Monday, December 17, 2007

Dear Shelly, and Other Requests for Money

1. When politicians call you by your first name, they want money.

2. I am on a first-name basis with both senators from Massachusetts, although in each case, we have only met once, and not under circumstances where either is likely to recall me. And yet...Dear Shelly, their emails begin. The Republicans are mounting an attack the likes of which has not been seen in modern politics.

3. Yeah, yeah. And yet...

4. I am similarly known to both senators from California although I have not ever met one in person and have frequently asked the other questions the subtext of which became What were you thinking when you voted the way you did on that nominee, bill, measure?

5. I have not sent nasty emails to either senator from Massachusetts.

6. As of today, I'm tempted to send roses to the senior senator from Massachusetts in recognition of the artful way he called the President of the United States a lawbreaker of epic proportion.

7. I will probably not send him roses for fear that he will send me a thank you note that begins Dear Shelly.

8. Before I met the President of the university where I teach, I got frequent letters from him addressing me as Dear Shelly, which prompted me to send him a note addressed to Dear Stan in which I commented favorably on the informal nature of our relationship and openly wondered if he could spare $50 until payday.

9. Shortly after sending this letter I met an executive Dean, the then Chairman of my department, and a vice dean who had studied linguistics with Whorf and Chomsky at MIT, all of whom were at pains to remind me that informality has limits just as formality does.

10. Shortly after, I met the President of the University. He did not advance me $50 until payday although he continues to send me correspondence calling me by my first name, asking me to donate to worthwhile causes.

11. When complete strangers call me on the telephone and ask how I'm doing, they want money.

12. My friends rarely ask me how I am or how I'm doing, although some of them do attempt to remind me about the wrath of the Republicans.

13. As a general rule, I only see Republicans in the hot tub at the Y. So, they say, you voting for Hillary? So, I respond, you voting for Joe Lieberman? They shake their head in ironic negation.

14. Thanks to a special feature on the Huffington Post, I discovered that a some-time attendee at my Saturday writing workshop gave $2300 to Rudy Giuliani.

15. I told her she was always welcomed at the Saturday workshop, but the tuition had gone up. She did not strike me as a wrathful Republican with an historically virulent agenda, but why take chances?

2 comments:

Lee's River/Zlatovyek said...

the time zone discrepancy (+9 hours where I sit on the planet) finds me always getting the first run at comments on your blog. Sometimes, I worry that it makes me look like the annoying kid in school. You know, the one who always shoots up her hand before everybody else. Just thought I'd mention the time zone thing for your other visitors (of course, everyone is still free to find me pesky and annoying, if they so choose.) It's still a free world - or so they say.
The letters I had to write for political sollicitations back in another life always started with "Cher Ami" (Dear Friend). The Great One would then strike out the greeting and pencil in, well, Shelly for example.
But since this was in Québec, the first paragraph was ALWAY a variation on the theme "we are now at the most crucial moment in Québec's history". It was a mantra like the "L’shana ha’ba-ah b’Yerushalayim" "Next year in Jerusalem" at the Passover Seder.

But as the good rabbi writes at shma.com: "as the years went by...next year in Jerusalem ceased to refer to next year, or, actually, to any year at all."

And so, with Québec's glorious, pre-ordained Meeting with Destiny - and all others of the same ilk.

Politics. If you've ever been involved in the game, it's like a damn barber shop. You can walk out after the haircut, but those tiny hairs down your back? They go on itching and itching forever.

TIV: the individual voice said...

Why to Rudy and not to Shelly?