An Open Letter About Fake Letters

For the purposes of this open letter, the group of people I am addressing will be referred to as the Bygone Ladies…

Dear Bygone Ladies,

It was a silly, childish prank, and I apologize to all of you. True, it wasn’t destructive or threatening, but uncalled for nonetheless. You probably don’t remember me doing it, and if you do, you didn’t know it was a prank at the time. Hence this letter.

I was 14 years old and we all went to the same high school at the time. Basically I followed the rules and stayed out of trouble. Did what i was supposed to do. Tried to be nice to people, and show everyone respect until they gave me reason not to. But at the end of sophomore year, something in me got struck with the idea to write those letters to all of you.

Why you? A simple reason; you were all transferring to somewhere else, and that afforded me the opportunity.

I wrote “love” letters to each of you, confessing a so called attraction I had for you. Along with this a lament that now that you were leaving my school, I would never have the chance to get to know you better. “But since you’re going, I had to say it at least once.”

You were all perfectly fine looking young ladies, but I have to renounce the content of the letters now that I am an adult.

Did I want to prove I could have some kind of effect on someone at a time when I felt isolated and worthless? Was I attempting to be more like what I perceived a rebellious teenager “should” be by doing such things? Perhaps I thought by doing such a thing to a few people at once I would trick myself into feeling more…”romance-oriented”, as most of my peers were at the time. Could it all have been an attempt to be more “normal?”

Or maybe I was just being an ass and trying to cause a bit of chaos for no good damn reason, for one of the few times in my life. I guess I don’t know exactly what I was thinking.

Nor do I know what I would have done had one of you responded to my letters. You had the sense, (or possibly the revulsion?) to never do so, I suppose, so I never had to face that contingency. Maybe you even sense it was a prank all along. Yet if you had replied, I’d have probably come up with something had one of you written back. Come to think of it, I probably would have confessed the immature stunt right then, as I am doing now, had any or all of you replied to my stunt. I would have probably apologized as well.

Which is what I do now. I apologize. Again, I doubt it was the most mean-spirited experience any of you ever had. It was probably a momentary puzzlement on your part, long forgotten. I myself don’t lose any sleep over it, but I have a vivid memory of writing out the letters in my terrible handwriting, trying to think of what someone in love really would say and not being sure i got it right once I chose my words. I remember flipping through the class directory and writing your names and addresses on each envelope, stamping them all, walking to the post office and dropping them into the slot. I had half a dozen chances not to do it, but I did it anyway.

So here is one more letter from me to you, acknowledging the stupidity of one of my few irresponsible choices I made in those days. Hopefully I caused none of you much more than brief annoyance and/or confusion.

sincerely, Ty Unglebower

This post is part of the Open Letter Continuum.


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