Happy Birthday, You Unwise, Ignorant, Contemptible Young Girl I Used To Fuck Last Semester Before I Moved To A Third-World Country..

We almost decided not to change the first name of the sender of this Crap Email, because it is really so incidental. We all know this young man. His name is Adam, and Leonard, and James, and Jack, and Tom, and pretty much every generic Caucasian name that arrives, sweetly and earnestly potsmokingly, at dormrooms across America every year only to repair to Latin America four years later and conclude that not only was it all a putrid waste of time (that would be the point of college, duh!) but that the malaise brought about by that epiphany is actually the fault of the vapid, sheltered girl a year his junior with whom he enjoyed friends-with-benefits status back at Yale... Anyway, then we got to the part about "humilty," a "muscular emotion" about which this young man professes to be an expert. Like Jesus! Warning: you will be reaching for your tongue depressors.

A house is just a building, devoid of meaning; a pile of sticks and nails. I don't live in New Haven, so why do you call it 'my house'? I walked down Elm Street a good deal, but it isn't my street, Connecticut isn't my state, and I have no plans to return in the near future. Nostalgia has no place in this modern life.

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As it is your birthday I feel obligated to offer you a similar level of emotion that I gave to Aileen on her own special day. Granted, she's earned a special letter through good deeds and a sunny disposition, while you, you don't even have a degree.

But I'll give you something nevertheless:

A few months from now you will stand at graduation having learned very little in the last four years, certainly much less than if you had spent your thousands of dollars elsewhere. No number of half-read books or half-baked term papers will teach you about humility in the face of a challenge, and without that, there is nothing more.

Humility is not passivity, nor is it starry-eyed apathy, but a genuine understanding of the unimportance of your own needs. It is a muscular emotion, driven by love and compassion, without the selfless pretension of so many our age. And, on this your birthday, you need to question your own ability to exhibit humility, to be the useful woman of your own future.

I have noticed you have many affected personas that I can only guess are vestigial reminders of an adolescent longing to find your place. You'll find it all right, but only if you shed these falsities and express yourself as yourself. No more "I mean" or "I guess." Take charge of your emotions and shoot from the hip for once.

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Call people on the telephone.

And on this birthday, make it your birthday.

Much love,
Emmanuel

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