Dear Leslie Knope,
You don’t know me but I’m very familiar with your work. For the past 6 years, I’ve watched in awe as you have worked tirelessly to better your crazy little town of Pawnee, Indiana–not unlike my own hometown. Tonight, that all comes to an end (at least, until I delve into my Netflix queue again) and I just wanted to take a minute to say thanks.
First, thank you for introducing me to the world you live in. I won’t just miss you, but also your friends and the family you’ve built in the Parks and Recreation department. Donna and her unending love for her Benz. Tom and his many pursuits of both businesses and the ladies. Andy and April’s weirdly perfect loving relationship. Chris and Ann’s unending support for those around them (who I’ve already made my peace with). Ben’s love of the calzone. Ron Effing Swanson. All of these people go into making Pawnee, and you, the wonderful thing I’ve born witness to for the past 6 years.
Oh, and Jerry/Garry/Larry/Terry I guess. Whatever.
Second, thank you for being one of the first blatantly feminist characters I ever saw on television. I’ll never forget being introduced to the Pawnee Goddesses and wishing I could go back in time to when I was a kid and be a member of that troop. I loved that you considered not dating Dave because he didn’t know enough about the female political icons who adorned your office. The fact that you eventually became friends with Madeleine Albright was amazing. Thank you for slamming the media about the way women in politics are treated.
In short, Leslie, thank you for being you. You showed me that it’s OK to make mistakes and have flaws as long as you care passionately and never give up. We can use more women–people–like you in the world and you have undoubtedly inspired countless young women to speak a little louder, push a little harder, and down some whipped cream unabashedly.
I like you and I love you. And I will miss you, Leslie. I can’t wait to see what you do next.
The series finale of Parks and Recreation airs tonight on NBC at 10/9c.