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.
THERE WAS NO POUND COIN SELLOTAPED INSIDE.
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.
ANYTHING IN POUNDLAND.
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