I am (not) down with bcc. Yeah, you (don’t) know me (and anyone else on this invite list).

There have been many agitating decisions made in the dawn of Trump’s presidency, but one of the most alarming developments is the triumphant return of the Blind Carbon Copy e-mail – simply known as the bcc. If you’re one of those individuals who unnecessarily turn nouns into verbs and gerunds, I speak of being “bcc’d” or “bccing you.”

The bcc practice has been around for quite some time, but my disdain for it goes back as far as February of 2012, when I started writing this tirade. The history of the Carbon Copy (cc) supposedly begins in an era when memos were still written by typewriters and on carbon paper. Though the Blind Carbon Copy (bcc) existed pre-e-mail, it has become an e-mail-era phenomenon. Please note that the aforementioned sources for the previous historical and etymological explanation are Yahoo! Answers, Quora, Wikipedia, and StackExchange, so it is, by today’s standards, impenetrably factual and if you disagree, I will crush your feelings.

Somehow, the e-mail bcc extended beyond the realm of passive aggressive workplace practices and seeped into the world of social invitations. You’ve experienced it before – an e-mail appears in your inbox that serves as an invitation to a gathering, a wedding, a séance, a lesbian dance party that begins at 12 PM and ends at 3 PM, or, most recently, a protest. The e-mail is sent from the sender to the sender with your e-mail as the sole entry in the bcc field leaving you to wonder, “Who the hell is getting this e-mail other than me?”

To be clear, I believe bccing is an acceptable practice in most circumstances, especially for events that require a vigilant eye on privacy. However, I detest the bcc practice for intimate social gatherings like a non-political house party (do those exist anymore?), a non-political birthday picnic (do those exist anymore?), or a non-political dinner with girlfriends (do those exist anymore?).

Since I recently turned 30, I often play the cost-benefit analysis game for social appearances that require my being out past my 10 PM bedtime. I’d like to know in advance if my weekend viewing of “Chill with Bob Ross” on Netflix is worth nixing for an interesting mix of people. After all, Bob Ross and his landscapes are wonderful all of the time, but I can’t say the same for some people. How am I supposed to choose between a painting premised on a Van Dyke Brown color palette or, similarly, a gathering of dykes of color, if I can’t see the invite list?

I’d also like to know in advance what kind of social game I should bring. Will I find a friend? Will I have to familiarize myself with the Marxist-Leninist policies of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez? Will I need to know Joss Whedon’s entire filmography because it supposedly extends beyond Firefly? As of late, I’d like to anticipate if this crowd of people is a La La Land, Moonlight, and/or Hidden Figures crowd.

Most of all, I’d like to know the associations you make when you start compiling a list of people in your e-mail’s “to:” field. That lump of names, sequenced in a somewhat conscious order, is a fun source of over analysis and overthinking. A guest list is a stream of consciousness wherein the writing of one person automatically necessitates thinking of another person. At times, I understand why I am juxtaposed next to certain people: I’m lumped with all the Vietnamese people, all of the people who are most likely to bring a carbonated beverage to a potluck rather than something substantial, etc. However, at least once, I have thought to myself, “Why did she think of me after that fucking weirdo? Am I a fucking weirdo too?”

Finally, I miss the days of contemplating my standing in a social hierarchy based on my placement in the Gmail “to:” list, which is undoubtedly tiered like this:

  • First third of names: Indisputably the most important people invited. A few of these individuals may be beneficiaries of your workplace benefits and/or life insurance should you die. If these individuals fail to show up to your gathering without explanation, they will no longer be the beneficiaries of your workplace benefits and/or life insurance should you die.
  • Second third of names: Fun acquaintances that bring a lot of non-embarrassing joy to your social circles. These individuals have not thrown up in your bathroom sink yet, which is great.
  • Last third of names: Miscellaneous mix of people who are invited for reasons included, but not limited to: ex-boyfriend or girlfriend who you are trying with much failure to “just be friends with”; people you once loved as friends and/or family, but have since voted for the opposite political party; and individuals who bring a lot of joy to your social circles, but who have already thrown up in your bathroom sink twice.

Thus, in this difficult time of poor public policy and the gradual decay of civic dialogue, I’d like to swing back in the direction of just saying no the Blind Carbon Copy. If you don’t want your guests to frenetically ruminate their place in your/the universe, I would suggest the following:

Find an obvious locomotive (first person) and caboose (last person) for your invite list. By obvious, I mean your partner, your mother, your self-proclaimed best friend, hdr29@hrcoffice.com, etc. Then, in the middle part of the e-mail train/chain, alphabetize everyone else. Odds are, all the Vietnamese people will still end up lumped together and all your attendees have the appropriate amount of information to assess how quickly this non-political gathering of people will transform, inevitably, into a political one.

I am starting a lemonade stand.

When you spend about 21 years of your life as a gawky, closeted lesbian, much time is passed listening to Savage Garden, watching British romantic comedies starring Hugh Grant, and voting for Kelly Clarkson on American Idol – practices that effectively delay adolescence by about fifteen years. Suddenly, you find yourself in your early 20s, thrown into the cruel cesspool that is coming of age. Here you are, at age 22, drinking klassily like a 15-year-old boy at a New Hampshire boarding school. Suddenly, you are 24 and find yourself in a scene reminiscent of the middle school dance you tried to avoid.  It has followed you to this San Francisco lesbian bar where time seems to have died at or around 1998. There is Alanis Morrisette is blaring on the Dolby surround sound. There is little to no dancing, a lot of sheepish grins and glares, and plenty of people walking around in pants that don’t fit properly – yourself included.

And one day you wake up at age 25 and you just really, really want to run a lemonade stand. It’s a beautiful temperate day in the Bay Area and you think it will be better now than it would have been at age nine in Texas – a chubby, perspiring Vietnamese kid standing alone in unbearable Houston humidity, quietly uttering “Lemonade for Sale” to an empty cul-de-sac. The thought of that pre-pubescent voice reverberating in vast nothingness is enough to launch a series of lemonade stands!

Stand 1: Lemonade named after formerly closeted 90s pop stars, sold at the San Francisco Dyke March in June of 2012

2012-06-23 15.31.57

Featuring:  The Lance Bass (Mango Lemonade), The Queen Latifah (Nectarine Basil Lemonade), The Ricky Martin (Watermelon Lemonade), and The Sporty Spice (Indeed, she is gay in all of our imaginations…Strawberry Mint).  And my partner as an extremely suave lemonade hustler.

Lemonade Stand 2: Jenny from the Block Lemonade Stand – Jennifer Lopez themed lemonade, sold at a yard sale in the Upper Haight, July 2012

Price: “Our love don’t cost a thing, thing, thing – donations accepted.”

2012-07-22 13.23.02

Featuring: “Waiting for (it) toRipe” (Basil Nectarine Lemonade) and “I’m Real (Strawberries) REEEEEEMIXXXX Featuring Mint” (Self Explanatory).

This one was inspired by my irrational love of Jennifer Lopez for introducing non-Tejano music listening ears to Selena.  As we all know, in Texas, Selena is Jesus, Jesus is God, and God is president because Barack Obama is a Muslim.*

Coming soon to Washington, DC – stand 3: Flamboyantly pink lemonades named after conservative Supreme Court Justices.

Featured flavors to be determined, but it will most definitely feature a “Clarence Thomas” lemonade with quiet, near silent tones of mint.

*Editor’s Note:  Barack Obama is not a Muslim.

I am thinking the Shoe Horn is going to win it all.

In honor of the apathy I feel about the final game in the 2013 NCAA basketball tournament between Michigan and Louisville (and my thorough disappointment in Georgetown’s consistent first and second-round bow outs in the past seven years that I have been a Hoya), the following is a bracket I drew simulating a tournament between random and popularized inanimate objects:


Click Image to Enlarge.

In watching and reading about college sports, I have noticed that the activity is a very particular narrative written by commentators like Dick Vitale and, most recently, a supposedly sober Charles Barkley.  The language of the commentary attempts to elevate the sport to an inspirational tale through poorly constructed analogies like “Cinderella” (which I won’t believe unless the game magically becomes an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race) or establish something as worth watching like a “classic” rivalry.

Nevertheless, here are match highlights:

Freddie Prinze Jr. vs. Lumiere, the flirtatious candlestick from Beauty and the Beast: Lumiere has mad game (zing!) and has excellent chemistry with the Angela Lansbury-voiced teapot, which will make for a formidable team.  Meanwhile, I remember very little about She’s All That other than the fact that Usher will DJ my prom-themed wedding.

John Boehner vs. Inanimate Carbon Rod: A close match, but the Inanimate Carbon Rod has won employee of the month at least once.  The same cannot be said about the House Speaker.

Spoon vs. Knife: Although the Knife has the edge (ROTFL) in this match, I pick the Spoon because of its history of rough and licentious play.

Monocle vs. Cane: A classic, vintage rivalry between two solid opponents (LOL).  I pick the Monocle as this tournament’s “Cinderella” story.

16” Dubs vs. Ice from Jacob the Jeweler: I predict that the Dubs will steamroll this matchup because wheels and cars are fully capable of doing this.

Madonna’s “GHV2” vs. Mariah Carey’s “#1”: An even match that will be close to the very end, but this gay believes in the second half surge of “Take a Bow,” “What It Feels Like For a Girl,” “Ray of Light,” and “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.