January 4, 2011

Bragging Rights Anyone?

   
If you’re like me, you received a few end-of-the-year letters from your friends. You know the kind. The one where they tell you about the past year. In my experience, there are three categories for these letters: fascinating, fun, or full of oneself.

My uncle used to write one that entertained while it informed. His sense of humor made it easier to swallow the cheesy parts. One of my cousins took up this practice a few years ago. Bonus! Her letters are NOT cheesy, just filled with fascinating information. A friend of mine writes this type of letter, too. I chuckle through it because she doesn’t take herself seriously.

Another friend sends us an end-of-year poem. In one page, he contrives to give us a quick update on everyone while exercising creative wordplay. I fail miserably as a poet, so I admire this imaginative approach.

Then there is the “my kid’s better than your kid” letter. The whole family excels at work, school, play, and volunteering. Watch out, one of these days they will walk on water.

Most of us don’t send an end-of-year letter because we can’t find enough positive things to tell. Afterall, aren't these letters supposed to make us feel better?  Maybe they would if they told the ugly truth, just once.

Here's what it might look like:

In January, Jimmy closed a major deal with a big client. With his bonus we bought a new house and enrolled Susie in private school.

In March, the big client went out of business. Jimmy’s employer cut his salary and, in April, laid him off. In June, we moved into a tiny apartment which is OK since the lenders took all of our furniture along with the house.

In July, we found a way to deal with rising gas prices—let the bank repossess your cars! I found a job as a housekeeper at the Holiday Inn Express, where I can walk to work.

Susie started a new school in August. We told her it was nice to see how the other half lives. She qualified for the free lunch program since we’re now on food stamps. We’ve all lost weight and look very slim and trim!

Jimmy still couldn't find a job, so, in October, he solved our money woes! Now he resides at the state penitentiary and gets three meals a day. Since Susie was in the car when he held up the convenience store, she now lives with her foster family in a nice home in a great school district. They let me visit her on the weekends.

In November, the Holiday Inn Express let me move into an onsite efficiency, and I started working the front desk.

In December, Social Services decided that Jimmy acted without my knowledge, so Susie came home. Thanks to Angel Tree, and Jimmy’s foresight, we had a great Christmas!

Hope you did too!  Happy New Year!

Katie, Jimmy, & Susie

Fine Print: All persons in this letter are fictitious and used for the pure purpose of entertainment.



I don't know about you, but I might feel better about my shortcomings after reading this letter.  Wouldn't you?

Silliness aside, Happy New Year everyone!


6 comments:

Valerie Keiser Norris said...

Ha! Never saw that one coming!

I've seen some written in the perspective of the family pet, the youngest child, etc. Also the bragging ones, which make me want to upchuck, because I know all the stuff they DIDN'T mention. I love writing my silly Christmas letter, and hope everyone is entertained by it.

Happy New Year!

Bob Strother said...

The only kind I've ever received were of the "my kid's better" variety. I still felt better after reading them, aware of my own blessings, but without the insecurities that must have inspired the letters' authors. Plus, if you're in the right frame of mind, excerpted material can become a source of inside jokes.

Barbara V. Evers said...

I love your letter, Valerie! You're the friend who doesn't take herself seriously.

Barbara V. Evers said...

Bob, you're right. They are great sources for inside jokes.

Carole St-Laurent said...

Ah, I wandered about the letter my husband received from one of his vendor. It was the "my kid's better than yours" kind. I thought at the time it was weird that he'd mentioned all the trophies his kids won but didn't mention how his wife beat breast cancer. That was worthier to mention, I thought.

Wayne said...

Yeah, I’ve received some of those end of year letters. I can only think of one thing worse than getting those brag letters, and that is to run into the senders later and find out that your old friends; Joe Average and his wife, Mary Pretty-Normal along with their kids, Georgie stumble-foot and Annie Car-Sick, had somehow actually morphed into Mr. and Mrs. All American and their kids really were Superman and Wonder Woman. What a teeth grinder. Wayne G.