Who doesn’t have an email inbox overflowing with crap that we neither care about nor bother reading?  I know that mine is inundated with notices from American Eagle, LLBean, The Vitamin Shoppe, Old Navy, LivingSocial, Groupon and Goldstar[1] and, admittedly, I have managed to miss “important” emails amongst the clutter just like everybody else.  Periodically I will spend some time “unsubscribing” (which, incidentally, doesn’t always work but is remarkably easy to do) and experience, if even temporarily, a little bit of accord in my inbox.  I, along with throngs of other people, do so without fanfare, malice or the need to draw attention.

Well, apparently unsubscribing is meant to be shared as last week I received, in the comment section of this blog , a note that simply said:

Please delete my email address

 Upon initial glance I thought it was spam until I looked further down the page and noticed that it was from someone whom I have known for better than thirty years.  I wasn’t entirely surprised by the request (although I had necessarily anticipated it) but I was surprised by the fact that this someone would take the time to submit a comment as opposed to just, well, unsubscribing.  And, of course, it made me wonder why.[2]

My blog can be unsubscribed to quite simply.  At the bottom of the email it states, as clearly as humanly possible, to click here and voila, you are done.[3]  Frankly, unless I am terribly bored and have scads of time on my hands, I will never scour or even peruse the subscriber list[4] and, therefore, will not even know that you have taken your leave.  (No offense.)  By now (as in 2014) I know of no one who does not know this little trick.  Why, then, did my former subscriber choose to not just click the button but instead made sure to let me know that she[5] could no longer tolerate seeing my posts arrive in her inbox?  Hmmmm.


So I, ever the over-thinker, have been contemplating this for days.  (To be clear, my ruminations are less a function of caring much about this particular person, more about the human condition.) My conclusions:

  1. This person (or anyone who opts to draw attention to an unsubscribing) doesn’t like/enjoy/appreciate/understand/have time for/give a shit about/know how to read what I write;
  2.  Wants me to know that she feels all of the above;
  3. Doesn’t understand how to click on a button that says unsubscribe;
  4. Cannot “tolerate the ambiguity” of the story;
  5. Is sending me a thinly veiled message of her disinterest/discomfort/disdain/discomfort.
  6. She wants me to know how she feels about me…nothing to do with the blog at all.

Contrary to how it might appear (given my dedication of an entire blog post to this transaction) I truly (and proudly) do not care that she is over the blog.  A few years ago (oh, who am I kidding?  A few months ago) it may have upset, angered or concerned me.  I might have even shot back a snippy email.  But no, all I did was send a very friendly email with instructions how to unsubscribe[6] along with well wishes to her and her’s which was only slightly irreverent.

Now I am off to covertly unsubscribe to the emails taunting me in my inbox.

p.s. I just checked to see if she had, indeed, “deleted her email address”…and, in fact, she has.

[1] If you do not know about Goldstar.com you should.  Go check it out.  You’re welcome.

[2] Um, have you met me?

[3] I am telling you this as part of the story and, to be clear, not as a suggestion.

[4] Although, to be honest, I have.

[5] That is the most I am going to let on who this person is.

[6] Note: I cannot “delete” a subscriber; it has to be done from their end.  So, armed with that information, you are free to do so.  Although I hope you won’t.

13 thoughts on “Unsubscribe

  1. As I started reading your post it reminded me that I need to go through my email & the ‘I’m leaving facebook’ posts that cause me to physically restrain myself from commenting something not so gracious 🙂

  2. She didn’t say “Please delete my email address and refrain from mentioning me in a blog post,” now did she? I agree with T.D. Davis, it was an entertaining post. Thank you.

  3. I find this interesting. I had a similar situation with my books news emails and it occurred to me that it takes effort (albeit minimal) to unsubscribe and that is means SOMETHING because chances are that person is allowing numerous Gap and Hanes emails to keep polluting the inbox. So…it stings a bit but rest assured, Julie, you are lovely, so is Jess’s journey and your loyal readers are just that. Loyal.

  4. Love this post and good for you. Of course, I still feel personally insulted when anyone unsubscribes to me–honestly, I’d rather not know….I had a “friend” unsubscribe to one of my old blogs two years ago…I don’t look at her the same. Sending you the email is quite the statement!

  5. I strongly suspect your unsubscriber is a Republican who has not yet learned the joy of total acceptance of the choices people make in their own lives. I think she is judging you from within a narrow set of parameters. Count me among your faithful subscribers. By the way, as a fellow Word Press blogger, I understand some of the entitlement feelings that go along with all this. When you write honestly, it’s easy to be hurt. Whenever you think of her, remember the rest of us who read you with gratitude. Joan Ellis

  6. Another possible scenario: we all get inundated with so much spam and junk mail these days it is possible to forget which items are solicitations and which you actually subscribed to. I think it is possible that your acquaintance simply forgot that the choice was hers to make.
    That said, I love your candor. I also have a close relationship with a transchild and while it can be harrowing, many times it makes me laugh. Write on!

  7. HA. I read the subject line and thought to myself “WTF. She wants ME to unsubscribe”. Before even opening the email I had formed a zillion reasons why my feelings were hurt. HA HA. I’m such a moron. Thanks for keeping me subscribed.

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