Dear ________ (friend / family member’s name),
So sorry to have missed you in ________ (July, August)!
Option A: I understand you were very disappointed that we couldn’t get together. I so wish I hadn’t been swamped with ________ (work, child care, houseguests, panic attacks).
Option B: I understand you were very disappointed that we couldn’t get together, as was I, but I was barely keeping my head above water, and was ________ (hiding in my air-conditioned office with my philodendron, hiding on the beach with my young lover, hiding in my cool basement with the kitty litter, hiding by an undisclosed watering hole near Ontario).
Were you able to ________ (secure a beach sticker? apply for a bonfire permit? find a vegan doughnut cake? put a leash on a coyote?) I hope so! Did those directions to ________ (Spiritus Pizza, the Edward Gorey House, my deceased grandmother’s pool in the woods, Lake Michigan) work out for you? Realizing now that they may have been a bit confusing, as my brain was ________ (frazzled — July! frazzled — August! hung over from July 5th on! donated to the NeuroBioBank!)
Anyway, it would have been great to ________ (connect! hook up! touch base! not see each other because you’re likely a bigger arsehole now than you were in college!)
Unfortunately, we won’t be able to host you next August 6 thru 13 because we’ll be ________ (taking Alec on a college tour out West, vacationing in Wales, exhausted, homeless). We’d be happy to do a drive-by to check out that house you’re considering renting by the water, though my guess is that it’s already booked and that by next summer it will be ________ ($14,000 per week, subdivided into 12 Airbnb rentals, in the bay, occupied by Russian oligarchs). Of course, you are welcome to stay with us here in Truro at another time if, as expected, we are ________ (traveling for work, unemployed, in the penitentiary for back taxes, dead.)
Wishing you and the family a wonderful Fall! We hope to get to the city around the holidays and will reach out if we ________ (can’t secure a table at Buvette, need four tickets to Hadestown, get a flat and a fever on the BQE, discover bedbugs in our hotel room).
Much love from Truro,
Leslie & Randall