Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Hello From the Gillespies



Hello from the Gillespies by Monica McInerney

I almost hate to ask this, but, do you send a Christmas letter? Some people really believe in them and expect people to believe what they say.  And some people are just determined to put a good face forward.  There’s nothing bad about that but it could come back and bite you.
That’s what happened to Angela Gillespie.  She had had it.  She sent a Christmas letter to 100 people every December first and this year was going to be no different.  Except she didn’t feel perky and she didn’t feel like putting her good face forward.  She felt like her husband was growing more and more distant.  He was spending way, way too much time on the internet researching his family history.  The four children had lives that just wouldn’t launch and the three adult children were coming home to live.
So, this time, to get things off her chest a little, Angela decided to vent and wrote the truth.  The whole truth.  About everyone in the family and she said exactly what she thought of all of them.  And it felt kind of good to get it out. But she had no intention of sending it.
A medical emergency took her away from the computer.  Later, her husband thought he would do a nice thing and he hit “send” (without reading it…I mean, who read them at all anymore? Not him!)   And off it went.  And Angela was launched out into the world.   Talk about stress!
This isn’t heavy reading.  It’s a good story about families and how they change and how we have to change with them.  It’s about coping with those adult children who come back home to lick their wounds, recoup and try again.
This story is set in the Australian Outback on a sheep station so I learned a lot, too.  It’s almost time, if you write one of these annual letters yourself, to read this before you get too far into it.  It’s going to put you in the mood or cure you forever.