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The manner of the telling

13 January 2010

Received from the Consort’s aunt, in Switzerland (all names changed, of course):

Thank you very much for your letter, it’s good to hear about you all.

We had a good 2009. In June Marta and her Jurg married and in July their “Paco” was born. They live near Zurich, I often go to look after the baby and see it grow up.

Szusi and her Jan moved from Prague to Paris, their apartment is in the middle of Paris, on the 7th floor, 100 small steps up and down. They have not really settled down and are not sure about marriage and children, Szusi is 32 1/2.

Piet is in LA. He bought a bigger house with a bigger garden, with a pool. He is proud of it all.

Hans broke his arm in December, no good in the wintertime with the snow. I don’t like driving a car and Hans cannot for 2 months.

Have a good 2010,

Aunt Sofi

Her letters always crack me up — she’s got such an aptitude to say so much with so few words. The Consort’s father (“Aunt Sofi”‘s brother) often writes his holiday letter in a similar vein. Every year when I open it I am curious to see what disasters we all have barely avoided or almost succumbed to in the past 12 months. I think it comes from their upbringing — the Consort’s grandfather was a village Calvinist minister (and we all know how upbeat Calvin was on life here and in the hereafter!) — although the two oldest daughters curiously both showed a much more positive outlook on life. (Of course, so does the Consort — he’s one of the most upbeat, positive people I know, so perhaps every generation needs at least one happy-go-lucky person [the look-on-the-negative-side personality shows up in his generation, too — one of his sibs has taken care of that one!].)

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. 13 January 2010 9:18 pm

    That letter really cracked me up for some reason. So much written in between the lines.

  2. Split Sister permalink
    15 January 2010 9:27 pm

    OMG, I love it! Especially “She’s 32 1/2.” what a loaded “fact” given the previous paragraph! I can just hear the eyes rolling.

  3. 18 January 2010 3:04 pm

    Oh, I love that letter. But I’m really pretty sure I would *not* want to meet Aunt Sofi. Too scared.

  4. 20 January 2010 1:34 pm

    Oh, my, it certainly is minimalist! Enviable in fact.

    The sentence that cracked me up was “He is proud of it all”. Sooo much subtext in those 6 words.

  5. 28 January 2010 9:42 am

    That is amazing. We get similar letters from my guy’s grandparents.

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