Send me an email with only the word "Thanks" on it.
J.H.C. I HATE that. Especially if the server is slow.
What the eff?
The individual voted most likely to do this in my life is someone I should be grateful to have the opportunity to be around. To be in the presence of her genius. Someone so smart, influential, and interesting in my field that I should not only be SAVING those stupid "Thanks" emails but sending "Thanks" emails BACK just for thanking me.
She is a Famous Feminist Economist with whom I am currently editing a special issue of the journal, practically founded by her (and a few other now FFE's).
I know, you're saying: How many could there be? and How hard could it be to become an FFE. Whine about Title IX a bit in the New York Times or something and shouldn't that qualify?
I'll let you know when it happens for me.
But, for now, for the record, I did, honestly, one day find myself a) in a boat that was b) powered by a man standing on its hind end while c) drinking cheap champagne with d) said FFE.
What's the problem? You ask.
Instead of feeling grateful, I, more often than not, feel profoundly annoyed. Said FFE, is unmeasurably interesting. She and her family fled the oncoming Nazi onslaught in the former Czechoslovakia before WWII when she was little; she went to the famous Chicago school of economics and studied with MILTON FRIEDMAN!! and this is just the tip of the iceberg of her extraordinary life. But at the same time she, literally, never tires of telling me, someone, ANYONE within EARSHOT about it. . . And not just the interesting stuff. And. . . Not just in person.
So, while I receive a barrage of emails with the only word "Thanks" in the body (I mean, Christ. "Thanks" isn't worth the wait of the email to open even with a HIGHSPEED ISP). I ALSO receive the daily minutiae. Every. Single. Detail. And it would even be more tolerable if it was a friend-to-friend email. Believe me. I can tolerate-enjoy even-the minutiae from my pals. Minutiae is GREAT from pals. Its gossip. Its details. Its the bits and pieces of LIFE. But this!?! THIS is Let me explain my daily tripe to you in excruiciating details so that you recognize why it took me 36, rather than 24 hours to respond to your last email. Oh, also, and to remind you that I'm famous and all the famous people I interact with regularly.
Maybe I'm overreacting.
Maybe I'm jealous.
Maybe its just that it is impersonal.
Maybe its that I feel like ANY ear, rather than THE ear.
In any case: THANKS BUT NO THANKS!