Thursday, July 14, 2011

Subject Line: Panic

So my father-in-law sent his three kids and their spouses an email a few weeks ago.

Subject Line: Mom

When we opened the email, we learned that Tom's mother had won an award for her artwork. Yay.

But of course we were too busy trying to backpedal from the fatalistic mental gymnastics we'd done (Tom's mom in ICU, Tom's mom hit by a car, Tom's mom with flesh-eating bacteria, etc) to care much about art awards.

Tom's father obviously doesn't think there is anything wrong with sending an email with the subject line "Mom," because each subsequent email this summer has been part of the same darn email thread. Hooray, we get to have little panicky moments in our inboxes with regularity!

This got me thinking about subject lines. For instance, since becoming a mom, I have dreaded emails with the subject line: "Today" as in:

From: Your Child's Teacher
Subject Line: Today

Nothing good can come of that, I tell you. Nothing good.

So what about you?

What would be your most dreaded Subject line, real or imagined? How about?

From: Your High School Friend
Subject Line: Bought a scanner! Sleepover pics on Facebook!


I'd love to hear from you!


L said...

I can't think of any I particularly dread, but I get sooo annoyed with emails that lack decent subject lines. I get a lot at work that say "information" or some other such non-subject. So rather than skimming down the emails to see what applies to me, I end up reading a bunch of group messages with no relevance. I do get scared whenever facebook emails me that I have been tagged in a photo. And am right there with you on the "Mom" subject line! There aren't many subject lines from the kids' schools that DON'T scare me.

Kristina P. said...

Hoff Has Died.

Jenny Hart Boren said...

My son always starts bad-news calls with "don't worry, I'm fine". Makes whatever comes next just a little easier! I recommend this approach. And: Hope your MIL gets well soon.

Brenda Susan said...

LOL! How about....Subject: Need to Talk


Subject: Sorry About This

K A B L O O E Y said...

I dread phone calls more than emails. (I've gotten really bad news over the phone, but not email, so there. I'm Pavlov's dog with a computer hookup.) But the phone messages I dread start with scary air between all the words and just say "please call me as soon as you can."

Ellen aka Ellie said...

Unless you're one of my stepkids, you know to NOT send important news via the 'Net, at least not to immediate family. (They break this rule all the son has learned from them what NOT to do!)

And, in defense of teachers, this one (me) sends pleasant emails to her students' parents fairly regularly.

However, whenever I call a parent or any of friends (none whose children go to school in our district) they're always freaked out by the caller I.D.'s "Batavia Public Schools."

Liz said...

I am guilty of doing this, but sending a message with the subject line :( is probably not the best either.

In a related note, when I was a teenager, if I wanted to confess about something I had done, I would write a letter to my parents and leave it on their bed before I went to sleep. But I would also leave notes about how great they were, etc. I later learned they absolutely panicked any time they saw a note on the bed.

Julia said...

Subject line: Don't be mad

Subject line: Call me!

Subject line: Overdraft

I've actually had those from my college kids.

Fatalistic, Realistic, Pessimistic

I'm a professional at being all of those.

You make me laugh out loud. We may be twin sisters of different mothers.

xoxo, Julia

Christy said...

All I have to say is: MEN! ARGH!

Dreaded subject lines would include my kids' names, 'we have to talk' and things like today, or this weekend...

Chris - Just Being A Mama said...

Subject: Your account

Did I forget to send a cheque? Did someone hack into one of our accounts? Will they cut the power? How much more money do I need to send them now? etc... I get anxiety until I open the email and usually it's a statement or something similar!

But 'Today' as a subject is really not cool when you're a mom! What did they do now...

Leslie said...

What a GREAT post. Ha ha, I'm laughing about how he still sees nothing wrong with titling an email "mom"!

I agree with Brenda: Need to Talk

That puts butterflies in my stomach even by typing it myself!

Anonymous said...

Mine is always: "Bank Account"
from the hubs. . . as in "are you buying things you shouldn't be?" Yikes.

Shana said...

From: 22yr old son living two states away

Subject: Bail

Heidi said...

I'm the one that sends emails with ominous subject lines like 'money' or 'account' or the dreaded 'today' to Scott. I bet sometimes he just hates me. :)


Good work!


Beautiful pictures