Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dear Friend I Last Saw More Than 20 Years Ago Who Has So Kindly Continued To Include Me As Part of Your Yearly Christmas Form Letter,

I hope this Christmas finds your vision 20/20 and your faculties sound.  It has been kind of you to include me among the family and friends you keep in touch with each Christmas.  I was surprised to look at your picture this year and find your hair has grayed and your children are both about the age we were when we first met.  To be honest, perhaps I would have noticed years ago, had I not been throwing your card, unread, into my recycling bin for the last five years.  I could claim I didn’t realize it was intended for me, as it is addressed to my married name and I reclaimed my maiden name nine years ago when I got a divorce.  At the time, I informed you of my update in name and circumstance in my handwritten note at the bottom of the my handmade card I sent to my Christmas card list.  
Over the next five years, I continued to receive mail for a woman I have never been - you actually are sending it to a woman with my ex-husband’s last name, which I never actually took.  When I was married, my name was my maiden name combined with my husband’s name, hyphenated.  Each year I tried to find a new and creative way to update your address list by highlighting my last name, writing it in bold, or surrounding it with arrows.  Finally I was forced to conclude that you weren’t reading my cards.  That is why I stopped sending them several years back.  
I’ve forgotten, did your husband work for the US Postal Service?  You seem to have a decided interest in keeping them busy at this time of year.  
It is only this year, filled with the spirit of “WTH it’s Christmas,” when I opened your card and saw your smiling, innocent faces that it occurred to me - perhaps these letters have been intended for my ex-husband and his new wife?  I’m sorry I never thought to forward their address to you.  How thoughtless of me.  But then, the included Hallmark card always has my name, just my name.  Hmmm it is a puzzle.  
I was glad to hear the year has been kind to you and you have been busy, that your son graduated at the top of his class and your daughter is getting married.  I’m glad your husband has remained in good health.  
Until next year, 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.