I don’t mean to brag, but my email address totally rules. Frankly, it’s better than yours. Some people might go so far as to call it a “goldmine,” and they’d be right. Would you like to know what it is? Well then, today is your lucky day. My email address is jgoldstein [at] Gmail [dot] com.
Not what you were expecting, was it? Sort of anti-climactic, you’re thinking. Don’t fret, friend. I promise you this email address holds delectable treats, and I will feed you as much. But before I can give you the why and whatfor, allow me to deliver you the how.
About a decade ago, a friend of mine worked at Google and invited me into a BETA version of GMail. At the time, I had a Hotmail account, so I was pretty much set for life. However, GMail had a strong pitch to its potential converts. It was two-fold: (1) essentially unlimited storage space – they even had a real-time gigabyte ticker going up-up-up – and (2) NO SPAM. The latter was a true selling point at the time, as the amount of SPAM in my Hotmail inbox had become unbearable. Without much arm twisting I made the switch, informed all of my important acquaintances of the new email addy, and soon the visits to my old Hotmail account became less and less frequent until they peetered out entirely.
The allure of no SPAM was strong and so far GMail had stuck to its promise. Any SPAM I received was actually going to the correct folder marked “SPAM.” (Imagine that.) But there was something else afoot. I wasn’t receiving porny-themed sexxx-bot emails or promises of weight loss via Nigerian coal miners’ tricks. I began receiving email for other Goldsteins. “Dear Janet,” one email began, “Please review the attached financial documents…”
Whoa, whoa, whoa. I promptly replied to the good financial people of Charles Schwab and told them of their error. “I am not Janet Goldstein. You have the wrong email address.” Their response? “PLEASE DESTROY THAT EMAIL.” I really wanted to reply, “NEVER!!!!” But I deleted it just as they asked.
This was only the beginning. In the following months, I would receive email after email for Joshua, and Jacob, and Jeanne Goldstein, even email for other Jeremy Goldsteins poured in. Often times, I’d have people using my personal email address as their own when filling out important documents or requesting downloads, such as an Apple iTunes account, which I then had to change the password on and steal it for myself as I clearly hadn’t set my iTunes account up yet. (By the way, that poor guy tried to change his password back a dozen times before he realized his snafu. I know this because every time he tried to access his account, he’d request a “Change of Password.” Unfortunately for him, the requests would be sent from Apple to my email address.)
It wasn’t until I heard from J.T. Mullen, Private Investigator, that I thought maybe I had a special email address. If you’re not familiar with J.T. Mullen, his website touts him as an especially accomplished (and particularly dashing) gumshoe-for-hire. He and I had the following email exchange.
JT Mullen: Joseph, I have an important matter to discuss with you.
JT Mullen: Please call me at your earliest convenience?
Me: You have the wrong email address.
JT Mullen: Could you relay the message below to Joseph?
Me: I have absolutely no clue who Joseph is. You’re using the wrong email address.
JT Mullen: Which email address should I use?
Me: I don’t know, pal. You’re the detective.
I’ve been invited to weddings, bar mitzvahs, circumcisions, and funerals. I’ve seen medical documents and financial statements that astound. I’ve even had a college student come “out” to their dad over email. And I responded to every last one of them with the kindness and grace they deserved.
On average, I receive an email per day that wouldn’t be classified as SPAM and is most definitely not meant for me. It’s enough that I’ve started collecting them in a blog. I haven’t posted my favorites yet, but stay tuned for the 50+ year old woman who sent me photos of herself in a bikini and the errant email chain that had a bride-to-be insisting I attend a wedding across the country. I do have a recent exchange from a doting mom who accidentally used my email address as the RSVP on her daughter’s wedding invitations. And that’s just the beginning.
Now you see why my email address has special powers. I receive other people’s email, and I respond to it. I get to tell them they have the wrong email address and make them feel super weird about it. It’s a great responsibility, and I think you’ll agree that I’m the right Jew for the job.