“She may need all the help she can get.”

August 20th, 2012 · 30 comments

As it turns out, Maddie didn’t need Grandpa Walt’s “help.” (She just finished up her master’s degree at Harvard in May.)

Dear Mr. Montoya, I have recently become the grandfather of a prospective Vassar student whose name is Madeline, class of ’10, I suppose. Her grandmother, my deceased wife, was “H” (class of ) ’43, and her mother is my daughter, “L” of Warren, Ohio. I thought perhaps you could file this letter away for future reference, so that when and if application is made for entry into the freshman class, someone there will look fondly on her qualifications. She may need all the help she can get. Thanking you for your time, I am very truly yours, Walter

related: Congratulations! At some point, through no effort of your own, you were born.


30 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Boots

    I’m not sure if I should be concerned that my heart was melted by this or not. (I would hug the HELL out of my grandpa if I found this!)

    Aug 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   Lis

    Thanks for the vote of confidence there, grandpa!

    Aug 20, 2012 at 10:34 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   Grammar Popo

    I am pretty sure this is from my grandfather and you just changed the names. He still types letters on that typewriter!

    Aug 20, 2012 at 10:38 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   Schambers

    My guess is that Grandpa was afraid his son-in-law’s inferior genes might affect his granddaughter’s intelligence, too.

    Aug 20, 2012 at 11:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   DaveGI

      Or perhaps he knows his daughter (who is NOT a Vassar graduate) isn’t the brightest bulb, and won’t be much help to his granddaughter.

      Aug 21, 2012 at 3:07 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   Divvitar

    Wow, Gramps was quite a sage, considering this letter was written in 1987. Did he have a crystal ball to go with this old typewriter?

    Aug 20, 2012 at 11:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   Hmmm

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed that.

      Aug 21, 2012 at 7:41 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.2   Lara

      I think that’s the point, that the kid is still young, but he wants to send a letter now to get an edge in for her.

      Aug 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   Shelly

    On the one hand, the letter might seem a little controlling, but honestly, I would love it so much to have parents or grandparents with this forward thinking.

    At least it means he cared a lot to go through the trouble of writing and mailing this. I give this grandpa the thumbs up.

    Aug 21, 2012 at 3:54 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   Jami

      See, I just see this as controlling. What if she doesn’t want to go to Vassar? What if she wanted Harvard, Yale, Princeton, or Oxford? What if she just wanted to go to a community college or no college at all? (Yes, I know she chose Harvard. But let’s pretend for a moment she’s a teenager about to apply for colleges.)

      In a way it kind of reminds me of a friend of mine who wanted to go to a different college than her father did, but he let her know in no uncertain terms she was only allowed to go to Berkeley. Her family was very progressive in everything else, but she wasn’t allowed to choose her own college.

      Aug 21, 2012 at 10:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   Mrs.Beasley

      I used to work at a law firm. One of the attorneys once told me that he’d never had any intention of becoming a lawyer. When he graduated from high school, his wealthy grandfather told him that he was willing to pay for his entire education in full, for college and post-grad. But only if he studied law.

      So he did. And he turned out to be good at it, so it all worked out. But I’ve often wondered if I’d have made the same choice.

      Aug 22, 2012 at 1:24 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.3   Lisbeth

      How is this in any way controlling? He clearly says he’s writing just in case an application should be made. I think it’s sweet and a poor choice of words rather than PA. It’s certainly not controlling.

      Aug 24, 2012 at 2:00 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   Poltergeist

    Despite the pseudo-PA of the last sentence (most likely poor wording rather than intentional) and the way he seems to think he can predict/control where his newborn granddaughter will attend college two decades in the future, I can’t bring myself to dislike Grandpa Walter. This really is quite sweet in its own strange way.

    Aug 21, 2012 at 4:59 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   madrugada

    Awww. I think Gramps was just being thoughtful and caring in his old-fashioned way. Agree that the last sentence is poorly worded, but I still think his big ol’ heart was in the right place. Sweet. Thumbs up, Grandpa Walter.

    Aug 21, 2012 at 7:11 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   Kwyjor

    “I’ve had just about enough of your Vassar-bashing, young lady!”

    Aug 21, 2012 at 9:07 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   Barbary Lion

    I went to Vassar in that time period and I remember Mr. Montoya–I bet he thought this was funny as hell! :)

    Aug 21, 2012 at 9:21 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   David...maybe.

    Nothing is really passive-aggressive about this letter, unless the grandpa truly believes his daughter or her husband have defective genes.

    The girl was just born, and he is writing a letter to a prospective college on her behalf. I think its weird, but kind of adorable at the same time.

    Aug 21, 2012 at 12:51 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   SeeYouInTea

    This is so damn sweet.

    Aug 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   kermit

    While I sympathize with some of the behind this letter, I can’t bring myself to respect the intention behind it.

    Sorry, writing directly to the director of admissions to legacy name-drop and get any kid into college (let alone one that was just barely born) is not cute or admirable.

    Plenty of smart parents have idiot children and likewise plenty of idiot parents have smart children.

    Aug 21, 2012 at 3:49 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   ConfusedOne

    All right, am I the only totally confused person here who thought that this man had only just found out that he had a college age granddaughter and that she wanted to get into Vassar, so he wrote a letter to the college to sorta kinda be helpful, except the passive aggressive tone makes things weird?

    Reading comprehension not the best for me today, obviously.

    Aug 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   kermit

      The letter is dated 1987, and the submitter says the kid just finished her Master’s degree from Harvard. So at the time he wrote the letter, the grandpa had indeed just found out since she was born around that time.

      Aug 21, 2012 at 4:07 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   Shana

    Okay, this is ADORABLE. It’s just the kind of unintentionally-crotchety thing my grandpa would have said. *sniff*

    Aug 21, 2012 at 5:29 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   kate

    This letter was written the day I was born!

    Aug 21, 2012 at 5:45 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #17   Clip Snark

    He may be the original helicopter grandparent.

    Aug 21, 2012 at 8:56 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #18   Say what!

    Hey, I go to Vassar! Not sure if this letter is cute or just weird… maybe both.

    Aug 21, 2012 at 9:34 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #19   Tesselara

    Nice job, Grandpa! Noted the date (awesome!) I’m just wondering how the heck Madeline got ahold of the thing. Did Mr. Montoya mail it to her in a random moment of down-time?

    Aug 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #19.1   JudyQ

      I wondered at first how Madeline got the letter, but I think it’s a carbon-paper copy. See how the letters in Admissions are typed over? Plus, it’s not signed. So cute that Grandpa used an old-fashioned typewriter with old-fashioned carbon!

      Aug 24, 2012 at 1:46 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #20   Dawn

    Just found this site and this one gave me a chuckle only because I live 15 minutes away from Youngstown.

    sounds like a very proud grandpa.

    Sep 26, 2012 at 8:29 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #21   fish

    For those who are questioning his picking her school in advance: it’s possible that Gramps mailed these in to more than one school, and this school is just the one which happened to find/publish it… My guess is that a lot of schools received these.

    Sep 27, 2012 at 11:31 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #22   Logical Deducer

    1) He is a grandfather
    2) He wrote this in 1987 for use in 2010 (23 years time)
    3) His wife is dead.
    4) Women have longer life expectancies than men, especially in couples.

    Deduction: He expected to be (and likely is) dead by the time this letter was relevant.

    Sep 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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