A letter I’m sending tomorrow

Procrastination Devil, twin of Deadline Devil.

Procrastination Devil, twin of Deadline Devil.

Dear Procrastination,

We’ve been through so much together – breaking up with boyfriends, tests, research papers, diets, job duties. Your loyalty is endearing. When my world falls apart, when I feel friends have abandoned me, you hold me close and say, “You’ll always have me. Don’t worry about it now. We’ll fix it tomorrow.”

You helped make me the professional I am today. I know my supervisors would thank you, but they’re still looking for the projects I promised to finish before my last day.

You also shaped me on a personal level. Together, we launched the belated birthday card industry and its subsidiaries: belated Mother’s Day cards, belated Easter cards, belated-but-tasteful sympathy cards, and the “I heard you were seriously ill last year. I’m happy you’re still with us!” card.

Remember when we were forced to buy a graduation card written in Spanish for the neighbor kid? Because we bought the card at a gas station on the way to the party, and it was the only card left? Oh, the laughs we’ve shared.

I haven’t forgotten our best idea ever: the 15-gallon gas tank that secretly holds 16 gallons. I meant to apply for the patent after Christmas, but then we moved into the new house and there was unpacking galore and new sheets to buy and I couldn’t find the egg-white separator, and who could possibly think about patents when a critical kitchen tool is lost? After I found the separator, I had this urge to sketch monkeys. Then I painted my nails and tossed out all my socks that didn’t have matches, which is as cleansing as detox without the spinach juice. What was I writing about anyway? Oh, the patent.

Actually, I’m not writing about the patent at all. I’m writing to inform you that our relationship must evolve to a point of changing so it becomes something else and when I say “something else” I guess I mean over. Yes, over is what I mean. I’m breaking up with you, as soon as you agree so it’s mutual and therefore less painful for me.

This is a long time coming, my dear friend. I’ve been thinking our break up since high school. Remember when we stayed up all night reading The Scarlet Letter because there was a test the next day? It was hard reading a complicated book in one night. Jeez, I thought the scarlet letter A stood for “apple,” and that’s no way to impress the teacher in an honors class. So I meant to tell you after school but I was tired, and my mom had just asked whether I’d finished the scrapbook for my grandparents’ anniversary party. I said, “I’ll finish it tomorrow.” And she said, “Tomorrow’s the party. Did you remember tomorrow’s the party?” And I said, “Of course I remembered. But Mom, wouldn’t a poster board be just as nice as a big scrapbook? Even better, actually?”

I shouldn’t have led you on for so long, dear friend. But life is already easier without you. Notice I’m actually writing this letter today – and finishing it. Not just finishing it, but quickly finishing, because we’ve got friends coming for dinner tonight and I’ve been planning an Italian-themed meal with decorations and this great wine I read about in Napa Valley‘s Rare Finds and some Italian music, too, which I’ll have to search for and then download.

I’ve also been meaning to organize my car’s glove compartment and trunk. (See how much I can accomplish on my own?) I looked out the window this morning and noticed my neighbor is having a garage sale, so I’ll pop over there and see if she’s selling any Italian-looking decorations, plus I need to return the book I borrowed last year. I think I saw it in the box with the egg separator.

See, dear friend, I’m not going to let you make me late, although you’ve almost succeeded. I figured you’d try the old games. Just so you know, I have a white zinfandel from Christmas I can serve tonight if needed. (See my new planning skills?) I’m also checking into pizza delivery options.

Goodbye, Procrastination. I know it’s hard for you. I promise to check in occasionally to see how you’re doing.

Sincerely,

Shelley

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