March 9, 2012 / Edited Oct 15, 2013 / Re-edited Dec 31, 2014
Here’s the story.
I was out for dinner over 2 years ago with really good friends at this amazing Cuban restaurant in Toronto. It’s the kind that looks like the sweet little living room of the cook himself and it’s one of those special nights where we all feel hilarious and in love with each other.
Then at 11pm, two of my friend’s acquaintances showed up unannounced. They were shit-faced drunk and they plopped themselves down at our table. She starts trying to order when the kitchen was already closed, and doing it like the waiter was Ebola or something (you know the type). She made a stink so they opened the kitchen for her and then she proceeded to tell them that her boyfriend is allergic to garlic. “So what’s on the menu that has absolutely no garlic in it?” she asks the cuban cook. My impulse was to punch her in the head right there but she’s my friend’s friend so instead I watched it play out.
She also tells them she wants nothing with cheese on it, as she is not allergic, just intolerant. The kitchen makes a specialty dish for them and then these two lushes start dominating the conversation about how they like to “play together,” launching into sordid and graphic imagery of their top/bottom/ dom/servant roles and boob rings and straps or whatever… “hey, it’s just play” they keep repeating and winking to each other “it’s just play.”
Which brings me to the mind-blowing part.
The woman then says about 10 years ago when she was in University she was asked to write a letter to her writing hero and tell him/her why she looked up to them and she wrote to you.
You wrote her back. You told her you were asked to write the very same letter to your hero when you were in college and because of this you felt inspired to become her mentor.
“Wha, what, did you do, ohmygod this is incredible” I stammered.
“I didn’t do anything. I never wrote him back,” she said.
To me this woman is the worst kind of person there is. Start with the arriving drunk, then the garlic, then the weird sexy talk, and THEN she said no to magic. What an ice-cold douche.
Maybe it’s low self-esteem?
Maybe she was abused?
Maybe I should have compassion?
So I challenged her.
“You have 3 months to contact David Sedaris and apologize to him for not accepting his offer and to ask him to take you on as his mentor- now- 10 years later.”
She laughed and kept on drinking.
“If you don’t do this” I continued “I will write him myself and ask to take your place. He is my storytelling hero and this is my cosmic heart dream. I think we would be fast friends and Hugh would like me too- so if you don’t take this opportunity, I will.”
She then got mad and said I couldn’t and it was her territory and she will waste whatever opportunities she wanted and we haven’t spoken since. She even blocked me on Facebook.
I left it for a while, a long while, over 2 whole years actually- because I wanted to give this woman her shot. But then I had a kid, got married, my mom died, and I became fearless and impenetrable to shame.
I know what I want and I’m humbly requesting to step in as your new mentee.
You offered your services to a woman named XXXXXXXX years ago and I’m requesting to take her place.
I’m a storyteller. I work in radio. I make theatre and I write. I’m writing my first book of stories- about myself, including all the things that suck and make me human. (First thing is to help me re-write the previous sentence). It’s funny. It’s dark. It’s female. It’s coming along and I’d love you to be my editor. We can start with you reading a bit of it and seeing if you want to go any further…
I have a website where I post personal essays and podcasts and host an advice column:
I run a theater company and make contemporary work that tours internationally:
Here’s a pic of me before and after I got my eyebrows threaded. Just so you know I’m not crazy.
I’m not shooting in the dark here. I’m asking for someone else’s moment.
I’d use it wisely.
All the best to you David. I hope to be bitching with you soon.
Emelia Symington Fedy