A friend recently forwarded me this letter to the editor from the Swankington Times:
To the editor:
New Years Day 2012 my beautiful 26 year old daughter waited on line in Starbucks coffee shop. Two thirty-something females stood behind her on line. They proceeded to comment on her scarf, her handbag, her choice of clothing. (None of the comments were kind.)
When Allison, my daughter, began to pay the cashier, one women eluded to the other that the reason Allison had so many one dollar bills was because she was a stripper.
Let me tell you something about my daughter, she attends school full-time and maintains a B average. She works full-time as a bartender and manages to maintain a happy marriage, all while staying true to herself and where she came from.
No mother could be prouder of a child then I am.
To the two females, (ladies they were not) who felt the need to bully someone they do not know, I am here to tell you, you are what gives the town of Barrington a bad name. You are precisely why so many people believe that all Barrington residents are snobbish.
Live and let live and do not judge people based on the fact that they are not wearing designer clothes. Its close-minded and ugly.
My children were not raised to make judgments based on appearance. They accept people for who they are. I suggest you do the same.
I was incredulous upon reading this letter. Not because of the meanness described. No. I know how cruel the women of Swankington can be. But usually their cruelty — honed by years of subsisting on skim milk lattes — comes in the form of patronizing looks, or — if you’re lucky — an inability to raise the corners of their mouths in response to your own smile.
No, something else was bothering me, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. And then I realized what it was: that the letter was actually published.
I could go on and on about how this letter is one of the many reasons I don’t read the Swankington Times, but I would much rather write my own letter to the editor and see if I can get it published. Here goes!
To the editor,
Last year my son came home utterly distraught in a way I had never seen him before. Gone was the posturing and acting out without being able to describe his feelings and in its place was sheer sorrow. What caused this? A mean boy.
It turned out that one of the kids in his class had invited all but my son and one other classmate to his birthday party. While all the invited boys talked about the party all day long in class, my son was left to feel excluded and hurt. The day was then topped off by all the boys walking home together in what could only be described as a herd of non-inclusiveness.
First of all, I don’t blame the boy. I blame his parents. Didn’t these parents learn that if you are going to invite all the boys in the class but two, then you just invite the other two, even if you don’t like them that much?
If it’s a numbers game, then you tell you child s/he can invite her/his age plus one to their party.
If none of those strategies work for your family, then at the very least, your children should be taught to not talk about their party at school.
It’s these kinds of parents who give Swankington a bad name!
P.S. That hasn’t been my name since 1989, but I’m not signing my real name! This town is WHACK.
I will never really send this letter to the Swankington Times. First of all, I pretty much wrote all this a year ago in a more appropriate, private forum: Facebook. But — and here is The Point — it’s about a petty, personal, idiotic slight!
If I were really going to write a letter to the editor, it would go something like this:
To the editor,
Please stop publishing letters about hurt feelings and go back to letters from the town’s residents, who respond to their school’s principals’ firings with denial, then some denial, some more denial and then a little denial.
It’s much more entertaining!
Catherine B. Winchild
I’ll sign my name to that!
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