You’ll excuse me if I go WTF?!

In my experience with INS, I have learned never to trust an e-mail sent by someone using AOL. You may laugh, but invariably any time I open an email sent by somebody at it’s an anti. But still, much like the optimist searching for the pony in the pile of horseshit, I open them anyway as I did this morning. And … what a surprise, an anti! However, it was a pleasant and polite anti, albeit one with, by her own admission, a strange request. The text has not been altered:


I was wondering if you would be up for something completely unordinary. My standpoint is pro-life, and I came across your website while preparing a presentation for a large group of teenagers. The focus of my presentation was ‘respect life’, and that was the message I worked to communicate.

As I’m sure my belief is frustrating to you, your’s is to me. I saw in the FAQ section that you live in VA. I would love to meet you and discuss this topic. I’m a 29 year old woman that lives in NY and would be willing to fly down to VA in order for the opportunity to meet with you.

You’re probably thinking that this is a ridiculous request, but I believe it is one that could be fruitful for both of us. For two adult women with opposite sides of the spectrum beliefs, meeting to converse as women.

Please let me know if you would be interested in this.

I’m not a paranoid person by nature and the wording is very nice but it still set off my creep meter loudly enough to startle my cats. I let her know that in my reply as well, couched as respectfully as someone going GAH WTF can do when on the receiving end of something like this. It’s natural caution. I don’t think anyone would go running out to meet someone with whom they’ve never spoken or corresponded who sent them an e-mail. Like a lot of people I’ve met others on the internet who I later met in person. For the most part it’s worked out well, but a lot can be hidden behind a web facade. But asking for a face-to-face meeting on the basis of one e-mail and expecting the other person to say “Okay, when and where?” is major presumption. Not to mention creepy as fuck.