I seized up a little the other day, when sending an email of all things. Not over a really difficult choice, mind you, like deciding whether it’s too career-risky in a sartorial pinch to use folded cotton briefs as a pocket square. No, what made me tense up was something far less consequential. Just a little surge of stomach acid, how you feel the minute you, ear-budded and standing in a crowded elevator, just know you’re singing Toto a little too loud.
Fellow Elevator Passenger: Listen, we all think it’s great that you bless the rains down in Africa and all, but could you be Santa’s Little Helper and pipe down until you’re off the elevator?
Me (seeing her name on security badge): What’s that, Rosanna?
Rosanna: Wow. I walked right into that one.
So that kind of worry, nothing more. Like your phone buzzing in your front-left pants pocket, and for a panicked moment you fear you’re relieving yourself. Here’s what troubled me: I haven’t been completely forthcoming with you. No, no, please, let me finish. This is a big breakthrough for me, sharing my feelings in this safe space we’ve made for each other. You see, my therapist says I need to be more mindful…just messing with you there, no therapist. When Freud said the Irish were impervious to psychoanalysis, he had guys like me in mind. But I do feel something has come between us, something we should address, and not let me go on hiding my feelings behind random 1980s kitsch. For if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change…Hey, are you even listening to me? You’re letting me riff from the Reagan era. That was Sylvester Stallone’s final speech in Rocky IV, right after he beat Ivan Drago like a rented mule.
I’ll just come right out and say what’s troubling me. I’ve sent many of you emails over the years, often from exotic ports of call like LaGuardia, O’Hare and Reagan National, and invariably sent from my iPhone. Some serious, while others a little more…aw, whom are we kidding? It’s mostly been gibberish between us. Still, I’ve always contented myself to sign off with a standard iPhone signature, when really there are so many more personalized settings to consider. My goal, then, isn’t to be useful but uninspiring, like a magician whose act consists of amazing feats of audience nasal decongestion. My goal is to be useful and inspiring, and so provide you with something you might adopt in your daily life. After all, if I were content simply to do performance art, I’d still be rubber-cementing a briefcase and Starbucks coffee cup to the roof of my car. So here they are:
- Regular: Sent from my iPhone
- Polite: Sent from my iPhone – please excuse any typos
- Passive-Aggressive: Sent from my iPhone – please excuse any typos (although context should be clear)
- Aggressive-Aggressive: Sent from my iPhone – please excuse any typos, like I give a sh**
- American Anglophile: Sent from my iPhone – please excuse any typos. Cheers
- Annoying Lawyer: Sent from my iPhone – please excuse any and all typos
- Really Annoying Lawyer: Upon information and belief, sent from my iPhone – please excuse any and all typos
- David Copperfield: Sent from my iPhone – or was it?
- Successful Fraternity Brother Who Still Keeps Score: Sent from my iPhone, which is skiing with me right now in Gstaad
- Twentysomething Son Who Still Lives In Your Basement: Sent from my iPhone (p.s. we’re out of Golden Grahams)
- Perpetually In Graduate School Daughter, Whose Degree You’re Beginning To Question: Sent from my iPhone, which let’s face it looks and sounds phallic
- Narcoleptic: Sent from my iPhoafladfljdalfhdfhfaldhghdkghdhgkkgds
- Adolescent Teenage Daughter: Sent from my iPhone 6 (Brittany has an iPhone 7 Plus)
- Adolescent Teenage Son: Sent from my iPhone, since you confiscated my laptop (curse you, search history)
- Jewish Mother: Sent from my iPhone, because we never talk anymore
- Irish Catholic Father (Pittsburgh): Sent from my iPhone. Speaking of phones, call your mother, jagoff
- Irish Catholic Father (Anywhere Else): Sent from my iPhone, the one your kid brother got me for Christmas. But by all means, keep sending me English Leather After Shave
So this is my pledge to each and every one of you. When I write to you going forward, I won’t iPhone it in anymore. I’ll be particular with my sign-off so you know exactly what I’m feeling. After all, if our relationship isn’t built on honesty, then it really isn’t a relationship at all.
Sent from my iPhone – Delayed at DFW