Dear Nan: An Open Letter

Dear Nan

This is the most painful letter I’ve ever had to write. Well, except for the one I had to write to that woman saying sorry for when I thought her toddler was a Jack Russell and threw a chunk of my Zinger Burger at it outside KFC. Oh and that time I had to email Auntie Jackie to explain why smearing coronation chicken into the hair of your son’s bride on their wedding day, just because she didn’t want you to play the tambourine during the service was wrong. So actually, this is the third most painful letter I’ve ever had to write.

All my life you’ve been there for me. Every time I had an argument at home I knew I could go running round to your house and you’d get out the Battenburg and a pot of whelks and I’d pretend to know what Gin Rummy was and we’d have a game. You never let me win which you always said was a very important lesson. It certainly was important; I never try to win anything these days and my squalid, pointless life is all the easier for it. That’s down to YOU, Nan.

Now everything’s changed. I received your card in the post on the morning of my birthday and I could barely contain my urine. ‘A card from Nan!’ I thought. Mainly because I thought it was a card from you. What happened next shocked me so much I’ve only just felt able to publish a letter on the internet about it. I held the unopened envelope in my fingers and felt for the hard disc, the little coin I felt sure would be taped within, but I felt nothing. I blinked back tears of disbelief and, barely noticing the padded cartoon of a cat in a Wellington, I shakily opened the card.


Do you know how that felt, Nan? It was as if you’d reached your nicotine-stained fingers into my chest cavity, pulled out my heart and baked it into one of your revolting upside down cakes. It felt THAT BAD. I may be thirty-two and employed but that doesn’t mean I’ve got everything I need. Do you know what a pound can buy you these days, Nan? I mean, I know you only spend your pension on pop socks and Baileys but let me tell you the real value of the humble pound. Let me tell you what I could have bought with that pound of which you so callously deprived me.


Yes, that’s right Nan. I would have wandered into that emporium of possibility, your lovingly bestowed pound clutched in my hand and surveyed the shelves like someone in Poundland with a quid to spend. I’d have spent hours trying to decide between an ashtray shaped like a frog, three hundred toilet rolls or a fleece with a wolf on it. That dream was shattered, Nan. Shattered by an old woman hellbent on destroying her grandchild’s faith in humanity.

All things considered, I should never speak to you again and if I ever become a world-famous chef you can fuck off if you think you’re going to be my CEO. But I’m a grown up now, Nan and I’ve decided that the only way we’re going to get past this and become a close, loving family once more is if I publicly publish this letter that has absolutely no bearing on anyone else’s life and that I could quite easily have put in an envelope and posted to you rather than whining on about it to the whole world like a giant moron. I think you’ll agree Nan that this way you and everyone else who reads this will see how hurt I am but that it’s me that’s the bigger person, that truly deserves everyone’s sympathy and some money from a magazine to bang on about it a bit more under a predictably sensationalistic headline.

Please remember I love you and if you’re any kind of human you’ll write back publicly, reminding everyone of this all over again so I get a bit more attention.

Your loving granddaughter



12 thoughts on “Dear Nan: An Open Letter

  1. So funny
    Read it to my sister who nearly choked on her slimfast bcos she was laughing so hard

  2. Fabulous…….

    A coin. You are lucky. My gran used to send cheques for a pound.

    Oh the wrath I got from my parents one year when they found I hadn’t cashed the cheque and was using it as a bookmark instead………

  3. Oh, Dolly. You have made me chuckle like a chuckle brother who’s just watched his brother being chased down some stairs by a piano. On fire. Then the flames ignite his trousers and he runs outside into a schoolyard, takes off his trousers, and stands in front of scared kids, breathing heavily and wearing a demonic stare. You should go pro with your writing talents. Much admiration.

  4. I’m with Undercoverman. The crushing absence of the cash gaurantee which was the feel of hard-disc between card and paper reminded me of my own childhood, but the wolf fleece was what brought it all home for me. Chin up, Soldier. I hope she sees the error of her ways. x

  5. Fantastic writing, really enjoyed reading it for the laughs and ironic wit. Will keep up with your blogs in future.

  6. Reminds me of the 50p book vouchers I used to get from my aunt – way after you could buy a book for 50p, I might add. I think I still have a couple of them somewhere…
    Very funny! 😀

  7. Genius! These grandparents have no idea of the hurt they cause! As an aside, I once forgot to cash in a cheque from my in-laws for £50…because I’m that minted! (Actually, it was because she forgot to sign it and I didn’t want to make a scene by returning it, but still.) Relatives, eh?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s