Dear Fake Steve,

I finally get it.

I know how much you think I hate your book, but now I don't. I'm on a flight to Dallas (I hate Texas, although I have no justification for it), sitting in first class, sipping my second rum and coke after the warm towel and dinner, and I finally get the humor.

I've tried to explain to you that I didn't like it because I'm too close to it. I see these people in every day life. I get caught up on some of the "facts" being wrong. And I forget that this is fiction. It is written from the view point of what the valley and the people look like from the perspective of a stranger. And I forget that I'm a stranger in this world myself.

I'm a girl from Maine who dressed up, put on makeup, did her hair, and is sitting in first class pretending that she belongs. Giggling appropriately when the steward flirts with me, trying unsuccessfully to keep up with the drinkers, making small talk with the businessman beside me about his Sony Reader. I told him I like to read my books old school. He doesn't find me charming and entertaining. I get better results in coach.

The point is I made the mistake that many engineers in the valley make. I think that I'm part of it. Just like republican farmers who think they too will be rich some day, I think that just because I see some of these people at lunch, or run into them in the lobby that I am magically part of their world. I'm not. I'm as much of a poser in the valley as I am on this flight. I may have been Cinderella while living in CT, but I'm nobody here.

I see the humor now. I see how ridiculous their lives seem. I see how you make them larger than life, bringing them close to the borders of reality just long enough to suck me back into the absurd. I'm not meant to like the characters. I'm not supposed to be able to relate to them at all. I'm just supposed to laugh at how over-the-top you depict them.

I'm laughing now reading it. Probably the only smile in first class. It just took getting away from the valley to be able to see the forest for the trees.

I hope you accept my apology for my previous harsh criticism.



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