Anonymously Yours


From Wikimedia Commons by Friedrich Bohringer

Lately I’ve gotten a lot of anonymous comments to my blog. You know the kind. Highly personal, beautifully written, heartfelt notes like this:

Hello, after гeading thiѕ аwesome aгticle i am
as well glad tο share mу knowledge
hеre with сolleagues.CSI: New York Season X Episode XFeel free to visit my web-siteCSI: New York Season X Episode X

Don’t worry, to further protect Anonymous’s identity, I’ve removed all ultra personal information (like which episode of CSI and the link to the very personal website).

And I really enjoyed this comment, left on my post about my broken dishwasher (I think the Cyrillic letter “K” really adds a special touch, don’t you?):

Oκ, enοugh ѕaid. This wаs probably
the best article I havе read tοdaу аnd I
oftеn do rеsеаrch daily on the subjеct of оnline tarot rеading.Thanks for ѕharing with the world. Cheers!My web blog ; believe in psychic readings

Seriously, I’m so happy it was the best article you read today, but I don’t think a Tarot reading will help me fix my broken dishwasher.

More than anything, this spate of anonymous comments got me thinking about another anonymous missive I received a long time ago, way before the Internet was even a gleam in Al Gore’s eye (no, I really don’t believe that).

In high school I received a long love letter including a beautiful poem—a young man, too shy to approach me and pledge his undying love. I remember sitting in my family room with my brother and one of his friends (let’s call him Roberto), analyzing the note and its heartfelt poem …

Roses are red, violets are blue 

Sugar is sweet and so are you 

We howled until we cried. It wasn’t until ten years later I found out it was Roberto himself who sent the love note. It’s too bad he didn’t tell me in person because if he had he would’ve found out I always had a bit of a crush on him, too, especially at Christmas time when he sang The Christmas Song. He could really croon.

My anonymous blog commenters could learn a thing or two from this lesson—come forward and identify yourself. Maybe it’s a mutual thing and I really wouldwatch that favorite episode of CSI or have my Tarot cards read.

You never know.


Have you ever received an anonymous (truly heartfelt) letter? Are you, like me, experiencing a spike in anonymous blog comments?

Cheers,
Julia


Comments

  1. Barb Riley says:

    Aw, poor Roberto. Sounds like you might’ve inadvertently broken his heart? I’m sure MEH is okay with that. 😉 Someone once shoved an anonymous “love” letter into my locker my freshman year of h.s., and I remember feeling sooooo weirded out b/c it was rather intimate. It made me really uncomfortable that he could profess these feelings of love and infatuation, and I didn’t even know who he was. I read it right before I went into class, and I recall feeling creeped out that he might be in the class. Not b/c I thought I was above him, but since it was so personal, I wondered whether or not it was a practical joke, and being a shy person, I never wanted that kind of attention on me. In the end, I never found out who it was. My friends and I speculated but to no avail. I’m not a fan of anonymity on the blog comments, either. Ugh, what a strange way for companies to target people for business.

    • Yes, I’m afraid I did inadvertently break his heart (and I felt so lousy when I realized that he probably thought I was laughing at him). However, MEH is absolutely OK with it… perhaps needless to say 😉 I know what you mean about wondering in anonymous situations if it’s perhaps a practical joke, too… for instance, believe it or not, guess who told me those 10 years later that it was Roberto? MY BROTHER who thought it was HILARIOUS (he knew all along and really was laughing at Roberto).

  2. I received a ransom note for one of my stuffed animals in college. Fun stuff indeed.

    I personally love those anonymous comments where they ask my advice on how to protect from spam or hackers. I always want to say . . . make you stay away from the computer.

    • Aw, a ransom note sounds so cute for a stuffed animal… a good way to break the stress and make new friends :) I never get the requests for advice on how to protect from spam or hackers! It’s incredible how many different kinds there are, isn’t it?

  3. What a sweet gesture from Roberto. I’ve never had a poem written for me but my friend and I were serenaded with a Tom Petty song by two lovely boys and their guitars. I know, you’re thinking — Tom Petty? Not terribly romantic, but it was college and that was probably the only song they knew how to play.

    (I was going to leave this comment anonymously but then thought better of it. 😉 )

    • It was a sweet gesture, and Roberto was/is a really nice guy! Being serenaded (Tom Petty or otherwise) IS a very sweet and romantic gesture, I think. And if you DO post anonymously, I can’t promise your comment will ever make it live 😉

  4. Crazy spam blog comments! I’ve had a few of those and I can’t imagine that they’re the least bit effective.

    When I was in college, I got an anonymous card with two dozen roses. It was right before the end of the year and I went home for the summer with no idea who had sent them. In the fall, I found out who they were from and a few years later I married him. :)

    • No, I doubt they’re too effective, especially since they’re all filtered out. I just can’t believe how many more I get than I used to… used to be one or two every few weeks and now I get at least two a day!

      That roses story is the SWEETEST! I love “how I met my spouse” stories… to be honest, I kind of collect them and have toyed with the idea of editing a non-fiction collection. Yours is right up there with the sweetest I’ve heard!

  5. JM Merchant says:

    When my blog is working (my friend who hosts it is having problems with a hacker) I get several hundred such comments everyday. It’s actually a relief when my blog crashes because I don’t have to waste time deleting them.

    How are you dealing with yours Julia?
    Jo x

    • Several HUNDREDS???? Oh my goodness, I shudder at the thought of clearing that many out of my mailbox. YIKES!! I simply delete mine, but it’s overwhelming thinking I could get that many… now I feel pretty silly for complaining! Nice to see you, Jo! Hope all (except the crashed blog) is well!

  6. Oh, Julia, I love that story about you and “Roberto.” It’s interesting to think about how if something different had been said or done along the way how our lives also might have been very different.

  7. E.J. Wesley says:

    I loved this! I’ve been getting a ton of these lately as well. (Strangely, more of them are going to a smaller blog I run, not the more popular one.) Unfortunately, most of their comments are of an ‘adult’ nature and wouldn’t be suitable to even share a little of. lol

    Spammers! Can’t live with ’em, can’t figure out their identity and beat them with their own keyboards. Am I Right? :-)

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, E.J.! Interesting that you’re getting more, too. How weird, I’m getting NO “adult only” comments, isnt’ that weird? I’ve been a little surprised (but happy, don’t get me wrong), so I better not jinx myself! And yes, I wish we could beat them at their game (or with their keyboards!).

  8. I received a series of love letters while I was in high school with a steady boyfriend. The final love letter arrived weeks after my longtime boyfriend and I broke up, which revealed, “It’s time someone else got a chance now that you’re not with Doug.” It was a bit awkward when I found out it was one of the guys in my large group of friends….

    Your Roberto story is precious! And thank goodness hubby set up a good spam blocker. I rarely see those comments (though, trolling through my spam box, I’ve found some interesting ones).

    • I can see why your anonymous letter was awkward… that’s exactly what I think might’ve been the case if I’d known it WAS Roberto at the time.. just not meant to be. I wish I didn’t see the messages either, they really clog my mailbox, but of course, why didn’t I think of it… I’ll set up my spam filter in my mailbox, not just on blogger, to catch them too! Thanks for the idea, Melissa!

  9. Hi Julia. I get those weird anonymous comments all the time on my blog, too. Thankfully they do get blocked. I received roses delivered to me at the front office when I was in high school- from a “secret admirer.” I was a little freaked out, and was telling a guy friend about it. I said, “It’s probably from some creepy guy that lurks in the halls. . .” Turned out, it was from him. He had recently broken up with my best friend, and I wrote him a scathing letter after that. Wish I still had a copy, I’m sure it was good! Ahh, poor Roberto.

    • Yes, thank goodness for blocking! It’s the clogging of the inbox that annoys me! Wow, I wish you still had a copy of that letter, too — what a blog that would make… can’t believe he didn’t fess up when you were freaked out and also that he’d just broken up with your best friend. WOW!! That’s quite the story!

  10. WordPress catches most of these before they hit my comments, but it’s fun to go in and read them now and then, and then cheerfully delete, delete, delete!

    Roberto’s love letter story is so sweet. Thanks for sharing, Julia :)

    • Blogger catches mine, too… but I still see them in my mailbox. I just think it’s so interesting that there are so many more! I wonder if there’s more automated software out there or something?

      Glad you enjoyed Roberto’s story… I wonder if he has any idea it’s still being told after all these years!

  11. John says:

    Yes, I am definitely seeing an uptick in these sorts of dumv comments. I have two quick stories about attempted annonymity, both centered around Valentine’s day.
    Once when I was in the 8th grade, I was quite attracted to the girl who sat at the desk facing mine. We often had deep conversations about any and everything, and as the odd blind kid, very few others felt compelled to get so close to me. On V-day, I nervously typed her a card, deliberately leaving off my name. I flung it across the table, heart hammering, as class ended. “Ah John, that’s sweet!” she said to my rapidly retreating form. Funny thing is now I have no idea what I said in that note.
    More recently, I wrote a post asking people to annonymously express their feelings and thoughts about me. I figured people would be more candid, and they were. Everything was still nice, though. Someone said she was drawn to my writing, having something like a school girl’s crush that often made her too shy to comment. I got a couple others like that, and two years later I still wonder who those folks were. Ah, well.
    Thanks for this post. I enjoyed reflecting.

    • So glad you enjoyed the post, John! And glad to know others have seen an increase in anonymous comments. That’s a sweet story about 8th grade, you’re her “Roberto”! And I agree that sometimes people are more candid anonymously… but I’m glad Twitter friends leave their names — thanks for the comment! :)

  12. Kathryn says:

    Not sure what’s going on but I’ve had a ton of anonymous comments on my blog too. Some of them definitely make me laugh out loud.

  13. Julie Luek says:

    I do get those blasted comments. Fortunately, Blogger seems to keep most of them off the actual blog and I “spam” the ones in my email so hopefully block them.

    I got an anonymous packet of poems once in the mail. It was back in the day of chain letters and that’s what I thought it was, but upon closer inspection, they were too personal. Turns out it was from a guy from high school who ended up being a semi-stalker over the next 20 years. Never dangerous, just a tad creepy. That was a fun story, huh! 😉

    • I have now marked the anonymous ones to go into spam in my mailbox — can’t believe I didn’t think of this before (thank you and other commenters for this reminder!). Ugh, stalkers and semi-stalkers are very creepy and scary. Sorry you had that happen to you, Julie!

  14. I can say that I never had an anonymous love letter. What a cute story — but how embarrassing at the time. I did have a friend show up at my door with flowers. After seeing him standing there with the bouquet, I really wanted us just to stay friends. That was a little embarrassing too. And a very long time ago.

    • Yes, very embarrassing at the time I got the letter and at the time I discovered it was Roberto himself. Those moments, like yours with the friend with flowers, are very awkward and embarrassing — I had a few moments like that myself, and I’m glad they were a long time ago, too.

  15. Annie says:

    Oh, spam. I don’t have to deal with *too* many spam comments, as my Akismet does a fairly good job of filtering them out automatically. I have had a ridiculous increase in spam registered users, though. People who sign up to be “members” of my site, but their usernames and email addresses are clearly spam. I don’t even understand why they do this; no one sees that list but me, so they aren’t gaining anything. I find it very annoying, and not nearly as amusing as a random tarot reader. 😉

    • How bizarre that anonymous users sign up as registered users — that’s never happened to me, and I could see why it would be annoying. I can remove people from receiving my email notifications (on feedburner), but I’ve never had reason to. I agree, not nearly as amusing as the random tarot card reader (or not so random, I get these more than once a week!). Here’s to a decrease in spam and anonymous readers in general!

  16. Lisa Ahn says:

    Oh, poor Roberto! I have never gotten an anonymous note. I think it would completely freak me out. I do get a lot of odd anonymous blog comments, filtered through Askimet. I’ve also been getting a lot of weird email spam from dating sites. My husband thinks it’s funny. Great post Julia!

    • Yes, when I think back on that moment, it is indeed “poor Roberto.” However, I’m very happy to tell you that he’s done VERY well for himself and leads a wonderfully happy life! It did freak me out a bit, hence the get together to laugh about it, leavened the mood! I get those dating sites comments, too! And also emails inviting me to join. They’re pretty funny, but it annoys me that (just like telemarketers by phone) there’s not a lot we can do to stop these people! Glad you enjoyed the post, Lisa!

  17. Ann says:

    I replied to this a hundred times in my mind. When I was a young teenager, I had a crush on a guy (his name was Mike). I wrote him an anonymous poem once and never said it was me. It was the beginning of the school year and (since we had several classes together) it drove him crazy all year. I know because he asked me several times if I knew who wrote it….never IF I wrote it, but if I knew who.

    The day before we moved out of the area I called him (LONG before cell phones and caller ID). We talked and flirted for about an hour. During this conversation, he tried and tried to get me to tell him who I was (another anonymous moment) but I didn’t.

    Finally at the end of the lovely and long conversation, I told him who I was.

    I WAS THE GIRL WHO SENT HIM THE POEM!
    I WAS THE GIRL WHO WAS IN LOVE WITH HIM FOR TWO LONG YEARS!

    IF HE DIDN’T KNOW WHO I WAS, IT WAS TOO LATE….I WAS MOVING

    ….AND HE MISSED OUT ON…ME! (and I never told him my name)

    It was a defining moment for me. When I hung up the phone, I cried and came thru liberated. If I wanted something, I garnered up the courage and asked looking straight in the eye. I have never, never been accused after that of not knowing what I wanted.

    I never wanted another anyone else like that, so I never asked.

    ….then one day I met this guy.
    (and yesterday we celebrated our 29th anniversary)

    • How I love this story, Ann!! I’m so very happy you shared it — so sweet and so well told. I can’t believe he never guessed and you never told… like my Roberto, who knows how the story might have ended if I’d known… if you’d told. LIke you, I’ve never been accused of not knowing what I wanted — and not letting it be known!

      Thank you again for the lovely story! I enjoyed reading it so much! (And big congratulations on the wonderful anniversary yesterday. Fabulous!)