Becky Says...

June 9, 2001

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Oh my. I've accidentally given my e-mail address to someone who has turned into a complete stranger. She used to have so much sense of what was appropriate. She really did. But you certainly couldn't prove that these days, if all the evidence you had was the sort of stuff she forwards along to me. And 300 other people.

Oh, all right, that's an exaggeration. But not a large one. I wonder if any of the people in her address book ever hear anything personal from her. When she asked for my e-mail address, I had hoped to get caught up on what was going on in her life. That hasn't happened.

When I first knew her she also had a very good sense of humor, which seems to be missing these days. No, she isn't sending bad jokes. What she is sending is religious or quasi-religious stuff that I don't really care to receive. It's mostly the sort of stuff that is supposed to make you feel guilty for some vague set of sins, and lead to tear-filled repentance, because, you know, it's the Right Thing.

And while you're wiping the tears from your sin-filled eyes, you should please forward this to the next fifteen sinners-I-mean-friends in your address book. Leave in the forwarding marks, of course, so you'll be able to show how many people cared for how many people before the thing got to you and now you care for this many people too. And you should also send it back to the sender to prove your love and repentance.

Oh, and if you don't forward it, it means you don't love anyone. Just your basic small-time emotional blackmail

I don't want to hurt her feelings, but I would love to know when and why she got off on such a religious kick, and what makes her think I am at all interested in seeing this stuff. I would love to be a fly on the wall when she sits down to open e-mail, to see if she is laughing when she gets these pieces and thinks I'll get the joke, or if she's wiping tears from her eyes as she hits "send."

Whichever it is, I wish I had some polite, gentle way of making her stop this. Before I lose my religion.

Text copyright 2000-2001 Becky