I’ve written a couple of nasty emails lately. Have you ever gotten those? Someone on a committee gets mad about something and sends a spiteful email that makes someone else mad and pretty soon emails are flying from all directions and you can’t wait to get the next one to see just how far some people will go.

My son had a couple of roommates his second year in college and I tried to be the good coordinator by emailing the other parents, who I hadn’t met, and starting a list of things for the boys to bring so we’d know who was responsible for what. We got it all sorted out – who had a couch and who had a table. It was all great fun.

Then my son went down to actually put the first month rent on the place, and since he was the one who got there first, he claimed the big bedroom. I thought that was fair enough, and so did one other mom, but the third one whose son lived with his dad, decided to take issue with it – after my son had already moved his stuff in.

Polite emails went back and forth. I kept saying, “Let’s let the boys work it out,” but she would counter with different things like, “well, they should draw straws.”

“Let’s let the boys work it out.”

“Well, they should base it on who’s the tallest,” stuff like that. Back and forth, over and over, with my reply always being, “Let’s let the boys work it out.”

Finally she got herself worked up and said, “If your son ends up in that room then he should pay more money.” She sent this, like all the others, to all the parents.

“What do you have in mind?” I emailed back.

“I think he should pay $75 more per month,” she said.

“For that much money, your son can have it. Make the check out to me.”

She didn’t like that. She sent me an email back addressed only to me that said, “ESAD.”

I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I had a feeling it wasn’t good. I looked it up on the internet. Mind you, this is coming from a mother who was probably around my age. Google said that this little pleasantry she emailed to me meant “Eat S___ and Die.”

I was livid, and I would have smacked her if I could have gotten my hand in the computer. I wanted to email back some ugly ugly stuff but for some reason I didn’t.

There’s always a level head who steps in to stop the madness, and in our case it was the dad of the third kid. He told us to all back off and LET THE BOYS WORK IT OUT THEMSELVES. I wasn’t about to give any more input, and none of us ever heard from that mom again. I quit emailing to her – I went directly to the dad.

I love emails because they get things done quickly, and I should have more sense than to email unpleasantness, but sometimes I can’t resist. It’s like those old sitcoms where someone mails a letter and then climbs into the mailbox to try and fish it back out when they have remorse. Once it’s been emailed, it’s a done deal. I only wish I could remember this when I lose my temper.