How to Set a Literary Snare

There are those rare occasions when I get to flex my fingertips for a friend. When the gavels and the stethoscopes of the world won't save you. I'm talking about the carefully crafted love letter, ya'll.

Oct 5, 2011 at 5:00pm | Leave a comment

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My Care Bear Circle of Fun Friends is very Village People on academia. There are lawyers, doctors, brokers, teachers, politicians, lobbyists. Need I go on? Basically anything you need a pricey piece of paper to do, they've done. Me? I'm the writer, who works from home. 

So when at brunch where folks dole out free advice on legal problems or lady parts, my job is to observe and report. I mine the field but rarely get to plant my own seeds of professional wisdom. Unless grammar is involved. I suck at grammar. My two cents in the case of effect versus affect? Spell check. 

But there are those rare occasions when I get to flex my fingertips for a friend. When the gavels and the stethoscopes of the world won't save you. I'm talking about the carefully crafted love letter, ya'll. Yesterday I got this note from my beef (BFF) Stella, which she is aware I'm dissecting for you all's benefit:

"I need your creative-writing help! David and I are talking again. Shut up. He's finally graduating B-school. I'm not getting him anything, obvs, but I do wanna send him a card. What the hell should it say? I want to keep doors open, but not overdo it.  It has to be strong and not at all desperate/missing him souding. Care Bear...prepare to stare!!!"

I live for this.

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Remember in "Under the Tuscan Sun" when Frances ghost writes a postcard for a fellow "Gay and Away" turista and she says about a grape, "the violet sweetness breaks open in my mouth. It even smells purple"? Yeah, no. This won't be that. These are the options I've crafted for Stella. 

1. The Wisegal 

"Congratulations!!! You've now officially entered the worst job market in recent history with a butt load of personal debt! Then again you always did like it from behind. ;) If you need someone to look over your resume or just a shoulder on which to sob uncontrollably, I'm available after work, at my job, where I make loads of money. First round's on me, obviously. :)" [The smiley faces here are so key, otherwise she's just being an asshole, but some men really really like that. It's like S & M for your mind.]

2. The Shortest Path Between Two Points Is A Straight Lie

"I can't believe you graduated already. I almost forgot you even left! Geez time flies when you're getting on with your life. Anyway congrats, you're on your way to great things! We have to go for a drink next time you're in town because soon I'll be saying I knew you when." [In my experience some men can be extremely sensitive aliens who feed off praise, but I don't want Stel getting too gushy, hence the feigned nonchalance at the start.]

3. The Just Go For It

"I'm proud of you, man! Congratulations. We should definitely celebrate when you settle back in. Between interviews and unpacking you'll need a drink. I know just the place." [This is soft core but strong.]

The goal in every one of these scenarios is to put the ball in homeboy's court. Clingy went the way of the condor. Any man worthy of Stella should get the hint and hop on board. Otherwise he's not worth the Hallmark. Regardless I got to help a friend and I know I'm not the only one with suggestions. Remember Stella's action adjectives are "open doors," "not overdone," "strong" and "not missing him souding." Care Bears, countdown!