Happy New Year. I sincerely hope it is one.
I usually don’t make resolutions, but there’s at least one I’ve got to announce this year.
I resolve not to react with anger to anything I hear or read.
Now that’s pretty easy, because I’m an easy-going person. Everybody says so, so it must be true.
But I got a recent slight that got to me.
If you read a Tuesday Galveston paper, you know my column has been appearing there for some years. Before that, it aired in the Sunday editions. Funny or sad, good or bad, I’ve been spouting off for a long time.
And once in a while, one of the people who reads my words reacts with a little email back at me. Sometimes more than one.
Sometimes they’re critical. Sometimes full of praise. Either way, it’s part of the fun of writing — even when I get blasted.
But this month I’ve had a new experience. I wrote a column about sports team’s nicknames and mascots. I got a quick blast from a reader who was appalled I could remember the Bearcats of Sherman High School, but forgot the team from Austin College, also in Sherman.
They’re the Kangaroos, which is as bizarre as things can get. Needless to say, I was mortified. And said so, back at the reader.
Then I got a response about the Sooners, who told me they were called that because they cheated during the land rush and also took possession of lands “stolen from the Native Tribes.”
And that email came from a man in Delaware!
Shaking with curiosity, I quickly wrote back my usual “thanks for writing” adding that I was stunned to get mail from Delaware and how did that happen?
And there’s where the story turns evil.
I got a message: “To control spam, I now allow incoming messages only from senders I have approved beforehand.”
Then it asks me to fill out a form to be added to a list of his approved senders. Once he approves me, he will add me to his list.
The form includes one of those sets of weird capital letters and numbers, which I’m asked to copy. How about that?
I followed the directions dutifully. I haven’t heard back. But how dumb it is sending a note and not allow a reply. Dumb.
So that’s why I’m resolving not to fall in with the mood of the times, which seems to encourage everybody to go to war with everybody else. From the President down, the international mood is anger. I blame him for a lot of it.
I refuse to join the crowd.
Little Mary Sunshine, that’s me.
Editor’s note: Cathy Gillentine’s column typically appears on Tuesdays but was preempted this week by the newspaper’s annual “101 Things to Love About Galveston County,” which by long tradition is published Jan. 1. Her column will return to its regular schedule next week.