Reply All

This is an amalgam post because I can’t settle my mind.

In my usual overanlyzing of my own behavior I have been musing on my usage of Reply All vs Reply. These are all social situations, not business, where of course there is a whole protocol for Reply and Reply All. Maybe that’s the problem, we need Miss Manners to weigh in on usage.

The Reply All that I’m fussing over is when it seems like the person wants to be noticed for their reply. That they are clever, or compassionate or properly outraged/impressed. I always feel like it takes away from the message to have others witness it, makes it smaller somehow. But then maybe the “All” think that I don’t care if they don’t see my reply. Making me “not a nice person”. So then I am back to the beginning – who is the message about? Me or the recipient? And am I not using the Reply All so I can feel morally superior? I think I need a massage, which, believe it or not, follows perfectly logically from the previous paragraph.

I feel like I have been extra jumbled what with the bombings in Boston, the ricin letters in DC and now the fertilizer plant explosion, because we are facing death much closer to home right now. A beloved great Aunt, who has a lived a full 93 years, suffered a stroke and is entering hospice.

Processing death, and the fear of death and dying, has moved from the abstract to the concrete and the number of years you have had with the person never seems to matter.

The cause of death is birth is a phrase my husband and I said to our daughter when she was small and her grandfather died. It’s not any consolation but it is a means of allowing the truth of death to exist as par of life rather than as something hidden. I don’t know if the idea helped explain, or if she even remembers, I’ll have to ask her.

The point is that the charming, still beautiful, and beloved Great Aunt will die. We will grieve, we will miss her, but we will not forget her. And people who are anonymous (to us) will be killed by random violence, and we will decide, again, if we will live in fear, or just live.

In the midst of this I will continue to analyze my behavior in excruciating detail. We all have our coping mechanisms. Mine is just a little weirder than yours.

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