You just don’t know.
That lady who cut you off this morning? Maybe she was just delivered the straw that broke the camel’s back before leaving the house that morning.
The guy who jumped the concessions line at the movie theater? Maybe his mind was just somewhere else. Or hell, maybe his vision isn’t so hot. (Well, did you see where he picked his seat for the show?)
When you sign up for my newsletter (and I hope you will) the only information I ask for is your email address, which I think is fair since I need it to send you your newsletter. I also ask for some other stuff, but it’s not mandatory. Your name, for example, and where you found me.
I ask you if you like cheese. Or don’t like cheese. Or whether you think the whole question is stupid. Because…
Well, I didn’t know why when I set it up. Maybe I thought it would be cute, and kind of ease the awkwardness of blatant information harvesting. But once I set it up, I became fascinated by the answers, particularly those who would JUDGE ME by indicating that yes, indeedy, they thought that question was S-T-U-P-I-D, too stupid, in fact, to answer. Only, you know, they were answering it.
Which started to rile me, then worry me. Were there people signing up for my newsletter who hated me? Who were just doing it so they could judge me? Would they eagerly await each month’s new release, sharing it with their friends as they all laughed and laughed at how S-T-U-P-I-D it was?
Then today, annmarie commented on one of my posts. And in the comment, after leaving some very sweet and encouraging words about the blog, she confessed that she had checked the “I hate cheese” box accidentally…and it had been bothering her ever since.
So thank you, annmarie. Not just for the kind words, but for Lesson #19: You don’t know what you don’t know.