Letters From the Editor

Big Decision

The decision has been made. It’s a step into the unknown, the mysterious. But it’s time. IT IS TIME. Goodbye Hotmail, farewell Spam-City.

I’ve been considering this drastic move for months now, and after being told that both of my email inboxes are pretty much diaper bins waiting to explode, I decided it was time to take the plunge. To bring order out of chaos, if you will.

First thing to do was consolidate everything into a single inbox that I could reasonably manage. So I began this morning by cleaning out the Hotmail. This was hostile territory, and the real trick was figuring out and remembering what was stuff that was important for me to continue receiving – ‘Continental Airlines eTicket Itinerary and Receipt’ – and what was going to be a part of the clogging that will, within the week of me not checking the account, completely suffocate my Hotmail account – ‘lookin for fuun cxkynkvs,’ ‘check out photos of singles online in your area!’ ‘I was drunnk awxlhy’ (actually that last one turned out to be from a friend, wha-hey!, so I had to let her know my new address).

After a bit of tinkering and a lot of deciding, for the first time in years my Hotmail was totally, completely empty. Airline stuff (necessary): Check. EMusic (how I adore thee): Checko. Amazon (because that Gold Box is going to pay off someday, and big): Check-a-roo. Netflix (where my usage has become best described as ‘delinquent’): Checkah!

But the hardest part of getting rid of the Hotmail account (or, really, what I’m doing here is just leaving it to die in the desert) is that checking it has become a daily ritual. I’ve had the same Hotmail address for six years, and have, over time, refused to give it up because I believed that I’d really scored a great user name. I mean, it was really just my name, but I figured there was no way whatsoever I’d be able to get such a perfect Hotmail account name, were I to discontinue using it. I was scared – there I said it. Fearful. But what I’m most concerned with is the urge to keep checking it. Because I had to just not do it. But damn this Hotmail, it refused to release me from its steely grasp. I would be its prisoner!

Of course, now I see that you can just cancel your account. But the nice folks at MSN say you can still reactivate it within 90 days. Man, I’m never getting out of this. If only I could go back to 1997, and say to the 1997 version of me, ‘No, don’t do it. Don’t sign up for that Hotmail account. For, if you do, you will never be rid of it.’

And he (I) would reply, ‘But I need an email address, because I think it’s really catching on.’

‘You idiot, you don’t already have one?’

‘I was late on the uptake.’

‘But it’s going to take you over. Leave you a shell of a man. Keep you from moving on, from accepting new possibilities. From change.’

‘What’s to change?’

‘What do you mean? Your job sucks. Plus, you still have to move to Brooklyn.’


(begins to feel weak) ‘And…getting that Hotmail address…is what’s going to enable you to…eventually move to New York…’

‘Man, I am not moving to New York.’

(holds up hand, Marty-McFly-style, sees hand disappearing, gasps!) ‘No…maybe…you…should…just…go…ahead…and…get…the…Hotm–’ (collapses)

‘Right. I’m going to believe you, some guy who’s all pixilated and everything?’

(reaches fading hand up toward 1997 A’s keyboard) ‘Hot…mail!’

‘What about this Yahoo mail? Is that the same thing? Will I wind up in New York if I get Yahoo mail?’

(one shoulder that’s left shrugs)

‘Well, it’s worth a shot. Anything’s gotta be better than living in New York.’ (begins signing up)

* * *

The decision has been made. It’s a step into the unknown, the mysterious. But it’s time. IT IS TIME. Goodbye Yahoo mail, farewell Spam-City. But damn this Yahoo mail, it refuses to release me from its steely grasp! Will I forever be its prisoner? Never mind that, though: It’s time to feed my Japanese fighting poodles. There’s a big match down in San Bernadino this weekend, and I will not lose to David Duchovny’s ‘Team Terrier’ again!

Andrew Womack is a founding editor of The Morning News. He is always working on the next installment of the Albums of the Year series at TMN. More by Andrew Womack

blog comments powered by Disqus