I admit it. I get happy when I turn on my iPhone and see a red “8” atop the mail app.  I’ve got mail!

Indeed I do. From Keto-Skinny diets. And ACE Credit, whoever they are. Liberty Mutual suggests I could save $509 on life insurance. Talbot’s offers me 25% off on all sweaters!  TOMS is featuring corduroy slides! I haven’t even had my first cup of Nespresso when Trip Trivia challenges me to “Guess this location!”

My iPhone and I are rarely separated. I even sleep with it. Not literally, but sort of, in a way, I do. Because when I wake up at 12:35, then again at 2:02, and once more at 4:39, I like to check my mail. And guess what? There’s always something in my mailbox. It’s just not from the people I’d like to hear from.

Instead it’s the USCO Certification Team (“In 30 minutes you can get a concealed handgun permit application.”) Or Costco promising me $50 if I take their opinion survey. Or EatingWell touting SuperFoodDiets. I also hear frequently from Svetlana, a young Russian woman who “promises a good time” and does not look like she’s a member of the Kennebunk PTA.

Daughter Lisa suggested that I go to the “Unsubscribe” link at the end of the email, follow the prompts, and it’ll all clear up. Which I do. 

The next day I get mail from a whole new group. LeafFilter promising “Lifetime Guaranteed Solution to Clogged Gutters!” National Debt Relief sends me happy greetings several times a week. I learn more than I need or want to about walk-in tubs from American Standard. In Svetlana’s place, I get mail from someone named Ashley who hints that “We can meet tomorrow and….” Seriously?


I’ve always been a mail junky. I still snail-mail hand-written thank you notes. A personal letter delivered by the postman puts a smile on my face.  When Mr. Wonderful and I return from a few days away, I can’t wait to sort through the pile of mail and magazines. Granted, there’s usually “junk mail” but not the volume that comes to valmarier@me.com  

I’ve received the frantic email from “a government official in Nigeria” asking for money to get “your good friend Vic” out of jail before they decapitate him. Several times. I’ve had numerous RESPOND IMMEDIATELY emails from Netflix, telling me that my account will be terminated unless I immediately send my Visa card numbers. (A quick phone call to Netflix reveals this is not only spam but a scam.)

Perhaps Bill Gates said it best: “Like about everyone who uses email, I receive a ton of spam every day. Much of it offers to help me get out of debt or get rich quick. It would be funny if it weren’t so exciting.” 

With all due respect, Bill, I don’t think “exciting” is the word I’d choose.