To Whom it May Concern

Dear Zoom, 

Please change Gallery view so that my own image is really tiny in the corner of the screen, the way it appears in Microsoft Teams, while everyone else’s image is full-sized.   I’d like my Hollywood Square to be just big enough so that I can make sure nothing really embarrassing is going on behind me; but small enough so that the fact that I’m having a bad hair day won’t be a distraction.   Also, I’d appreciate it if you could program the video to turn off automatically each time I decide to have a snack. 

Dear people who used to make my favorite jeans, 

Please get back into business.   I have two pairs of your wonderful jeans, a perfect fit, that I bought five or six years ago.  Since I have worn one of these two pairs of pants every single day for the past year, the cotton has started to disintegrate.  

I still can’t quite wrap my mind around going into a store and staying inside with other humans long enough to actually try on a few replacement candidates.   What I really want is to order yours online, since I know they will be just right.    So if you could go back into business long enough to manufacture a few Size 4s, I’d be grateful. 

Dear Centers for Disease Control, 

Thank you for finally admitting that we can’t get COVID from surfaces.   I think we’ve known this for at least six months – starting right around the time that it was once again possible to find Purell and Clorox wipes on store shelves.   In truth, it’s been quite a while since I wiped down the door handles.  But at least now I can stop feeling guilty about it. 

Dear New York Times

I have read your virus coverage obsessively for the past thirteen months.   On your advice, I dutifully sewed masks out of tea towels and left my groceries and mail to cure for three days before opening them.   I cleaned the frequently-touched surfaces in my house with bleach every single day, except when I forgot or didn’t feel like it.   I must admit that I did draw the line when you told me that, in preparation for a frolicsome Fourth of July cookout in which small groups of masked guests shouted to each other from opposite sides of the backyard, I should wrap each household’s place settings in plastic and leave them untouched for three days prior to the event.   This, I judged, was a bridge too far (mostly because I no longer have a backyard). 

Dear New York Times, I am writing now to ask you please, each time there is some good news to report on the virus – say, how the US is now vaccinating three and sometimes four million people a day, or how the evidence indicates that once vaccinated, people are unlikely to spread the virus further – please do not end that hopeful story by reminding the reader that the world could still, quite easily, turn to shit at any moment.   

Dear Star Market, 

Please re-order Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer tea.  The last few times I’ve visited the store, it’s been out of stock.   I ran out of my home supply three weeks ago.

And guess what?  


Dear people who run the Prudential Center, 

A very long time ago (specifically, December), you changed the lighting scheme on the top of the tower every single night.   Sometimes you chose a single color – electric blue, or a jaunty fuschia.  

Sometimes you went for a variegated or modulating effect.  


It was a moment of joy, every night, to look out my window and see what color you’d chosen for the evening.   Since January, though, it’s been a tedious white, every single unchanging night. 

It is spring, finally; the leaves are popping, daffodils, forsythia and magnolias in full bloom.    The days are full of light and hope.   But the nights are still dark.  My dreams are still anxious.  

So please, dear people who run the Prudential Center, please bring back the colors.    Because now, more than ever, we need a little bit of whimsy.