I have a family member with whom I like keeping in touch by email; we used to only speak on the phone occasionally, so it’s nice to hear from her more often. The problem is that she sends me about 10 forwarded messages, chain letters, prayers, jokes, and news items a day. Often the news items and religious forwards are directly in conflict with my personal beliefs, and she knows this, but doesn’t seem to care. Can I tell her to stop, and risk hurting her feelings, or should I just keep being annoyed in private and deleting them?
You can’t say anything. She sounds old. Older people like to do stuff like that and then feel bewildered and angry when you tell them to knock it off.
I seriously don’t understand why a person who loves you would burden you with an email that says, “If you don’t forward this immediately to 30 people, you’re going to have bad luck all week, horrible sex for 15 years, get really fat, and probably get hit by a bus within the next five to seven minutes.” You’d think your loved one would take one for the team, get hit by the bus, and allow you to live your life.
If you need some sort of personal satisfaction to offset the annoyance of constantly deleting forwards from Don’t Save the Whales! and Sarah Palin For President in 2012, just sign your email buddy up for a bunch of mailing lists. (Is that illegal? If it is, I take it back. But if it isn’t, do it…it’s totally funny.) Get her on the email list for Howard Dean, Say No to Proposition 8, PETA, Dr. Ruth’s newsletter, and the Huffington Post. Her head will explode.