Three semi-related things:
I've spent some of the first few days of the year unsubscribing from various email marketing lists that I have, over the years and against all common sense, found myself at the mercy of and buried underneath. A wayward Internet article has alerted me to the fact that not only is email hoarding a thing, but I am an active participant in it. (The one plus side to that is that I have many, many hilarious email exchanges...and maybe a few fights with a particular ex...saved in my various email folders and when I'm feeling low or missing people I shouldn't be, I can reread those emails like they are chapters in an overwrought biography about a random weirdo with an affection for adverbs). I save almost every email and in the recent past that has included marketing emails. Anyway, the task of unsubscribing to these lists has proven to be tedious, annoying, and absurdly cold, faceless in that futuristic/modern way that dystopian novels and films tried to warn us about. To wit, I often get a spammy email indicating that I've been unsubscribed from a spammy mailing list! Do two spams make a right? There are often forms to fill out asking me to confirm my email address and often when I get to that unsubscribe page, it turns out "I've" signed up for multiple updates from multiple companies and I am now asked to choose which ones I want to drop, as though me taking the time and trouble to specifically ask to no longer receive updates from girlytoys.com (not a real website I'm subscribed to...asking for a friend) leaves the door open to the possibility that I might want to keep getting the catalog for vibratorsRus. Just UNSUBSCRIBE ME. I don't want to give you any more information. I just want to save myself the 2 seconds every morning of the year it takes me to summarily delete your marketing crap. Have you no heart, robot marketer who I've named Chad? The process has become more cumbersome than ordering a bottle of water at Panera bread. Would you like bread or an apple with your water? Are you a member of our Bread Babies club? Do you envision yourself eventually becoming bread? What is your star sign? What is your name for the order? To stay or to go? Why do bad things happen to good people? JUST GIVE ME WATER.
At work today a woman came in to ask what happened to the book she requested because she's been waiting a long time for it. Upon investigation, I found no evidence that she had requested anything at all; there was no pending item on her card. I apologized in case it was our slip up and asked her if she wanted to submit the request again. She said yes and then didn't continue, but stared at me. I waited what I thought was the proper amount of time when someone is just staring at you for no discernible reason. I asked her what the book's title was and she responded with a glazed over look in her eyes as she said she didn't remember. And we stood for a moment, facing each other inside the impasse of information, unsure of what to say next. It was like I was inside a play by Sartre. Hell is wanting something enough to request it, then forgetting everything about it, left only with the knowledge that something is missing but you can't pinpoint what it is or how to get it. O, library! You microcosm of humanity immemorial! Absurd, uncommunicative, humanity!
I need a vacation.