Although I have not lived in Buffalo in almost six years, I still read the newspaper online regularly. It makes me feel close to the family and friends I still have living there by staying abreast on the events that affect them. Today, I came across a book review for “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand”. The summary sounded interesting enough, and I was excited to see that they were giving away four signed copies. In order to be considered, I had to send an email explaining why I deserved to win a copy of the book. I sat and thought to myself: “Why do I deserve a copy?” I pondered the question for about thirty minutes and then decided that I would just be upfront. I hoped my honesty would weigh more in my favor than some elaborately fabricated story on how having the book would take my mind off of some terminal illness, and crafted this response:
“To Whom It May Concern:
To be completely honest, I can’t come up with a valid reason why I should be selected to receive a copy of this book. I tried to think of an elaborate response that might win the heart of whomever ends up reading this email, but I came up with nothing.
As a wife and mother of four behaviorally-challenged children, I didn’t always have time to read. I went for an embarrassing number of years without reading more than the headlines in the newspaper. My vocabulary gradually decreased, and holding an intelligent conversation with people over the age of 7 was difficult. As my children got older and more independent, I found myself with more free time than I had been accustomed to. I turned back to the pastime of my childhood: immersing myself in books. You see, when I was younger, I couldn’t get enough of it. I was addicted to the written word. A bookshelf that covered an entire wall of my bedroom was not sufficient enough to contain the collection of literature I had acquired. While most young girls my age would spend the summer playing hopscotch and running through lawn sprinklers, I spent my days curled up on a window seat with a book by Zilpha Keatly Snyder, my favorite author when I was in elementary school.
I fell back into the habit of reading just as if there had never been a lapse. I learned how to use adjectives in my sentences again, and I can express myself verbally without the addition of hand gestures. I love having the ability to lose myself in someone else’s story, forgetting for a few moments the piles of laundry that sit unfolded. For a little while, I can become a woman whose body has been inhabited by an alien. Or fall in love with a time traveler. I am ready for any adventure that presents itself. But I only have about an hour, because that laundry isn’t going to fold itself.
Please take my request into consideration, despite my inability to demonstrate why I deserve it. Or maybe I have. I am still working on that vocabulary issue.
No, I didn’t really sign it “Me”. I’ll let you all know how it goes.