To Whom It May Concern:
I would like to extend my acknowledgement of receipt for the unsolicited advice you offered me the other day. Though I didn’t ask for it, and I would argue it wasn’t necessary, you took the time to send it my way, which I suppose counts for something.
I don’t often seek advice, perhaps to the chagrin of others. But when I do, I’m very particular about those who I consult. Industry experts, very close friends, folks who have been there before — those are usually the people I speak with when I’m in need of information. But you saw an opportunity to say something, and you did so, though you weren’t asked to do so. And I suppose it is that type of attitude and bravado that epitomizes the go-getter spirit. Fortune favors the bold, as they say.
I’m a writer in this, the year of our lord, 2020, and as such, I’m on the internet. It’s a mostly great place where I can connect with others who have similar interests and experiences, and I can find tons of information simply by typing a question into a search bar. It’s worth noting that being a writer on the internet also means that I leave myself open to commenters and replies. And I suppose that’s why you felt it necessary to pop in with the advice you offered. If I could give you a small sticker that said “I gave Marisa advice!”, you would feel your duty to me fulfilled. You could wear this sticker on your shirt like a badge to let people know what you did. And then, perhaps you’d stop sending me emails to let me know that you commented something you felt was relevant on an item that mostly didn’t concern you at all.
But I digress.
I know that anyone with access to the internet can create content these days. ’Tis the logical conclusion of Web 2.0, after all. But I want you to know that I am somewhat, if not wholly, qualified to discuss the topics I post on.
To the person who suggested I go to grad school to really round out my education, please know that past Marisa thanks you for your advice. Because present Marisa has two master’s degrees.
To the individual who so kindly commented on the caloric density of an Instagram picture of food, please know that I eat every single day, and as a woman in the western world, it is fundamentally impossible for me to not be aware of the nutrition value of food since I’ve been socialized into diet culture from birth.
To the entity who responded to my Black Lives Matter post with a command to research what has been done to Native Americans and Mexicans in the U.S., after of course telling me to go fuck myself, I say, “Bozho, pendeja.”
I apologize that you took so much time out of your day to tell me how to live your life, only to receive this blanket letter of acknowledgement. But, as a writer, I have received many form letters from publishers in my time, and I believe we all deserve the polite sting they offer, if only to be reminded of how little we are regarded by others.
In closing, I hope this letter finds you well, and may you find others to give unsolicited advice. Or perhaps, your spine may strengthen, and you’ll find yourself capable of not only creating your own online content, but also creating online profiles that don’t feature a generic image as your avatar along with some made up nonsense user handle.
And, if I may, since you have been so forthcoming with your own advice, give you a bit of advice for you to take on this journey through life:
The world has existed for a very long time, and discourse, whether in print, in person, or online, is an ongoing and ever evolving conversation. Simply stepping into the conversation and asking all parties to acknowledge you and validate the opinion you formed in the 3 minutes you were exposed to the topic at hand is not how it works. Similarly, it’s no one’s job to explain these concepts to you. After all, if you can create an online account to respond to what I have to say, surely you can also access Google and do the most basic research.
Again, I acknowledge that I have received your advice. Have a blessed day.
P.S. There is no need to respond to this piece, though I’m sure you’re brimming with more advice.