July 1978

Dear Husband #1,

This letter confirms your resignation from the position you have held for the past seven years, and your reassignment to the Ex-Husband Department. As there have been really too many Exit Interviews already, I feel it unnecessary to go over again the particulars that have necessitated this transfer. Our association was very productive in its earlier stages, and while it is unfortunate that our respective needs and abilities diverged over the years, this termination is, as we have discussed, wholly without prejudice.
Wishing you all success in your future endeavors, I remain,
Your ex-wife


July 1985

Dear Late Husband,


I am writing this on the one-year anniversary of your current posting. I hope you are adjusting to the new placement, after your abrupt departure from the position you held for just over three years. I know we both deeply regret this unanticipated reassignment, and I find it particularly painful that it came just as we were making plans to expand our operation (we were hoping, as you will recall, to bring a new junior person on board sometime this year).

However, I must let you know that I have decided not to join you after all, although for a time I had a well-developed plan (as serious as your heart attack) to do just that.

After the breakdown, and the leave of absence, and coming to reconsider my options, I have somewhat reluctantly concluded that accompanying you on your journey at this time is not a project that can be justified. I hope this is the right choice, and trust in your support of my decision to take on the second half of my life.


With all my love,
Your Widow


October 1986


Dear Applicant,

I am in receipt of the CV submitted in support of your application for the position of Husband #3. As you are aware, the assignment in question is a new one, and until very recently the creation of such an opening had been ruled impractical. However, your candidacy is a strong one in several respects:

1. Your own experience of early bereavement. This, it has become clear, is an absolute requirement for the job.


2. Your obvious enthusiasm for taking on further responsibilities, specifically those of parenthood. Here, too, the possibility of family expansion, once much hoped for, had been considered closed; it is your own candidacy, in fact, that has resulted in that project being taken under review once again.

3. Your own vision and personal beliefs, which you express as, “Living well is the best revenge.” That attitude is congruent with the strategic plan already under development here, tentatively titled, “The triumph of hope over experience.”

I am happy to inform you that your application is being forwarded to the final level of consideration.


With growing fondness,
Prospective Wife #2