Saturday, March 20, 2010

Because I Suck at Email


I suck at email. I can never get the tone right and I obsess over words and syntax. But obsession yields no results, and it still comes out all wrong. It's common for people who receive an email from me to misread a sarcastic sentence, or mistake a compliment for condescension.


I also suck at text messaging, although it's much more forgiving because of the accepted use of sentence fragments. But I still can't type anything over a sentence without questioning what I'm trying to say and how it will be perceived.

Perhaps it's the formality I impose upon myself. I never know if I should start with a "dear so and so", or with a quick name-check like -
"Hey Herbert,
Just lettin' you know that I'm sittin' in a lawn chair in front of your house right now, holding a really thick carrot. See ya!"


I'm just bad at the whole thing. I come off as either uncaring, creepy, or overenthusiastic. I've tried my hand at internet dating, too, and oh boy what an abortion! Apparently I have no business making kisses on a lady. Internet dating makes me feel like I'm trapped in a dusty psychic crypt, while weird reclusive women with impossible standards measure and judge me from the other side of a two-way mirror.


I've only had one email buddy in my life. She was a friend who moved away from Chicago, so the tone and subject matter of our natural conversation was already established. And we mostly complained to each other about our lives, which wasn't that much different from what we normally talked about. Perhaps you've noticed that I'm more comfortable writing about things that bother me. It's easy, cataloging petty annoyances, and something I'm good at.


Maybe I should preface all my emails with this header: "The email you're about to read is inconsistent and nervous in nature. Please forgive me."-- Yeah, nobody is gonna delete that on principle.

I just need to face the facts. My self-doubt is noticeable when I write and unavoidable when I talk. It'll probably be that way forever. Shalom.



Pancake Master said...

Last picture is absolutely precious. As a person who has received an E-Mail or two from you, this entry had me cracking up (the pictures were also amazing all the way through). My favorite entry in awhile, Kid.

Matt and Jeanie said...

i believe you've hit on one of the major pitfalls of these here internets. i for one am always questioning if someone is being sarcastic, patronizing or completely sincere. and which motivation is more acceptable.

Rik no Orkut said...