Fake Letters from the Imaginary Mailbag! "Allow me to introduce you to the 'Cate Blanchett' theory of relationships..."

Fake Letters from the Imaginary Mailbag! "Allow me to introduce you to the 'Cate Blanchett' theory of relationships..."

Dear OSM:

Why do you call yourself Old Single Mom? You don’t look that old in your picture.

Signed: Telling Readers Only Lies, Lady?


About my moniker, I like to say two out of three ain’t bad. Heh.

The “Old” is meant to be ironic - it was a tongue-in-cheek label I gave myself in 2011 after the demise of a long-failing relationship.

And if you think about it, eventually it might be 100% true. It’s like when you buy a pair of pants a size too big for your kid: it fits okay now but still leaves room to grow.

Gratefully, OSM


Dear OSM:

What the hell is up with that Kpop group BTS? As far as I can tell it’s just another overproduced boy band from South Korea. Why are people treating Korea’N Sync like the Beatles?

Signed: Is Billboard Fake?

Dear IBF:

Da fuk if I know.

Sincerely, OSM


Dear OSM:

My cat is a huge pain in the ass. He scratches his nails exclusively on my antique furniture, knocks the cereal boxes off the counter only when I’m home, and uses his PICA superpower to find even the tiniest of plastic wrappers WHILE I’M TRYING TO GO TO SLEEP.

Do you have any suggestions on how to banish him from my home without upsetting a ten year old boy?

Signed, Kendall is a Jerk

Dear KIAJ:

I know that’s you, Jenn-Anne. I saw you write it last night. I told you not to bother me while I’m working. He’s your cat. Deal with it.

Yours in mirrors, OSM


Dear OSM:

Hey! I want to get your opinion on something. I have a friend I’ve known since grade school. I’ll call her Penelope. In our decades of friendship, Penelope and I have never even had a real fight. Our families were tight: we were more family than friends.

After college, I moved away while she stayed in our hometown. When I would visit, we always made it a point to connect. I’ve held her child in my arms when she was a baby, and her daughter has cradled my kid in her arms when he was a baby. I think you get my drift.

But since this last election, everything feels different. It turns out we are on opposite sides of the political spectrum, and I’m absolutely blown away by this revelation. Were we always so different? If so, why didn’t I see it in high school? Am I the one who changed?

I’m beating around the bush, here, because I don’t want to start any trouble, but here goes: how do I hold on to a longtime friend who still supports Trump? I suspect Penelope thinks I’m a fool for my beliefs, and I think she is complicit in the most corrupt and authoritarian charlatan my generation has ever seen.

I don’t see how the friendship can bear the weight of this division. It’s heartbreaking.

Am I being overly dramatic, OSM? We have so much history together: do I really want to throw it all away? What if the truth is that we just don’t like each other any more?

Signed, Bummed Out About This

Dear BOAT.

Maybe you don’t have to make a decision or draw the line with this person right now. It sounds like you still live far apart, and more will be revealed…

I don’t know what the inevitable solution is for your friendship in crisis, but allow me to share with you something I call “The Cate Blanchett Theory,” (CBT).  The CBT is a paradigm I’ve constructed through which I’ve come to see interpersonal relationships, with an emphasis on friendships.


Embed from Getty Images

Say you are watching a movie that has an amazing scene with Cate Blanchett in it. She plays a role that moves the story along in dazzling fashion, perhaps as a sexy spy who emboldens a lonely housewife, or as an unrecognizable wizard lady who grants the protagonist three wishes. She’s amazing to watch, and without her, Act 3 wouldn’t be possible.

You may even feel she is Oscar worthy for her contribution to the film.

But then - in the case of these two fake movies I’ve referenced - she drives away in her spy car or becomes glittery vapor and whooshes into the atmosphere and after that, there are no more Cate Blanchett appearances in the movie.

It’s possible that Cate may appear later in a flashback, or even reprise her role in a sequel. Sure! But it’s okay if she doesn’t, because the story was never contingent on Cate’s performance.

Maybe we’re bummed to see her character go, but we don’t bemoan her absence or insist she come back on screen.

Maybe we’re glad she’s gone, but we don’t hold a grudge against her. We understand that the story will go on and that new characters will be introduced.

We don’t blame ourselves for plot twists: those are a given when any story unfolds. So why do we blame ourselves for the plot twists in our own lives? We weren’t the ones who cast our stories in the first place, so why do we think we are in ultimately in control of the narrative?


Endings of relationships used to devastate me. They felt like failures, as the unspoken measurement of a successful relationship was “forever.”

But lately, I’ve been questioning why it’s felt so necessary to insist that every friend of mine gets dragged follows me into the next stage of my life. Why do I feel its a failure when a Cate Blanchett drifts away from me?

What if, instead, I surrender to the inevitability of Cate's exit?

This doesn’t mean I will never be sad when a favorite character leaves my screen. And I will certainly try to work things out when a scene brings conflict or misunderstanding.

But since I’ve begun to embrace the impermanence of interpersonal connections, I’ve let go of some of the shame and fear that comes when a friendship loses its sparkle for whatever reason. Accepting the finite nature of relationships does not diminish the love we have for our friends. It may, in fact, have the opposite effect.

For if the CBT is embraced as one’s truth, it becomes more important than ever to nurture and enjoy the time one has with our current friendships. We may become even more devoted and loyal than ever when we no longer assume they will always be with us in every scene to come.

And if we are careful to nurture our Cate Blanchetts in the good moments, we may have fewer regrets when the script calls for their exit.

Scene-cerely, OSM


Dear OSM:

You, like every other liberal, are the whole problem with this country. You scream for more “gun regulations” but your city can’t even get its own shit together despite having some of the strictest gun regulations in the country. Enjoy the next SIX YEARS of Trump, snowflake. I just hope he can still save this country after Obama nearly destroyed it.

Signed, Not an Unrealistic Thread By an Antagonistic GOP—er


Bye, Cate.

Next!  - OSM


That's my piece, and that's my peace Thanks so much for taking the time to read my silly words. It truly means the world to me. Carry on...


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