Well, whaddaya know?


It started with just the one box.  Really.  “Click only the people you know.”  Well, I’m in business.  I know a lot of people.  There’s Jenny, who lives down the street; Mel, the guy I get gas from; Stacey who runs the florist department at the grocery; and on, and on.

After ten minutes the list took up three pages.  I started to think about the word KNOW, about what it was really looking for from me.  All I wanted to do was send out some damn holiday cards, not even about Christmas, just a sentiment about the season and good will.  But I know so many people.  This was going to take all day.

The people had people they knew, and so there was a peripheral knowing creeping into the list.  Jenny’s husband Frank knew Steve the fireman, who coached the little league team my son was on.  So I knew him, too.

When the list reached a thousand I started to panic.  Even at ten cents a card this was getting out of hand.  I started to qualify this Knowing.  Hat size?  Shoe size?  Nice and simple.   If I didn’t know that about someone, I cut them from the list.

Taking people off was even better than putting them on.  Randomly I hacked away half of my town in under five minutes.  Joy!  A few well-timed cards, sent entirely by computer, and I’d ensure my business for the next year.

I paused on my mother’s name.  She didn’t wear a hat.  I have no idea what her shoe size is.  Off she went, followed by my aunt, my brother in LA, my sister in Oregon.

The last name on the list was mine.  With a shock I realized I had forgotten my shoe size.  Should I check?  That would be cheating.  But I was the last name on the list, other than the golf pro whose name I couldn’t remember.  But I knew he wore tens because I always stared at his feet when I had lessons, and the heels were emblazoned with the number like cheap bowling shoes.  You think the pro would have gotten better quality.

I looked at the clock, then back at the screen.  I probably saved a hundred trees by not ordering cards for all these people.  I don’t really know any of them.

One Response to “Well, whaddaya know?”

  1. susan Says:

    Nice application of traditional communication reflecting current social networking–at least that’s what I saw in it. Sort of a reminder to me: “these people are not your friends.”

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