Samara O'Shea

To Whom it May Concern

Today I write the first of three Unsent letters I’ll be sending this month. Unsent letters are the ultimate in therapy for me. It’s when you’ve said as much as you can say to a person, but you still have more to say. After a while it’s best not to actually involve the person anymore either because they A) Don’t see things your way and compromise isn’t an option (sometimes it just isn’t) or B) They’ve been clear about how they feel and it is what it is.

Today I write to a man I dated a while back. In my book Note to Self I give him the pseudonym Jeremy and go into great detail about our brief but impactful relationship. A handful of things happened between us following the writing of that chapter, but they have since ended once and for all. There is no bitterness between us. It was a classic case of me wanting to be with him exclusively and him not wanting that. We were both very honest about how we felt, and that was refreshing. We welcomed each other to say whatever we had to. I’ve had the chance to see him since but have chosen not to because I find him—what’s the word—irresistible. I recently read that the non-textbook definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. That resonated deep within me. And that’s exactly what I’d be doing if I saw him again. I would get all dressed up with the hope that Maybe this time he’ll change his mind.

So I’m writing (but not sending) a letter to tell him that very thing. I’m telling him that I miss him sometimes, and I wish I could snap my fingers and put a purely platonic air between us. In addition to being really good at making out we also had a very nice (and rare I think) conversational volley going. We got together for brunch once and it lasted five hours because we had so much to say. I’ve wanted to know how he is and hear his take on our new president and the recession madness for a while now. It’s still unwise for me though. My butterflies flutter uncontrollably at the mere though of him. I hope this isn’t always the case. I hope the universe puts me in his path for afternoon coffee and catch up with an old friend—on a day when there is no risk of pleasure inevitably followed by pain.

April is National Card and Letter Writing Month, and I’ve vowed to write one letter each day. Also, please check out the essay contest I’m hosting with