Monday, August 13, 2012

Hypergraphia and Sara Lee Cakes

If you are unfamiliar with hypergraphia, here's a good definition from

Hypergraphia is a condition in which a person feels an overwhelming compulsion to write. People with bipolar disorder, especially during mania or hypomania, may find themselves writing for hours at a time, not necessarily realizing that this is unusual. It may take the form of journalling, creative writing, or copying page after page of a book.

Long before I knew I was bipolar I had an overwhelming compulsion to write letters. Stupid letters, mostly to companies. My two rules were: the letters had to be polite; and they could not be sent to charitable organizations.

In 2008 my hypergraphia became a Christmas gift to friends and family - I had copies of the letters and responses printed for everyone.

Is hypergraphia a bad thing? The good thing is you get a lot of writing done. The bad thing is sometimes you stay up all night to do it. Anyhow, here is an example:

Dear Sara Lee,

I am writing you with what some may consider a rather odd request. As a child living in America, I was regularly served Sara Lee Cheesecake in the late 1950's and early 1960's.

Unfortunately, I became "caught up" in the "hippie" movement of the 1960's. For many years I refused to eat any meat or dairy, and dabbled in several other "hippie" pastimes.

Now, many years later, I find that the Sara Lee cakes taste much different than I remember. I still enjoy them very much, but I cannot stop wondering if the taste has changed, or if my 1960's lifestyle did something to my sense of taste.

Do you, by any chance, have a cake or a sample in your freezer from the late 1950's or very early 1960's that you would be willing to sell to me? I would, of course, pay all shipping and handling costs. I am dying to resolve this mystery!

Many thanks for your help. Continue the great work with cake!

This is the lovely response I received:

Dear Mr. Stainton:

Thanks you for contacting Sara Lee with your questions. We truly value you as a customer and as always, we will continue to produce superior quality products that meet your expectations.

With regards to your inquiry about our Cheesecake, we do not have one available from the late 50's to early 60's era. Our dessert products have a maximum shelf life of two years if frozen.

We have enclosed complimentary coupons to be used on your next Sara Lee purchase. If you have further comments, questions, or suggestions feel free to contact us again in the future.

I am saving the coupons to use in 2038, at which time  I will demand to be sold a 30 year-old cake.

"It took most of my life, all my savings, and 1.21 gigawatts, but now I will finally know the answer!"
Mental Note: Journaling is a great way to track your moods, and is a fabulous outlet for frustrations.


elswhere said...

If those letters are wrong, I don't want to be right.

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