I’m penning this note to address a couple of items that your father and I have been discussing the past couple of days in preparation for this weekend’s family reunion.
I can’t stress it enough that we are quite disappointed about the decision that you and Cheryl have made. Deciding to spend your weekend at the cabin that Scotty rented in Tennessee instead of accompanying your father and I is, quite frankly, selfish and immature.
You know as well as I do how little your father enjoys these annual gatherings. If you were to tag along, as you’ve done every year in the past, you could assist me in keeping your father’s mood swings to a minimum. If I’m not mistaken, you haven’t forgotten how much of a boor he was last year after stumbling into the liquor cabinet. I doubt that Aunt Bethel will even attend this year’s festivities, considering how rude and obnoxious your father was to her last year. I will do my best this year to keep an eye on him, but I could definitely use you and Cheryl as a couple extra pairs of watchful eyes. Besides, you’ve always been a fan of your cousin Lucy’s macaroni salad. I swear that I’ve tried, unsuccessfully, to craft that same dish but you know that with our hard water, the noodles never seem to turn out as soft as hers. I hate to get off topic, but I want you to know how much you will be missing out on this year.
We are glad you’re getting some good mileage out of the Oldsmobile, but you know how neurotic your father can be when it comes to maintenance of the vehicles. He wanted me to be sure and mention that the oil change is past due and he thinks it may be a good idea to leave it parked at the house until the service can be performed on it. Knowing how bad you are at remembering to contact the shop, he’s already called and scheduled you a full tune-up before the trip. If for whatever reason the mechanic can’t get to it, your father prefers that you use Cheryl’s car instead of the Classic on a longer road trip. There’s no guarantee that your father’s friend Freddy can get the Oldsmobile in the shop on such short notice and to soothe your father’s mind, please do as I ask.
Ashley, your father is not thrilled in the least about how much time you have been spending with Scotty. We’ve discussed him before and you know we don’t approve of him. He’s crass, disrespectful and downright dangerous to have as a friend. His curiousity will most likely get you into some trouble, mark my words. Why don’t you spend more time with that nice Olsen boy? What’s his name, Sean? He seems to have a good head on his shoulders and he is respectful to his mother, unlike Scotty. On a sidenote, so you know, your father can tell when you’ve let Scotty drive the car. You’ve been told before that if you choose to take the Classic out, you don’t need to be sharing the wheel with anyone else, least of all Scotty.
I wanted to mention this girl you’re dating now, as well. Your father and I feel that you are doing yourself a disservice by continuing to run around with Linda. She doesn’t seem like a horrible person per se, but she seems to be a bit too much of a dreamer. ESP? Really? You know that sort of talk makes your father and I quite uncomfortable. There is nothing natural about thinking you can read minds or predict card tricks. Coming from the family that Linda comes from, it only seems natural that she would be an underperformer. Ashley, my son, it feels like she has a bit of a distracting influence on you. If you would only focus, you could have made it onto the management team at S-Mart by now. There is no real future in housewares, and we wish you’d figure out what to do with your life. Get your life in order, son. Move either up in housewares or out of S-Mart. You are young enough and have enough life left in front of you that your options are endless. Linda doesn’t appear to have any sort of future goals, at least judging by our previous conversations with her. I know that you claim to be in love with her, but please listen to your mother. I can tell she’s holding you back.
I’m deeply sorry about the negative tone of this letter, and do want to remind you how much your father and I love you.
I dearly hope this letter makes it to your dorm room before you leave for the weekend. It would please your father and I immensely if you and Cheryl would reconsider your plans. Spending the weekend in the woods of Tennessee in a rickety, old log cabin sounds awfully dangerous, son.
Pass along our love to Cheryl,
This “letter” was a result of having read a writer’s exercise last week where the task was to write a letter to a fictional character, in the interests of sparking some inspiration. I’m toying with the idea of taking some of my favorite characters and making a few more of these humorous “letters” from the point of the mother in the future.