Dear A,

You have been a most wonderful and supportive husband, but I thought you should know that I’ve recently developed feelings for another man.  He’s witty and tall and adventurous.  He’s empathetic, self-deprecating, and smart as hell.  He’s also... how do I say this delicately?... published.

Oh, John Steinbeck, if I had only known the real you back in tenth grade!  Perhaps those long, dull nights alone in bed with Of Mice And Men wouldn’t have felt quite so... forced.  Because even though I rather liked that text, I would have never known, would have never GUESSED that your charms would eventually overwhelm me.  I didn’t even know you had charms.

But then, years later,  when I was pregnant with my first son I decided to bear down and get some literature under my belt.  I figured I’d never have time with a rug rat under foot, and what sort of mother should ever have to confess to her offspring that she hasn’t actually read Grapes of Wrath?  Whether you knew it or not, you taught me some good parenting tricks with that one, Johnny.  Kids eating peaches till they get the skitters?  That’s hungry all right.  Thanks to your heart-breaking account of human suffering, I learned how to tell my kids that they can either eat that spinach quiche or they can march themselves straight to bed.  So thanks for that.

It wasn’t until I’d had two children (who were finally asleep) that I opened Travels with Charley. By the end of the first paragraph I was salivating.  By the end of the first page, I was fantasizing.  By the end of the first chapter, I was totally in love.  

I felt that you were really opening up to me with your first-person narrative.  So coy!  You offer years and years of fiction and then suddenly a personal non-fiction account of your cross-country road trip?  You’re a tease, John, you really are.  Thanks to Travels with Charley, I can say with confidence that I* know the real you. I know every detail of your campervan, your laundry bucket, and your drinking habits.  I know what’s in your garage (junk!) and the name of your boat (Fayre Eleyne, after your wife, but no matter).  I know all about that long lonely night in Maine.

So back to you, A, my dearest love.  I have a proposition for you.  If you can find it in your heart to stay with a distracted woman; if you can continue to tolerate my profanity, eccentricity, impatience, grumpiness, criticism, and overall negativity; if you can refrain for another lifetime or so from running screaming from the home we share; if you can make some room for my new friend Mr. Steinbeck, well, then I think we have a shot at making it.

Al(most all) my love,

-your S

*(and anyone else with an Amazon account)



11/18/2012 9:36am

Brilliant Sarah. One of my favorites. Love to you (and A. also)


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