With Christmas nearly upon us I suppose it will soon be open season for the Round Robin letter-writers, in fact I have already received my first! I used to get quite a few (I suppose being an expat your friends tend to be more widely dispersed) and while I don't get as many as I used to I still hate the bloody things. I don't know why really, but I sense it is because I just got so sick of all the perfect friends, with the perfect spouses and the perfect kids who excel at everything. You know the kind "oh Hyacinth and Hortense are just coming along screamingly with their viola lessons, and Cuthbert's percussion teacher says he is a natural". Now don't get me wrong, I understand that if you want to send out a lot of letters to friends and family (particularly at Christmas), in this day and age it is probably a lot easier to write a basic text about what you and your family have been up to, but for goodness sake at least make some attempt to personalize it a bit. One bland, bog-standard Round Robin letter about the perfect achievements of the perfect family just about does my head in. I mean, am I the only one who doesn't have perfect kids who excel at everything they do? I sincerely hope not. I love em to bits anyway but they are normal not over-achieving spawn! In fact, I'm sure most of the kids mentioned in these letters are also happily far from perfect, it's just that the letter-writer feels somehow obliged to blow all their achievements up beyond recognition.
And as for the perfect spouse with the perfect job - well I guess I should just roll over and concede defeat on that one right away. Anyone who has read any of my previous posts knows where I stand on the "perfect spouse" bit - yeah, you got me - he was about as much use as a chocolate teapot but far less interesting.
Maybe these letters don't bother other people, or maybe you don't all have perfect (long-distance) acquaintances like I do (you know, the ones you rarely see so you have no way of telling if Hyacinth really knows her viola from a hole in the ground), but just a little cri du coeur - for goodness sake personalize it so that the recipient at least knows you have given them some thought.
And on that note, Mrs. Bah-Humbug here will get off her high horse and get back to contemplating Christmas with her less-than-perfect kids!