April 1, 2004

To: Michael Doyle, Brian Buckingham
CC: Nicole Bennett, Nicholas Fonte, Tara Plochocki
From: Conor Friedersdorf
Subject: Insufferable Overachievers

So Michael Doyle has been promoted, and Brian James Buckingham is suddenly engaged?!


1) It is quite suspicious that you’ve both e-mailed me momentous news on the same day.

2) Has my grandmother, who believes I’ll be beheaded by Al Qaeda the instant I step off American soil, orchestrated your successes to deprive me of traveling companions?

3) Did she also arrange Nicole’s Fulbright , Tara’s gig working with Tibetan refugees and Nick’s decision to spend another year at the orphanage in Honduras?

4) Or do career, family, Third Word development, the well-being of persecuted refugees and the raising of parentless children seem more ennobling than fiction writing, daily siestas and nightly Cruzcampo beer?

So be it.

I’ll admit my good taste in friends. But I’ll not abort my return to Sevilla. Without you all, I go alone. Hell, we’ve got to have a representative in Europe, right? Mike, you’ve long deserved it. Brian, you’ll make a great husband and a great father… and my sister will someday recover from the news.

You’re all invited to sleep on my Spanish couch, and if you imagine that your noble pursuits will induce me to pay for your meals when you visit… well, you’re probably right.

Much Love,