I remember my very first email address: grrrlfriend (with three r's, thankyouverymuch) at hotmail dot com. I got it when I was a senior in high school. That was back in the olden days, when email was brand-spanking-new and people still used libraries to look stuff up and dinosaurs followed us home from school.
In the early days of email, I got actual mail. Like, an electronic version of the notes normally passed to me in class by my friends. With conversations and gossip and questions and answers. Even a few love notes from Curtis, painstakingly pecked out with one finger, sparsely capitalized and punctuated. (He's learned a lot about both computers AND proper sentence structure since then, thank goodness.)
Then came the forwards. The first few were funny, a novelty. But then there was the onslaught of the stupid ones, i.e., "This is the story of little Timmy who sang to his baby sister on her deathbed who later reported seeing angels and teddy bears dancing on sparkly rainbows. Pass this to at least 200 people if you love Jesus."
I mean, I'm pretty sure me and the J-man will still be tight if I don't forward the heartwarming tale.
And now? My email, once a source of excitement ("Oooh! I got a new message!"), has become a source of stress for the most part. My actual person-to-person exchanges, I mean like written conversations, are few and far between. Yet my inbox is stuffed to the gills with "must-have deals" and "newsletter updates" from what seems like every store I've ever shopped in or organization whose website I've ever visited. And that's not even the spam. My spam folder currently contains 733 messages, and that's from the last thirty days alone. I don't even check that one any more, because it's too much to keep up with - and anyway, I don't need to enlarge my penis (huh?), satisfy my girlfriend (WTF?) or wire money to anyone in Nigeria.
I have 672 messages in my regular, non-spam inbox. They've gone undeleted because I obviously thought they were important enough to save, but honestly, y'all? I don't remember what 99% of them are even about. And the thought of going through them, one by one, just makes me tired. Yet the thought of doing one mass delete makes me nervous, in case there's something in there that - one of these years down the line - I might actually need to refer to. Ugh.
Ever just feel like deleting your email account and starting fresh with a new one?