Monday, January 18, 2010
For some time now Spouse has been drawn, bit by bit, into the bosom of a lively and exceedingly friendly group. The members- all of whom are basking in the twilight of their lives- frequently share their exploits with Spouse through the medium of e-mail. They deliver bright and cheerful photographs of their various outings together, motivational quotations one of them chanced upon that week, or a new delicious recipe. They sound, on the whole, like marvellous people who grasp every joyous moment in life.
It would all be perfectly fine- if Spouse were the fellow they meant to send it to. On account of a minor misspelling, Spouse receives the group's regular newsletter, with its merriment and its litany of gatherings and its pictures of grinning men and women who formed friendships a long time ago.
Rather than feel annoyed at the onslaught of such that he never asked for, Spouse wonders how to deliver the news that he is not actually one of them; how to tell the chums that somewhere out there, one of them is not getting his or her weekly portion of friendly notes and might, for all he knows, fail to turn up at the next fishing trip because they never heard about it.
While Spouse pondered his dilemma, I got a friendly e-mail, albeit a brief one, of my very own.
The sender started with affection- 'Hi Babe-' concluded with a flourish- 'Love, Moomoo-' and in between reflected on how much it would mean to hear my voice, insisting that the written word could never make up for such.
I was at first startled, then flattered, then I was obliged to accept the fact that I was nobody's Babe and nobody's Moomoo; and that, therefore, there had to be some mistake.
As it happened, my dilemma was of a different nature than Spouse's, the sender being a close personal friend of mine. How to rectify it? In drawing the matter to her prompt attention, I feared I would bring about some degree of embarrassment; and yet, if I kept hushed about it, it would not be long before she declared that the intended recipient had thoroughly ignored her ruminations, and after that not long at all before she discerned the note's actual destination.
I tried to make it simple yet cryptic: I sent the Moomoo note right back, with my own text at the top.
"I think," I wrote, "that you dialed a wrong number here."
I fervently hoped it would do the trick, and that we might say no more about it.
My friend soon wrote back with word that she was mighty glad to hear from me- but what did I mean about dialing a wrong number?
I returned the original Moomoo message again, this time highlighted in a green so otherworldly and luminous that one's attention could not help but be drawn to it.
It worked. My friend recovered herself quickly, glad to be told the truth.
I suggest that Spouse extricate himself in a similar fashion before they all become too attached to one another.
For certain, I am nobody's Moomoo; but it might, even now, be too late for Spouse.
Posted by Phyllis Hunt McGowan at 5:27 PM