To Whom It May Concern,

First off, I hope you are doing well. I hope life, difficult as it can be, is treating you kindly and I sincerely wish you nothing but the best. And frankly, I thought these sentiments were mutual. That is, until I came upon one of your photos online where you extended both of your middle fingers at the camera.

Naturally, I have a few questions. Did something happen between us? Did I wrong you? Did I slight you in some way? And if so, why bring that energy into your vacation photos? We can talk about it, I just don’t understand the forum in which you chose to communicate your animosity toward me.

When I’m upset with someone I usually just give them a call, I don’t drive 2,238 miles to the Bonneville Salt Flats, arrange myself atop a cheerleading pyramid, and take a photo suggesting that everyone looking at it for all of eternity should go fuck themselves.

The rest of the picture was innocent enough, you were documenting a fun road trip with your friends. They had their middle fingers up too but I don’t know them. I know you and you’re better than this.

And who are these people wrapped so tightly around that middle finger of yours that they’re liking and positively commenting below your post?

Obviously I’m being a little presumptuous thinking it’s all about me even though I’m staring down the barrel of the finger every time I look at the photo. So I guess I speak for everyone who didn’t comment positively or like the photo when I say we’re not big fans of getting flipped off.

Call me old fashioned but I prefer pictures of people smiling just being themselves. They’ve got their arms to their side and their fingers arranged completely flush with one another. They’d take the opportunity to use those fingers in a different fashion only to make a peace sign or bunny ears depending where the peace sign is located.

But I’ll tell you what finger arrangement doesn’t change in different locations: the middle finger. Middle finger on your head? Still a middle finger. Middle finger with a smile on your face? Still a middle finger. Spinning a basketball on your middle finger? That’s the one exception but you get my point.

Playing a note on a trumpet that requires all your fingers except the middle finger? Okay, that’s another exception but I’m pretty sure you don’t play the trumpet or basketball. And if you do, I’m willing to bet that you don’t play them enough to make those two scenarios a core muscle memory that takes hold when someone snaps a photo.

I understand to some degree that posed pictures are uncomfortable but that doesn’t mean you have to counteract your discomfort with obscene gestures. When I’m uncomfortable waiting in line at the bank I don’t turn to the person behind me, stick a finger through my other hand that's making a hole, and suggestively make it go in and out. I wouldn’t even do it to the person holding us up in front of me. I keep my hands—and their many abilities—to myself.

And when I’m uncomfortable feeling flipped off I don’t retaliate with my own middle finger vacation photo where it looks as though I’m balancing the Epcot ball or providing support to the leaning tower of Pisa. That’s the faux pas equivalent to flashing rival gang signs on disputed territory—not my cup of tea. What I do is type out a letter addressed to you entirely with my middle fingers.

Sincerely,
Robert


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