lessons from email

Another online account. Another password. Another moment to decide whether or not to use the same 6-8 letters/symbols/numbers that my other 30 online accounts hold, even the Hotmail that I would delete if I were brave enough. I’m not even sure when I created that account. It’s so last decade, before I learned that email accounts shouldn’t be treated like underwear but more like a GenX teenage romance–pick one; go steady. And eventually you break up. It’s fine because it wasn’t meant to be more than summer love anyway. It’s a miracle you made it through 2 semesters, choir tour and the talent show. Your duet was stunning, or at least as good as it gets for a sophomore. By graduation, you talk every now and then. Cordial. No Friday-sweatpants-wearing, cool-girl drama. But you haven’t tossed out his notes.

And I haven’t sifted through all my account options to figure out where that “deactivate account” button lies. Experience confirms that the chances of essential email dropping into that inbox are ridiculously slim. Hotmail, like AOL, makes savvy potential employers shake their heads. “Who does this?”

I do. I’m a horder. But certainly not as bad as the messy house people who show up on reality TV. I hold on to bigger things. Ideas. Ridiculous ones. Like surely I’ll fall deeply in love with my job every day, surely the average citizen will say smart political things all the time, and of course Hotmail is worth keeping.

Miracle, where art thou?

The best item in my collection, though? You ready for this? It’s the notion that people will be good even on their worst days. I know. Completely unrealistic. Utterly idealistic. Downright ridiculous. I mean, who am I to suppose that even on Mondays, after 1 cup of leisurely bliss, 2 oz of religious patronage and a dash of road rage the worst of us would give the world a wink and a smile? But I do. And Monday after Monday proves disappointing. If you’ve ever looked for the “keep hope alive” poster child, look no more. She lives in my head and expects you to come inside, make yourself at home. It’s cozy here just inside the front door that thinks too hard and is probably to blame for massive stress levels. Reason can take a hike.

Bear with me another 20 seconds. It’s not easy to convince others of my 30-year delusion. After all, I also still have yahoo.

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