My Convertible Life

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

If Only They Would Listen to My Wisdom

Following the wild success of my open letter to a tree (and a big thanks to my friends who commented on 30Threads, defending me against "Lance"), I was considering going to an all-open-letter blog format. Then I realized that had already been done -- and I'm not going to try to compete with Sarah Vowell and John Hodgman. But so many little annoying things happened while I was running errands on Monday that I feel compelled to employ the device a few more times, so here goes.

* * *

Dear Woman in the Parking Lot at Bed, Bath & Beyond,

I will try not to judge you and your passenger for parking in a handicapped space, then walking easily into the Party City store. It's entirely possible that, although you are both ambulatory, one or both of you has a less visible illness that makes walking difficult over certain distances. Your passenger's very short hair suggested she may be recovering from treatment, so it's easy to give you the benefit of the doubt.

However, it's harder for me to be sympathetic when you're smoking a cigarette while wearing a cancer survivor t-shirt from Relay for Life. Perhaps you've missed the whole surgeon general thing for the past 40 years, but it seems like now would be a good time to quit with the cancer sticks.

Best wishes for continued health,

* * *

Dear Mom of One at Harris Teeter,

Congratulations on having such a well-behaved toddler at the grocery store. And congrats for your new one on the way -- what an exciting time for you!

One of the things you'll learn after you have two children on the outside of you is the critical nature of the double-seated grocery cart. It is difficult to corral two children in the grocery store unless you can buckle them in and keep them entertained (thus protecting all those products on bottom shelves cleverly covered in Pixar characters). That's precisely the beauty of those rocket-ship-race-car carts -- both kids fit and each one gets a steering wheel.

So given that Harris Teeter has a VERY limited number of these carts (like, two) and given that you still only have one child who can actually access said cart, please be considerate and leave them for people with two children. We desperately need them.

C (the mom who was giving you the stink eye while her son pushed one of those customer-in-training carts running into shelves and customers all over the store)

* * *

Dear Woman in the Parking Lot at Harris Teeter,

I'm so glad you were driving slow enough and watching closely enough to see the elderly man backing his land yacht out in front of you. That's a tricky parking lot, so I commend your attention to safety.

I also think you were right to toot your horn to alert him that you were coming, in hopes that he would stop and let you pass before continuing his slow and steady move into traffic.

However, continuously holding your hand on the horn for the duration of his very slow and steady move into traffic when he clearly was not intimidated by (or perhaps could not hear) your honking and when he was posing no great threat to your vehicle or other drivers and when my small children were stuck beside your bleating car waiting for me to unload my groceries into the trunk was truly excessive. Please go home and take a nap (or a valium).

Kindest regards,
* * *

Phew. Don't know about you, but I feel so much better now. And I promise to leave the open letter mechanism alone for awhile.


  1. Oh, the people that take the two seater carts at the HT when they have one child. I personally was more than pleased when my own children loudly remarked about how unfair that situation was repeatedly to a mom of one while they trailed up and down the aisles behind said family. One of the only days I did not mind their booming little voices. . .


  2. ok apparently I need to make a drink for you when I get home tonight...

  3. Too funny, yet entirely too polite. ;-)

  4. I love these! Keep them coming!

  5. Oooo, I totally wouldn't have thought about the two vs. one kids thing. Although we haven't used a rocketship cart yet, I'm really glad you pointed it out to this clueless one kid mom!

  6. Oh man, we're totally guilty of using the rocketship cart at H-T with one kid . . .the things that don't occur to you with one kid!

    (vowing to be more externally aware)

  7. good stuff!
    glad your crummy day was good for a laugh!!

  8. Dear CSO,

    I'm writing to apologize for being the mom of 1 (and not even another on the way) that takes the rocketship cart for her kiddo. I am a repeat offender. I am clinging to the excuse that our brand spanking new Harris Teeter has at least 6 of these carts and we've never taken the last one available.

    I fear though that we won't be able to break this nasty habit now as my son expects a trip to the moon while in Harris Teeter.

    Please accept my apology as I was ignorant of the lack of alternative two-seaters. I never even thought about it.

    Humbly yours,


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