Number one: how dare you? First of all, I’d like to thank you for making my life a living hell. I thought I’d never see you again after my senior year in high school, where I could walk away from you for good. You practically ruined my second semester and even nearly stopped me from getting into college, until I correctly calculated my GPA average and passed by a mere decimal. “But you’ll need math in everyday life,” Ms. Jacobs said multiple times a day. “What will you do without math?”

I’ll tell you what I’ll do without math: literally everything fun I’ve ever done. Vacation? You and I never shared dozens of piña coladas. My wedding? Not invited on the carefully curated list of 250. Birth of my kids? Also not present for any of their 8-pound and 6-ounce weigh-ins. And guess what? I have a calculator in my POCKET now. It’s never once left my hands, and never gives me variables of attitude. And contrary to everything you’ve insinuated, I’ve never needed the Pythagorean Theorem for any moment of my life. I’m a million times better off without you, just like I always thought. After I figured out how to calculate a sales discount for jeans at Nordstrom, I was all set. It still takes me three times, but at least I get an estimate and sometimes I’m even right.

And now here I am, decades later, trying to teach my kid something I never fully understood in the first place?! That’s some nerve you’ve got, sneaking back into my life all these years later, thinking you can factor into my world again. I thought our division was amicable and logical. I thought we both mutually agreed that we never correlated, that we’re not good for each other. How am I supposed to explain this to my teenager? I’m supposed to set a good example, for Christ’s sake, and here you are making me look as irrational as pi. I don’t need to be reminded of my mistakes all these years later, you confusing, abstract nonsense.

And for another thing (number TWO, if you insist I speak your language), who had the audacity to include the alphabet in your fucked up scheme? Listen, English and I had our own separate relationship, and we were doing just fine until you decided to include letters in this goddamn mess. You had to ruin a perfectly good thing. I mean, okay, it wasn’t perfect—I still don’t understand the whole “effect/affect” thing and why there’s an extra “R” in February, but still, English has never given me half the grief you have. And you know what? I DO use English on an everyday basis. In fact, she’s helping me write this as we speak. In the Venn Diagram of things that give me a headache and reasons why I wake 2-3 times per night in cold sweat, you fall right in the center. You’re the permutation of all of the problems in my life.

So let me repeat: I don’t need you.

Unless you could happen to tell me how to cross multiply fractions before Kelly has to submit her problem set on Tuesday, in which case I’d really appreciate some help. And also, tax season is approaching, so if you have a minute to chat over the phone that would be great. But other than that, good riddance, infinitely!


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