Sunday, April 28, 2013

This Open Letter to My Page-A-Day Calender

Dear Page-A-Day Calender,

First, I want acknowledge that yes, I've had you for a year and a half and you are still only on May. I get that you're upset. You are, after all, a page a day calender and yet I seem to have not held up my end of the bargain. Every day you provide a new amusement, and in exchange, I keep you up-to-date by removing the outdated pages.

I get it, I do. I have many, many things occupying my time. You only have one. From your perspective, as an entity created with a single purpose, it's hard to conceive of a world outside the need to remove a page a day. Why would you? For you, existence begins and ends with the calender year.

Am I, perhaps, preventing you from realizing your full potential? Do you feel like you haven't completed your mission because you were not used up at the end of last year. Perhaps there is a page-a-day Heaven, but because you still possess those pages, Paradise is lost to you. You are stuck in this plane of existence for the foreseeable future until December 31st is torn from your frame.

You may be bitter about all this, but I have a perspective you may not be considering. Most people simply waste those pages. Every day they toss the old page into the trash, and it becomes yet another example of a wasteful, over-indulgent lifestyle. It's almost as if we're mocking our distant ancestors, for whom paper was a rarity. The idea that paper would become so common we would go out of our way to waste it on a daily basis, for no other purpose than to remind ourselves of the date, would be appalling to them. It would be like a starving person watching people just throw away food for no good reason. (We also do that, actually, and it's really bad.)

That's why I don't use you for the date, I use you to make small to-do lists, to write reminders to myself, to jot down a phone number. I use those pages to their full potential, because wasting a perfectly blank square of paper makes no sense. This way, I'm not only entertained by your daily offerings (Dave Barry calenders are awesome), I can then make sure I don't forget to buy the one item I went to the grocery store to get. Because then I have to make a second trip and that's a waste of gas.

Be comforted, little page-a-day, that you do have purpose, a higher calling than to be wastefully exhausted in a year. You are meant to conserve paper, save gas, and occasionally stave off boredom by being folded into tiny paper airplanes and launched at unsuspecting passers by. You may have to wait a little longer for your mission to be complete, but know this: you are far more valuable in your current state than you ever would have been as a simple page-a-day.

Gratefully yours,

Charles B. French

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