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Getting Real : Speak your peace

Don't say "I love you" with spam!

from Joe H - Friday, December 26, 2003
accessed 1207 times

I wrote this a few months ago, but I think it's especially relevant this time of year, what with all the holiday-related spam we're being subjected to.

Today I received an email from an ex-girlfriend, addressed to me and about 20 other people. Apparently she had received some glurge that described a fictional car accident and asked the rhetorical question of what the last thought in your head would be -- your typical "yada yada, life is short" kind of bull-plop. This inspired her to forward it to all of her friends, with a short note attached to let them know that, although she may not stay in contact much, she really does love and care about them. I hope I wasn't the only one astute enough to see right through her hypocrisy and feel completely insulted. There's nothing special or personal about these kind of mass-mailings. They only serve to let you know that the sender is still alive and has reserved you a spot on her spam list! Well, thank you so very fucking much, Sandra! What an honor!

You say you really love and appreciate all of us, but I don't think you even know what love is. Your spam reminded me of the old joke about the sign in the gift shop window just before Valentine's Day: " 'I love you only' cards. Now available in 12 packs." Ironic? Probably. Hypocritical? Certainly! Where's the love? Love's not in spam lists or sappy words on a computer screen. It may be impossible to define or understand, but I'm sure it's a lot more substantial than flickering lights on a monitor. If expressing your sick, nutra-sweet, decaffeinated, low-fat version of love is this easy, then you can stick it up your ass! Take me off your spam list and save your half-assed emotions for your other selfish, snobby "friends."

So now that we know what love isn't, let's talk about what it is. There are numerous interpretations, but to me, fundamentally, love is about giving. Giving your time and giving yourself. It's not something you can throw money or technology at. How much time did it take to add my name to your C.C. list? Did you actually type in my email address or just click a checkbox? Today when I went to buy a Mother's-Day gift, I did a lot more than spend $20. I took the time to find something I knew my mother would like, based on my knowledge of her tastes and interests. That's the difference between a gift and a check, the difference between a phone-call and junk mail!

So, to whoever may be reading this: please don't send me or anyone else spam about how much you love us! If you're my friend, pick up the fucking phone and call me! I don't care how busy you think you are, you can spare five minutes for the people who are supposedly so important to you. If you live in another country or you just don't like phones (I personally don't), write me a short email about what's going on your life. And if you're one of my ex-girlfriends with an allegedly undying love for me, bring over some merlot and your sexiest underwear and prove it! Give me something I need, not meaningless words on a computer screen! And if you're a guy, bring over some beer, tell me about your pathetic sex life, and help me fix the damn toilet! We'll talk about whatever the hell you want, provided it's not about how life is short, 'cause we both know full well that life is short! That's why we make time in our busy schedules for our friends and family. That's why the last thought in our heads when we die won't be "Shit! How long has it been since I sent out a spam to tell my friends that I care about them?" That's why we don't say "I love you" with spam!

Reader's comments on this article

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from Jerseygirl
Monday, December 29, 2003 - 16:01

Maybe you should post your fucking phone number so we can tell you how much we fucking love you. Oh yeah, we don't. (just kidding--love you!)
(reply to this comment)
From banal_commentator
Monday, December 29, 2003, 16:45

Ha yeah, I want Joe's number too.(reply to this comment
from venusbutterfly
Monday, December 29, 2003 - 03:26

couldn't agree with you more on this Joe! in any case, and as difficult as love is to define, i definitely think it's a whole lot more than just words, more than just hit the nail right on the head, love is the giving of one's self.
(reply to this comment)

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