I often get asked where I got the inspiration for AlphaOops. It’s true, it did really come out of a discussion at Orson Scott Card’s Boot Camp, but the seed of the idea has been germinating inside me all my life. If your name starts with “A”, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Those of us whose names start with “A” get special privileges. We get to be first in line. We get picked first to give our reports in school. We’re not shelved first in the bookstore, but that’s okay, because we get called first when the one we ordered comes in. And as “L” is in the first half of the alphabet, only Abigail, Adelaide, and Agnes get their books before I do.
We’ve heard the intimate moments and jokes at business dinners when you’ve accidentally pocket-called us. And while I will never tell the now happily married couple that I cried when I heard them arguing in the car, I have called my father back and asked him to repeat the punch line so I could tell it to a friend.
We get all the invitations on Facebook. ALL the invitations. I get so many freaking invitations I can’t block the applications fast enough. I’m okay with it — some of them are fun, when I have the time…which is rare. But if you ask me to be a fan of your page more than ten times, I will defriend you just because it’s easier. No hard feelings — they just haven’t come up with a better way to block that yet. Or maybe they have. The new Facebook interface hasn’t rolled out to me yet.
The most fun, though, is the emails. I get accidentally emailed all the time. Most of the time, I just ignore it and delete it. If it’s a newsletter, I’ll simply unsubscribe (you should ALL have an unsubscribe option in your newsletters). If I notice that it was misdirected, I will email the sender and mention that it should have gone to someone else.
But sometimes…I’m torn.
For instance, a friend of mine is a teacher at a university here in the US. A few weeks ago, I got an email from him with the subject line “For Tuesday.” Attached were two powerpoint presentations. I thought perhaps he had taken a trip and was sending us slides…until I opened it and realized I had accidentally been put on his class email list. I forgot to tell him, and laughed when the next one came in, with everything I needed to know for the test. I couldn’t think of a great joke to send back…and now it’s too late.
I received another one today. I kind of like getting them. They’re very informative, and for a writer that’s pretty valuable. It’ll only last a semester anyway.
So the question is…do I tell him?