurt or sadness in any way, feeling so helpless as to how things might turn out—and doing most of this behind that “mom” mask of strength that so many moms seem to wear—all that would scare me to death.

But this isn’t about me.

It’s about my mom—every mom—who goes through these feelings of doubt that they’re doing things “right.”  Doubt that their children are happy and loved, that they know they’re happy and loved, that they’re protected enough but not overly so.

Maybe it’s because I’m older now or because I hear it from friends or read it on blogs, but I never fully grasped the scope and the depth of the sacrifice you all so willing make every day, most often with laughter and love. 

I thank you.

Because while I’ll never have kids of my own—my level of nurturing and dedication extends only to a (fake) houseplant—I respect the women who do, not just for what they do on a daily basis, but for who they are.

Women who worry. Women who sacrifice. Women who raise their children with the knowledge that they’re special, that they’re smart, that they’re loved and accepted—even if they’re not mushy.

I’m lucky.

I’ve never had any doubt.

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A Cease and Desist Letter to the Easter Bunny

Hello Hare,

Thank you for taking time out of your mall appearance today—I know it’s a big time of year for you—but this really can’t wait any longer.

easter-bunnypost.jpg

It has been brought to our collective attention as an overly politically correct society on a mission to banish all fun that your existence is causing some, shall we say, “issues” I would like to address.

First of all, let’s talk about this egg situation.

I realize it’s tradition for children to color and look for these Easter eggs — henceforth to be known as “Spring Spheres” or “Ornamental Orbs”— but unless we know that these are free range, organic eggs produced from chickens given nothing but a diet of gold-dusted non-GMO corn and poultry pedicures, I’m afraid this practice will have to be stopped. We simply can’t have that danger around.

While a great alternative might have been plastic eggs, there is no way to guarantee that the plastic in those eggs would be 100 percent free of BPA and polycarbonate epoxy resins. As you can understand, that would pose an equally dangerous risk.

Speaking of the eggs—excuse me, Spring Spheres/Ornamental Orbs—can we talk a bit about marketing?

Now I realize that you do some TV work on the side and that the “Cadbury” commercial was your breakout performance, but it is perpetrating false ideals about the reproductive practices of mammals.

Despite what your cavity causing, sugar pushing Satan—a.k.a. Cadbury—might think is cute in a commercial, rabbits do not lay eggs. Chickens lay eggs. This spring celebration should not have to include a discussion on the sexual cycles of Peter Cottontail or a lesson on where bunnies come from.

Unless the commercial can be changed to directly reflect the egg being excreted from the chicken—it can even be wearing those fake bunny ears—it is doing much more harm than good. Perhaps you could see about recasting that part and find work off screen as a fluffer.

Sticking with the candy, I think it goes without saying that chocolate is no longer part of this holiday unless it is of the fair trade, organic, gluten and sugar-free variety. Jelly beans? I think not. This brazen bastardization of a “bean” is the greatest insult to the (organic, pesticide-free) vegetable community since French freedom fries.

And Peeps? Really? Marshmallow “chicks”—a term some women find offensive—made of colored dies and sugared spray foam insulation? That shit has to stop.

So to wrap this up, I would like to remind you that even though you’re no longer needed to celebrate this day of spring honoring a non-denominational higher power with non-confrontational new symbols of tradition, you still have options.

Look into teaming up with a magician and be pulled out of a hat, maybe check out Pinterest and see if there are any crafting trends you could sell your fur for, look into taking up “hip hop.” (Sorry, I couldn’t resist the clever reference, although I am not implying you dabble in that terribly offensive “gangsta rap.”)

All that we ask is that you eliminate yourself from this holiday and leave us to celebrate with empty baskets but open minds! If not, we’ll have your foot on a keychain in no time.

Sincerely,

An Overly Politically Correct Society on a Mission to Banish All Fun

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A Retrospective Ramble

I realize that there are about four people on the Internet this week and even fewer people reading blogs, but I’m posting this week anyway.

I liken it to singing alone in the car in that I do it because I want to and not for an audience other than the car that pulls up next to me and sees me busting out Eminem like only a skinny Polish girl in an Equinox can do.

Anyway, I figured I would do one more holiday-centric post before getting back to “normal” posts.

I’m not one for “Year in Review” recaps, as mine would most likely just be a list of things I ate and several self-inflicted injuries with basic household objects. Granted there have been good things and bad I could reflect upon while gazing at my navel, but nobody cares about that.

Instead I was thinking it might be kind of fun to look back at what post got the most comments each month this past year and do a “Top 12 in 2012” post.

As you can see, that would have been a great idea if the year had been 2012. Needless to say, 2014 will not be the year that I attend my first Mensa meeting. It was a solid concept though, so I’m going with it anyway.

Below you will find the post that got the most comments each month (minus giveaway posts.) Some surprised me in that the more “serious” ones get more love, but then again, you people are frugal with feedback and I  have no idea what you like.

However, I forgive you because small random acts of kindness make me feel like a better person.

So even though they’re not my “best” posts or even close to my favorites, here are the ones with the most comments:

And just for craps and cackles, here are some of the top search terms that led people to my blog in just this past month:

  • Apparently the only thing I’m good at is getting totes confused
  • Crazy naked squirrels wearing thongs
  • Ho ho ho seriously she works that mistletoe like a pro
  • One-piece pajamas for women who don’t have big boobs
  • Pictures of elderly people in wheelchairs having a sock hop at nursing facility
  • Melissa Rivers looks like Steven Tyler
  • Do you like my gnome babushka?
  • Nail salon waxed off all of my eyebrows
  • Why do old people wear banana clips
  • Your lizard looks a little limp
  • I put the word bitch in my GPS and ended up in your driveway

And I’m the one who has issues?

At any rate, I thank you for reading my rambles and invite you to subscribe and continue to join me for the next 365 days—or until I run out of things to say, which could be much sooner than that or an excruciatingly longer period of time more than that.

It’s really anyone’s guess.

But upcoming posts include my Olympic dreams, a vacuum and an inconvenient truth–not all at the same time.

Here’s to 2014.

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‘Twas the Write Before Christmas

‘Twas the days before Christmas, and all through my place.

Not an idea was stirring to share on this space.

My stocking was hung by the chimney with care,

(Which meant there would be no more dusting right there.)

And then there was me, wearing what I wear best.

Yoga pants, sweatshirt, well you know the rest.

When out from the driveway, I heard something clatter,

And turned to the window to tend to the matter.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear?

But a Lexus that made me ask, “Who the heck’s here?”

The lost-looking driver sped off in a fit,

And I knew those commercials were still full of shit.

Speaking of cars and a holiday ruse,

Those dressed up like reindeer that Santa might use?

The antlers on top and a red nose to boot,

Send mixed messages when drivers give the one-fingered salute.

“Freaking merge!” “Learn to park!” They all shout and they call!

‘Tis the season for road rage for those at the mall.

But back to the story of writing this post.

Even though all the readers are logged off, like most.

I thought I could write a more eloquent poem,

That centered on exploits from June, our old gnome.

But this year he’s tanked and refuses to eat,

Except numerous Vodka-filled candy cane treats.

I’m left on my own to come up with this stuff,

Something holiday-centered, sprinkled with fluff?

I had an idea of where things could be going,

In my head all the words just kept flowing and flowing.

But then in a twinkling, I heard in my head.

The prancing and pawing of something instead.

“Did I put back the Swiffer I used on the floors?

Of course I should check, and then clean out some drawers.

Perhaps now the shower could use a good scrub?

I’ll keep writing as soon as I clean out that tub.

And now the mirror’s streaky, so that gets cleaned, too.

What’s with my eyebrows? Let’s pluck one or two.”

My eyes looked quite tired, my hair still a mess.

My chest most resembling a flat iron press.

A shirt stained with hummus not hiding that stealth.

But I laughed when I saw it in spite of myself.

Then I remembered I wanted to bake,

There were cookies and candies I still had to make!

Once that was over, with treats wrapped up tight,

I had no more excuses to not sit and write.

“Okay, back to work.” I decided right then.

I resolved to see this post right through to the end.

But then laying the cursor aside of my lines,

I somehow clicked over to go back online.

To Facebook I sprang, and of course, then to Twitter.

As long as I’m there, e-mail too. (I’m no quitter.)

My train of thought suddenly derailed again,

I figured that yoga might help me feel Zen.

small_Yoga-EXC003

Down dog and pigeon and side planks galore,

I couldn’t help notice a string on the floor.

Out came the vacuum to suck up that stuff,

And at that point I figured enough was enough.

Clearly this poem wasn’t going that great,

A much better post would just have to then wait.

So I sighed and I shrugged and then turned on TV,

And crashed on the couch for a Food Network spree.

Now where was I going with this rambling spiel?

Oh yes, for you people I like a great deal:

May your holiday bring you much joy and delight,

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

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The Grinch Goes to Therapy

The holidays are “the most wonderful time of the year” for a lot of people, but what about the post-holiday season when all the hype has died down? While many settle back into normal routines, there are a few people that find this time of year to be even more difficult.

Why?

After weeks of being in the spotlight, they’re suddenly erased from the minds of the public for another 11 long months. Needless to say, another round of therapy is in order.


Patient Name: Little Drummer Boy

Session Notes: Possible abandonment issues coupled with concern over money has manifested itself into OCD, as LDB sat on the couch “pa rum pum pum pum-ing” on the table with a pencil throughout the entire session.

Talked of his willingness to follow three “wise” men without parental guidance. Expressed concern over lack of money and having no gifts to bring and asked to put his name on the card of the wise man who brought gold because he “had no idea what Frankincense or Myrrh are.”

Interested in starting a boy band like One Direction and naming it North Star. We’re working through this one.


Patient Name: Rudolph

Session Notes: Self-esteem issues evident by eagerness to guide the sleigh of seasonal employer (who was initially freaked out by his “abnormal” nose) after being told he would never join the flying reindeer team (a team that teased him mercilessly and refused to let him join in any reindeer games.)

This, combined with the fact his own father forced him to cover his nose in black dirt, has also led to a slight alcohol dependence evidenced by a bright red nose in clear weather and a strong smell of Jack Daniels.

Suggested finding a new crowd to hang out with — Blitzen and Vixen are no help—and perhaps seeking employment with Hermey to open a thriving dental practice on the Island of Misfit Toys.


Patient Name: Frosty the Snowman

Session Notes: A bit bipolar, no pun intended. Wavers between overconfidence—“I’ll be back again some day!” with a tendency to hit on married women, “I can do the job while I’m in town!”— and anxiety over the threat of global warming, not to mention the fact that he basically lets children dress him in produce and trash.

Feels people forget about him once it gets warm, which is a valid concern, and tends to overcompensate with streaks of merry mania. Suggested moving to a permanently colder climate and finding a job as an ice cream truck driver. Given his appeal to children, it seems like a natural fit.


Patient Name: Grinch

Session Notes: Physician-ordered session after patient’s heart “grew three sizes” and raised cardiac concerns. Also had a brief charge of theft by police. Seems anxiety has been plaguing patient since whole town has taken to ostracizing him for bad behavior.

Cited a song created about him in which various parts are likened to “a greasy black peel, a three decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich,” that his heart’s “a dead tomato splotched” and that he has “garlic in his soul.”

To be honest, I tuned him out after “garlic in your soul,” as that sounds delicious. And living on top of a mountain away from the town with only his dog? Seems like a good plan to me. I don’t really see much of an issue.

And now I’m hungry.

I think that my work here is done.

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A Humble Holiday Letter

Seasons Greetings!

Can you believe it’s already the holiday season again? This year’s perfectly delightful note is being sent on paper I made myself (check out my store on Etsy!) to tell you what we have been up to (in case you don’t follow my Top 100 mommy blog.)

The hubs got another promotion that we’re all just thrilled about. It means longer hours, but that’s okay seeing as we haven’t been sleeping in the same bed for the past few months, anyway. But we still see each other in our weekly therapy sessions—it’s so important to make time for a date night!

Earlier this year Alexander won the Local County Quiz Bowl for Gifted and Talented Blond Children, and he also volunteers to teach multiplication to less fortunate kids who have to shop at The Target and similar shops. We’re so proud that he gives back.

It’s been a little bit rougher with big sister Alexandra this year, but great news! She was finally paroled from juvenile detention last month. Although she remains on house arrest, having her at home has really helped us bond (no pun intended.)

Dr. Phil recommends doing activities together, so we’ve created several decorative adornments for the house tether she wears on her ankle. They’re really quite lovely!

Anywho, it snowed last week, so I got up early and made a sled with my trusty glue gun and old barn wood. While the glue set and the homemade bread was rising, I churned the butter, cured the bacon and squeezed the oranges for the 20 guests we had over for our annual 7-course brunch.

(Secret time! I didn’t have time to blow glass for new glasses and goblets, so I used the ones I had on hand.) 

The hubs was able to pull himself away from work, Alexander serenaded the guests on a violin he whittled himself and of course Alexandra wasn’t going anywhere, so it was really a delightful way to spend the afternoon. We were all just really tickled!

Well, I must run. I need to soak the herbs for my homemade deodorant before a mani/pedi with the gals. Busy, busy, busy!

We hope all is well on your end!

Happy Holidays!

Pollyanna


Dear Polly:

I’m writing this on the back of an old grocery list, so pay no attention to the tea and hummus stains. I just got home from a full day of work and am cleaning up cat puke again, but least the carpets get cleaned!

I haven’t received a promotion, but I did dream of work last night before going into the office this morning, so I suppose you could say I’m still living the dream! To be honest, I’m not that impressed.

Still no husband over here either, but a 93-year-old man at the old people’s home called me “Sir,” so it’s not like I don’t have options. Maybe I should pretty up my own feet, but it’s been so long since my last pedicure that the salon girl would probably recommend amputation instead. I just wear socks.

Sorry to here about the incident with Alexandra, but when life knocks you down to your knees, remember you’re in the perfect position to look under the couch for dropped snacks!

Speaking of which, the smoke alarm is going off, so that means my dinner is done.

Talk to you later! 

Abby

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Holiday Hints (not from) Heloise

There are a lot of weird things we do around the holidays that wouldn’t be, should I say, socially acceptable any other time of year. People put a lot of pressure on themselves—and reindeer antlers on their cars— to uphold these traditions, which can sap the spirit right out of the season.

Do not end up like drunk Uncle June under the tree.

Well, my festive friends. I’m once again here to offer some tips.

So put on your ugly sweater and pour yourself a cup of alcoholic pancake batter—also known as eggnog—and let’s begin.

Holiday Hints (not From) Heloise

Deck the Halls

First of all, there’s the whole matter of decorations. In a seemingly paradoxical twist, people chop down trees from outdoors like amateur lumberjacks to bring into the house before putting lights from indoors back outside.

I’ll leave exterior illumination to all you Clark Griswolds out there. But when it comes to the inside décor, I suggest it is best done in stages:

1) Binge clean, knowing you won’t want to move the crap off the mantle to dust for at least the next month.

2) Find the fragile decorations in the box labeled “Don’t Set Anything On Top Of” at the bottom of a stack of boxes.

3) Sit on the couch with your beverage of choice, stare at the boxes and hope for a holiday miracle.

4) Hang old socks by the fireplace and then tie foliage—a.k.a. the mistletoe — above a doorway to encourage awkward displays of affection between people who accidently stop there to ask where you keep the good wine.

5) Run out of tinsel for the tree, thread aluminum foil through a shredder. If tree is fake, consider leaving it up all year to avoid having to haul it back out. Decorate it for various holidays. Use the branches to dry out your socks.

It’s Santa!

Speaking of Santa, technically speaking parents are lying, as sitting on the lap of a possible pedophile from the polar peninsula wouldn’t be encouraged in the middle of May when Little Suzy wants a pony.

But much like push-up bras, I fully support this hopeful yet delusional concept. After all, it sounds much better than, “Hey kids! There’s a fat guy with OCD (Making a list! Checking it twice!) employing midgets who will break into your home, eat your food and leave gifts, but only after watching your every move throughout the year!”

Anyway, with Santa comes presents, and with presents comes wrapping. While it’s lovely to have sparkling seasonal paper, sometimes you get stuck in a pinch. In those instances, I suggest using “Happy Birthday” paper and writing “Jesus” after it.

If you’re not religious, write “Rudolph.”  After being ostracized for the whole year, let the poor little guy catch a break.

Visions of Sugar Plums 

People who normally make nothing more than dinner reservations take to playing the role of Martha Stewart. They give away slightly burned cookies and “traditional family foods” that everyone in the family is sick of after two weeks under the guise of it being a gift.

If you’re not into baking, do not despair! Regift the goodies you’re given, throw flour on your clothes, light a sugar cookie candle and call it good.

Fa la la!

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Tipsy Turkey Day

T’was the week of Thanksgiving, and all through the house,

People were blogging and clicking their mouse.

Looking for last-minute things they could share,

And figuring out just what dish to prepare.

Family soon would arrive at their door,

To eat lots of food and to drink even more.

Yes, the holidays are such a two-sided sword,

Eating gravy and taters and pies made of gourd.

But then there are in-laws with “helpful advice,”

Or that weird cousin’s kid with a head full of lice.

But seeing it’s only for one day a year,

Just muster a smile and shotgun a beer.

Then go and head over to read for some fun,

About my Thanksgiving spent with a drunk nun.

In the Powder Room is where I’m having my say,

So click here and then have a great Turkey Day!

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More Letters I Probably Won’t Send

You can find the first installment here.

To Mr. Tech Support Guy on the Phone:

You asked if I had any more questions. Sorry if “Do you think I sound pretty?” wasn’t what you had in mind. Considering this conversation was recorded for training purposes, I suggest you review it and take notes on how to be a bit more specific with your language.


To Twitter and Facebook Suggestions:

I appreciate you looking out for me, but you’re greatly overestimating my desire to find more friends. If I haven’t “friended” someone after multiple suggestions, you can bet that it’s because I’m content not connecting with the creepy biology teacher from middle school or my bank. I’m also not interested in homeschooling the kids I don’t have or connecting with singles in my area.

And I will assume the suggestion that I should follow Mr. Peanut implies that I’m nuts, which to be honest, is probably not far from the truth. You nailed it with that one.


To Amateur Photographers:

Tis the season, fa la la, but the millionth close-up photo of Starbuck’s “red cup” has been taken, so it’s safe to move on to other things now. After all, it is just A RED CUP FROM STARBUCKS filled with overpriced hot liquid. We’re not talking about the golden ticket from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory here, people.


To the Woman in Front of Me at the Checkout:

I enjoy pleasant conversation with strangers quite often, and our dialogue about the lazy person who left the bug spray in the candy next to the lane was a great way to pass the time. But apparently I have one of those faces that says, “Yes, tell me weird things that I probably shouldn’t be told” because the conversation took quite an odd turn.

The fact that your grandma—who was bitten by a scorpion and died, a fact brought up by the importance of bug spray—married her cousin seemed a little out of left field. But I would like to thank you for clarifying that it was actually “okay” and that you aren’t a product of inbreeding, despite—in your words, not mine—the lack of your back molars and motto of, “kill it and grill it.”

I appreciate you clearing that up.


To People Who Write Open Letters:

I get that you feel the Internet is the perfect passive-aggressive way to dispense your invaluable opinion on something, but it’s really not that effective. These letters usually start with the “Dear X,” greeting— often to a public personality—followed by the very expected takedown of said person you are writing the letter to, and/or what you feel is a highly controversial/unique opinion.

While stating this opinion to a recipient who will never read it, you often act like you’re just remembering additional complaints in the middle of your letter when we all know you have carefully planned when to say them. The letter often ends with your “knockout” point of contention and a “sincerely” before you sign off.

Here’s an idea. Why don’t you write a real letter to the person who has offended you?  Oh, yes. That’s because they couldn’t care less and are wiping their ass with their money.

Now I realize that this whole post is a form of an open letter, but I am under no delusions that you will write back or that my opinion will actually sway the collective “you” to see the error of your ways. And the other times that I wrote a semi-open letter, I just wanted my yoga pants and bra to feel happy in their new home.

Sincerely,

Abby

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