Santaâ€™s Mail Box?
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Contrast.
Iâ€™m checking out my mailbox for whoâ€™s been naughty or nice. Sometimes I get unsigned posts and anonymous emails through online forms. Those intrigue me.
The hate mail is easy to pick out right away and I usually know the identity of the sender before I reach the last exclamation Â point (usually about five anywhere Â a punctuation mark is needed and often where it isnâ€™t!!!!!). People have Â little habits Â in their Â speech, Â specific Â problems with their grammar, regional idioms that clue me in.
Itâ€™s funny how someone will attempt an anonymous attack and yet use a signature phrase. A signature phrase is one someone uses 20 times a day without realizingÂ it, though everyone Â else does! For example, â€œIâ€™ll be frank,â€ â€œBe Â that Â as Â it Â may,â€ Â â€œYou Â really Â oughtta Â know,â€ Â and â€œWhat Â a stinker!â€ And that includes the co-worker who sent an Â â€œanonymousâ€ email to me back in the mid-90â€™s and Â referenced Â my Â children Â and Â Lizzie Â Borden Â in Â the same sentence as well as some private information only this person knew about me from their job.
The same goes for a lot of times when I hear gossip about meâ€”I Â often know precisely where it came from because of the specific kernels of truth that are buried in the muck. So next time I see them and theyâ€™re polite to my face, I already know. Itâ€™s funny watching people do that, thinking theyâ€™re playing a game and winning.
But the nice emails and posts? Itâ€™s weird how often I get Â wonderful,Â Â nice, Â exhilaratingÂ Â emails Â and Â screened posts that are Â anonymous. Â I can understand Â the special ones, Â ones Â where Â people Â tellÂ Â me Â an Â essay Â of Â mine changed their lives in a good way that helped them leave a bad situation or they want to confess that theyâ€™ve endured a similar situation they can never talk about openly. Those I understand. I leave some of them screened, especially if they ask me to. Often times, they post to essays from months ago that wonâ€™t be easily found by Â regular readers but they know Iâ€™ll be alerted to their comments.
Some of the nice responses are beautiful but sad, too. The man who writes to talk about how he fell in love with the perfect woman but he didnâ€™t think he was good enough and so he did the noble Â thing and walked away without ever telling her how he felt and that he did it because he loved her too much? That one breaks my heart. I have no way of answering him back, but I hopeâ€”from what he saidâ€”that he changes his mind and at least lets her be part of that decision.
The woman Â who tells me Iâ€™ve changed Â her way of thinking about the world she lives in and of good things happening in her life, that one is inspirational to me. But she left the message via a feedback Â form at Â the Spilled Candy siteâ€” no name, a fake email address, and no city or stateâ€”and I canâ€™t tell her how much her letter meant.
And then Â there Â are Â a Â couple Â of Â people Â who Â have called me their â€œpersonal angel.â€ Oh, but those just make me Â all Â snuggly-feelingÂ Â and Â warm Â inside. Â Anonymous posts. I canâ€™t tell them how much I appreciate them, too, but if youâ€™re reading, thank you.!!!!!