Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I wrote a letter once.  Well, it was really an e-mail to a website.  It was to Dr. Laura's website.  Remember her? 

I would sometimes tune in to her radio show while scrubbing a toilet or... yes... ironing someone else's wrinkly clothing.  Many I'm sure know the story of how she crashed and burned and subsequently made her exit from commercial radio. 

Anyway, I wrote my letter just before her crash and burn.  Maybe she was already in her downward spiral. 

She used to read an  "e-mail of the day" or "e-mail of the week", something like that.  One of her featured e-mails was written by a woman who was pointing out what a wonderful wife this woman she had encountered was.

Well, that sounded okay, until I heard what the writer based her assessment of the wife on:

"I saw this couple shopping together, and the husband didn't pay any attention to me even though I am way hotter than his wife is.  Obviously, she's a great wife!"

Wait.. what?

Okay, I guess the fact that someone might be arrogant enough to assume that was true and write a letter of such to Dr. Laura isn't so ridiculous.  But what bothered me was that Dr. Laura thought it worthy of her "e-mail of the..." feature.

The next day, when I wasn't scrubbing or pressing, I went to the website and found the featured letter by Hot Woman and sent in something like, "Are you kidding?  That letter was so pretentious I'm not even sure it's real.  Dr. Laura, are you in the midst of a downward spiral and about to crash and burn?", in not so many words. 

I just wanted to get it off my chest and leave it at that.  Not long afterwards I noticed, however, that Hot Woman's letter had been removed.   I wondered if perhaps others had been bothered, maybe slightly offended, and had also put in their two cents.

Something similar just happened closer to home.  Do you remember how I mentioned my friend - we'll call her Heather since that's her name - was taking over as Chaco's English teacher?  She did and was doing a wonderful job with the kids and cleaning up after PMS.  Then we all got an e-mail.

Because of a union rule technicality, Heather was being replaced with teacher #FIVE for the remainder of the year.

I've learned to have pretty low expectations of the public school system.  Still, this seemed even more silly than the usual shenanigans.  I sent Heather an e-mail, not a rant,  just a thanks for all she'd accomplished in 19 days. 

She replied back and told me how she'd shed tears over the situation and had even offered to work for free if she could stay until the end of the year (yeah, that's Heather).  But alas, no.

But... wait!  Heather called me the other day and it seems the district suddenly found a way around their technicality and Heather was allowed to stay. 

I suspect that I wasn't the only one who chimed in.

Have you ever written to an organization / business / media personality / celebrity / etc.?  What was the outcome?  Have you ever not chimed in but wish you had?


terri said...

I wrote a letter to Shaun Cassidy 'round about 4th grade, but alas, he never responded. Broke my heart and it stayed broken ... just long enough for my next celebrity crush to come along.

I have not ever written a letter to publicly express my opinion. I'm not sure if that's laziness, or just that I don't expect my opinion to be considered in the public realm.

agg79 said...

I have written a number of scathing letters to various offenders, but most just get filed away in my draft folder. I did write up some snarky letter to Continental Airlines (our local hometown carrier before they got bought out by United) about all the new chicken-squat fares they were charging passengers. $50 extra to sit in the emergency row for a seat where you cannot recline back in? Are you kidding me? That was one more straw on that camel's back. I'd like to claim I got a thoughtful response, but all I got was some generic form letter written by a flunky. Didn't change a thing but it still felt good to launch that missile.

Anita said...

Yes, I remember the crash and burn of Dr. Laura. The last I heard of her was when she insulted the black wife of a white husband who called her seeking help in how to deal with a few ignorant friends and relatives his.

Years ago, I thought she had some sound advice here and there. Too bad she cracked.

Anyway, I would bet that your letter was responded to.

Put me in the letter writing grid. I complain, compliment, and ask for advice. Celebrities: Marilyn von Savant, the genius of Parade Magazine responded with a personal email before she got a staff to do her correspondence for her. Then years later, her staff responded to me about something. I've also exchanged letters with a couple nationally known authors.

Hmmm... I also expressed my opinion (complained) about the photos in a photograpy book once and got a reply from the editor saying that she saw what I saw, but that she was not the editor when it was published. She was quite nice and apologetic.

As you can see from this novella that I'm writing here, I'm quick to Google web sites and to put the fingers to the keyboard. And I'll admit, it's fun to get a response; even when it's a little nasty (got one of those, too). Guess that's why I like blogging. LOL

You should do it more. You've got the knack. :)

Abby said...

What was UP with Shaun Cassidy?! I bet he regrets not writing you back! And of course your opinions are part of the public realm. Write a letter and report back!

Abby said...

I think there is something "cathartic" about dropping a letter on someone - even if it's one of praise. The power of the send button!

Abby said...

Yes, I was actually listening the day Dr. L insulted the black woman who, turns out, was calling from my city. It was really strange. I thought the woman's concerns were legititmate and appropriate for the show, and the good doctor just lost it.

I guess I'm not surprised that you are a letter writer! Even to the Parade genius!

I wrote a letter to a fiction author once, just telling him how much I enjoyed his book. He actually sent me a hand-written thank you note. At least I think he wrote it himself.

ShadowRun300 said...

I have never written a letter to anyone. I think it's because my dad used to (and actually still does) write letters of complaints to tons of people who have offended him in some way. I think because he was so confrontational and critical of people, that I have become the exact opposite. Not that people don't offend me. I just prefer to blog about them behind their back. :)

Scott said...

There's a golf course down the street from me. It used to have a display of the five flags of Pensacola--Spain, Britain, France, the Confederate States of America, and the United States of America. These were all the historic flags--the old flag of Spain, the old flag of France. And the Confederate flag was not the battle flag that was so politically incorrect--but the official flag of the CSA (the Stars and Bars). This city prides itself on its five flags--even calls itself the City of Five Flags. A while back, I noticed the flags of the former countries had been lowered on their poles, so that the current U.S. flag was at the top. I was slightly annoyed at this, but this is actually correct--the current flag should be displayed above previous flags. What really bothers me though, is this: Now they've removed the Confederate flag completely. And it has been missing for months. Obviously someone complained about it--probably because of the slavery issue. But Spain, France, Britain, and the United States were all involved in the slave trade. So it's only fair that the Spanish, French, and British flags also be removed (the U.S. flag remaining, simply because that is the current government of this city and state). I have the email address of the manager of the golf course, but have yet to contact him about this. Historical accuracy is very important to me, and no part of history should be censored. But I don't want to get into a confrontation with this man--I've got more immediate concerns of my own. And though he shows disrepect for this city, by removing the Confederate flag while continuing to display those of Spain, France, and Britain, the golf course is private property. And every day, I see that flag display with the missing Confederate flag, and am annoyed at this. In my email, I would ask him why the Confederate flag has been removed. Then when he answers, probably with some bullshit about it being "racist"--I'd explain that the other four countries were also involved in the slave trade--Spain being the first to bring slaves from Africa to this region. I'd explain that I am categorically against slavery, but am also opposed to whitewashing history--even that the majority of citizens of the Confederate States of America were not slave owners, but poor farmers simply trying to survive. But what are the odds I could reason with this guy? This country is ignorant as hell about its history, and this city probably even more ignorant than the national norm. And you can't reason with ignorant people. Maybe this is unfair--I don't know this man, he may be quite enlightened. But odds are he isn't, since he took the CS flag down in the first place. So should I contact him, and request that he remove the other three historical flags too--or continue seeing the empty flag pole every day, without at least complaining? I don't know.

Rock Chef said...

Maybe Hot Woman just wasn't the guy's "type"? :-)

Glad that the tutor was kept on! Good tutors are like gold dust.

I wrote to McDonalds a while back. I tried to cycle through the drive-through but they refused to serve me. Apparently they think cyclists are likely to get run over by the cars. I only wanted a burger. Head office said it was policy - only people ic cars can use the drive through, no bikes, motorbikes or pedestrians.


But it seems that this rule does not apply if you are famous - I recently saw film of a celebrity doing a marathon, and he went through the drive through of a McD's and was served! I refrained from complaining again...

Rebecca S. said...

What 'Hot Woman' doesn't realize is that way more men like a woman with a 'good personality' than she thinks.
I have written to the paper on a few occasions, but only when I felt like I knew the issue backwards and forwards. I haven't felt that way in a while. I once wrote, with my mother's encouragement, to Mattell after the clothes of the Barbie Doll I bought with my birthday money fell apart. I think I was hoping for a grandiose gesture from Mattell in response, but all I got was a new outfit. So much for that.

Judy said...

I wrote a letter a few years ago when I experienced some major car issues and had a local plumbing company step up and help me out...wrote a letter to the editor and all. Writing isn't just cathartic, I believe it can move mountains- small and large ones.

Anita said...

I'm not a black person who goes out with my sign when I see the confederate flag; and I've seen many in central Virginia where I live, however I've always wondered about the reason so many are passionate about it.

I typically stay away from subjects like this one, especially online, but will just say that I read your comment with interest and got a little insight of your personal feelings - that probably represent many others.