And there are people like you

The letter request:

I’d like a letter to my ex in-laws. I have three lovely daughters to my ex husband, divorced in 1998. My daughters don’t have contact with their father and the grandparents never wanted contact with the girls. I don’t understand why grandparents would want to miss out on their grandchildren and now great grandchildren. I have a terminal illness. I want to let the grandparents of my daughters know they have missed out on such joy with their granddaughters who are not hard to like. This is for me not my girls as they do not want contact.

The letter:

To my daughters’ grandparents,

Few things highlight how different humans can be as much as our hobbies: the way one person chooses to spend their precious spare time can be unfathomable to someone else.

For example, there are those who race modified lawn mowers. They spend their weekends hurtling over hilly tracks in a pimped-up ride-on. And then there are those who got whiplash in a dodgem car as a child and have been the indoor type ever since. Continue reading “And there are people like you”

Play tennis in the dark

The letter request:

We’d love you to craft a response to a complaint letter that a neighbour dropped around to everyone in our neighbourhood – about some new tennis court lights at the courts behind our houses. It’s really not a big deal. It’s a small tennis club run by volunteers. They’re running lessons at night and we reckon that ‘taking action’ and a petition is a little OTT. What we’d LOVE is a letter we could print and pop in everyone’s letterbox, just like he did. And the message is: Hey we’re all rich people living in one of the richest suburbs in Melbourne and we can probably take a deep breath and enjoy a bit of sports going on behind our houses. They also complain about the orange en-tout-cas dust from the courts.

 

The letter:

Dear neighbours,

We are hand delivering this to properties near the local tennis club. Like you, we received last week’s letter from our concerned neighbour and are truly excited by their initiative towards collective action. When groups of people come together amazing things can happen.

We recently heard from a friend of a friend in Toronto. Her neighbourhood has come together to sponsor a Syrian family to be resettled in Canada. A group of them chipped in what they could to reach $27K and – voila! – a Syrian family is on its way to having a positive, supported start in a new country.

Continue reading “Play tennis in the dark”

This is what I wish for you

The letter request:

I’d like a letter from myself to myself. Approaching 50 as I am, you need to accept that some aspects of your life are never as you would have imagined. The realisation; that some people live a life alone, not necessarily lonely.

The letter:

Dear Jenny

Some people live a life alone without being lonely: we all have different needs when it comes to companionship. Some people live a season of their life alone after many seasons surrounded by others. Some people have hundreds of friends but no one they’d tell their deepest worries to. Some people tell everyone their thoughts and secrets. Some people have one close friend and that is all they need. Some people have a cat. Some people connect with others with the ease of a magnet clicking onto a fridge. Some people find it harder to connect, like a lock and key that require a lot of jiggling. Some people find the jiggling gets easier after a while. Some people find it gets harder but they do it anyway. Some people use all the braveness they can muster and find connections in unexpected places.

Some people use their creativity to build sculptures out of clay or cardboard or metal or sand. Some people show their creativity in the garden or the kitchen. Some people show creativity in the way they dress or the way the speak or the way they connect with children. Some people do the important work of setting children on a path of creativity. Some people stop creating when they become adults or busy or tired or sad or even happy. Some people start creating when they become adults or busy or tired or sad or even happy.

Some people say that the deeper a wound the deeper the capacity for healing. Some people, who haven’t experienced much adversity, falter at the slightest hiccup whereas some people who’ve known deep heartbreak soar onwards seeing joy that others are missing. Some people find that life continues to get better and better with every passing year.

This is what I wish for you.

With love and care,

Jenny

Situation: Anarchy

The letter request:

I need your assistance. I bought a lovely watch from David Jones for my gorgeous sister. She has small wrists so needed to get it adjusted. She went back to DJs but was told they don’t provide this free service anymore… It seems that they’ve taken a leaf out of the budget airlines school of Customer Service offerings with optional extras like a watch that fits your wrist fitting this category…

 

The letter:

Dear David Jones,

Thank heavens you’re not in law enforcement. Here’s what might happen if you were: you’d arrest a perp, slap a pair of cuffs on them, the perp’s wrists would be slightly on the dainty side, the cuffs would slip off, the perp would escape, you’d shrug your shoulders and walk away. Situation: Anarchy.

Continue reading “Situation: Anarchy”

A whale could destroy a starfish in a millisecond

The letter request:

Five friends, from four different cities around the world, organise a NYE reunion at the zoo. We part with a sizeable sum for a prime fireworks position in the ‘gold’ area to maximise fun, view, and minimise toilet and drinks queue time. But on arrival we were greeted by a long bar queue that didn’t seem to be moving. The first 40 minutes, and regular intervals thereafter, were spent in the queue rather than enjoying views with friends. 

 

The letter:

Dear Zoo,

Colours do not always represent status. In grade three I was in a maths groups called the Blue Whales and my friend was in a maths group called the Red Starfish. Because both blue and red are top-shelf colours with no inherent value attached to them – and because whales and starfish each have their own wonderful and unique attributes – my friend and I didn’t know which group was the top group and therefore which one of us was smarter at maths. So I get it, colours do not always represent status. Except when they do.

Continue reading “A whale could destroy a starfish in a millisecond”

The only way is up

The letter request:

Donna, my best friend’s wife, always says something nasty/creepy/passive aggressive to me every time we socialise. Recently, at a friend’s party, she cornered me and started talking about golf – about going on vacation to play golf, about how cute her little girls are when the play golf, about how her little boys fight when they play golf… She has three subjects she talks about: doctor things (she’s a physician), at which time she uses really big terms so if you’re not a doctor you won’t understand what she’s talking about; golf, which bores me to tears; and her kids. So I came up with a plan (big mistake). I purchased a couple of books on cocktail party conversation, and a magazine subscription called Mental Floss, and suggested we meet to devise a plan where we could talk about things worldly and not about golf (did I mention I hate golf?) as a way to connect with each other on a more personal/friendly level. I sent her a text message. No response.

 

The letter:

Dear Donna,

So the other day I was reading an article in the New York Times that made me pause and think. It was about conversation and one particular sentiment leapt out at me: ‘In conversation, we are called upon to see things from another’s point of view.’

If this is indeed true, this is how I see your world after a conversation with you: You’re a committed medical practitioner who enjoys playing golf and adores her children more than life itself. True? Win!

Continue reading “The only way is up”

You HAD a bird called Drazic

The letter request:

I recently house sat for a friend and of course my cat came to stay too. The only problem is that my friend who I was house sitting for had a bird, and one day when I left the birds cage open my cat somehow managed to catch the bird whilst I was out of the room. My friend is going to be distraught when she finds out, and I thought it would ease the blow if I could give her an apology letter from my cat upon her return. Can you help me out?

 

The letter:

Dear Allee,

Let’s talk about what a great friend Sophie is to you. As her cat, I know I’m biased but all the same she IS pretty ace. Remember how you guys used to love watching Puberty Blues? Or how you went to Turkey together? Or what about the time you both stalked that boy? CLASSIC! So many happy memories of that ilk. SO MANY.

Continue reading “You HAD a bird called Drazic”

Unreconstructed 70s male

The letter request:

Dave is an English dude who has lived in Portugal for six years, he’s divorced and is now around 50yrs old. He’s kinda stayed sexist in that old fashioned, women-belong-in-the-kitchen, hasn’t-realised-he’s-old-yet-and-still-perves-on-young-girls kinda way and I think he needs a kick in the arse to wake up and realise that the world is more progressive than the time warp he seems to be stuck in.

 

The letter:

Dear Dave,

Elvis is dead. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but it’s better you hear it from me than some complete stranger. Also, John Lennon is dead too. Double whammy. Take a moment to regroup, I can wait.

Continue reading “Unreconstructed 70s male”

All salt and no pepper

The letter request:

Late last year my husband and I went on an overseas holiday, we spent all year saving and had a great time. On the way back, however, we were not seated together on the plane. The lady who checked us in at Hamburg mentioned this in passing, but then told us to speak to someone in Dubai about getting our seats changed. In Dubai we spoke to at least five people but… nothing.

 

The letter:

Dear Emirates,

I’m hungry. Hear me out. I’m hungry because today I went to my favourite dumplings restaurant for lunch and they gave me a single chopstick to eat with. What what? Crazy, I know. I couldn’t eat a thing. Everyone knows that chopsticks come in pairs and that a lone chopstick is as useless as an umbrella in a hurricane.

Continue reading “All salt and no pepper”

I felt your hiccups

The letter request:

Nothing can compare to the love and joy I already feel for my unborn nephew. Since receiving the first announcement of his existence (a texted photo of the positive pregnancy test) I have treasured every minute of his progress. From copies of each set of ultrasound photos plastered all over my fridge (much to the despair of my new housemate), to attending an anti natal class with his mum, to feeling his little hiccups, I have been there all the way. I can’t wait to meet this cheeky little monkey and watching him grow into a very special person. 

 

The letter:

My dear Little Peanut,

You probably think it’s not possible to fall in love with somebody you’ve never met but I’m sorry to say you are wrong. Don’t feel bad – having just been born, there’s a whole heap of stuff you’re yet to learn. That’s where I come in, you see; I’m here to teach you.

Continue reading “I felt your hiccups”