OPEN LETTER TO A SPECIAL GIRL, AND TO THE CEO WHO MADE A DREAM COME TRUEby Dave Nastalski
Since I was able, I’ve been told to work hard for everything and expect nothing. That the American Dream is alive, if you go after it and make it happen (Thanks for that, Mom and Dad). It’s carried me further than I could ever tell you, and I’m just getting started.
Consult with anyone, I hate asking for things. It makes me happier to earn and not take. To do it on my own, and feel accomplishment. Selfish? I don’t know. Maybe a little bit. To be given something for nothing doesn’t resonate with me. That’s probably why I run like I’m on fire from birthdays. I always feel somewhat strange accepting gifts. “You existed for another 12 months? Congratulations, here’s a commemorative sweater.” Don’t get me wrong. I love gifting others on their birthdays. Maybe I should be less of a scrooge.
But even when you work hard there are still some things on this planet that are just way out of your reach. What I’m writing about was one of them. It would take me a hundred years to do what I wanted to do, and perhaps even then I’d still fall short. Or be dead. There aren’t any guarantees…it’s like winning the lottery. But when you have someone in your life who you would do anything for, someone who you want to give the world to, to provide for and make happier each day you exist, nothing else really matters. I made a promise, and it was one I intended to keep.
To My Special Girl- we’re getting married in sixty days. On 5.23.15 we make a promise of love, unwavering care, and undying support. I’m not supposed to talk about it a lot because I’m a guy. Guys don’t have feelings, and we certainly can’t tell the world about them. People would call us names and tell us to grow a set. Don’t care. I’m talking about it. You’ve got me wrapped around your finger whether you know it or not (I think you do). Sorry for my horse blinders over the past couple of years. I’ve been laser-focused, and often times to a fault. The truth is, I can’t wait for our big day.
You, special girl, have worked so damn hard over the last half a decade for us, and you’ve received little recognition. That ends today. You’ve built a company in a territory that was completely new to you. And now you know more than I do about it. It’s scary to think of your dedication and resilience. This thing has broken down your mind and body at some very vulnerable times (mine too), but you’ve held strong and stayed proactive. I envy this in you. You’ve put your life aside for it, and for me. You’re the unsung hero of the whole operation, and we wouldn’t be where we are in one ounce of the capacity without you. Your passion and dedication fuels me every day. It’s time I openly express my thanks and love. You deserve every grain of what you’re about to experience, even if I couldn’t make it happen entirely by myself.
### on the gush
I finally worked up the nerve and I sent the message. We’ll call the recipient Mr. O.
DN – 2.19.15 (7:30 AM) “Hi Mr. O, I’m writing to see if you can help me with something. I’m getting married in May and I wanted to give my fiancée something she could never get herself. It’s been a dream of hers ever since we started this company together. I plan on it being her early wedding gift. I know it’s a long shot, and I’m certainly not expecting anything…but I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask.”
No response for a couple of weeks. I thought, “well I’m just a small fish and he’s got bigger and better things to tend to.” This was probably the case. I’d expect the man to view me as the chum I was…I haven’t done anything substantial for him anyways. That big fish was the CEO of a multi million dollar company just a few thin 9 irons down the road.
Sometime in early March I get a message from our web development team:
“Hey Dave, why are you blowing off our emails? Man, you hired us based on that last shmuck’s unresponsiveness, piss-poor delivery, sub-grade communication skills etc., and here you are shoving us under the rug you hypocritical bleep ***asdfjkl;” Just kidding, but you might want to check your spam folder. There are a couple hundred messages in there.”
A COUPLE HUNDRED MESSAGES????
Total embarrassment and frustration. I was frantic. I’m trying to build a company, and I didn’t even know I had a SPAM folder on that server. No wonder I wasn’t getting any responses from people. Whoops. Live and learn?
A few clicks on the backend and my inbox gorges. My eyes were darting for one in particular.
Mr. O – 2.19.15 ( SAME DAY RESPONSE) “Dave, I think I can help you. Follow with me over the next few weeks.”
No response from this hypocritical bleep ***asdfjkl;
Mr. O – 2.24.15 “Dave I’ve got two with your name on them. Let me know and follow with me as we get closer.”
Mr. O – 3.1.15 “DAVE!!!” (Not really)
Damn you spam folder. I hit the compose mail button as quickly as possible and the infamous Apple spinning wheel of death took over. It locked up the whole machine. That figures. When it finally loaded, I rattled off some incoherent mess of an apology.
DN – 3.11.15 “Words cannot express my sorrow for how long it took me to see this. I’m a dumb*ss who clearly doesn’t know his *ss from a SPAM folder. Mr. O, I am sorry. “
I expected a response to the likes of, “Tough luck small fish. They’re gone.”
Mr. O – 3.12.15 “Dave, no problem. You’re all set. Enjoy it.”
DN – 3.12.15 “I’m losing it! I have no words. She is going to lose it too. We are both going to end up in the loony bin.”
Or something like that.
Mr. O – 3.12.15 “Great stuff. Let me know where to send. Enjoy the hospitality and glad to help.”
I then turned to Google and with a little more digging (and trying to hold myself together), I find out the pair of tickets costs more than I net each year.
Jaw drops, eyes well up and I have to pull off the road.
HUMANITY IS GOOD. HARD WORK IS REWARDED. PEOPLE ARE BEAUTIFUL.
To you, CEO, who made this happen…you have a special spot waiting for you in heaven. To your wonderful and blessed family, you have such a kind and genuine person looking after you, providing the world, and providing it to many others. Mr. O., you are the honest reflection of your company’s great success. I hope that one day you stumble across this letter and it makes you smile. You made a dream come true, and for that I am eternally grateful.
To my soon to be wife, your early wedding gift is here. Welcome to Sunday at Augusta National.