When Gentlemen Gossip

I wrote, 'We must shake hands on that, for umpteen have been the times that my heart too has grieved over the apathy of my coterie. In fact, the name of my mailing list is 'Busybuddies' (sounding somewhat like busybodies).
But let us not exhaust our sorrow there: non-replying to forwards must be having an explanation. What really amazes me is the disuse of the Reply button for personal mails! Are they trying to make a statement ('I'm a busy man. I don't have time to reply to mails.')? Am I just out of touch in a world where lack of replies is acceptable and commonplace? No, it beats me. And to top it all, a month or two hence would land on my Facebook wall or GTalk IM window a perfunctory 'Hey, what's up?' from the party in question.'
He replied, 'You're touching, no, hammering a raw nerve there! Although I don't think it is less of a crime to not reply to forwards (you actually thought of them when you came across something, there *must* be some value to that), let's proceed to this dreary personal mail business.

I completely agree! Reams upon reams of personal mails share a fate that would make those dreaded silent chambers in the Russian gulags seem kind and benign flower-gardens. Nobody is busy enough to not write at least a one-liner or a thank-you note. What vexes me the most is, any attempts at humour not bordering on textbook jokes will seem pitifully puerile every passing day without a reply. "Uh, wait, I thought (s)he was going to reply.. it's been a week now, maybe I shouldn't have put in that pun." "Ouch, maybe this should have been more formal?" and finally "Wait, did I do something wrong?". And there's something rankly insincere about these 'wassups'. It is almost as if a social to-do is being ticked off a list.
It is also sobering to note that this is perhaps not a phenomenon restricted to the overly busy days that we purport ourselves to be in. Old chappie Russel once lamented, "A sense of duty is useful in work but offensive in personal relations. People wish to be liked, not to be endured with patient resignation."
The most hurtful part of this entire business is that most of the time, the party simply doesn't care. That little spike of happiness on reading a witty line or an 'Ah, that's clever' moment isn't there; consequently, this makes the universe a more disgusting place than what we'd have previously thought.
The funny part is that most people are fairly regular when corresponding with strangers, but with closer acquaintances, a pattern seems to naturally emerge irrespective of factors like intelligence, writing/typing ability, social standing, etc. Some people seem to be born with the idea that mails must be responded to, and not doing so is extremely rude. This breed is likely not to insert 'With Best Regards' as part of its signature, and will instead prefer to type it out. The other breed seem to think of emails as being of equal importance as (on good days) an ad on the radio. Heaven help him who hath a mate from an unlike breed.
One also wonders how one can continue living Life with equanimity when forced (by the vagaries of Fate or more cruelly, Cupid) to correspond with this breed. I find it impossible to brush away repeated non-response as 'only human' or look kindly at it. I'm not also able to figure how to politely inform people I'm infuriated by this. I have taken to Meditation and (more recently) Binaural Beats to not change the original plan of Mother Nature having the pleasure to pull my hairs out. I ask you in desperation, JUST HOW DO YOU COPE?'

2 Obiter dicta:

Anonymous Pscychobabble couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

Eloquently gossiped.

I agree with most points except the one about the forwards.

My anathema to forwards is perhaps not universal, yet, I have always believed mails are for people to communicate more seriously, or perhaps, let's say in a more voluminous, less inane sort of way.

I agree with the observations made and would like to attach my share of experience to attest its truth and also, if i dare generalize, its universality, too. People think that they are too busy to take a moment and type a reply; or even, perhaps, a mail which is not a reply, but which could've been the first of a volume of mails.
But, I think the primary reason for this indifference is because most are too lazy to write and in most cases, they are Too caught up in their laziness that they don't write at all. "I was busy" is a subconcious response to our concerned questioning and is something which most times, I fear, even they do not believe.

This is one of the reason my experiences with mailing have only led to disappointment and self-doubt. Which in turn, i fear, has led me to think twice before mailing, giving each in my address book only so much information that i think they can promptly reply to. This that they do not need to shy away from writing big mails, and thus, putting up a farcical facade of having been "in touch". I have in an attempt to find a solution which does not lead to my becoming a nagging fool, taken up calling up people.

"The funny part is that most people are fairly regular when corresponding with strangers, but with closer acquaintances...."
I vehemently agree: 'I cross my legs and hope to pee'

But, as an addition, I would like to observe (in a general manner, and not to cause any scandal during our gentlemenly discussions), this concern is mainly, if not wholly, limited to the replies of the female counterparts of our species. Somehow, our dejection is muffled if we do not get prompt replies to our mails from our male circle of friends, when compared to our more vociferous one in the former case. Is it because we can understand how it is that a man can have absolutely no time to type a mail even if he sits in front of a computer the whole day, or is it because he would rather appear to be indifferent than sentimental? Or is there something lacking in our effort to be able to understand the psyche of the other party in our anger? Or, in particular, of how less we understand of how the female psyche works when it is confronted with the seemingly ghastly proposal of writing a mail.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Vinay Hegde couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

Just one comment for this post? Tch.. tch.. I was convinced, when reading the post, that I'll find a barrage of juicy arguments and spiced-up discussions. I am disappoint.

Well, I know it was ages ago and shall therefore not comment further.

5:51 PM  

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