Please excuse me for a moment while I respond to a letter to the editor of my local newspaper.
Dear letter writer,
I know you are corresponding to the newspaper with a sincere desire to share a viewpoint the rest of us must be missing in our daily unpleasant perusal of the news. I understand you have a unique and previously unseen perspective that we all need to hear. So I am taking a moment out of my own sad news consumption to respond to your plea of:
“Doesn’t anyone see this but me?”
Allow me to respond, “Yes, we all sadly see it.”
Please be assured, you are not the only one.
You are not the only one who perceives, notices and speculates in a particular way.
In fact, we all see the same things.
Does anyone else notice the potholes are getting bigger even though we are paying thousands of dollars in taxes each year?
Yes, we all notice. Every single day. Because we all share the same sensation when our cars lurch into that massive unrepaired crater. We all say, “Huh!”, as we uncomfortably snap our teeth together after the jarring three foot drop into the pothole.
“I wonder when they will ever fix that?”
We all say that.
And yes, we all notice when there is more rain than usual during an unusually wet spring and our streets are periodically flooded.
We all see that.
We all also see when gas prices rise, and when we can no longer get our favorite brand of yogurt at the market.
Although, I have to admit, I sometimes suspect I’m the only one who notices the missing yogurt. Still, I hate to assume I’m the only one paying attention. Maybe each of you has steered your squeaky wheeled cart by the dairy section and grumbled, why don’t they ever have my brand of yogurt? Maybe I’m the only one complaining about the current yogurt inequity.
And maybe I’m the only one who has noticed the rising level of vindictive language in public debates.
Oh wait, you have noticed that too? Huh? I thought I was the only one.
And have you noticed how many extra fees have been tacked on to airline travel lately?
Really? You’ve noticed that as well?
What about this supreme court confirmation deal? Has anyone else noticed how acrimonious that debate has become? Really?
Wow. I guess I’m not the only one paying attention.
Okay, what about this?
Am I the only who notices that we keep paying for foundation repair in North Texas, but our houses keep shifting anyway? I bet I’m the only one who sees that.
Or maybe I’m the only one commenting on the increasing levels of road rage, or the amount of time we spend on hold waiting to talk to a health insurance benefits associate. Oh, I bet I’m the only one who notices the nastiness of today’s political advertisements, or the stupid service fees attached to my movie tickets.
Oh, I’m not?
How about this one? I bet I’m the only one who notices the lack of organization of my bookshelves. Hah, got you! Although, probably anyone who comes into my house notices that as well.
Well, maybe I’m not as perceptive as I thought. Maybe I’m not the only one who notices what is going on around me.
Maybe we all do. Maybe we keep rhetorically asking this question because none of us can quite believe the many preposterous events happening around us. Maybe this question is actually a cry for help.
“Doesn’t anyone see this but me?”
Please let me not be alone in my outrage. Please notice with me, please share my distress.
So, be assured dear letter writer, we all see what you are seeing. I guess some of us have become too inured to continue to show outrage.
But sadly, we all still see it.