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My Hobbit Name is Fussins of Fuss-end

First of all, my dad was back in CCU last week and all this weekend with some congestive heart failure. Just a LITTLE bit. Heh. We’ve all been in Birmingham. They thought it was a heart attack or pulmonary embolism, but it was a problem with some clotting in his graft. They were able to go in and fix it, but…It was scary. He is back home now, and seems VERY GOOD. Even so—If you are a praying sort, we would surely like some.

Second of all, THANK YOU for the big rally round, for the wise advice, for the offers to punch mean people in the genitals on my behalf. It was a good weekend to have all this rallying happening in the comments that kept landing in my phone as I sat in the hospital. You do not even know. Thank you.

Third of all, I realized how RELATED Thing the First of All and Thing the Second of All are! I have been publishing novels for HOLY CATS a decade now. This is not the first time a reader has sent me a less than delighted email. In fact, after gods, when the internet was not SO prevalent, I once got a HAND WRITTEN letter explaining with great sorrow and detail exactly why the vile book I had written was going to PUT ME INTO HELL.

It came with a tract.

I treasured it, ya’ll. What a delight, eh?

This mail got to me not because it is any different from any other drive-by YOU SUCK, but because it came at a time when I am so so so worried. It felt like, “OH HEY, are you mortally fretting about some of your most beloved people? Well, scuse me, I just need to give you a quick slap. THERE!”

I know the letter-sender has NO IDEA what is going on in my personal life, but isn’t that the point? Isn’t that why you do not write to strangers to explain how they have failed you from afar?

She behaved badly. Telling people they have behaved badly—you can only KINDLY, and with ACTUAL GOOD INTENTIONS, do that for a person if you love them.

Beloveds? I cannot love her just now. *grin*

Love aside, there were at least four mature, cool, excellent sample letters I could cut and paste from comments, if I so desired, but they might cause a reply, and I no longer care enough to have a dialog. Once I realized the roiling feelings were NOT about her or the letter, my need to answer her at all abated.

FOURTH of all? IF I WERE GOING TO ANSWER? I regret to inform you that I would not take Margaret Maron’s high road, nor would I take Laura Lippman’s cool, professional road, or any of the other smart roads offered. I WISH THAT I WOULD. THOSE ROADS ARE WISEST.

But a glance into the mirror assures me I would not. Instead? I would go down the rabbit hole with Alice, so I cut and paste her answer, to share with you below. Because it is delicious:

Dear Person,

I think I see what’s going on here. And look, I’m flattered, but I’m not going to sleep with you.


18 comments to My Hobbit Name is Fussins of Fuss-end

  • DebR

    I loved Alice’s suggestion and kind of wish you would send it. Heeeee!

    I’m not sure God likes me very much right now, but I will pray for your dad anyway (can’t hurt, might help) and will also send all sorts of good thoughts and positive mojo your/his way. Your dad sounds like too excellent a person for the world to do without so he needs to get all better ASAP.

  • That may be the best response EVER! Yeeee!

  • JulieB

    Oh, best response ever. I cogitated and thought of nothing clever to offer and didn’t post. I’m glad to see that things are on the happy side again. Blessings to you, your dad, and your family.

  • Elizabeth

    Praying for your Daddy.

  • Oh, you have made me so happy!

    I am praying for your dad. I know that gnawing worry all too well, and I do not approve of it. Nor do I enjoy it when they say “heart failure” like it’s no big thing. Like, don’t we need the heart to work, guys? Isn’t failing a rather *large* problem?


  • Jennifer G

    And this is why we are your best beloveds!

  • I still have dibs on her kneecaps…

  • Haley

    I hope your dad is okay. My father had a bunch of heart problems when I was about 12 and all the terms like congestive heart failure, aneurysms, aortic transplant, etc. going around were really scary. I feel like as a child I didn’t really grasp the gravity of it all, so I can’t imagine what it must feel like as a fully clued-in adult. I know you don’t know me at all, but I’ll be thinking good thoughts for him and you.

    I remember our cats helping me through all of that. And one of our cats (I used to call her the “nursecat”) used to sleep next to my father for hours while he was recovering. So maybe find a cat to train as a nursecat for your father =)?

  • Scary dad stuff. I am learning right now how feeling stressed in one area can make other areas seem to be the problem. Ick. I’m glad he’s home and doing well. I’m glad the letter is now a non-issue. And, wow, a decade? That means I have known you for a decade? Which means, I have been an adult for MORE than a decade, so now you have made me feel old and I am going to write you a nasty drive-by email about your making me feel old. Or… maybe not.

  • Frances in England

    Love it.

    Tho I still want a ‘Bless your heart’ on the end. As its own paragraph, just before “Best”. Because it says so much.

    But Alice is definitely the one to go to for the pithiest retort. LOL

    Absolute and genuine best wishes for you and your family.

  • I loved Alice’s letter as soon as I saw it! Best wishes for your father.

  • Jill

    I am praying for your dad- do your folks need anything? I live in Vestavia in Birmingham and would be happy to help in any way.

  • Hoping your dad not only APPEARS to be good and on the mend but is really and for true on the mend. Also–I feel much better about not wanting you to take the high road since you confirmed that you wouldn’t want to take it either. Truth be told, I normally DO end up taking the high road in the end, but not before I do some serious smack talkin’ with my own little posse which includes several friends and also my Momma and my sister. ALWAYS makes me feel better and SO MORALLY SUPERIOR for just talkin’ badly about them behind their back.

  • Tonya Urbatsch

    Down the rabbit hole is the way to go. : )
    Goo luck with your dad. Been there – know how hard it is.

  • Aline

    🙂 You definitely should send that dear person the letter Alice crafted so well. Shame you can’t send them to the Queen of Hearts–“Off with their heads!” Prayers sent up for your Dad. It is so hard to watch our parents age and be sick. Hope he will continue to do well.

  • Julie

    My thoughts are with you in regards to your Dad. “Get better soon”!
    Love to read all that you share. Your slant on life is unique and delightful!

  • MC

    I learned a long time ago our faith is not in people, but in God. He is always loving, always faithful. My prayers go up for you and your dad.