Friday, September 5, 2014

Sincerely, Your Online Predator

The year was 1997. I had just celebrated my fifteenth birthday with an extravagant quincanera dress and photo shoot at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami.

“Look at the child bride!” tourists yelled.

I had also just joined my first ever online chat room. While not a significant part of most people’s adolescence the online chat room is where I found my voice as a writer and pathological liar so it holds a special place in my heart.

Maybe I should have been reading Tiger Beat or giving out hand jobs like a good ninth grader but I preferred the anonymity and confidence boost provided by total strangers who had no idea how uncool and hairy I was.

Unfortunately, when I started tinkering with the platform I was more online predator than creative storyteller.

Now that I’ve developed a conscience, I realize I owe some people an apology. Specifically, those of you I made believe I was typing with my feet after losing both my arms in a horrific gator accident.

This was during the slow dial up days and I remember crafting my story as the yellow AOL man “ran” in place.

Everglades. Airboat ride. Gator. BOTH arms.

SFX: Beep. Boop. Beee. Cksshhssshh. Beeeeep.

And then the curtains of the internet drew open for me to step on stage.

I joined a Stephen King fan club chat room or maybe it was a single parents support group and began typing. Slowly so I wouldn’t blow my cover.

TwinkleToes82: Hey every

PeterDan: Hi.TwinkleToes. Welcome to the group.

TwinkleToes82: body.

JOJO3489: Hi.

TwinkleToes82: Female here. Age 28.

PeterDan: You a single parent TwinkleToes?

StellaStar: You like Stephen King?

TwinkleToes82: Yup. 4 kids.

JOJO3489: Oh wow. Must be tough raising them without a partner.

Here goes nothing...

TwinkleToes82: Na. What’s tough is raising them

TwinkleToes82: without arms.

urGuy has signed off.

PeterDan has signed off.

Jenna24 has signed off.

At that point, about half of you left the group - the uncomfortableness palpable - but the rest of you stuck around to hear my inspiring story of survival and to offer your words of encouragement.

JOJO3489: That's truly amazing. You learned to type with your feet by practicing on an old typewriter in a dark basement.

StellaStar: My favorite Stephen King book is Pet Sematary.

You proved your worthiness as my new online friends and were there for me the way I always imagined a Stephen King Single Parents fan club would be.

And even though I wasn’t really typing with my feet or raising four kids without arms or a man, you still lifted my spirits. So, I want to thank you and apologize for online predatoring on your kindness.

Your friend forever,


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

One Woman's Trash is Another Woman's Breakfast

To the sweet old lady from that bakery in Hialeah, FL: 

I’m sorry I threw out your breakfast.  

I thought it was trash.  Mostly, because it looked like trash. But also because it looked like trash on a table I wanted to sit at.  

I guess I should have known that inside that dirty napkin was a mini tub of Philadelphia cream cheese you brought from home and intended to spread on your pastelito*. And that you were using this napkin-wrapped mini cream cheese tub as a device to hold down the table while you ordered your breakfast. 

Looking back, the signs were so painfully obvious. The napkin practically shouting, “This is my table and inside this dirty napkin is my motherfucking cream cheese which obviously makes this my table so everybody just back the fuck off!”

Only an IDIOT like myself would fail to understand this was your table.

When you yelled at me in front of my mom and the other customers, I wasn’t even angry. I quickly realized what I had done. The tragedy of it all came to me in a bone-chilling slide show: Empty table. Flash. Dirty Napkin. Flash. Hand in trash. Flash. Your angry face. Flash.

As you raised your fist and my mom giggled in the corner, I desperately wanted the cream cheese back. I wanted to undo what I had done. And to ask you where you got your shoes because they looked so fucking comfortable.  

I honestly don’t even remember what happened next. Maybe I paid for your breakfast. Or got the cream cheese out of the trash. Maybe I ran like a bitch.

Sometimes I wonder if you ate at all that day.

I know I can’t undo the events of that tragic morning, but I CAN prevent this from ever happening to you or anyone else again. 

I’ve designed a note (attached below) that you can print out yourself and place next to your napkin-wrapped cream cheese the next time you leave it behind while you order your food. I imagine it’ll be a lot more effective than your current strategy of walking away from your table.




*A pastelito is something like a Cuban apple turnover but with guava or coconut or cheese. It’s pretty fucking delicious.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Feliz Navidad, Maria

Little brown girl from my second grade class, I am sorry I hated the secret santa gift you gave me 20+ years ago.

The whole exchange has been weighing heavy on my conscience since there’s a slight chance that maybe, just maybe, your Mexican family was actually more poor than my Cuban family.

As I recall, you were all like: Feliz navidad, Kelly.

And I was all like: WTF Maria? This doll is naked.

And Mrs. Hernandez was all like: Kelly. Maria, is poor.

And I was like: What The Fuck Ever. I have lice.

But i still played by the rules. I had my parents buy some shitty gift at Navarro Pharmacy and said it was from Macy’s.

You on the other hand didn’t even try to give the illusion of a cool gift. I had to walk around school with a crusty-ass doll showin’ off her titties at recess, while you pouted your way to some sweet Lego set.

In hindsight, I should have filtered my emotions better and congratulated you on out-pooring me.

So from my family to yours, Feliz Navidad my friend. I hope your children get better presents than I got from you on that warm, Miami Christmas Day.


Friday, July 15, 2011

I'm not a racist, I'm just an idiot.

Mr. Chang, I’ve lost a lot of beauty sleep thinking about what i did to you so it’s probably best I you and your 4 billion relatives.

Lets get right to the point: I’m sorry I mistook you for another Asian. You and I have engaged in multiple conversations at work about math and my paycheck and other nice things so you certainly didn't deserve such an insult.

I never actually explained what prompted me to “welcome you to the agency” that day. Well, I’ll tell you. That morning, we all got an email from a young man who had just started working with us, and he said he'd be handling our paychecks (which was always your job). He also said he sat on the second floor (also your floor). And he signed off his email with: Justin - The tall Asian guy. (You get my drift.)

So when I saw you sitting on the second floor, sorting through what looked like paychecks, looking like a tall Asian (by Asian standards) naturally, I thought you were Justin.

Which is why I So very politely extended my hand, introduced myself and welcomed you to the agency.

I knew what I had done was wrong as soon as your cube buddy and defender of all payroll department employees gave me the stink eye and said, “Um…Kelly, Mr. Chang has been working with us for like five years.”

I’m sure you can see how anyone with a slightly retarded lineage, like mine, (my grandmother married her first cousin) would make this honest mistake. That day, if someone woulda put a gun to my head, Mr. Chang, and asked me what your name was, I’d scream: Justin! It’s Justin, you bastard! Let me live!

So you see Mr. Chang, I'm not a racist, I'm just an idiot. And I ask that you take pitty on me. If not for me, then for our people and all that we have in common:

Rice, good hair and short men.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Dear Clear Channel Katz Advantage,

I know I fucked up a lot in the two years I worked there. Like the time I said I was the one who made those delicious cupcakes at the office pot luck but really didn’t and nobody laughed. And the time I had the mail room guys deliver fake dog poop to the managers in envelopes labeled CONFIDENTIAL. And that time I wore jeans every Tuesday instead of Friday. The list goes on but even I know that all of these fuck-ups are merely misdemeanors next to KELLY’S BIG TIRE GIVEAWAY! I've titled the incident for dramatic effect.

Lets revisit what I think was a very exciting day for corporate America and radio-listening drivers everywhere; The day I gave away $10,000 worth of free tires.

You know how you get those emails just as you’re waking up around lunch time and you’re all like, “Ugh, words.” So you read the first two sentences, the most important ones, and go back to dominating Solitaire. That’s sort of what happened on this particular day when that marketing dude from unnamed company emailed me with the details on the tire-giveaway promotion. His first couple of sentences were very clear: we’d be giving away four new tires per winner. Personally, I would’ve gone with three as a clever way to increase single tire sales but what do I know, I’m just a marketing expert. His last couple of sentences, the ones I didn’t read, were also very clear: we were only to give away these tires to the top five markets on the media buy.


Okay so I gave away free tires to like the top 30 markets. The thing is, yes I was lazy, but I was also really excited to give away free tires! I always wanted to give back to the community and now I could do it with someone else's money/tires! So I did what any philanthropist would do: I punched the computer in the face for beating me at Solitaire and got on the phone to tell hundreds of lucky new tire recipients I was about to change their lives, forever.

Anyway, I’m sorry I cost the man an extra $10,000. I’d also like to thank you for moving me to the “creative” department in lieu of canning me. I’ll never wear jeans on a Tuesday again.

Forever grateful,


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Blinded by Patriotism

To the city of Orlando,

This year marks the 10th anniversary of my crashing the city’s van into a school bus at the veteran’s day parade. I respectfully commemorate that incident with a public apology.

Let me just start by saying, that road was really fucking narrow. And that school bus was really fucking big.

Second, I had a van full of streamers that needed to be delivered and I was NOT going to let our veterans down by slowing down for children.

Last, I think everyone really blew things out of proportion (the mayor included) and missed the poetic parallels between an intern’s patriotism and that of our troops. You see, no one wants casualties but it’s the price of war and that bus was in my way.
No, let me rephrase that, it was in my country’s way.

All that said, I sincerely apologize for diverting the attention from our brave veterans to that of a bus full of screaming band kids.

Serving with honor,


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Misery Loves Company (Holiday Edition)

My dear cousins,

While I am proud to have been the one to educate you about S.E.X. by pointing to the neighbor's dogs when we were 9 ("Actually, Mario that's not lipstick..."), I can’t say I’m proud to have informed you that there is no Santa Claus. I was mostly angry because your parents were so much better than mine. At things like parenting and Christmas. Your tree was always real and green. Ours was $14.99 from our local drugstore. Your toys were always battery-powered. Ours were powered by the mind. So when my sister told me that our parents were the ones wrapping our Christmas presents in birthday paper, NOT Santa Claus, I was appalled and had to share the shitty news with those closest to me. Ken, Barbie, and of course you guys. And seeing as my sister chewed the hands and feet off of barbie that year, I chose to only tell you guys. I couldn’t bare to bring Ken any more bad news. “Ken, no more hand jobs. No more Christmas either.” Surely you understand the difficult position I was in.

Anyway, I know your parents will never forgive me for prematurely ushering the two of you into adulthood but I hope you can find it in your hearts to buy me a present this Christmas.

I miss you guys,


Monday, December 20, 2010

Dear Suzanne,

When I said that meth can make you look like a mom from the midwest I didn’t realize you are a mom from the midwest.

My bad.

Your beloved coworker,


Monday, September 13, 2010

Best Worst Make-over Evar


Remember that one time i told you all the cool guys were highlighting their hair and convinced you to let me highlight yours with some illegal products my mom had stored in our bathroom cabinet and then you had your senior picture taken and you looked like Lauren Conrad with a buzz cut and a bow tie?

Yeah, I’m sorry. I really hope that's not why you're gay.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Your peanuts for your headphones

Dear American Airlines,

I just wanted to let you know I stole about $15 worth of headphones from you last week. I have a problem. Not with theft. Just with keeping things around…in general. I lose things. Cameras, children, and lately every pair of headphones I've purchased. So, when I saw you had hundreds of them in a bucket I got excited and thought I should stock up for the inevitable. I am now on my 9th pair (thank you).

I know you’re probably thinking this is somehow my fault and that a respectable company such as American Airlines shouldn’t have to pay the price for my carelessness. But I’ll have you know, what I have is an illness like any other and you wouldn’t fault a blind kid for needing an extra pair of eyes to read the airline safety instructions, would you? Yeah, didn't think so.

And while it may seem like you’re operating at a loss (b/c you’re missing 10 headphones) in actuality, you are not because I'm paying you back. In peanuts. See, when the nice flight attendant offered me some snacks I kindly declined.

I've priced these out (keeping consistent with airport prices of course):
1 bag of roasted peanuts $4.75
1 shot of “Florida” orange juice $5

That’s $9.75.

So $15 worth of headphones - $9.75 worth of snacks = $5.25

As it stands I owe you $5.25. I will pay my balance off when I fly again and bypass your delicious snacks.

Thank you for understanding. You are almost definitely my domestic airline of choice.