I was looking at some of my email folders today to find something work related, and I just happened to click on a folder I have labeled “Memorable Emails.” It is composed of what I consider the funniest, strangest, angriest, painful, over-the-top or just plain odd emails I have received in the past 10 years. Even if I’m reading a really angry email (for the first time), I’m also thinking, “I need to move this to the Memorable Emails folder ASAP.” As a more light-hearted example, the first one in there (and the reason I created the folder) was from an old roommate about the time we were packing our stuff and moving out of the rental house. The subject line was “Towels.”
“I had to buy new towels since you threw all of mine in the garbage. I would
appreciate it if you would reimburse me for the purchase. The total for the towels was $73.52”
I found this hysterical for many reasons. #1: That in moving madness, I just threw away someone else’s towels., #2) That he was down the hall but sent this email instead, #3) the total amount paid for the towels–so exact! I remember thinking, “Umm that is A LOT to spend on towels.”
Also in the folder is the email that turned out to be an elaborate prank from my Uncle Tom, which had my stomach twisted into knots for weeks. He made up this whole story about a package I was going to be receiving at my house in L.A. Here is a portion of it so you get the tone:
“This leaves me in somewhat of a dilemma, it is very important that no one should know of this (the planned trip or the package) but you and I. Maybe someday it will become known, but we can deal with that when and if it ever happens. If I should show up at your place anytime before the 27th, no problem…….I’ll just take it and leave. If not, please open it for me sometime around midnight of the 27th and go over it with a sympathetic eye…………..then you will hopefully understand.”
There is the sweet email my little brother sent after the Sandy Hook shooting. Of all the shootings (even one is too many, including this morning right here in So Cal), this is the one I couldn’t move past.
“I wanted to be with you and give you a little brother hug to let you know how much you mean to me and for you to know how proud I am to call you my sister. You give kids hope, imagination and teach them valuable lessons that they will carry on with them for the rest of their, and for that, I will always hold you and teachers like you in the highest regard.”
There are emails (sentence long emails but still emails) from musicians that I had crushes on since I was 20. There are customer service emails where I am so angry. There are work emails with big ideas I thought were so good that I’m pretty sure no one ever replied to. There is probably at least one email from every ex, ranging in tone from frustrated to apathetic to kind.
I find the folder to be a great representation of how I see the world & also how other people see me. It’s not the most flattering (me going on and on with how I will seek revenge in an email to the contact lens company that didn’t send me my order or refund me), but that’s what makes it all the more real. It is a slice of my life in an email folder, the strange, the funny, the most touching. I don’t keep many memories, but reading through my Memorable Emails folder is my minimalist’s attempt at sentimentality. So please, submit your memorable email attempt now to email@example.com.