Thursday, February 28, 2013

I am clogging the internet

At this crystallized moment in time, I have 68,255 emails in my in-box. Unread. Well, not completely unread: I have read the subject lines without opening the actual emails. I have many unread emails because I signed up for too many business-related (translation: shopping-related) notifications, and there are just so many hosiery specials or Groupons for canvas-stretched photos I can acquire. So I don’t open them, nor do I always take the time to delete them.

The other problem is that I use a forwarding option from my other email accounts. I have a business-related account (this is not a code word for shopping-related; it really is my work account) and I have those emails forwarded to my personal account. I do this because most of my shopping-related emails go to my personal account, thus I spend more time on that account.

The other account is from graduate school. I do not use this account, but emails are still forwarded from it to my personal account. I could put a stop to this, but it would require my remembering my log-in credentials, which I have forgotten. Also, I would have to cancel all the email subscriptions on that account, and just the thought of that makes me want to just give up email all together.

I think I am clogging the internet. When our wireless atmosphere at home goes all wonky and my husband starts sputtering that he can’t access the web, I nod and sigh sympathetically. But I say nothing. Because I am pretty sure my 68, 255 unread emails, which in the last fifteen minutes have probably grown to 68,265, are somehow contributing to the wonkiness of our wi-fi problem.

I know the 68,265 unread emails make me seem disorganized, but I am only disorganized when it comes to emails. And files. I am disorganized when it comes to paper. When we lived in Ithaca, New York, where pretty much everyone is very laid back and probably no one owns a file cabinet, the floor on my side of the bed held my life on paper. I was simply trying to fit in to the Ithaca laid-back lifestyle, and thus left my Connecticut type-A organized self behind.

In Ithaca, if I needed a certain document, I could just reach down to the hardwood floor, miraculously find the needed paper, and read it in bed. If that is not convenience, I don’t know what is. Other people have to get in their cars, drive to the office and open a file cabinet to look for that *&$# document. I only had to put aside my glass of wine and my novel, and “dumpster dive” right next to my cozy bed. As I said, I thought this convenient. My husband found it appalling. He threatened to call the health department as the pile grew.

Although there is nothing detrimental to health when it comes to a pile of papers that also substitutes as a small bedside rug, I understand his anxiety about my fileless piles. This is a man who presented me monthly with a printed pie chart of all our (translation: primarily my) expenditures each month. (For a short period of time, he mysteriously had the capability to instantaneously track my shopping online. The cell phone he bought me one Christmas only hindered my shopping progress. More than once, I stupidly answered his call while at Macy’s: “What did you just absolutely need for 35.99?”)

But his compulsion for organization comes in handy: If I need a child’s social security number (some mothers have children’s social security numbers permanently branded onto their brains, but I am not one of them), he simply peers into a labeled file and in seconds finds the number. I do not keep social security numbers beside my bed, so I like that my husband is useful in this way.

But I am sorry I am clogging the web. When the rainbow wheel of death starts rolling on your computer, it is probably my fault. And I am truly sorry. But there is no way I am deleting 65,275--make that 65,283--emails. There could be something important in that email pile, like a Banana Republic 50% off sale, or my son’s email that joyfully states I am the best mother in the world...except for never remembering his social security number when he needed it.

Keyboard image:
File Pile image:


  1. Ok, I have 815 'unread' emails that I never seem to 'mark as read' or delete or file away...blergh.

    And yes, I also married somebody so organized I have to buy his gifts in cash, otherwise he'll see the debit on the acct!

    1. Juliette, if you only have 815, you are an organization genius. xx

  2. You are an email hoarder. I shall go and clean out your mess of emails, while a councilor awaits in the wings, watching your progress as the numbers go down. Don't worry; you'll feel much better afterwards. ;)

    1. Lois, we can try, but I will only feel better for about 10 days and then you know the pile will grow again....xx

  3. Oh my gosh Kerry...this is absolutely hysterical!!! It is a KEEPER! Linda

    1. Thank you, Linda! I confess, I laugh at myself and I think I am hysterical, too :). Ha!