“I just found out your mother has a rap sheet.”
That was the subject line in one of the emails I had last week.
My mother is 92. She never learned to drive because growing up in Queens, NY, there really wasn’t a need…there were plenty of buses and subways to get around to wherever you needed to go. I don’t think my mother has ever said an unkind word about anyone, no matter how mean they have been. She prays for everyone, all the time, and she has very powerful prayers. I am named Judy because she wasn’t supposed to have any more children and she prayed to St. Jude (the Saint of Impossible Causes) and promised that if she could have just one more (she only had my sister) that she would name the baby “Judy” if it were a girl and “Michael Jude” if it were a boy. (My paternal grandfather was Emil Michael.) So, here I am, the miracle child of 1949. And for much of my life, I have actually been that Impossible Cause.
There is no way my mother could have a rap sheet. She never even jay-walked. About the worst thing I can ever remember her doing was yelling at some greasy-looking gang member in the subway when he did that silly “kissy face” thing at my then teen-aged sister. He ran like a bat out of you-know-what.
So, from where do these subject lines come? I recently took a class on sending email and they spent a good deal of time talking about the subject line. Obviously I paid attention to that email sent to me saying my mother had a rap sheet, except I don’t think I even opened it. I had no interest in it since I knew it wasn’t true…but for one brief moment, I thought to myself “Maybe Mom has been leading a double life all these years!” Then I just shook my head and said “Nahhhh.”
Lately, I’ve been getting an inordinate amount of spam in my inbox. I have suddenly, for whatever reason, become extraordinarily popular with Russian and Eastern European women seeking to become email-order brides in the good old USofA. Obviously, they don’t realize that I am not seeking a wife. I’m not even seeking a husband. In fact, at the present moment, I don’t even have a boyfriend.
Then, of course, like you, I get the weekly email from the Nigerian prince, the “friend” who has had all their identity stolen in Europe and needs cash right away and the usual really “good news” about prizes “I’ve won.”
This week, however, I got two that I’ve never seen before.
One was from the Better Business Bureau saying that someone had lodged a complaint against me. I am not a member of the Better Business Bureau and I don’t really have any customers. The sponsors on the website would no doubt contact me directly if there were some issue…they have my phone numbers and my email. In that department, everything is running quite smoothly.
The second one was from some company stating that my wire transfer had failed. This one came twice. I was tempted to open the pdf that accompanied it but the last time I did that I had to have Toby from Beach Cities Computers come over and spend several hours here curing Christine (my PC) of a terrible virus. I disregarded this one because a) I didn’t transfer any money to anyone since I don’t have any surplus to do so and b) it failed anyway, so what difference did it make. I was proud of myself for being logical.
I went to a Small Biz Expo yesterday in LA. I dropped my card in the various containers for drawings for prizes I may or may not actually want so that means I’ll be on a bunch of new mailing lists again. This is why they have an “unsubscribe” link in their emails. I’ll open the first one on the off-chance they are telling me I won something (I never do. I swear there could be only 200 chances sold on some prize, I’d buy 199 of them and the one other would be the winner.) and then I’ll just “unsubscribe”…although I hate when people do that to me. I sometimes take it as a personal affront. Especially if it’s a relative.
However, I do wish there were things other than emails from which you could “unsubscribe”…like Annoying Neighbor Who Lives Behind Me, pre-election telemarketers who start every call with “That guy is bad news…” (It was the same opening line, with just the candidate’s name changed. Apparently someone saved money on negative ads by just re-inserting a different name, using the same recorded call no matter who was being bashed) and cranky people. Wouldn’t that be great if you could just hit “unsubscribe?” or even better “delete?”