Open Letter to the Woman Having Major Relationship Issues While Perusing Nerf Guns at Target

Sometimes life gets complicated.

Miles run today: 0 (rest day)

Christmas cards ordered: 100 (no, I do not have that many friends, but maybe I will by Christmas)

Cell phone received by my son yesterday: 1

Dear Woman Having Major Relationship Issues While Perusing Nerf Guns at Target,

I want better things for you. I have added you to my Santa wish list in hopes that your life will turn around.

Me: Standing in the CD section, deliberating about whether to buy the new Diana Krall CD for my father-in-law for Christmas.

You: Pacing the Nerf display, talking on your cell phone to someone who has obviously been much more naughty than nice. And not in that good, funny way that they print on holiday t-shirts.

I know lots of things about you from the five minutes I spent inadvertently hearing your side of a sad conversation:

1. You have nice hair. The fact that you took time to fix your hair this morning while your world was crumbling around you says something about how strong you are. Use that strength to get out of a very bad situation.

2. You care about some little kids enough to want to buy them the best Nerf guns out there. Maybe they’re your little kids, or your nephews or even some lucky Toys for Tots recipients. But I could tell by the way you looked at each one and touched it that you want good things for other people, even if you can’t figure out how to make it happen for yourself.

3. If you weren’t talking in a loud voice in a big box store, you would look like all the other women I know who have managed to find some nice, wholesome men who are nice to them. Contrary to what your mom might have told you years ago, not all men are dogs, and there are some out there who are still looking for women who take the time to fix their hair each morning.

4. It is not too late to get help. The simple fact that you are sharing your woes inside the front section of Target where small children in carts and people who blog and write newspaper columns can hear you makes me think that you are crying out for help. Please talk to a good friend, minister or counselor who will tell you to run, not walk, away from the man on the other end of the phone.

5. It is too late to save your relationship. Just before I ran to the frozen food aisle, Diana Krall CD in hand, your end of the conversation made me feel sad: “You should stop listening to all of your women who say sweet things to you and make you feel good and come home to me.” I’m going out on a limb and guessing that you may have had this argument before, in some other Target or Walmart or even TJ Maxx. Today was not an isolated incident. Please read the signs and move on.

6. Maybe guns aren’t what you need to be shopping for right now. Turn off your cell phone, go for a good, long run and eat some Cadbury’s chocolate. You will feel so good that you may forget about that loser for a few minutes. Hopefully forever.

For you, I hope that 2013 finds you back at Target shopping for a new cell phone with a different number. Electronics is just past the Nerf display.

Best wishes for your holiday season,

A Concerned Woman Who Tried Not To Overhear Your Distressing Conversation and Wants a Better Life for You


34 thoughts on “Open Letter to the Woman Having Major Relationship Issues While Perusing Nerf Guns at Target

  1. Amy Mak says:

    Oh wow. That was very powerful and I SO very wish that she could read this – sometimes it’s seeing something from the outside to make you see how crazy your behavior is, or that you deserve a lot better, or that you are worth more than you are getting. How can we find her? Maybe she’s already reading this! Have I ever told you what a good writer you are?

  2. Well stated….and compassionate. Nice.

    PS – Nice yucca plant pic.


  3. Bernie Brown says:

    Very sad story. You told it so well, it made me misty. I wish better for that poor woman, too.

  4. robincoyle says:

    Yikes. I hope she follows your blog.

    Isn’t it funny (in not a funny way) how we have private conversations in public nowadays? Well, not me, but people.

  5. I’m thinking you could set up some regular slot where you eavesdrop on conversations, and then write open letters to the people on here. The word would spread, and people would come flocking to see if there are words of comfort for them here. Also people would deliberately start having conversations on phones near you, in the hope that you will overhear and help. Good work lady.

    On the other side of it, I must say that I have on occasion had conversations on my phone whilst out in public, and not realised how loud I was until the call was over.

  6. David Gentry says:

    Well done. Maybe one of your followers, woman or man, will re-think a relationship.

  7. I do have a hard time sympathizing with people like this, I’m afraid. When one goes to a public place and yells into a cell phone about one’s personal problems, it reveals, I think, a narcissistic search for public sympathy rather than a search for a solution.

    Also, such boorish behavior indicates a sense of entitlement and an indifference towards others – personality traits that are not all that useful in cultivating a loving relationship.

    That said, Nerf guns are cool.

    • annewoodman says:

      Entitlement and indifference–good words, both. I try to assume that they are the result of a bad past… and I’m hopeful that with help, a brighter future could develop. Ever the optimist?

      Nerf guns ARE cool.

  8. Melissa says:

    Oh, I hate those conversations. They are so wrapped up in the moment and I want desperately to go over and say “Honey. he’s not worth it and there are so many men out there that are.” It breaks my heart and frustrates me because they don’t want the crazy, nosy lady in the store to say anything….just mind her business. I hope she figures it out soon.

    • annewoodman says:

      It’s hard to mind your own business when a drama is unfolding at top volume one aisle away. I have to say… I’d rather not be a party to someone else’s grief via cell phone.

  9. jmmcdowell says:

    We can only hope she comes to her senses or reads your blog and recognizes herself. Somehow, I don’t think either of those events will happen. Some people can’t take the steps needed to improve their situation—even when they know it’s bad.

  10. IntrovertedSarah says:

    It’s a small step from nurf to something with an MK in front of it.

  11. desertrose7 says:

    That touched me, and is so like something that I would feel, think about and write about.

  12. Subtlekate says:

    I’ve wanted to tell women on phones or even having the argument with the actual man in public, to come home with me and have a cup of tea.

  13. globalexplorer1 says:

    I always thought “At least that’s not me” when I was unwittingly subjected to other people’s personal cell phone conversations. Then I remembered working in a cube environment when we all heard everyone else’s conversations. Some of it was personal (like when my ex-wife would call me at work.) It was kind of creepy as I reflect on it.
    Thanks for a well-written, topical story.

    • annewoodman says:

      Yes, our world is very open these days, isn’t it? I think we should continue to strive for some privacy and treasure the parts of our lives that no one else needs to know about.

  14. So funny – but sad, especially number 5.
    I once had a job with a documentary maker – a weird acting job. I wasn’t in the documentary, I was involved in making it. I had to walk around public places with a microphone disguised in a squash racket case. I had an ear piece in and the director would say something like: woman talking into her mobile at the doughnut stall. I would hurry over and try and pick up her conversation with the squash racket/microphone. The director was putting together a piece about relationships, through conversations overheard on people’s mobiles. I heard a very sad break up through this job. A woman saying on the phone, over and over, just let me go, let me be free.

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