Letter#1: In Which Aglet Learns Who He Is

Dear Aglet,

Maybe I should start with explaining to you who you are. You know–define my audience or whatever. If ever you do come into existence, some four or five decades from now, you will be my firstborn grandson. You’ll have possibly the worst name anyone could have, and I’ll have tried my hardest to convince them not to name you after shoelaces but they won’t have listened.

Now, since you’re imaginary, I have taken into account the possibility that you’ll be named something else. You might even be a girl, in real life. So I’ll clarify. Aglet, you are my imaginary, archetypal grandchild of the future. Hey.

These letters are for you to read in the future, assuming internet and blogging are still things when you’re up for reading them. Maybe they’ll be like microfiche is to me. Anyway, they are a collection of what I was thinking in reference to being a grandma someday.

And they’re also just for fun.

And cause I’m insane.

But it’s ok. I’ve accepted my insanity and we’ve moved on.

Below, please find a conversation I had with myself in my early twenties. It’ll prove to you that talking to myself and giving myself advice always has been the way with me–it’s not just an age thing. Enjoy.

Love, your grandma,


P.S. I’m sorry if you inherited the crazy gene from me.


Sometimes I sit by myself and don’t do anything except like people. I mean, I sit there and think about ’em and just like them. I tend to view it as a valid, worthwhile activity, but if I think about it, it’s about the most passive thing I could do, because more often than not, I’m not telling them I like them, and I’m not doing anything to show them–

If anything I avoid them, giving the exact opposite impression. I just wish they knew. If it worked the way I wanted, I could think something nice about a person and somehow make them know I thought that.


Me: Jo, there is.  It’s called language. Words. English. What you’re studying in college. You know, where you open your mouth and project sound and voice what you’re thinking. And voila, said person knows what you wanted them to know.

It’s not that hard.


Me: Oh yeah. Right. So you mean I could just walk up to a person and say, hey, I was thinking of you and they were nice things I was thinking.


mmhmm, sorta


Me: Wow, who’d’a thunk? So I don’t have to agonize over gosh I just really wish this person was aware I think they’re the bee’s knees?

You mean I don’t have to avoid people because I’m afraid they might not like me as much as I like them?

I don’t have to worry about every possible thing that could go wrong, and which they might misunderstand?


Yes. I mean, no, you don’t.

Also, you don’t need to fear awkwardness. Awkwardness, to remind you of what you already know but too often forget–well, awkwardness implies there’s something genuine going on. If everything were smooth and comfortable and easy all the time, you might suspect something shady was going down.

Like in the Music Man, where Harold Hill sells the instruments to those people. Harold Hill wasn’t gloriously awkward like you and your friends are.

Fight awkward with awkward, I say! Be brave and say “hey” til it’s not scary anymore.


Me: Yeah! Go Jo! Go be awkward and tell people they’re cool. And that you habitually sit by yourself in the cafeteria just liking them.





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