Check inbox if you need a friend

August 04, 2008|By KEVIN COWHERD

In my inbox, I find an e-mail from one Agnes Donaldson, who announces in the subject line that she wants to be my friend.

Sure, the two of us have never met.

But that doesn't seem to be a problem for Agnes, who seems very friendly herself.

"Hi dear," she begins breezily, "how are you today. I hope that every things is OK with you as it is my great pleasure to contact you in having communication with you, please I wish you will have the desire with me so that we can get to know each other better and see what happened in the future."

Agnes, it's obvious, is not hung up on capital letters, punctuation, word use, sentence structure and all the other stuffy rules of grammar.

She's a free spirit in her writing: warm, expressive, yet unconventional.

I like that. I think we're really going to hit it off.

And who doesn't need another friend? Especially in a world where we've grown increasingly isolated from one another.

"I will be very happy if you can write me through my email for easiest communication," she continues, "and also give you pictures and details about me."

Pictures! And details!

The truth is, I don't have nearly enough pictures of my friends. And who wouldn't want more details about what's going on in their lives?

Now here's this new friend reaching out to me and saying, in effect: Look, my life's an open book. No more games. No more lies. This is who I am. Ask me anything.

"here is my e-mail," she concludes, listing a Yahoo U.K. address. "I will be waiting to hear from you as i wish you all the best for your day. your new friend, Miss Agnes."

Miss Agnes. Now that's classy. A hint of formality and manners, but nothing overbearing. Pride, but not arrogance.

We're going to be such good friends.

Well, maybe.

After reading Miss Agnes' e-mail, it occurs to me there are so many people on the Internet who want to be my friend that I can barely keep track of them all.

You know how it is. Sometimes you get down, lonely, whatever. You think no one cares about you.

But then you log on to the computer and check your e-mail, and there are all these people asking about you. People who really care.

A few days after reading my Miss Agnes' e-mail, I receive an e-mail from a Divine Ekpere, who has a Yahoo India address and also wants to be my friend.

By now I'm thinking, "Hmmm, can you have too many friends?"

But probably not. We live in a global village. Our friendship should know no national boundaries. The U.K., India, Baltimore - reach out and touch someone. I'm good with that.

"Hello, how are you?" Divine begins. "I saw your email today and feel like contacting you."

OK, to the best of my knowledge, I have never e-mailed Divine Ekpere. I think I'd remember that name.

But let's not get picky here. She wants to be my friend. That's all that matters.

"I feel we may become matches," Divine goes on.

Oh. That kind of friend. Well, that could be a problem. Just off the top of my head, there's the issue of my being married.

Miss Agnes spoke of details. I feel I'd have to share that particular detail with Divine.

Oh, Divine might not mind. But my wife is kind of touchy about these things. You know, matches with other women.

"Kindly make a contact if you are interested," Divine continues, "so that I can give you my picture for you to know who I am."

Again with the pictures. Boy, these people love pictures.

"Thanks and remain blessed," Divine says in conclusion, then adds sweetly: "Remember the distance, colour or age does not matter, but love matters a lot in life."

Well, sure. But I already have a love.

So it looks like Divine and I won't get to be friends. But Miss Agnes and I ... well, who knows?

Pictures, details - it would all have to be worked out.

kevin.cowherd@baltsun.com

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Read recent columns by Kevin Cowherd at baltimoresun.com/cowherd

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