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Is Your E-mail Personality Anything Like You?

     Love those e-mails! One of my friends comes across in person as being – um, a bit plain. Not a whole lot of excitement. Not much deep thought that you could tell. But she’s nice. Her e-mails? Whoa! They’re great! She’s captivating! And literate and warm and… “Is this really from Sue?” I ask myself. I read it again – it’s the kind of e-mail you want to read again. Not too long and not so short you remember all three words. The next time I see her, I’m looking at her real hard, trying to see where she’s hiding all that pizzazz, but it isn’t there. Just plain ol’ Sue.

     Now Joe - he talks on and on and on and totally hogs center stage when there’s anyone within ten feet, but his e-mails? They’re short. To the point. “Meet me at 2.” When you reply to ask where, or what day, or anything irrelevant like that, his answer comes back, “Tuesday. Rubio’s.” I figure he has to quick get those e-mails out so he can go find someone to talk to.

     My brother-in-law, who would never ever sit you down in front of his bulging photo album and take you through his last five vacation trips, sends file attachments of family photos with all his e-mails. Last week he sent twenty photos of his dog at the park – each in a separate file. I felt obligated to open every one of them, ’cause for sure he’d ask what I thought of the picture of his dog Rover smashing headfirst into the pine tree and that would be the one where I gave up and deleted the whole dang thing. So I stuck with it. Two hours gone to the dogs.

     Unexpectedly it was a highly literate publisher who introduced me to text messaging in e-mail. I ripped open his e-mail – like I always do when it’s a publisher – and what to my wondering eyes did appear but a bunch of strange-looking words. I thought someone must’ve stripped off the right side of the e-mail, because the words went down the side like a ladder.

     got it


     c u


     Sure saves a lot of time and ink. The first time I wasn’t sure if I should reply in the same language. It wasn’t hard to decide - I don’t know how to write text messaging. But I’m working on it for my next column. Shd b gd.

     One of my grandsons is always the least intrusive person in a crowd. He listens and absorbs everything. Hard to tell what he’s thinking. But his e-mails are worth a pot of gold for the smile they bring to my heart. They’re short and chatty and warm and he talks about things I thought he never noticed. To top it off, he illustrates each one with vivid colors – the last one had a red background with gold letters. Had to squint to read it, but it was worth it. Yep, e-mails sure let you get to know a person better than you did before.

     Well, some. Not all. Some e-mails sound exactly like the person you know. Like my daughter. Her e-mails are long and full of news of the family, school, Cub Scouts, the latest vacation. She talks a lot on the phone; she talks a lot in person; she talks a lot in her e-mails. Her e-mail persona is herself.

     Same with another friend. She’s friendly as a wet puppy – oodles and oodles of love in her being that can’t help but ooze out everytime she’s with someone. And so it oozes out in her e-mails, too. It oozes so much and feels so good, I catch it and write back with way more oozing than I normally do. But it’s fun. It’s e-mail.

     And in your e-mails, you can be anyone you want. 

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