Dear Mrs. Greeno –
As you no doubt noticed and are probably all distraught over, I neglected to post a congratulatory message on your Facebook page, upon receiving a text message from Actual Greeno (not to be confused with the fictional amalgam), regarding your having passed (with flying colors) the Bar exam.
I know that you guys have a balcony on your sweet, billionth floor apartment in downtown Chicago, and you’re probably out there right now looking down at the street, thinking about how meaningless the Bar Exam seems without a sideways smiley face from me on your Facebook page, made out of punctuation marks.
So I thought I’d explain myself. First of all, that’s for never making me pancakes when I request them. I told you that you’d rue the day. But the past is gone – let’s move on.
Because furthermore, my thinking was that since you’re Greeno’s meek and dutiful wife, technically that’s his license to practice law. What I did was go ahead and congratulate him via return text message, and I think I also I made a couple of crude remarks and then forgot where my phone was for two days.
So after a stern – and surprisingly detailed, very long and shrill – lecture from Marilyn about some kind of Wife Stuff (I don’t know for sure, I had Stargate Atlantis on subtitles over her shoulder and I didn’t catch most of it), I came to understand the various errors I was making – both philosophically and socially – on this matter.
For example, Marliyn says that your name isn’t even Mrs. Greeno, it’s Stephanie or Francis or something. And then she got all Women’s Studies on me about property ownership and glass ceilings and someone named Miss Odgenny, whoever that is.
I was all like whoa, hold on I’ll post something on her Facebook page already, settle down.
So then I went over there and your picture is of you running a marathon. It made me mad just looking at it – I’m supposed to go on over and tell the marathon-running, spinning instructor attorney congratulations?
Why don’t you go ahead and get your black belt and cure cancer while you’re at it – I’ll bake you a cake.
So I closed out your Facebook page and threw my laptop in the garbage and started drinking cooking wine in the closet, with opera music on my iPod and my kitty duct taped to my chest. Marilyn had to send Ellen in there to poke me with a broomstick until I scuttled out.
After some fried eggs and bean burritos, I felt much better, and I figured, you know Tom, that was pretty childish and self-absorbed.
Just because your pal Cindy or Fiona – or whoever Greeno’s married to – is kicking the crap out of Life every time Life takes a break from pounding on old Tommy C with a nine-foot length of raw cane, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t congratulate her.
Maybe old Tommy C should have thought of that before selecting the American Blogging Academy over Missus Greeno’s Law School, or the ten academic programs she had to excel at before even getting into it in the first place, while old Tommy C was running a nine ball table, collecting five bucks and thinking, “Sweet.”
After I calmed down, in fact, I started thinking about all the times it would have been awfully handy to have an attorney around. Like when me and Greeno got involved in that dogfighting racket, and the dogs turned out to be hobos locked in Snoopy and Marmaduke suits – do Chicago lawyers have their powers in Bangkok or is it like Superman back on Krypton?
So I went back to your Facebook page but there you were again, running a marathon.
You know, there’s no reason to show off, right? Slow down and smell the flowers. Make some pancakes for your husband’s wacky pal – the simple things. Your husband’s wacky pal likes banana pancakes with a pecan crusty goodness on them, and real maple syrup, by the way, FYI.
Anyway. The answer of course was to congratulate you off of your Facebook page, so I wouldn’t get so pissed off at your marathon running, and then run over there real quick and post it and run away.
Run away very noisily, jiggling, huffing, puffing, a lurching, slouching, flatulent kind of run – you see what I’m saying here.
So formally, on behalf of myself and my entire staff here at Future Tom Incorporated International, congratulations on your recent passage of the Bar Exam in Chicago, Illinois.
May God have mercy on your soul.
P.S. In case you are hammered and can’t detect my subtle irony, I think you are brilliant and awesome and very sincerely, congratulations. I am hiding my deep, conflicted feelings of awestruck admiration and crippling, terrfied inadequacy behind a mask of irreverant sarcasm – but I think you know that. I hereby promise to make you some pancakes the next time I’m there, but you have to give some to Stephen.
P.P.S. – I can run four miles now. I’m gaining on you.
P.P.P.S – I think that since Stephen used to buy me beers when he lived here, and since you took Stephen to Chicago with you, and since you’re now a high-powered attorney in Chicago, that I should probably be sending my bar tabs to your firm. Please forward the address for your firm’s Accounts Payable Department at your earliest convenience.
P.P.P.P.S. – I just saw on television that you can buy the whole Ally McBeal series on DVD right now for like eighty bucks. Send me your account information so I can lock that shit down. End transmission.