I get emails every day from wonderful people who have interesting, insightful observations about our community. Sometimes they agree with something I have written and sometimes they disagree vehemently. But these emails are exciting and valuble to me.
And sometimes I get other emails. These sometimes begin, "Dear Julie" or "Mrs. von Angen." That is how I know that I am about to hear from some of my most careful readers. The first sentence often begins, "Do me a favor..."
What comes next is never a request to look into a facet of our community which has been overlooked or to refrain from taking so lightly a subject which is tender to the reader's heart. I am never being asked to provide more information or even to water the plants while their family is on vacation.
Almost without exception, "Do me a favor..." is followed by some verbal smackdown.
"Do me a favor and shut up about your kids."
"Do me a favor and stick to your day job whatever that might be."
"Do me a favor and learn the first thing about the first thing when it comes to my HVAC system's benefits before you make fun of RELAC again."
And I am always careful to respond. This is my community and my whole goal is give people an opportunity to feel that it is being accurately represented in Reston Patch.
So, I have replied to anyone who has felt that I have misrepresented some aspect of the gestalt of Reston that they should consider making their voice heard. You try it. Write something for Patch and I'll ask my editor to run it.
And they never do. In fact, those cheeky monkeys are always coming back at me with responses which include the fact that they already have full-time jobs and a family and thus do not have time for any additional keystrokes in their lives. They are careful to mention that writing for Patch is not lucrative and that it is not a significant enough forum for their perspectives.
Don't I understand that? Yes, I do. I also have a job and a family and a bank account and an ego. And yet I still wake up every weekday and cobble together something which might make you smile.
I believe in this publication and I believe in my forum. So, I make the time to do this and accept that the process is its own reward.
I am so pleased with the responses I have received from so many of you. You have all made me think about the responsibilities of citizenship. But for those few who wish to make me feel humbled or demeaned by the irrelevance of this endeavor, I would simply like a smalll indulgence from you.
Do me a favor and show some respect.