What to Do If You Get Emails for the Wrong Person


Opening my email to see an invite to a fall luncheon, I rolled my eyes. Not because I’m not a fan of luncheons (quite the opposite!) but because this invitation, like so many other emails I had received, was intended for someone else.

When I snagged my email address early on in Gmail’s creation, I felt lucky to have a simple, straightforward handle. But it soon turned into a curse. There were other E Hugs out there, and their friends and family were all too quick to hit Send before double-checking the spelling in the “to” field. I was invited to purse-making classes, dentist appointments, and Shabbat dinners. I was informed of hairstylist jobs and the arrival of my orthopedic shoe inserts. Once, I was asked to proof a bat mitzvah program.

At first, I did what any kind person would do and informed the sender of their mistake. But still they came. Why were there so many emails? And why were so many from repeat offenders? If I had to sign off on Amanda’s bat mitzvah program one more time, I was going to scream.

Driven by a desperate fervor and a slight tendency for mischief, I decided to try a different tactic. Maybe it would teach them a lesson, I thought, or at least shake things up enough that they would pay attention. I was going to start responding in character.

I wrote:

Thank you so much for the invitation to your fall luncheon!

I love luncheons, especially during the fall. I can just picture the tables covered in seasonal leaves and decorative gourds! I personally love to whip up one of my famous pumpkin pies (no cheating with those store-bought pumpkin-filling cans!) and add it to the spread. Last time I brought one, the mayor’s wife even asked for my recipe! I had to tell her that unfortunately it calls for condensed milk, as she has quite the dairy intolerance.

However, I regret to inform you that I will not be able to attend, as I live in Toronto, Canada, which is 8 hours and 18 minutes away, according to Google Maps. Especially since the Gardiner Expressway can become quite congested around peak traveling times.



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