With Deepest Sympathy

“Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine.”–Thomas Aquinas

Approximately 8-10 times a day, a young man who has barely cleared puberty sings sweetly to me these words:  “Is it too late now to say ‘sorry?’  ‘Cause I know-oh-oh that I let you down.  Is it too late to say ‘sorry’ now?”

Oh, Beibs.  It’s too late for a lot of things, but saying “sorry” is not one of them.  In fact, the constant presence of your question in my car makes me realize how many people in my circle deserve an apology from me for some transgression.  So, taking a cue from Jimmy Fallon’s hilarious Thank You notes (Sorry I’m lifting your idea, Jimmy.  Please sue me so we can meet.) and my natural inclination to say “Sorry” to everyone for everything (sorry, feminists, for reinforcing the terrible habit of women everywhere to apologize for existing) I’ve put together a few heartfelt condolence messages to those people for whom I have sympathy.

I find it so uncomfortable when a person has to get up in front of a lot of other people to try to garner enthusiasm and participation and it just falls flat.  It’s really hard to work a tough crowd, and so my condolences are extended to Group Fitness Instructors.

richard simmons

Dear Group Fitness Instructor,
In times like these I find it difficult to express my condolences in a meaningful phrase. And, actually, during your class, I find it difficult to express much of anything besides the desire to make it through the next 45 minutes of my life without passing out. Please know that I have the utmost admiration for your enthusiasm surrounding getting us all fit and, in other circumstances, I would probably laugh heartily at your jokes and may even take the opportunity during this awesome song to “get funky.” Especially if it were a little darker in here and vodka was involved. But at the moment, I’m having a hard time forgetting the fact that my legs are about to give out and I can’t keep straight all the instructions regarding when I should breathe in and when I should breathe out and how my shoulder blades should be pinched, and keeping my knees over my heels to be able to also give you an enthusiastic “HUH!” on that kick. You’re a good person, you’re good at what you do, and I’m sure it must be very hard to cast your optimism on such an unresponsive crowd. All I can do is be here for you every Tuesday and Thursday at 9:30. It is my sincere prayer that during this difficult time you can find comfort and peace in your flat abs and perfectly sculpted arms.

Sorrowfully yours,

Sweaty, Red-faced Lady in the Back Right Corner

Oh, teachers.  What would we do without you?  So many things for which I’d like to thank and offer condolences.  You all get a virtual flower arrangement from me.  

Dear Teacher of My Child,
The hurt you are feeling by making the decision to give out your personal cell phone number to the class may seem incurable.  And you are probably right.  But each week, each month, each year, the hurt will fade.  And then, one day, you will look up and remember, perhaps with fondness, that time I called you while you were out to dinner with friends to ask the very important question of whether a pond is a body of water or a land formation. The sharing of your cell phone number was a great help to my family at a time when Google failed us. And your succinct answer, given after your realization that this call was indeed happening resulted in making my daughter very happy to know something that her mother did not. I assure you, she has never forgotten it. Not a single detail of it. We relive it often. Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you.  You will move past this, you will be happy again and one day you will look back at all the calls you received and realize how many people cared for you and the crazy ass random facts kids these days are tested on in school.

Call me anytime (you’re in my phone, so I may or may not answer.  Just leave a message and I’ll get back to you, maybe.  Actually it would be better if you text, you know how it is with kids and all that.),

THAT mom

As long as it’s hair TRIMMING, and not hair REMOVAL, a visit to the salon is my most favorite thing ever.  But I can only imagine the despair people in the beauty business experience when faced with the lump of clay that believes the right defrizzing cream can turn them into a gorgeous vase filled with beautiful flowers.  I’m making you a casserole for your freezer as soon as I can.  

julia in the beauty chair

Dear Sweet Hairdresser,
I am so sorry you are having to go through such a horrible ordeal.  I wish there was some magic spell I could do to relieve you of the pain you must feel every time I come to your salon clutching a picture of  Carrie Underwood, Kelly Ripa, or “that cute girl on that show?  You know the one?  The one with that cute haircut!  You know who I mean.”.  Whenever, however, with whoever you feel most comfortable with, talk, cry and allow yourself to grieve that Pinterest was invented and people like me think that all you need is inspiration from my smartphone to turn me into a supermodel.  My condolences on this hard day that is upon us, a time we have to say goodbye to dreams of hair the good Lord did not see fit to give to me to have and for you to work with.  Please know that I know you are doing the best you can, and your efforts are appreciated.  How you find so many kind ways to say, “You are not Jennifer Aniston and I am not Chris McMillan” is truly an amazement.  Your gentle words of encouragement every 6 weeks are uplifting to me and I am sure many others, and I can only hope to return the favor in some small way.

Thoughts and prayers to you,
Hausfrau Who Should Probably Just Get a Wig and Be Done with It


Well, since I’m all out of virtual stationery at the moment, let’s go ahead and wrap this up.  I offer my sincerest condolences to any of you dear readers who have to put up with situations like these in your every day lives.  Just know that I’m here for you and call me if you need ANYTHING.  As long as it’s not super labor-intensive or terribly inconvenient for me, I’ll be somewhat content to help you get through this.  Good talk.


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