Saturday, April 05, 2008

To: The World / Re: Email Dread

If you've emailed me recently, you may have received my "vacation responder," which indicates that because of a newly dead laptop and some traveling (NY first, Utah now), I'm without meaningful email access. "Sans meaningful email access," the email says. (Today in the shower I considered my choice of the word "sans." It sounds pretentious when I think about it, but then, I usually use it without thinking about it. Thinking about that, I realize that one of the reasons I use it without thinking--sans thinking, if you will (as a great ex-boyfriend once said to me, "Of course I will")--is because I first learned it in Mme. Ulin's seventh-grade French class. Not, NOT a pretentious place to learn a word. Le chat = cat. Parce que = because. Sans = without. Le biftek = steak. Steak? Really? Weird.)

Anyway, the point of this blog is not sans. The point of this blog is my email. I have told some of you this before. (Most recently, tonight, Reed C., who wins the award for being the fourth boy to respond, even unwittingly, to my Hey Boy post.) When I don't check my email regularly--meaning, multiple times a day--I start to dread it. I fear the email. It's not the pile-up, per se. I find a great deal of satisfaction in selecting emails to delete. (I know, I know--I have gmail and I still delete. Reckless. Backward. Something.) It's not the load of emails I dread. It's the content. I'm always afraid that I'm going to get emails that say one of three things:
  1. You're stupid.
  2. I hate you.
  3. You owe us money.
And I do get these emails. They don't say these things this explicitly, usually. They say things like:
  1. You're stupid. AKA "You didn't turn in that journal edit when you were supposed to." "You didn't submit your income tax form when you were supposed to." "Your library books, which you thought you returned, you didn't, and they're now overdue."
  2. I hate you. AKA "Oh, it's okay you didn't visit teach me last month. I feel uncomfortable when you come anyway. And I've decided to start attending a family ward." "Yeah, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to come have lunch with/go to church with/ever see you again. Have a great summer!" "Sarah, I know we haven't talked in a while. Since our last date, in fact. I'm doing great. I'm dating X." "You left the house a mess. We will discuss this when we return. Or not." "I just got the test back that you graded. I think your grading policies are irrational and flawed, and the professor has said he will back me up on that."
  3. You owe us money. AKA "Your credit card/car insurance/health insurance/rent/utilities/library fine/bar review course/bar exam/income tax/chipping-in-for-so-and-so's-birthday is now overdue. Please pay up. 300%."
Note: Some of the above can fit into more than one category. Also, some of these sentences are a dramatization. I've not received each of them exactly, but I have received each of them essentially. (Thanks, Justin S., for prompting the clarification.)

Just listing all of that makes me feel ill. And makes me feel like an irrational worry wort. (Are there worry worts of any other kind?)

But that's the point of this post: to purge. So that's my story. That's what I fear. My email. Admittedly, people are very kind, and God/life/my parents have given me a huge safety net, so the chances that any sum of days away from even my finances is get-over-able. (Another moment brought to me by my socio-economic status.)

Eventually, I confront my email. I weed through it. I delete, respond, apologize, cope, pay up, change. And then I get back on the bandwagon and become an email junkie once more.

But if you or your well-meaning email gets caught in the cross-fire, I apologize. You hate me, I'm stupid, I owe you money, I know. I'll get over it. And I'll write you back.

With love,


kt said...

I'm sorry!!!! (thanks for the check...)

Benji said...

sarah. do. you . know. how. great. you. are?