September 1, 2003

To: Brian Buckingham
From: Conor Friedersdorf
Subject: My Debt to You


When I arrived at college you lent me a copy of The Sun Also Rises, supplied Henry Weinhardt’s beer until I turned 21 and introduced me to caps: “It’s not a drinking game, it’s a drinking sport.”

More importantly, you went to Seville first and insisted I spend my semester abroad there so fervently that I followed.

It’s payback time.

You’ve been working a year longer than I for far more hours every week. In the next six months your fancy consulting firm will pay you twice my annual salary. As a Christmas bonus I’ll get a $20 gift card to Ralph’s Supermarket; you’ll receive a check with three zeroes. And did I mention that you’re working for 70 soul-crushing hours a week?

In a year’s time, you’ll be even more ready than I am to return to Seville. I’ll be there: I hereby commit.

Will you be?

Hasta Pronto,