Wednesday, December 5, 2007

You've Got Mail

I’ve decided that email is both a blessing and a curse. I love keeping in touch with folks far away with just a few clicks of the keys, but some days it seems like I spend so much time handling email that I’m not really productive. Shuffling electronic messages is just as time consuming as pushing papers. Despite my best efforts with filters and rules, I still get a lot of email that wastes my time, even though it’s well intentioned. I mean this in the nicest way, but one man’s treasure is another man’s trash, and well, some email that my friends think is important enough to share is not that important to me. In fact, some of it drives me batty so I’ve developed a few guidelines boys and girls that I hope folks will follow when sending me email.

1. Please don’t send me the request to click daily on a breast cancer website that will provide free mammograms for women. I love this cause, but I have this bookmarked already. I don’t need it again and again. I click regularly. I’m doing my part. I promise.

2. I don’t need any more copies of the picture of Barack Obama without his hand on his heart during the national anthem. The picture has no context and reeks of speculation. I’ve checked out this picture on and read the rules about what to do during the Star Spangled Banner. I will not base my decision on who to vote for solely on how vigorously a candidate waves the flag. Also, the insinuation in that email that Obama could be some kind of terrorist because his last name sounds middle Eastern is racist and offensive. Please don’t assume that I agree with that kind of thinking by sending me that stuff.

3. Urging me and every other American not to buy gasoline on a certain day in order to stick it to the oil companies won’t work, so don’t forward this one to me, either. I don’t like the cost of gasoline, but compared to the rest of the world, our prices aren’t too bad. I don’t think we can complain unless we’re ready to give up our big, guzzling SUV’s.

4. I’m on every no-call list there is, so save this one for your favorite procrastinator.

5. I’d like to share a recipe with twenty other people so I could get 110 recipes in return. Really, I would, but I just don’t have time to dig out a recipe, type it up and search my address book for twenty people who actually have time to cook. It’s useless to send me this email because the folks I’m supposed to send a recipe to are going to be disappointed, and that’s not fair to them.

6. The story about the premature baby who was the size of a peanut but survived, grew up to play baseball and told his mom how it feels when God holds you is inspiring and makes me all misty eyed (we’ve already established that I’m a crybaby). However, I have no way of knowing if this story is actually true, and I’m certain it has circled the world at least sixteen times now, so I think we can put it to rest. Same goes for the one about the lady whose car mysteriously quit working long enough for her to buy gas and Happy Meals for a down on her luck mother and kids on their way to Oklahoma to start a new life.

7. I married someone in law enforcement, so I know to look in the back seat before I unlock my car at night. I know someone could hide under my car and grab my ankles, and I’ve learned how to signal for help from a locked car trunk. I also won’t open my front door if I hear a crying baby on the porch followed by the doorbell. Thanks for worrying about my safety, but I can take a pass on these emails.

8. And for Pete’s sake, stop sending me emails that demand I immediately stop what I’m doing, pray a specific prayer and pass it on to twenty people right this minute because if I don’t then I don’t love God, I’m embarrassed about my faith and I will go directly to hell on a fast train. I get one of these almost every day, and demanding that I pray “or else” rubs me the wrong way. It doesn’t seem Christian at all, and I don’t like it. I pray, often. I pray what I feel in my heart and according to the needs of those around me. I want people to judge my faith on the way I behave and how I show love to others, not on my attempts to extort a prayer out of them by email.

If it’s your birthday, you have good news go share or want to send me something funny, that’s okay. I can always use a good laugh, and I never get tired of those “do you remember when” emails because I usually remember “when”. I love hearing about your day, don’t mind taking a survey once in a while and like to hear about medical breakthroughs or good bargains. I like pictures of your kids and grandkids. I love funny stuff from YouTube. And if the folks at my favorite clothing website ever stop sending me preferred customer sales information I’ll just curl up in the fetal position and suck my thumb. So keep those cards and letters coming. Just don’t hold ask me to forward them to twenty other people in the sixty seconds.


Jason said...

Amen, sister! I especially agree with the last one. I'm really tired of being told to pass sappy prayers or poems along to as many friends as I can, just to prove that I care. Bleck.

Heidi the Hick said...

I agree 100% !!!!!!!!!!!

janjanmom said...


I suspect the authors of those prayer chains(don't break it!) may be going to hell in a certain handbasket because they are causing their brothers to stumble(by cursing).

I hate forwards that aren't funny. Hubby sent a letter to a family member that said "While we appreciate you thinking of us, we don't read your forwards. We would love to get a real email from you but don't waste your time sending us something we just delete." Never read forwards under the influence of red wine.