Stop Trying to Sell Me Stuff

5 years ago
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Dear Mouthy Housewives,

There's a mom in my neighborhood who won't stop sending me emails about her latest business venture. First she was a "movie producer" and was sending unsolicited updates about her projects, then she became a spa party hostess and kept inviting me to her events and now I see that she's a personal trainer trying to get customers. She's a really nice person, but I don't know her very well and don't like getting this glorified spam.

I know the mature thing to do would be to simply ask her to take me off her email list, but that just seems mean. I see her fairly regularly at school events and don't want there to be drama. But I really hate her emails -- advice?

Stop Emailing Me


Dear Stop Emailing Me,

I know that many, many people will read this question and roll their eyes. "Really?" they'll say. "You can't just ignore an email? You have to make it into a problem?"

But I for one, totally get your irritation. Because if we all spent our days eating bon bons, fed to us by Ryan Gosling, while listening to the sounds of the ocean wash pebbles ashore, it would be easy to just press delete when the ME! ME! ME! email comes through. But as it is, we are more likely spending our days running late, remembering that we forgot part of our kids' lunch, trying to fit last night's wash into the dryer, wondering when the dishwasher will just unload itself already, noticing that our roots need a touch up, but where the hell are we going to find the time for that, thinking about what to make for dinner, worrying about our kids, and then, when we sit down to relax with our email, we'd just as soon not be spammed by our friends about crap we don't care about. So, yeah, I know why you're annoyed.

But I see you mentioned the possibility of talking to her about it, so let's take a step back and not over-react. The problem with asking her to take you off her email list is that it involves communicating with her, and that is something that can only lead to more emails and communication. Plus, hurt feelings and misunderstandings.

Deep breath.

The problem isn't that she's sending you emails about her latest business venture. The problem is that you have no interest in her business venture. And if you don't believe me, just imagine opening an email inviting you to an evening dedicated to discussing Ryan Gosling vs. Channing Tatum: Who Do You Choose and For How Long. Yeah, I'll wait right here while you RSVP to that one.

So perhaps you should be suggesting ways that she can tailor her business model to appeal to you (and I'm guessing others) on her list. When she emails about a Tupperware party, respond "will the bowls be filled with beer?" That way she knows you received the email and also that you will not be attending the latest event.

Personally, I've "marked as spam" emails from people who have me on the list. Yes, that means that I occasionally miss a real email from them, but that has been a risk I've been willing to take.

Of course if you insist on being an adult about it, you could mention to her that you'd prefer not to receive those emails because (a) you can't participate for financial/emotional/religious reasons and it makes you feel uncomfortable to be asked (b) something else.

Oh, apparently, I'm supposed to provide the (b) above, but Channing needs me.

If any of our readers has a suggestion of what SEM can tell this woman, please leave it in the comments.

Good luck,
Marinka, TMH


Photo Credit: dbarsky.

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