To begin with, can we stop using the word Dear. Dear means beloved, precious, priceless, or rare. I don’t have that kind of relationship with my phone company, nor do I want one. We can still be friends, but I just don’t feel that way about you. Especially since I am paying you. It gets weird very quickly, and I don’t want you to feel cheap. I’ve been sending and receiving a lot of letters recently. (Not fan mail mind you. Nobody reads this blog.) It has always bothered me how insincere we are to each other in our presentation of the written word. I’m not even going so far as to say that the content of correspondence is crap (it usually is), but I can’t get past the salutation without cringing.
I filled out an application for one of those air miles clubs, because you can’t get away from them. Instead of the usual choices, there was a whole dropdown list of titles to choose from. I picked Captain, because I’m hoping that when I finally earn a free flight that they’ll let me fly the plane. Don’t worry though – it will be at least seventeen years before I earn enough points for that. (Currently at 171 of 25,000 points.)
Then there’s the Mister thing. People only call you Mister when they want something from you. Hey Mister, got the time? Hey Mister, stop dancing on the table. A defibrillator is not a toy, mister. Mister is what we used to call old farts. Please allow me my delusion that I am still a teenager and stop calling me Mister. Same goes with sir. At least until I’m knighted by the Queen. (Shut up. It could still happen.)
Still I suppose the men have it easier than the women.* They still have to contend with the whole Mrs. vs. Ms. cultural baggage. Because nothing says sexism better that having your marital status attached to your name. There’s also ma’am, but I never call a woman that because I don’t like getting punched in the nutsack. Our language also completely ignores the transgendered. You shouldn’t have to declare your gender identity just to fill out a gym membership. No one needs another reason not to exercise.
The closings of these letters are no better. Yours truly – again, a huge overshare. I feel like I have to let you down easy. Sincerely – unlikely. Best Wishes – this one is for those people who wrote “Have a great summer” in your school yearbook. I give up. From now on I will be ending all my correspondence like this:
Your partner in crime,
Cptn. Rubin von Nutsack, Esq.
P.S. Also, my New Year’s resolutions are to blog more and not be pedantic about the apostrophe in New Year’s. (I’ve already broken one of those.)
*Voted most obvious point of 2013