This morning I woke up with a skip in my step. I knew it was going to be a good day but wasn't sure why... until I logged into Gmail and saw Leslie's name.
Here's a refresher on Leslie: She's awesome.
Over the years, she's sent dozens of emails to the wrong Rachel Williams (me) which I think we can all agree is proof that God loves us. I am pretty sure I know more about Leslie's family than I do my own.
Today's gem was much like 90 percent of Leslie's emails: A single photo with no context whatsoever. I see this as her way of challenging us to use critical thinking skills.
Where were we? Ahh, the photo.
She had me at line one, mainly because at first I thought this "shoulder pack" she speaks of was an actual backpack. Then again, I'm not a member of Cosco. Assuming she's the author of this colorful recipe, Leslie seems to be quite the salt connoisseur. And it's making me thirsty.
Yes, Les. I'm sure it's the best with sticky rice.
Do you need more no subject, no context photos from the Leslie archive?
I lied. This one had a subject: "guess who I just saw!??"
As soon as I saw that the subject line included the word softball, it was clear that this email was supposed to go to another Rachel L. Williams.
It was also clear that this was going to be super fun.
Everyone, this is Ken. Ken lives in a suburb of Baltimore where he enthusiastically coaches perhaps more than one girls' softball team.
Can't you just feel the passion for nine-year-old girls softball leaking through the internet? I feel like he had to restrain himself from using all caps. Look, he's even going to "sneak in fundamentals" while their backs are turned. Poor girls won't know what hit them!
Ken's passion for softball extends beyond the bleachers. Hmm, that's not right is it? Beyond the dugout? Yeah. Anyway, he also dabbles on an adult league, as he explains, so he's extra glad he has an assistant coach this year.
Sooo much softball! Projectile softball! Softballs EVERYWHERE!
To avoid any confusion, Ken has created a fairly detailed map of the softball fields. I especially like that he made the snack stand bigger than the equipment shed. Knowing Ken, it was on purpose. He's seen how many kids wander in there looking for hot dogs.
Have I built enough suspense for the climax yet?
Rachel L. Williams' daughter is named Leah. That's my middle name AND I have a cousin named Leah. My mind was blown for AT LEAST seven seconds. After the fourth email from Ken, I replied and let him know that he had the wrong Rachel. But I didn't want to. I never want to.
This is Garrett's reply to his mom Leslie. In case this is something that needs pointing out, it gets bigger when you click it. That's what she said.
It's immediately clear that Garrett is an advocate of the exclamation point. I'll go out on a limb and say that I've never seen this many exclamation points co-exist in one place at the same time. Garrett is excited, and he wants you to know it!(!!!!!!!) We've also gotten confirmation that Garrett absolutely lives in D.C. Can't you just picture him rolling his eyes in exasperation as he's typing answers to his mom's brainless, inane questions? GOSH Mom, why are you so stupid!? Or, more accurately, GOSH Mom, why are you so stupid!!!!!!!!!!!!!? I don't think we would be jumping to conclusions if we said that Garrett is of the Mormon persuasion. The fact that his e-mail account is "myldsmail" kind of cinches the deal there. Garrett's devout commitment to the exclamation point is not reflected in his erratic capitalization choices. Anacostia gets a cap; trinidad does not. See also: Ghetto. Yes, Garrett, let's talk about This Transfer And How Sick It's Going To Be:
Again, we see Garrett probably doesn't lose much sleep over where capital letters do and do not go. Maybe this is his way of rebelling? I'm with Garrett in that I agree that Utah and also maybe other places too frown upon blowing fish up with dynamite. (Do you like how he says that the Nats game was "the bomb" and then segues into dynamite?) Finally, I really don't know about this Amanda or why her panties are in such a bunch. If I ever met her I would tell her that the last time I complained to someone about a present they gave me, I couldn't walk and still ate pureed carrots out of the jar.
Hello! Before we hear from the exclamation point enthusiast also known as Leslie's son Garrett, here are a couple of photos from the Leslie archive. The desired recipient was, as always, a Rachel Williams who is 100 percent not the one typing this, but here we are.
Hi there! Today I want you to meet Leslie. Leslie forwarded me this e-mail recently even though I am in absolutely no way the intended Rachel Williams and in no way is the intended Rachel Williams me. Over the years, Leslie's been one of my favorite senders of e-mails from strangers meant for other Rachel Williamses.
Leslie is, by all accounts, the mother of Garrett. I'll go out on a limb and say this is an accurate statement, especially since at the end of the e-mail she says "Love, Mom." How sweet is it that she calls him "my boy"? #@^&#@* that is effing cute. Let's also go ahead and feel confident that Garrett lives in the Washington D.C. area. The reason it's safe to make such a bold declaration is because Leslie references the Nationals game. I am very proud of the fact that I didn't have to look up where the Nationals play. Encyclopedic sports knowledge, right here.
Amanda, who I'm guessing is Garrett's sister, sounds like a pain in the a$$. Poor Logan. I bet she's a joy to date, assuming they're a thing. Hopefully Princess Pissy Pants didn't hurt her mom's feelings too much. I will say that I'm with Amanda in that I also enjoy homemade pizza and bruschetta. Did you know the proper way to pronounce it is brus-KET-a? So I'm studying abroad in Florence (like eight years ago, not now) and one night our professor summons everyone into the dining room. Everyone's a little unsure what's going on, so we self-soothe with bread. Then in walks Billy Joel's child bride/Miami University's own Katie Lee Joel (not like Billy Bob Thornton or Tommy Lee Jones, but Katie "Lee" Joel, Katie Joel née Lee, Katie Joel whose middle name at birth was not Lee... we good?). She whips out a port-a-kitchen and begins to perform an impromptu Italian cooking lesson. Anyway, she's standing there chopping garlic and using an exaggerated Italian emphasis on words like "noodles" and then someone says it "brush-etta." That's when she set the record straight that we as a society have been saying it wrong all this time. I don't remember much else because I was busy trying unsuccessfully to block the mental image of someone my age doing... you know... with the Piano Man. Katie told us she called B.J. "Bill," but I feel like he's much more of a Billy. Wow, all that from bruschetta. Ok, Yunior. Can we all agree that this needs to become Yu Darvish's official nickname immediately? Yu + Junior = Yunior. Bam, there I go again with the sports. Anyway, this Strawberry Reservoir is in Utah, which will become central to Garrett's story later. Also, am I on glue or am I reading correctly that in Peru they fish with dynamite? Seems a bit.... much, but hey, YOLO.
One of the many things I appreciate about Leslie is that she starts to wrap it up but then proceeds to slap out another half page about tulips. I'm trying to imagine a conversation between my mom and my brother where topics include both tulips and explosives. Also, who the h3ll is Matt? Don't you just love Leslie? She's the best! :)