Dear Pam,

Thank you for thinking of me and my son for the past eleven years as you and the rest of your firm’s staff gather around to add your signatures and nothing else to the non-denominational Costco holiday cards you send out every December.

The jolly gender-neutral snowperson last year? Classic yet updated for this LGBTQ-inclusive era. The bluebird perched on an icy pinecone the year before? Timeless. The masked gingerbread people in various colors holding hands around the earth on 2020’s greeting? A subtle yet vital nod to the social unrest of that tough pandemic year.

Truly, it means so much that you haven’t forgotten us after the ten months and $62,302 worth of your expertise and advocacy that resulted in a Parenting Plan that requires me to deliver my only child once a week to a man who once drank a bottle of Wild Turkey and then broke into my public school classroom at nine-thirty in the morning while I was teaching a lesson on To Kill a Mockingbird to eighth graders.

Although you have never been on our family’s holiday card list, please know you are never far from my thoughts. We’ve shared so many extraordinary moments that I can never forget. There was the time you told me that the lawyer of my son’s biological father “hates” me. Then there was the time you took a call from that lawyer on speaker phone in front of me—both of you bored and annoyed as you negotiated a clause about Easter visitation while the domestic violence protection order that I was seeking was pending. Then there was the time you arrived for my mediation without any of my paperwork or a pen. Girl! You’re unforgettable!

All that being said, I did have a quick question. Would it be possible for you to remove my name and address from your holiday card list? Although my son and I have moved three times since I hired you in 2012, and I have more than once written on the envelope “RETURN TO FUCKING SENDER” before punching your card back into my mailbox, your system keeps magically updating, and, surprise: your card arrives like the flu every year.

It’s not that I don’t look forward to your festive reminder each holiday season of literally the worst time in my life; it’s just that I don’t need it. I will, I promise, never forget you. And anyway, since my son is now nearly eighteen and my family is so close to being freed from the illogical hell of the Parenting Plan you helped craft, I soon will be in no need of these reminders, as I will no longer be a potential source of recurring revenue for your firm.

Thank you so much for everything, Pam. I wish you all of the season’s greetings this year and for all of the years remaining until AI puts your profession out of business.


CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This letter and the accompanying superfine glitter that has been folded into its pages contain information belonging to the sender that may be confidential and legally privileged. This information is only for the use of the individual or entity to which it was intended. If you are not Pam or the unpaid intern at Pam’s firm who is charged with sending out these abhorrent correspondences every year, any disclosure, copying, distribution, or action taken in reliance on the contents of the information contained in this letter is considered profoundly against the spirit of the holidays. If you have received this letter in error, please disregard it just as our family court system disregards the hopes, fears, and testimonies of children and protective parents. Thank you.