Stop the madness.
  • How we’ll miss you.

The end of the campaign season is a bad time for anyone who relies on e-mail for the warmth of human communication. Just in the last two days I’ve received e-mail bearing the following salutations:

I need your help
GREAT NEWS! [today]
honestly, Friend:
alarming warning:
doomsday defeat
Let’s do this

And there were many, many more. Now what will I do for intimacy and meaning? No one else confides in me the way candidates do.

It all came to an end about 11 o’clock Tuesday morning when the governor of Connecticut, a state I passed through once on the train, sent me an e-mail asking if I’d voted yet. If I hadn’t, he included a phone number for a ride to the polls. That was so nice of him! The next e-mail announced “November is diabetes awareness month,” wrenching me with the knowledge that my correspondence was reverting to its usual fare, the flogging of products and causes.

Sure enough, this was followed by a publicist touting an author who has something to say to women about “breaking the affirmation addiction.” I suppose I know a little about that. When every e-mail you get for two or three months is a personal appeal that begins along the lines of “I need your help” or “Honestly, friend”—well, you get used to it.