Samara O'Shea

Archive for the ‘Literature’ Category

The Stuff Memorable E-mails Are Made Of

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Earlier this week, a friend of mine was telling me how upset she is that another one of her friendships seems to be ending. That friendship is with her ex-boyfriend and he has recently gotten engaged. The girl I’m speaking of is happily married, so no, there is no lingering hope of romance. She has been friends with her ex for years, and she had hoped they would be friends for many more years to come.

If you recall, I went through a similar situation myself. It began here and ended here. To console my friend, I sent her the following e-mail which my friend Rich sent to me as I was going through the same thing. As I re-read this brilliant piece of correspondence, I realized it must be shared. It’s insightful, it’s got a great literary reference, and it makes me laugh each and every time I read. This is the stuff memorable e-mails are made of!

August 26, 2010


Let me get right into it: this is ridiculous—and he’s going to regret it. He is, of course, operating under the assumption that, since he’ll have the splendid (I’m sure) Sally* for the rest of his life, he won’t really need his friends. Many have made this mistake and found themselves virtually friendless when their marriages or relationships imploded. Give it ten years: he’ll be back, begging for forgiveness. They all do.

I’m reminded of an episode from Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence (I believe it appears in the film version, too, but I’m not sure). While traveling in France, Newland Archer and his new bride, May, attend a dinner party where they meet a young man who works as a tutor. Newland and the tutor have “an awfully good talk after dinner about books and things,” and Newland tells May he’d like to have the guy over to their place for dinner. May scoffs and, to Newland’s chagrin, casts the deciding vote on the matter—a resounding no: “The little Frenchman? Wasn’t he dreadfully common?” And then the third-person narrator breaks in with this passage, which I’ll never forget: “[Newland] perceived with a flash of chilling insight that in the future many problems would be thus negatively solved for him.”

I think that Kevin’s going to find the same thing: this is the first of many decisions that will be made for him. He couldn’t find the courage to stand up for a friend of ten years…wow, just imagine what’s in store for him! Stick a fork in the man—he’s done. In other words, she’s got him by the balls already!

Just look at it this way: no expensive gift; no subpar dinner; no stupid conversation with the inevitably inane table-mates; and, most important, no goddamned chicken dance and hoky poky. (I hate weddings.)

I hope you decide to come to Pittsburgh anyway—and look forward to seeing you if you do!

Rich*Names have been changed

The Ides of March

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

I have a surprise trip coming up to the land of Julius Caesar. (Surprise = this time last month I didn’t know I was going). More details tomorrow! For now, enjoy the Ides of March–it’s always been a good luck day for me.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

“Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart and hand in hand.”

~ Dr. Seuss

The End of an Erotic Era

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

This Thursday I will be reading for the last time at In the Flesh Erotic Reading Series. My friend Rachel launched this series a little more than five years ago. I’ve read three times, and this will be my final turn. The readings are always fun—even for those who are squeamish about erotica. We end up laughing our insecurities away! I want to offer my heartfelt congratulations to Rachel on a maintaining this scintillating series for so long.

If you happen to be in New York City on Thursday, please stop by! If you can’t make it, the reading will be posted on YouTube (and subsequently here) in the days that follow.

Here’s my second reading at In The Flesh, which took place two days before my 28th birthday in September 2007. Readings one and three were not taped. There is nothing visually offensive here, but if you’re watching at work I suggest putting on headphones.

Autumn Equinox

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Autumn Song
by Katherine Mansfield

Now’s the time when children’s noses
All become as red as roses
And the colour of their faces
Makes me think of orchard places
Where the juicy apples grow,
And tomatoes in a row.

And to-day the hardened sinner
Never could be late for dinner,
But will jump up to the table
Just as soon as he is able,
Ask for three times hot roast mutton–
Oh! the shocking little glutton.

Come then, find your ball and racket,
Pop into your winter jacket,
With the lovely bear-skin lining.
While the sun is brightly shining,
Let us run and play together
And just love the autumn weather.

Letter-Writing Booster in the NY Times

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

I headed up to NYC on Tuesday night for the launch party of Brides newlywed nest and ended up in the NY Times. Yay! The itself story is about the event and the apartment (as it should be), but that’s definitely me on the right: the letter-writing booster. That’s not exactly how I would describe what I do, but I won’t protest because the picture is good. I somehow managed to match the curtains and the throw pillows.


The Book of Love

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

My friend Karen Sorensen has just had her first book published. I’m so proud of her! It is a book entitled simply and powerfully Love. She has spent the past few years doing love research. In other words, she sits outside and asks strangers questions about love and gives them a rose in exchange for their time. The extraordinary answers she’s received have been complied into the pages of the book. (If you’re interested in my thoughts on love, I was one of the people fortunate enough to be interviewed).

This would make a fabulous Christmas gift! I’m just saying . . .