Saturday, January 26, 2008

Dear Ted:

I very much appreciate your restrained response to my current situation and your gentle exhortations to finish what is a less-than-enjoyable task which, once completed, will open the door to countless hours of enjoyment.

(If anyone can diagram that sentence, could you please scan your diagram and e-mail it to me?)

If you would indulge me further, I would like the opportunity to restate and clarify one point.

The fault for any confusion is entirely my own. As the philosopher Emo Phillips teaches, "Ambiguity is the devil's volleyball." So when I wrote "I left my knitting -- all three WIPs -- at the office...", what I meant to say was, "I left my knitting -- all three WIPs including the dogforsaken, mothra-freakin' lace I was going to rip back before I can start anything even vaguely approaching interesting -- at the office."

Again, for your grammarians out there, diagrams would be appreciated.

I contemplated your underlying message, however, and took to heart your advise. I live a mere 10 minutes from my office. I have a key. I am neither disabled or under house arrest. I am a strong, confident woman. Or something like that. No "awfulizing and catastrophizing" here. So after lunch today I am going to hie my little hiney downtown, retrieve my knitting, and return to my abode, at which time I plan to park my tuchas in an easy chair, prop my feet on a pouffe, and listen to Midnight Special on WFMT while drinking a pot of decaf Ceylon and eating some chocolate rice cakes. And I'm going to knit. (Oh. My. Dog. I believe I have officially become an 80 year old woman named Lavinia living in Ogallala, Nebraska.)

In closing, my dear Theodore, please accept my sincere gratitude for your sensitive yet forcible guidance. I am forever in your debt. If I might ever be of service to you, please allow me the opportunity to make good on my debt. I am...

Your obedient servant,

A. Gilbert

P.S. How are you enjoying your new job? I can't remember, which job did you decide to take -- Britney Spears' personal assistant, or the one with the White House? And aren't you glad you passed on the position as Senator Craig's masseuse?

1 comment:

Ted said...

Dear Aiden--

I have arrived home from a family gathering and was hoping to see pictures of the Swallowtail shawl, ready to be completed. Oh well.

This family gathering was quite nice, as my family's gatherings go. The event was to celebrate my nephew's college graduation and landing a job. This is quite significant because he has some "learning disabilities" which have made the achievement a true challenge for him, and also a truly significant success. My alcoholic brother was in relatively good shape, though he insists on keeping his home heated to 50 degrees F, which is a bit chilly for our 90 year old parents. Also in attendance was my brother's ex-wife and her wife (they married last year). My parents have never really forgiven her for leaving the family when she came out: they really feel she abandoned the family. It's a very touchy subject for my father, but tonight he did not know who she is because Alzheimer's Disease is destroying his mind. Perhaps, tonight, that was a blessing.

Also in attendance was my ex-sister-in-law's brother-in-law, who insulted me twice: once by commenting on my weight (I need to lose 50 pounds) and also by taking a slap at my job.

Have I ever told you about the work I do? The company I work for is funded by the federal government, and we work with unemployed people to help them find jobs. The majority of our "clients" have not finished high school; many have never turned on a computer. Some have criminal records or are substance abusers. Some are running from abusive partners. Some are mentally ill; many have multiple health problems that make holding a job nearly impossible. And so on. My job is, largely, to help them find some confidence, to help them "clean up" and take stock of who they are.

I hope I help people. Some have sent me thank-you cards saying I did, and I hope that's true. But I have a performance evaluation next Tuesday, and I fear I will lose my job, because I believe it's more important to help "clients" than to promote the company's brand, and this is not exactly in line with the direction that company seems to be taking.

Anyway, because we are funded by the federal gov't, people assume we are federal employees and that it is perfectly appropriate to make comments about how we're "chowing at the public trough" or have "never worked a day in our lives", or that we should be used as a lightning rod for all their grievances concerning the gov't. Rather unfortunately, the civil servants --who pour over our monthly reports looking for any possible reason to cite breach of contract-- appear to regard us with equal contempt. It's odd being the meat in that sandwich. Perhaps losing my job wouldn't be such a bad thing.

I am afraid that I cannot come up with a reply to your comment about Britney Spears. I feel so inadequate that I am unable to live up to the stereotype of gay men having a verbal facility that allows us to engage in such bitchy (and apparently witty) repartee. In all honesty, I am so weary of the sarcasm and bitchiness that so many gay men (and, I guess, metrosexuals such as yourself) wear as badge of honour. (Sorry: honor. See? I can't even spell.) Sometimes I wonder if I'm just not gay enough to be gay.

I also write very poorly, so I will stop now.

Oh: one last thing. I know little about life and the world, but having trained for 2200 hours and gone through 9 hours of written and oral/practical exams to be granted the title "Registered Massage Therapist" by the provincial licencing college here in Ontario Canada, and having worked in private practice for 13 years until I was forced from the work by a skin disease, I can tell you that I would not have worked as Senator Craig's "masseuse", as a masseuse is a woman. I believe the word you wanted is "masseur".

Enjoy your knitting.

Edward