Thursday, August 31, 2006

Return to Sender

Am I a total idiot, or what?

I received an email from someone whose name I recognized, someone I'd done freelance work for several times.

I hadn't heard from this person for several months, and thought the person now had some freelance work for me.

And so I opened the email, to find this lead-in:

Dear Pearl,

I hope you’re well and that your writing is coming along well, too!

It sounded like a warm opening, especially because I hadn't heard for quite some time from this person.

"This person cares about me, about my writing," I thought, and smiled to myself. And then I continued to read and saw the message was a general one, not specific, no doubt sent to hundreds of people in this person's address book. No longer was I special, I'd become just an automated receiver.

And damn, if that message didn't make me slightly angry. It was describing a business venture this person had undertaken. Duh!! Not news to me. Not. At. All. One of my freelance assignments had been to edit/copy edit a manuscript describing this very business venture, and I knew all details about it. What the heck did I have to hear about it for...from a robot sender?

It is no longer a new business venture...but perhaps one that is faltering somewhat, because I could have sworn that I received a similar message months ago, when the business venture was in fact new!

I sulked when I read the message, but did not delete it. I need it as a reminder to show me that: 1. "You can't always get what you want" 2. "Sometimes I feel like a nut...sometimes I don't".

We're taught not to look a gift horse in the mouth...especially one that sends a check. But who says we can't give him a good swift kick in the ---

I guess you're wondering why the heck an email message would anger me so. Perhaps it's because although the words behind this message delivered to me are meant to have some meaning...some words delivered previously from the same source were actually empty.

It's those empty words I'm remembering...