Tuesday, January 14, 2014

To Whom it May Concern

Listen, I get it. People like to express themselves in words. It's why I started a blog. Why I totally love my job. Why I'm crushed that our English language is being subjected to abbrevs and Snapchats and other absolute pieces of literary garbage. (Side note: Hate Snapchat, LOVE Instagram. Go figure.) And I will fight harder to protect the art of the written language than I will to protect my right to not have Google snoop in every nook and cranny of my life. Words are the greatest.

But writing is also the beloved and relentless medium of the insane. Crazy people love them some writing. We've all seen movies where the freaky nutjob has shelves upon shelves of hand-written nonsense. They can't help but write down every mixed-up thought that tiptoes through their boggled heads. And we see this and are like "Omg, that person is cuckoo!"

Only insane people write letters to someone they don't know. To their imaginary voices in their heads. To pen pals. To inmates. To newspapers. None of it is okay as adults unless you have an incredibly poignant stance. And no one does. So if you are starting a letter with "To Whom it May Concern," chances are, you are insane.

But I know now why crazy people write. Because now I am officially a crazy-person-letter-writer. And here's why.

I did it. I started a letter on my computer, fueled by the kind of injustice and frustration that drives so many noteworthy head cases. I had had it. I had been the victim of too many instances of humanitarian fails that I could no longer sit idle and keep my mouth shut. I had to write it all down in the hopes that someone would listen.

My letter began as follows:

"To Whom it May Concern at whatever office is responsible for city or traffic planning in Rochester, MN:

With all the brilliant and talented minds at the Mayo Clinic and IBM that are attracted to this fine city, you would think that at least one of them would recognize the gross failures of the traffic light system that hangs like a plague across this community. They have not. The traffic lights in Rochester remain the bane of my existence and the #8 reason why I refer to this city as 'backwards.' There are simply not enough cars in this place to warrant an absence of weight-sensitive traffic lights. Every single day, I am delayed by approximately 15 minutes to get to my chain restaurant of choice because the traffic lights in this city are based on nothing more than the arbitrary timing of yesteryear. For a community built on medical innovation and  meeting the immediate needs of those in danger, I feel this is an unforgivable oversight and must be remedied immediately."

I was proud of how the letter started. I was like "YEAH! Those unknown dummies in some unknown office will TOTALLY love my eloquent explanation of why they need to effing step into modern traffic days. And then...

And then...

I realized I was crazy.

What exactly was I trying to accomplish with this letter? Did I just want to complain to someone? Maybe to tell someone that I absolutely find it unforgivable that traffic lights seem to go off in random patterns that disrupt my day for no reason? But seriously, what would that get me? It would get me some arbitrary platform that, at the end of my day, I literally could not care two poops about. It is just a reason to be mad. A reason to feel like I'm in control of something. And it gives me permission, I guess, to be insane.

I was writing a letter to some nobody who would likely laugh about it to their nobody co-worker, and they would both agree that some crazy nobody needs to get a hobby besides traffic patterns. It would go nowhere fast.

I'm not saying that people shouldn't express themselves. People should always talk about what they love and hate about something. (I'm like a certified Pro Reviewer on Zappos...which, by the way, is almost the same as being a published writer). But I am saying that the second you take to your computer to blaze off an angry letter to an anonymous blurb-face in the hopes of prompting dramatic change, you have already lost and you are already insane. Sorry.

Feel free to write your complaints and criticisms to pharonsquare@gmail.com. I promise I won't call you a crazy nutjob behind your back. Also, I will call you a crazy nutjob behind your back. :P

1 comment:

Tom said...

You should adopt the European attitude on traffic signals and regard them as merely a suggestion.