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“It only ends once – everything before that is just progress.”

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Dear Lost,

In the 36 hours since Sunday night, the internets have been abuzz with talk of you.  Did you end the right way?  Were people’s minds sufficiently blown?  How accurate were our theories?  Was the conclusion good enough?

Mainly: are we satisfied?

Lost, you were my favorite show I’ve ever watched, and gave me something to look forward to for 6 years.  From living in my studio in Seattle, to driving around the country for 3 months, to a tiny apartment on Music Row in Nashville, to a house shared with roommates and so many friends, to this new little life in Denver, you have been, as Daniel Faraday would call it, my constant.

You were an excuse to get together with friends – or, in more recent TV-less, friendless months, a reason to go to the gym on Tuesday nights.  You introduced me to interesting characters who asked interesting questions.  You tied together and orchestrated seemingly unrelated stories – and as exaggerated as it may be, in a small way it kind of makes me think of this.

[Seriously.  If that isn’t a masterpiece, I don’t know what is.  It doesn’t matter how many times I listen to it – I lose it every time.  I think that’s what heaven is going to sound like.]

I will miss the happy confusion you offered, and the absolute delirium I felt when I realized the game had changed (“We have to go back, Kate – we have to go back!”).  I love how you littered the Island with unrealistically good-looking people – women with fantastic cleavage and men with glorious scruff.  Thank you for throwing in polar bears, book clubs, Virgin Mary statues, time-traveling rats, swinging pendulums, smoke monster security systems, The Mamas & The Papas, spinal surgeries, ghosts, submarines, cliff fights (THE PUNCH!), and – loyal to the very end – a dog named Vincent.

People can say whatever they’re going to say – but you were good enough for me. I’ll miss you.

Dharma forever,

Dear Annie Parsons

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Dear Annie,

Last night, your mom sent me the sweetest email. She told me that you are 13, and found my blog when you Googled your own name. I think it’s so cool that you have continued to read my posts, and that from hundreds of miles away, we are connected. It’s like I have a friend that I never knew about. If my friends Paul Zimmerman-Clayton or Elliott Eicheldinger were to Google their names, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t find blog friends. So you and I are lucky.

First off, you have the greatest name. My parents thought about naming me Molly, but Molly Parsons sounded too much like Dolly Parton, so they went with Annie. My real name is Anne, but I’ve never been an “Anne.” In fact, I’ve decided that if I ever get married, I’m going to drop my middle name and officially change my name to Annie Parsons [Something] – that way, I can forever be called “Annie P” or “AP,” two very frequent nicknames that I’ve grown fond of.

And if I never get married, I might do it anyway: legally change my first name to “Annie.” And then maybe add some awesome name to the end, like Annie Parsons Fox or something. Or maybe I’ll just change my name to Octavia?

So, not knowing anything about you aside from the fact that you’re named Annie Parsons and you’re 13 and you read my blog, I’m wondering what it is that I could say to you — or to any other 13-year old who might happen across this post. I don’t claim to know much about this world or this life, but if I could go back and talk to myself at 13, this is what I would say.

Learn to use chopsticks. Somewhere, someday, you’ll be glad that you know how.

Read a lot of books. Books are amazing, and there are way too many good ones to ever read them all. I recommend A Little Princess and The Secret Garden and A Wrinkle In Time.

People will tell you that there’s no such thing as magic, but they’re wrong. Keep your eyes peeled for beauty. Don’t let anyone steal your imagination.

Sometimes it can be hard to be nice to the people that we love the most, but be nice to your family. Love them. If you have siblings, they can be your best friends. So can your mom. So can your dad. I didn’t realize this until after I moved away from home at 18, but I wish I had learned it sooner.

Whatever it is that you love — whether it’s piano or art or softball or ballet or whatever — keep doing it. Practice a lot. You have this window of time to learn and grow and improve, and you’ll be so thankful someday that you took the time to stretch yourself.

Try not to gossip. It might not win you popularity points, but it will win you friendship points, which are so much better.

It’s fine if you haven’t kissed a boy yet. It’s TOTALLY fine. I didn’t know that at 13 — and as I watched my friends get kissed, one by one, I started to feel like I was an ugly snail, the one that no one ever wanted. And trust me, it took me a long time to get kissed. Like, a lot more years past age 13. But then it happened, and it was great, and it didn’t matter how old I was.

And finally, things totally get better. I don’t know, Annie — you might be the most popular girl in your class, and feel confident and beautiful and completely awesome. But at 13, I sure didn’t. I felt awkward and clumsy and never knew what to say or how to be “cool.” I wanted people to like me (and yeah, of course I still do). But once I got to college, I realized that most people were starting to discover that they’d much rather hang out with those who are interesting, and kind, and uniquely themselves.

So if you’re feeling super lame today, don’t. Just keep being exactly who you are. It’s a good thing — I know it.


Pink slip

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008
Notice of Termination

Dear Summer,
We regret to inform you that you are being fired, effective immediately. Technically, you should have been gone weeks ago – on the Autumnal Equinox, as universally agreed – but obviously, you had your Nashville constituents fooled. You hid your face for a week or so, only to reappear on the scene with a foul air and a hot head.

You have been most rude to your replacement, Lady Fall, pushing her aside and preventing her from carrying out her duties. She is a beautiful soul, ready and willing to perform her magical deeds, but it’s impossible to get anything done when you have commandeered her workstation. And let’s not forget the incident involving you using her scarf to attempt to strangle her. I know, you say that it was all in good fun – calling it “one last tryst with Mr. Sun-Kissed” but she is threatening a lawsuit. You have overstayed your welcome. This leaves me no choice but to ax you.

Summer, this may come across as discourteous, but it must be said: everyone is sick of you and your obnoxious ways. For 4 ½ months, you have greeted us each morning with the unsightly image of your butt crack of dawn. You huff and puff your way through your days, bag of Doritos in hand, sweating on everyone you encounter. You have fostered skin cancer, body odor, and bad hair days. You have inspired bikini-clad women to dance to Kid Rock on boats and in the backs of pickup trucks. And as your latest egregious act, you have threatened that tomorrow you will crank up the thermostat to 86.

Well, guess what, Summer: you 86 us, we 86 you.


The break up

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

My love,

You know the old saying, “It’s not you, it’s me”?

Well, sorry. This time, it is definitely you.

We’ve been together for a long time. So long, in fact, that I can scarcely remember a time when we were apart. There was that one time during my freshman year of college when I needed some space, and space we took. But in your absence, I gained a ton of weight and my face ballooned up like a chipmunk. I missed you. I begged God that you would return to me.

And you did. Slowly but surely, you came back. Ever since that traumatic experience, I have clung tightly to you. You have been safe. You have been secure. You have made me look good.

At least, you used to.

Lately, I’ve been realizing what a hassle you are. You promise to be low-maintenance, but you actually take up too much time. You assure me that you’ll behave, but then you wig out and go nuts. Certain people have told me that you make me beautiful, so I’ve kept you around. But the truth is, I’ve wanted you gone for a long time.

I’ve waited. For many reasons, I’ve waited. I’ve waited until “after I’m skinnier,” I’ve waited until “after I get married,” I’ve waited until “after I’ve convinced Nashville that I am glamorous.” But when I woke up this morning, I could wait no more.

I’m sorry. I know that I will probably eventually shed tears, but not today. You’ve done nothing but take, and it’s time that you be cut off – literally. I’m leaving you for my new lover, Bob.

Cutting and running,

Moving day

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

Dear Grant (“the man that I live with”),
You have stored up major treasures in heaven.

We did not know each other – you were the friend-of-a-friend – and yet you graciously opened your doors to me. You helped me carry my huge purple suitcases, and big boxes of dishes and books, and all of my linens, into your spare bedroom. You gave me a corner of the shower to put all of my pink bottles of smell-goody shampoo. You cleared out the bottom shelf of the fridge for my eggs and bread and yogurt. You didn’t complain when I left my frying pan on the stove, morning after morning, because I don’t wash it every day between frying eggs… you didn’t even tell me I’m a gross human being for not doing so. You didn’t lose your mind when I put MY bedspread on your guest bed, just to make it feel more like home. You lent me your car to go pick up big pieces of furniture that I bought on Craigslist. You edited my resume. You told me what I should do if a tornado hits.

You didn’t kick me out. For over a month, and mostly with no end in sight, you let me stay.

I don’t know what I would have done without you. I am forever indebted. I’ll miss sitting in the living room at night, you always on the couch, me always on the love-seat (why did that always just happen?), talking about our days. I never cured you of your TV addiction, and you never cured me of my internet obsession, but hey – we tried.

Oh, and I’ve been meaning to bring something up. You use Mentadent toothpaste? The double-barreled wonder? I kind of forgot that existed.

Well, cool.


Lip service

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

Dear Burt’s Bees,

I don’t know what to say. I am utterly flummoxed. After years of faithful service, you have let me down.

How could you? HOW COULD YOU? Did you want to cause me havoc and harm? Kick my 2008 off to a despicable start? Or, worse yet, did you think this was a good idea?

Today, I have been all over town – department stores, major shopping complexes, groceries, strip malls – and every place I have found the same deplorable truth: you no longer produce Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in “Coffee.”

Oh, you try to make it look like you are still a reputable organization. You have your flimsy little cardboard stands full of Lip Shimmer in various asinine shades: Champagne, Watermelon, Rhubarb, GUAVA. You even have the nerve to carry “Toffee,” causing my hopes to shoot through the roof. But the wishful “C” quickly morphs back into the actual “T,” sending my good faith plummeting back down to earth, where, apparently, dreams wither and die like fish in hot dirt.

But I’m a big girl. I do what I need to do. I bucked up right there in the middle of Whole Foods Market, and purchased your Lip Shimmer in “Papaya,” the closest thing I could find to the flawless “Coffee” shade. However, I’ll have you know that I also purchased “Blaze” by Alba, which, if I’m not mistaken, is your arch-rival when it comes to lip gloss. Take that.

May your 2008 bring you new brains and new management.

Kisses – blazing Alba kisses,

The cover letter I wish I could attach

Monday, October 15th, 2007

Dear Potential Employer,

Congratulations! You are holding the invitation to employ me, Annie Parsons. This golden ticket is not easy to come by, as I am particular and discerning about my place of employment. Some might even call me picky – to which I respond, “In a good way.”

You might be wondering what it is about me that might warrant your consideration for hire. Ponder the facts:
1) I’m super fun. I liven up any office, and always have amusing stories to tell.
2) I mean it when I say I can do anything. Do you want a huge event planned? Done. Do you want the tiny details taken care of? No problem. Do you need a triple tall non-fat no-foam latte? That’s what I do.
3) By hiring me, you immediately inherit my internal encyclopedia of songs. This comes in handy if we ever go do office karaoke.

As for my know-how in your career field, well, that’s all relative, isn’t it? I’m like Barack Obama: what I lack in experience, I make up in charisma and charm. And these things are going to take me far.

I feel compelled to include a gratuitous word about my typing skills. You do not need to know how many words per minute I can type, as I do not want to appear arrogant. Suffice it to say that you might as well call me Mavis Beacon.

One more thing: my entire life, I have been awarded jobs without ever applying for them. People meet me and are overwhelmed by my skills and cute shoes, and then just put me on the payroll. I have never even had to write a cover letter! Obviously – duh.

Thank you for your consideration. If you want to find out more, then just friend me on Facebook.

Rock on,
Annie P.