Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Contrast.

I’m checking out my mailbox for who’s been naughty or nice. Sometimes I get unsigned posts and anonymous emails through online forms. Those intrigue me.

Attract Him Back

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  point (usually about five anywhere  a punctuation mark is needed and often where it isn’t!!!!!). People have  little habits  in their  speech,  specific  problems with their grammar, regional idioms that clue me in.

It’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 realizing  it, though everyone  else does! For example, “I’ll be frank,” “Be  that  as  it  may,”  “You  really  oughtta  know,”  and “What  a stinker!” And that includes the co-worker who sent an  “anonymous” email to me back in the mid-90’s and  referenced  my  children  and  Lizzie  Borden  in  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 me—I  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 they’re polite to my face, I already know. It’s funny watching people do that, thinking they’re playing a game and winning.

But the nice emails and posts? It’s weird how often I get  wonderful,   nice,  exhilarating   emails  and  screened posts that are  anonymous.  I can understand  the special ones,  ones  where  people  tell   me  an  essay  of  mine changed their lives in a good way that helped them leave a bad situation or they want to confess that they’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 won’t be easily found by  regular readers but they know I’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 didn’t think he was good enough and so he did the noble  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 hope—from what he said—that he changes his mind and at least lets her be part of that decision.

The woman  who tells me I’ve changed  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  form at  the Spilled Candy site— no name, a fake email address, and no city or state—and I can’t tell her how much her letter meant.

And then  there  are  a  couple  of  people  who  have called me their “personal angel.” Oh, but those just make me  all  snuggly-feeling   and  warm  inside.  Anonymous posts. I can’t tell them how much I appreciate them, too, but if you’re reading, thank you.!!!!!


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