Thursday, June 23, 2005

All Day Long You Write Her Letters Never Sent Day

All Day Long You Write Her Letters Never Sent Day!

The first week of middle school they started calling you "Hemingway" because you always seemed to be scribbling on a notepad any chance you got. You'd scribble away, then rip the page from your pad and toss it crumpled into the garbage can. One day Kevin, a classmate of yours who likes to help out the janitorial staff due to lack of friends, was emptying out a garbage can when he found your crumpled sheets. He opened one up and found a beautifully written love letter, unaddressed.

"Who's the special lady Hemingway?" Kevin asked.

"Not telling," you replied.

"Secret admirer huh?" Kevin said. "Good thinking. It's the only way she wouldn't turn you down on the spot." That's the kind of talk that prevents Kevin from building friendships.

You told Kevin, "When I compose the right letter, it will be impossible for her to refuse me." Just then you stopped scribbling, ripped up your latest note and sent it flying into the trash can.

Kevin said, "Think maybe I could use this myself then? I mean, if it's not good enough for your girl."

You thought about it. "My Dad has emphysema," you said. "Gimme ten bucks."

And so began your thriving new business as a writer of anonymous love notes. The boys lined up in study hall to purchase your cast off musings on beauty so striking it makes one scared to admit to how he really feels. You felt a little guilty, because in your heart you knew you were selling trash to these boys. Sheets and sheets of drivel that you knew your Melanie would laugh at if she ever thought such excrement was intended to win her glorious heart.

But they kept buying it. And more and more often you'd see these boys, your former customers, walking arm in arm with newly acquired ladyfriends. Some of them would flash you a thumbs-up as you passed.

"This school is infested with a scourge of loose women," you thought. "How could they have fallen for it?" And then you'd see your Melanie pass. No note in her hand. No boy by her side. Suddenly you'd feel remiss.

"Dear God," you'd think. "The most beautiful girl in all the school is as yet without an admirer. I must stop churning out this waste and write her the declaration she deserves."

But the money got to you. As these teenage boys awoke from childhood to the stirring in their bellies, they would line up in twos and threes waiting for you to toss aside a missive worthy of anyone but your Melanie. Soon you found yourself purposely generating trash just to get them away from your desk and, more importantly, to get their ten dollar bills in your pocket. Within a few months you had earned over $700, more than enough to cure your father's emphysema. ($250 at the free clinic. I know, "doesn't sound so free to me.") You began to think you were nothing but a businessman. A marketing specialist. An ad guy who knows how to sell a girl on a boy.

"I may not be able to express myself to Melanie in the manner she deserves," you thought. "But I can show her that in my company she'll be cared for."

So you spent all the money you saved adorning yourself with the finest wardrobe and most extravagant portable electronic devices you could find. Today you're going to go to school dressed in the costume of the aristocracy. And you're going to parade your finery in front of your beautiful Melanie.

When you approach her, she will be standing by her locker with her back facing you. As you get closer, you'll see that a boy stands before her, leaning against her locker. A boy you recognize. As you pass, you'll steal a glance of your dear sweet Melanie, and you'll see her smile is lit up by the warmth of a blush. You'll see that the boy before her is the same boy who came to your desk yesterday holding a ten-dollar bill. And you'll see in Melanie's hands a note you'd assumed to be nothing better than an insult to her.

Your blood will race through your veins in a way that over time will grow familiar to you. It's the rush of regret, of feeling like a fool for letting what you wanted slip away. You'll get used to it. Now try to take some comfort in the fact that, though you don't have love, at least your purchases cost more than what most of your peers can afford. This skill will come in handy in the future.

Happy All Day Long You Write Her Letters Never Sent Day!