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Dearest Libby,

I am concerned for human kind. Today I received an e-mail from our Security Manager specifically outlining those items that employees should NOT attempt to shred. It was alarming to learn that my coworkers are attempting to shred plastic bags, pizza boxes, paper coffee cups, juice boxes, broken glass, and bottle caps. Seriously, who puts a pizza box through a shredder? How is that logical? Shredding exists for sensitive documents. Did they draw some obscene stick figures on the box out of boredom? And after realizing what they had drawn become so overwhelmed with shame they could not possibly put it in the recycle bin? And why is someone decades over the age of 8 drinking from a juice box?

Until this e-mail arrived I attributed the consistent shredder problems to the shredder bin rarely being emptied. The average employee at this institution cannot understand the red blinking light indicates a full bin or a paper jam. To these simple souls the red light is the signal to bang on the shredder and scream about budget cuts. Little did they know Steve-O down the hall just put the apple juice box he stole from Junior’s lunch through the shredder so he wouldn’t be judged by Ted the Janitor. Promotions are nice but it might be time to consider a new career path.

On the home front I can report my husband and I have entered our second year of marriage still full of love and the naïve belief that we can take on the world together. We learned some important lessons this past year. Well, I should say Gavin learned a few important lessons this past year. These lessons included the realization that an OCD wife does not understand the concept of “leave the dishes for later.” While the general idea of tossing aside responsibility in favor of more interesting pursuits is romantic, the reality is a hyperventilating wife who is paralyzed by the fear that if the dishes do not get washed life will dissolve into chaos. It starts with avoiding the dishes, spreads to other areas of our life, and ends with our bodies being dragged out of a filthy house that has collapsed under the weight of our molding possessions. My mother will disown me. Society will shun us. We will have failed at life. Gavin says we need to talk about this with a trained professional but I advised him it was much easier to help me wash the dishes. And cheaper.

With regard to your letter from last week and your own personal battles, I am glad you are able to find comfort in connecting with Grandpa. He fought many battles in life, both against known and identifiable enemies in the jungles of Vietnam and internal enemies that only he could see. Take strength from his example and remember that I am always here to listen and offer advice. Long past is the time when you needed me to slay the dragons for you, but that doesn’t mean I won’t hop in the trench and fight with you.

Off to clean something,

Jane