18 December 2008

What's in a name?

Her email is the sort of address that one is assigned: jenn435@maildotcom. You never pick this address. And yet, I never thought you settle for it, either, when the domain suggests it as a viable alternative to your first choice, 'jennlastname.' Even 'jennbirthday'--while impossible for anybody else to remember--makes sense.

Alas, when jenn435 sends an email, I don't need to open it to know what it's going to say: 'You're an amazing woman,' it reads. 'Now send this to nine other amazing women, including me, for good luck.' In Monotype Corsiva, size 18, hot pink. Lime green blinking graphics remind me that kittens are cute and purple angels wish me blessings. I think about forwarding this on to my grandmother and aunt before realizing that they sent me the same thing last week and consequently already have wealth unforetold.

So what do you do with these mass emails from friends so old you no longer have any connection with them? Do you let them know that you first became friends with them when you were eight, an age at which you taped together empty toilet paper rolls to make binoculars, trampolines were all it took for street cred, and any friend big enough to pull you in your wagon was worth hours of your time? Notably when their grandmother lived across the street and rejoiced in making an endless stream of molasses cookies, which meant you could turn down your parents' offering of an after-school apple? Do you tell them that things changed when they dropped out of high school to have their first baby while you opted to get a degree, leave the state, start anew?

You hit 'reply.' You type in the e(mail)quivalent to the secret handshake you shared to get into The Club in which your sisters weren't allowed: 'Luv you! Ur amazing, too!' Hitting 'send,' you realize that while this may be your lifelong e-burden, it was worth it. Because of her, you know pig latin, and how to throw pine cones at cars from the safety of a hidden tree branch. These are the lifelong blessings she's given. What's a forward full of fairies?

1 comment:

Gina said...

What a sweet post.
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