There are those who don’t feel it, because they’re onto the body of the email
And, frankly, it doesn’t matter to them how they’re addressed,
As long as it isn’t a final demand or a court summons.
But there are others – like me, like very much me – who get stuck on the name.
On the use of the name. Of the full name. Of the first name and the last name.
Sitting there so boldly at the top of the missive.
As if being addressed by someone who doesn’t understand proper salutations,
Who wants to sit between the formal and the informal,
Who likes the idea that you’re not fond of hearing it in full,
Like you once did in the playground,
In the street,
When they were calling after you
That it has connotations, associations; that it can make you feel like a kid
That first day in the new class, when the teacher got every other name in the register wrong
Because they could.
It’s like you’re being addressed by someone in a second (or third) language.
It itches with passive aggression.
It provokes an instant dislike of the person who wrote it.
What’s wrong with Mr? Aren’t I worthy of a Mr?
Why not the familiar first name? Am I really that unfriendly?
What are you trying to tell me even before you’ve told me anything?
Why’d you think I’m going to take it?
I’m not going to take it.
Damn well insult me in my own inbox.
How very dare you.
And no, it doesn’t make any difference that you’re automated or you’re a mail merge or you’re spam.
I’ve got the measure of you.
I know your full name.
Try it on once more, and I’ll be telling you what that is.