Thursday, December 21, 2006

Family Newsletter Hell

    Just a little entry here.  The holidays are starting to catch me.  I've tried to run from them.  I even picked up some new shoes, and as everyone knows, new shoes are always faster than worn-out old ones.  However, regardless of my speedy new footwear, I can feel the cold breath of Christmas on the back of my hot skull.  There's steam.  And, I just remembered that I should pick up some presents for a couple of nieces and nephews who don't even know my freaking name. 

    Anyway, speaking of writing: I do try to encourage it whenever I can.  I love to see what people write, and I love reading their words.  After all, everyone has a story to tell.  It could be any ol' blogger.  It could be the crazy guy on the street with a sign demanding voting rights for imported cheese.  Everyone has something to say. 

    Unfortunately, this time of year, as Christmas races up to smack me in the face, there is the constant of my brother's Annual Family Newsletter (yes.  He's one of those people). 

    Now, normally, I don't mind getting those little literary pearls of family activity.  I have a friend who sends them out, and since I rarely talk to this friend, I find it a good way to catch up on the tedious minutiae of his domestic existence. 

Wow!  Little Timmy won a tee-ball game?  Amazing!  I didn't even think they kept score in tee-ball.  He must be a natural.  

    As wonderful as it is to receive such heart warming news, I have to admit, my brother's newsletters are painful in their irrelevancy.  Unlike the friend I mentioned above to whom I speak maybe four or five times a year, I talk to my brother four or five times a week.  Yet, for some odd reason, he feels the need to send me this little run-down of the past year.  And, whenever I read his little missives, I can't help but feel as though I am reading the book upon which the movie I just saw was based. 

Wow!  My nephew lost another tooth?  Amaz... wait a minute.  I was there when you, like the maliciously clumsy father you are, knocked the tooth out when you threw that football into his face. 

What's that?  Your family took a cruise.  Why am I always the last to...  Was that the time you asked me to house-sit and feed your hell-beast of a cat who leapt from the back of the sofa and nearly clawed my eyes out when I was trying to water your plants?  I've still got scars on my ankle from that bastard of an animal, but I'm happy you had fun in the Bahamas.  Sorry about the blood stains on the living room rug and the arterial splatter marks on the walls.  I'm sure by the next newsletter, you will write about how you've recently had your carpet replaced and your walls painted. 

The odd thing is --and perhaps as a result of some sort of tremendously discrete wiring in my brain--  I hung the newsletter on my fridge.  I don't know why.  Somewhere deep inside me a voice said, "you have to hang this up."  And, there it sits.  Mocking me.  And, there is only one thing I can do to make me feel better: 

    Tomorrow, I am going to grab my red pen and practice my proofreading and editing skills on this little unsolicited manuscript.  Then, I will stick it back on my fridge with all the blood-red ink and see how long it takes him to notice. 

    [Insert maniacal laughter here]

    Take that! 



  1. I think there is one of those in every family. . . just wait until your brother gets wind of personal homepages. Ah yes, then that newsletter will strike linked through a brief email so you [and the whole] world can read it.

    Thanks Aunt Robin, Thanks.

    Amanda :]

  2. I LOVE that!   :)

    I thought of doing one of those letters, once.   I think it's best to just summarize our years in our own minds, and perhaps touch base with our children about the good, or the learning experiences, hope for the future, and leave everyone else from having to relive it with us:)   lol   At least, the minutae.   Just don't edit mine.   I'd rather spend some time writing something worth editing first.    -- Robin

  3. OOooooh go get him, Evil Editor Dan!!!  lol

    be well,

  4. Hey dan!

    yeah my sister is one of those letter people too. She is married to a lawyer and is always going places and always lets the rest of family know this. No I am not envyous of them. but I would like her to use that money to give the rest of her family does that NEED it {mmm.. that would be the whole family}.

    I also post it on the refrig. under the coupons, the A+ papers that my son brings home and lets not forget the important funny cartoons that I have!


  5. Erm.., being the editor of my very own family magazine I should take umbrage at this but I have to say that some of the articles I have to edit are definitely worthy of a yawn or two (not my bits, of course) so I do sympathise, just a little. And, yes, despite my constant spellchecking and proofreading, I'm sure you'd have a field day with your red marker pen outlining the typos that manage to slip through my security. B.