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Mr. Pettigrew,

By now I imagine you have seen the postcard from my sister. She is very dear to me, but she is also – excuse my frankness – rather daft, and more than a bit artless. To her credit, she freely admitted that she left it for you under the false flag of it being my request. She even disclosed, to my great mortification, that she went so far as to supply you with my age, down to the day, and her estimation of my weight down to the half pound (in the interest of transparency, allow me to disillusion you now; I have been at the cake this afternoon and feel certain I have joyously taken care of that last half pound). I confess I do not know much about you, but as you are capable of reading these words I presume you possess intelligence enough to read the situation as clearly as I do: My sister believes I am going to die an old maid any minute now and has seen fit to rectify the situation by means uniquely her own.

She is a well-meaning creature, but I hope I make myself clear that I do not endorse her methods. Can you imagine if everyone reduced courtship to such a thing, all of humanity laid out in rows of lifeless photographs and statistics, like fish at market waiting to be weighed and measured for their worth? What a miserable soup we’d be in if we all boiled souls down to their bones.

But since we are snared in this introduction, let me say that while I am the woman in that photograph I am a good deal more – and less – than what is captured in that moment. It does not convey that I am an avid cyclist (despite objections that such activity will jostle my womb into a state of uselessness, an objection made, amusingly enough, by the same person that told me my womb and therefore myself has already passed its date of usefulness). Nor that I am a sufferer of nearly incapacitating hay fever with a nose that runs like Niagara. You might perhaps infer from the photo that my approach to gardening is to embrace the wild vigor of nature, and that would be true, but whether that is motivated by a disinclination to discourage things that prove their will to persevere or just natural laziness, one would have to actually know me to find out. While my sister’s painstaking dedication to chronology has informed you I am only a few weeks away from my next birthday, many a fool has proven that age is not experience, and one does not measure the other. And unless you plan on shipping me somewhere – ordinarily a situation I would protest, though after two weeks visiting the aforementioned sister I am now open to considering a variety of options – I can see  no reason for quantifying my corporeal impact on the earth.

In short, whether you decide to respond is entirely up to you, sir. I will not hold you responsible for my sister’s eccentric notion of match making. Just please do not attempt to hold me tethered to the stillness of a photograph by lines from my sister’s hand. I assure you I am too lively for that.



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