In September of 2004 I received an early invitation from Google to set up a Gmail account; they hadn’t yet launched the service. It said “Gmail is still in an early stage of development. If you set up an account, you’ll be able to keep it even after we make Gmail more widely available and as one of the system’s early testers, you will be helping us improve the service through your feedback.” I accepted the invite, created an account, and I’ve been a fan of Gmail ever since.
I’m also an email hoarder and rather unorganized, so I have all of my email going back to 2004. (For those who really want to judge me, the current tally of unread messages in my inbox is 27,492. Sorry if something you’ve sent is in there.)
Apparently I wasn’t feeling very creative the day I registered my account — I chose “firstname.lastname@example.org.” Which has been great for most things, including making me appear professional when I need to. (Side story: one day at my doctor’s office, they asked for my email address, and when I told them, my doctor said, “Oh, that’s how I can tell you’re a grown-up. Most of our patients have something like ‘dancinggirl22.'”)
The problem is that I’m not the only Lisa Garvey in the world, and it seems that most of the other ones THINK their email address is “email@example.com.” I’m not sure how people constantly get their own address wrong, but I’ve learned a ridiculous amount of personal detail about these other women who share my name. I’ve also formed some opinions, so please allow me to share some advice.
An Open Letter to the Other Lisa Garveys
To Lisa, the realtor in Arizona: I replied “yes” on your behalf to the company Christmas party. The first 3 years I politely declined, but then I figured you probably ought to attend. That house on Tilman has been on the market too long, probably because all of your incoming “request a showing” leads are coming to me. Oh, and the title report came back clean for the listing on Front St. Stop reading “Cosmopolitan” — it’s just junk.
To Lisa in the UK: Sorry to hear that you lost your job. I hope they also notified you some other way. Your sister sounds like quite a bitch, based on her messages, but she probably just wants what’s best for the family. And stop borrowing money at 35% interest rates — those overseas banks are just milking you. Oh, and Colleen told Skip the truth about why you and Pam didn’t to go the concert that night.
To Lisa, the grad student in Rhode Island: That must have been a hell of a Greek Week party at your cottage for them to send a nastygram to the entire rental community. Next time please ask your landlord to include some pics! Also, your second semester deposit was due last week.
To Lisa in Colorado: You’ve missed several appointments with Meineke to get your brakes fixed. It’s dangerous to drive a car in that condition! I’m glad to see that your daughter’s grades have improved since last year, but her teacher says she’s still struggling in Science class. You may want to look into getting her a tutor.
To whichever Lisa is gambling online at the Dubai Palace: Look, I love slot machines too, but it seems like you’re just wasting your money.
To all of you: please provide your contacts with your OWN email address. Maybe you can write it down on a little card that you keep in your wallet.