Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Taking A Stand Against Something Meaningful. Oops, That's Sarcasm Again.

My friend JJMac has one of those "friends" whose entire Christmas letter is more about bragging than it is informing. And every conversation is more about who's got more money, lost more weight, has smarter kids---than anything else. She drives my friend crazy. But I really enjoy it because sometimes hearing the report of their conversations is the most fun I have in a week. And I look forward to those Christmas letters every year. They are awesome.

JJMac was bemoaning her plight to me one day, how she can't take another conversation like that, etc and then suddenly said, "Why don't you ever have to deal with people like this! How come all your friends are cool!?"

Okay, she may not have said the second part, but it's my story.

And I said something along these lines, "Well, I pretty much decided when I was about 25 that I didn't have the time or energy for relationships that weren't mutually satisfying. People who weren't responsive to me (as if!) and people who I felt like were just using me or taking from me, I just stopped. There are too many other people and things that need my time and attention to continue on a useless path like that.

For me, it was a "friend" who called once or twice a year and compulsively lied about EVERYTHING. It was ridiculous, I'm sure she knew that I knew she was lying, but she wouldn't stop. Sometimes it was funny, most of the time it was just a drain and a waste of my time. Why should I spend my time congratulating someone on something that never happened? Or offering sympathy for a loss that never occurred? Weirdo. Yeah, that's right---people who lie like that are weirdos.

Please don't freak out if you are my friend and I haven't called you for 3 years.

I also have three kids, a part time job, church responsibilities, some social issues, and a time management problem.

I still love you. I probably just love Word Challenge on FB more.

Anyway, JJMac says I changed her life with this little bit of information.

But I can't be sure. I haven't talked to her since I was about 25.

I totally cracked myself up just now. Seriously.

So, in my personal life, I've been able to clean up shop, and keep the riffraff at bay and really save my time and energy for people I like and enjoy.

I like to think I live a dumbhead-free social life.

But it's not true.

Because I still get email forwards.

I think I've gotten the message out pretty loud and clear among friends and I don't get every random email forward known to man from anyone. I get regular funny ones from a couple of friends and my sisters, and potential terrorist attacks on malls on Halloween from my mom. She just be keeping her baby safe yo.

It's not the emails that bug me.

It's not the friends who send them.

It's the people who get their grubby little hands on them from the time the great email is written to the time it gets to me.

For example, my sister sent me a funny youtube video. I had actually seen it before, but I enjoyed it again because it is funny. So I happily watched it. And I smiled at the funny parts. But that's all. I smiled. I'm stingy with my laughs. It didn't make me LAUGH.

At the end of the email it yells at me "IF THIS DOESN'T MAKE YOU LAUGH THEN YOUR LAUGH MUST BE BROKEN!"

Well that's just rude.

It didn't make me laugh and it doesn't have to be insulting me.

Then I got another great email from a friend. It was funny. I enjoyed it. But some annoying person got their hands on it and instead of just clicking send, had to add,
I just know you're laughing!
You're gonna send it on - aren't you?

What is THAT about? Seriously, why are these random people so sure of my reaction? And is "you're gonna send it on--aren't you?" The new Power of Positive Thinking for "If you don't send this to at least 43 people your grandchildren will all be born with 5 ears, can you live with that knowledge!? It's for the children woman, DO IT FOR THE CHILDREN!!"

If you are my friend and I send you a forward, it's because it made me laugh out loud. A lot. And you can send me a personal thank you note, in the form of chocolate or words of adoration, because I erase the 10 pages of email addresses of the people who got it before you.

And yes, I erase the taunts and the threats too. I'm making the internet world a better place, one gigantic deletion at a time.

Speaking of deletions, last week I got an email FWD from my mom. Only there was nothing in the email. So, even though I was sure it was cute flashing glittery lips, in honor of Valentine's Day, or a warning to please not wear my hair in a ponytail because attackers have an advantage over me if they can grab that---I sent a quick email saying the email was empty.

She wrote this back the next day, "Hm, I tried to delete all the extra names, and I guess I deleted the whole thing.....well, I am trying again! At least I got a lot of mail today.......everyone I sent it to said: 'Sorry!'"

Pretty sure I learned my value of a good email from her.


Heffalump said...

I don't love forwards. I really should be bankrupt, friendless and DEAD by now since I have deleted so many of those forwards that tell me I HAVE to send it on. Any time it tells me I have to forward it or pay the consequences gets an automatic delete from me.

Michelle Garff said...

Yeah for me...I am 2nd. Ok, I was laughing out loud this entire post. It was one of my favorites. Every sentence was masterful (hee hee) I forbid my mother to forward any emails to me. FORBID. I rarely forward stuff. Ok, thats all.

Howertons in Iowa said...

I am offended.

Oh, wait - was this about me?

I have sent you ONE forward and it's because I have Forward discretion. Blah, blah, blah.

So, I'm still confused. What is this post about? Are you breaking up with me? This is about me right?

Oh and as far as making the excuse that you have social issues- you really should think of me instead. Your issues would just melt away.




You know why I like to hang out with you? - cause your an awesome mommy, you keep it real and what was the last one? Oh yeah, funny. I love that you can make apostate funny.

We are friends right?

Bubbles said...

I really hate the ones that send you a really sweet, spiritual story, and they RUIN it by saying that if I don't send it on to ten thousand people, then I am a horrible person who won't go to Heaven and that I don't love God because I'm too ashamed to send it. I hate that.

Michelle Garff said...

One more thing. This answered my question why you stopped contacting me a few years ago.

MommyJ said...


MommyJ said...

i don't normally write comments like that. because you know i love you and agree with most of what you say.

but the whole forwarding thing resonanted very deeply.

so it earned a word.

jjmac said...

Just one of the many ways you have changed my life for the better!! Still loving and living by the advice .. although I'm still having a hard time shaking Christmas letter girl ... I guess she'll continue to provide us a little entertainment during the holidays! I love your blog .. every word.

Sarah said...

My mission is to stop e-mails with the words "forward this to 15 people or you will die"

It's a life long commitment!

Mycurlyhairdays said...

I agree about only having the energy for people that are mutually wonderful! (0:
The problem I run into is that I can't really shake a close relative. I just can't. But I finally just stopped being sucked into the passive/agressive, guillt-trip inducing, hold-their-love-hostage conversations. I just don't let them happen!
I have been much healthier for it!!!
Glad you did it, too!
I am currently on the email list of 3 hard-core forwarders and it is killing me!!! I just don't have time! It is fun to get great ones, but I don't have the time to sift through the sands of time to get to them.
But, I love the few that you have sent me!!!

InkMom said...

Forwarding forwards for the sake of forwarding is against my religion.

S said...

Dudette, I have a friend who sends me ENDLESS email forwards from the black community. It is hilarous. Did you even know such a circle exists. I know more about Whitney, Beyonce, and BET then you will ever know. Anyhow I am with Sarah it is a lifelong mission.

omar said...

Hey S, feel free to send along any of that Beyonce info.

omar said...

...for educational purposes, since it is black history month.

No Cool Story said...

How come all your friends are cool!?

Yeah, how come?

No Cool Story said...

I hate it when people yell at me in e-mails. It's like "I don't even know you dude".

My mom actually prints forwards and shows them to people. She has a whole stack of them, mostly about terrorists, religious discrimination and how Proctor&Gamble gives all its money to the church of satan. Yeah. Seriously. She has boycott them for years.
My poor sweet mami.

She never forwards them to me...hmm, I wonder why.

The only forwards I get nowadays are from my cool friend S and she never sends me crap.

Sarah said...

S my favorite one's are of the proms and weddings where they dress crazy.. thinking they look good... I bet I still have some. should I forward them to nobody?

Charlotte said...

First of all, you totally crack me up, too.

Second, glad I helped you with your word challenge addiction. I needed the company.

Third, you didn't mention people who accidentally email you free makeup sample opportunities because your name is close to their sister in law's in google contacts.

Fourth, I monitor my 12 year old's email account. Those stupid forwards are all she gets. I have forbidden her to ever pass one along.

Fifth, if an email makes you LOL, please forward it along. I could use the distraction from word challenge.

Sarah Tilley said...

i don't forward emails and i hardly ever call anyone.

and yet, somehow life goes on.

EarthBint said...

HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAAAAAA!!! :) LOVE this post. I don't usually get forwards except from S, the most recent of which was a pic of a cat tattoo with the butt as the belly button. WHO DOES THAT!?!?!?!?! Seriously.

Tori :) said...

Did your sister send you the cat tattoo email? That was just WRONG!! lol

I don't forward emails very often either, so I must be your favorite friend,right?

That email about preventing r@pe by not wearing ponytails or overalls (because everyone knows r@pists carry scissors...) cracks me up everytime. Sometimes I wanna yell "FREAKIN' CHECK IT ON SNOPES BEFORE SENDING IT TO ME!!"

Ooh, burned.

Tori :) said...

I didn't even realize the commenter above me also talked about the cat tattoo!!

Emily and Stephen said...

Amen Sistah! I too wa laughing out loud and I am tempted to forward it, but I will restrain myself. I also hate those recipe exchange forwards that say you will be breaking the chain and ten poeple will strve because they didn't get your recipe- I am through with guilt!

Code Yellow said...

I'm in a rough spot because I just got my family to understand that the internet is here to stay and that it is a legitimate form of communication. I'm afraid they would all be offended if I told them that the things they are forwarding like coocoo have all been seen before and really don't like them...or want them. Sad that I'll tolerate a forward from the fam just to hear from them. I figure we can work on real communication in the next life. In the meantime, I've got your blog. :)

Code Yellow said...

P.S. I love the pony tail example. And knowing your mom.

Super L said...

Like when you forwarded me the Joe Cocker youtube video that I still watch at least once a month because it's so awesome? Yeah, you know how to forward appropriately.

Big M's Uncle sends out the world's best Christmas letter, complete with his sons' bench pressing max and bicep measurements. I am not kidding. It's the highlight of the year for me, every year.