Thank you Allen Klein for the discussion about writing a love letter to something irritating. We here at Love Letters Live encourage that and of course have a story about this very issue. So, challenge accepted on behalf of the well-dressed, carefully-coiffed woman who was at a Beverly Hills doctor’s office waiting, waiting, and waiting for an elevator to take her down to the parking garage. Nothing. No matter how many times she pushed that down button, nothing. This woman, by nature and to the dismay of family and friends was often impatient even under the best of circumstances. She was, in an attempt to dispel the negative energy bubbling up inside her, drumming her fingers, gritting her teeth, and tapping her foot. She was used to attention being focused on her. She was used to being served. Being personally snubbed by the elevator was not going down well. A few more stabs at the elevator’s down button brought nothing.
Well, actually it did bring something. It brought a rash of fury so uncontrollable that this poor woman, thinking she was still alone, surrendered to her wicked side and kicked the elevator door as she hissed quite loudly, “what the f— is taking you so long!” at which point the doors sprang open.
“Very good,” came the voice behind her. She was horrified that someone heard her using foul language in public.
“I am so embarrassed,” she said.
He answered, “Well, I’m impressed.”
They got into the elevator together, got out of the elevator together, and, while waiting for their cars, chatted for a few seconds at which point she, as socially graceful as she was impatient, offered her hand and gave him her first and last name. He shook her hand, smiled and gave her his first and last name. Unfortunately his last name was the same as hers. She repeated her name. He repeated his. She thought he was mocking her. She gave her name once more, and as he, laughing, started to give his, she held up a hand and said, “Let me see your driver’s license.” They did, indeed, have the same last name. He was a movie producer having recently come to Los Angeles from New York. They had no relatives in common. The over-due love letter went like this.
I am at a loss to explain my regretful behavior of so long ago. I know you had other people to lift to their destinations and my getting to my car was not your only task at hand. All, I can say in my defense, and I know that an apology has no place for self-justification, is that I am not a patient person at best.
As it turns out I thank you with all my heart for having kept me waiting, for having infuriated me and even for motivating me to use the F-word in a public place and attracting the attention of a man who became one of my dearest friends. He is an exceptionally wonderful man, smart, loving, open-hearted, a sincere fellow who, by dint of his appreciation, lifts the spirits of others and lets those around him shine. My life has been richer for his friendship, and our families have become close over the decades.
I know this letter to you is shamefully late as he and I have been friends now for over 40 years. I am going on the assumption that there is no statute of limitations on expressing gratitude. To think that if you had arrived even a few seconds earlier I would not have met him!
I am writing this to you, but will mail it to him to share the joy of remembering how we met, a Hollywood meet cute if ever there was one. To think that thanks to you I got into an elevator with a stranger walked out with a friend I was meant to have for a lifetime.
With love to you from me. I don’t think you ever knew my name, but I am quite sure you know who I am.
P.S. I still wish I had not kicked you. You did not deserve that.”
Yes, thank you notes to irritating people or inanimate objects give us a chance to bathe in unexpected positives. Thank you, Allen Klein, for the reminder.