Opening my email to see an invitation to a fall lunch, I rolled my eyes. Not because I’m not a fan of lunches (quite the contrary!) but because this invitation, like so many other emails I had received, was intended for someone else.
When I got my email address back in the early days of building Gmail, I felt lucky to have a simple, straightforward address. But it quickly turned into a curse. There were other E Hugs, and their friends and family were quick to hit send before checking the spelling in the “to” field. I was invited to handbag-making classes, dentist appointments, and Shabbat dinners. I learned about hairdressing jobs and the arrival of my orthopedic shoe inserts. I was once asked to check out a bat mitzvah program.
At first I did what any kind person would do and informed the sender of their mistake. But they still came. Why were there so many emails? And why are there so many repeat offenders? If I had to sign Amanda’s bat mitzvah program one more time, I was going to scream.
Driven by desperate fervor and a slight streak of mischief, I decided to try a different tactic. Maybe this would teach them a lesson, I thought, or at least shake things up enough for them to pay attention. I was going to start responding in character.