Checking the mail is always fun and exciting. I grew up within walking distance of the local post office which meant no rural delivery for us, so this whole "having my very own mailbox right at the end of the road" thing is still kind of new. And before the fiasco that is healthcare it was enjoyable. Now it generally means some new and banal waste of tree pulp and money to either tell me something I already know or reverse some decision made the week prior. The latest was a nursery card from hell for Ilya:
A creepy, but I guess within in realm of "baby appropriate" outside opened to reveal an aggressive immunization schedule along with a message from the powers that be to "get those shots!". Not a suggestion, not a piece of objective information I could take or leave, but an ultimatum. A demand. And I was done. There's no more ignoring this attitude of complete superiority and dismissal of parental control (not to mention intelligence). If it's ever to stop we have to be the ones to stop it.
So instead of burning the card, which is generally my first impulse with junk mail (it's not vindictive, it's just the easiest way of dealing with the loads and loads of paper), I decided to send it back with the following letter:
Dear Mr. Albert,
I recently received this card - I am returning it to you as it is not only inapplicable to my life, it is offensive. I am not one to take umbrage at every little slight, so please understand my full meaning in saying this. While I appreciate you concern for my child, it is in no way your responsibility to dictate my healthcare decisions.
There is a disturbing trend of professionals, such as yourself, feeling the need to act in loco parentis both to parents and simultaneously, through them, to their children. I will not tolerate that. Whether your guidance is good or bad is irrelevant, the problem lies in considering yourself more capable of making medical decisions for people you've never met than the parents who are raising them. This is grossly misguided.
I am perfectly capable of discerning, among other things, which vaccines to get when, and if I need your advice I will ask for it. Until then please refrain from further patronizing attempts to "educate" me.
Seth P. Goepel
Most likely it will enter the trash unread (probably unopened) but that's not important. Because there's the chance it will be seen and maybe even provoke a reaction. And if we don't start pushing back at the little things - the attitudes, the casual implications - then we can't expect life to start improving. And now it's your turn.