In an open letter to the high school teacher who once said to/asked of me, “You don’t do that Lil’ Kim stuff, do you?”

“Gross. I think that you were making an allusion to the rumor circulating during that time that Lil’ Kim had her stomach pumped for, uh, let’s just say, big girl reasons. But, I could be wrong; I’ve never been great at putting together these sorts of things. What I do know is that your question made me sweat. A lot. As in more than usual. And during those particular years, I was a perpetual sweaty mess. Again, gross.”

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In an open letter to the man who sat beside me/almost atop me on the plane,

“I have to tell you, I didn’t see it coming. You looked so neutrally friendly as you approached our row. Then you proceeded to take up about one quarter of my seat, not because your size required it, but because… Well, only you can answer that one. I should have just said something. But the longer we sat, the more uncomfortable I became. I didn’t even want to move because I knew that you would feel my every movement since the entire length of my leg from hip to knee was in full contact with your leg. I thought about putting my hand on your knee since it was in my seat, but I thought better of it. I even considered resting my head on your shoulder, but that may have been biting off more than I could chew. I even thought about trying to relax into the bodily contact, try to enjoy it, but I just couldn’t….”

In an open letter to the airport personnel manning the body scanner,

“You looked surprised when I didn’t keep walking, encouraging me with a bewildered, ‘Come on, baby.’ But, since you were touching me, I thought you were telling me I needed to stop….”

In an open letter to the man on the plane who, without invitation, started to help me remove my jacket,

“Thank you? I guess I looked like I was having a hard time?”

In an open letter to the feelings unleashed by prematurely listening to Harry Connick Jr. doing Christmas songs,

“Even I am at a loss for words right now, but I have to tell you that wondering whether this music is regularly used to seduce during the holiday season is, well, a little different. As for the thought, ‘this is the kind of music that makes you feel up for anything if it comes with a little foxtrot and a York Peppermint Patty….’ I just don’t know.”

In an open letter to the woman whom I didn’t tell that her maxi pad was hanging out of her pocket by a good two inches,

“I found myself thinking about you the other day and I was surprised to find that I still found it funny. You were there giving a presentation to the class with that telltale pink plastic betraying you against those navy blue corduroys. Had you been nicer, I probably would have told you. Had you been nicer, maybe someone else, anyone, would have told you. Instead, here I am giggling about it fifteen years later.”

In an open letter to her ample bosom,

“You know that I try my best to keep you hidden from the prying eyes of aggressive disrespectors of personal space. However, on occasion, I walk by a reflective surface and find that you are insufficiently hidden. In these moments I often wonder whether I could stage a miniature puppet show there. Might as well do something with all of the attention focused on you, no?”

In an open letter to the two motorists I watch blatantly run red lights,

“You all are the reason that I always indulge in an extra pause when my light turns green. You’re dangerous.”

In an open letter to the woman she watched pick her nose for an extended period of time,

“I have never seen someone commit to picking her nose the way that you did. As I openly stared at you not bothering to disguise my gaze, you didn’t even acknowledge my presence. I am perplexed by the science behind your nose picking. I couldn’t see any of your pinky finger and you rooted around in there so aggressively that your entire nose moved. It’s like your nose and finger were dancing together. They danced the lambada. Oh, and thanks for the reminder to wash my hands early and often.”

In an open letter to her crankiest self,

“Listen, you have got to lay off on the taking things personally. You are in control of your reactions and you need to start acting like it. I think you need to get back into running, you Clydesdale. You could use some endorphins….”