Emails I’ll never send | Column

by | March 9, 2019 5:00 pm

Last Updated: March 6, 2019 at 11:54 am

Some people think about things they left unsaid. I think about emails I’ll never send. For example:

Dear Brooklyn Native: I’m sorry you can’t find a good bagel down here, but admit it: You stay for the shrimp and grits. You know it, we know it, the shrimp know it. We’re glad to have you.

Dear Clinique Makeup Lady: You are young, beautiful and sweet, but I gave up on “wrinkle cures” long ago. Nothing you slap on your skin will reverse the signs of aging except Retin-A, which requires a prescription and makes your skin slough off like a snake’s. #askmehowiknow.

Dear Lady who Stopped to Get Dog: Thank you. You jumped out of your car to rescue that pup crouched trembling in the median. I see you. God sees you. Your heart is gold.

Dear Daily Mail: I know you’re just The National Enquirer with a sexy accent. I get it. But when you have Pierce Brosnan, Jude Law and Harry & Megs above the fold, I can’t say no.

Dear Harris Teeter Salad Bar Worker: I’ve never actually seen you, but consider this a full-contact hug. I’ve filled a few hundred to-go boxes at your salad bar. It’s always sparkling clean, and all the ingredients, from spinach leaves to curried chicken salad, are fresh. Keep that corn salad coming! Props for the recycled-paper containers, too.

Dear Robert DeNiro: Are you a little off in the head? Asking for a friend.

Dear Media Center Employee: I don’t know if I should call you a librarian or what, but thanks for being there. I love 1) the electronic checkout kiosks, and 2) seeing you in the background, smiling and ready to help. Library service doesn’t have to be either/or. Thank you. P.S. “An Unexpected Death” is the best nonfiction I’ve read in years. Five stars.

Dear Jussie: Repeat after me: It’s 2019, and cameras are everywhere. EVERYWHERE.

Dear Former Mean Girl: We’re way past high school and we can be friends now–but only on Facebook. I can let bygones be bygones, but don’t push it.

Dear Guy in Restaurant: I’ve seen you around; I know you get your kid every other weekend. I realize that six-year-old girls don’t make enthralling conversation, and they don’t care how much you can bench press, but know this: Your daughter tried, time and again tonight, to be interesting and charming and cute for you. I watched her for 45 minutes, while you watched your freaking phone. Shame on you, dude. Do better. Because when she develops abandonment issues and becomes a stripper, that’s on you. (P.S. I had a Caesar salad and Chardonnay tonight, thanks for asking).

Dear Metropolitan Museum of Art: I love your silk scarves, but you’re blowing my budget–so we’re breaking up. It’s not you, it’s me.

Dear Wikipedia: Everybody gives you a bad rap and your info won’t hold up in court, but when we need to know when Patsy Cline died or where to find wild truffles, you’re it. I’m ashamed to love you like I do. (Not as much as I loved the World Book encyclopedias of my youth, but close.)

Dear Hoka One One: Love your shoes, hate trying to find them. You have a nasty habit of retiring new models after a year, and then it takes me another six months to find a suitable replacement. Who wants to test drive 15 pairs of running shoes? Bring back the Odyssey 2! My shin splints and I thank you kindly.

Julie R. Smith, who’s always editing emails in her head, can be reached at



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