As a stand-alone, this crap email from a white guy with an Asian fetish to the Asian asexual woman who didn't want to date him would be a worthy addition to the Crap Email From A Dude Hall of Fame. But the crap writer of this crap email didn't stop at an overwrought, way over-the-top message to the indifferent ether; it culminated with a fake suicide so convincing that his friends thought he was dead, which means that this might be the new CEFAD standard-bearer. Strap in, campers. Bumpy crap ahead.
Our crap email recipient, a Chinese-American young woman who we'll call Emily, was close friends with the Crap Scribe, a white guy who we'll call Andrew, early in high school. Emily suspected that Andrew might have feelings for her, but she didn't feel reciprocal about him, and neither party did anything about it. Emily discovered, as high school went on, that not only did she not want to have sex with Andrew, she did not want to have sex with anybody; Emily now identifies as asexual. This did not stop Andrew from taking Emily's asexuality personally and going out with a Korean-American girl in a shitty attempt to make Emily jealous. She explains,
...he's incredibly upfront about his Asian fetish and he's not too proud of it given the imperialist connotations it carries, which I guess makes it more tolerable than the typical Asian fetish, though only slightly. Still, this was all well and good until he admitted to her that he was just using her as a temporary substitute for me and that he never really loved her in the first place.
As if making this girl cry and vomit so much that she had to miss a day of school wasn't bad enough, he then has the audacity to ask me out a few months later. Through a YouTube video, of all things.
The friendship cooled after the latest round of Andrew Not Getting It, until last December, when Emily, now a sophomore at a Very Fancy Ivy League School, received the following email from Andrew, who was attending a Prestigious Midwestern Institution.
Due to length, I've scalpeled out some of the less crappy parts, but trust me when I say that every word was 100% grade A USDA certified crap.
[Subject: Out on the road today, I saw a NOFX sticker on a Cadillac]
Prompt: Write a farewell letter of dubiously sincere quality to a former friend and love interest that you'll regret as soon as you send it.
Word limit: 500
Deadline: Like, four months ago
Here's an idea: If I had been diagnosed with a form of high-functioning autism at age 7, all my current problems would be solved.
You may have read that as a brash, yet hollow provocation designed to conceal the desiccated state of my creative wellspring.
[AND THAT'S JUST THE BEGINNING. Andrew spends several hundred words talking about how he's got all these quirks of which he is charmingly aware until he finally gets here:]
In other words, I AM AN EXCEEDINGLY SHITTY PERSON. IN MY TENURE AS A HUMAN BEING, I HAVE DONE A SHITTY, SHITTY JOB.
IF A PERSON WITH A BAD LISP SAID THE WORD "CITY", IT WOULD SOUND LIKE "SHITTY", AND THAT IS HILARIOUS.
[Andrew spends several hundred more words complaining about not having any friends despite the fact that he's a special, special snowflake and his awareness of his specialness only serves to contribute to his specialness. Also, none of these collegiate bitches would know a nice guy if it punched them in the face. Females, amirite?]
3. The longest conversation I've had with a female was a half-hour argument with this Turkish girl about the Kurdish question, in which I basically asked her why they couldn't all just get along. I still fantasize about her to this day, because nationalism is the sexiest quality a girl can have aside from rich parents.
Next comes more about Andrew not having friends and being Sad, until we get to what the letter is REALLY ABOUT.
Which brings me to the subject of this here jeremiad. If you thought the subject was me, nice guess, but no. If you thought the subject was an altered lyric from "The Boys of Summer", still no, but I appreciate that you get the reference. If you had to use Google to get the reference, mumble grumble kids these days. Anyway, the subject is you. For the past three to four years of my life, the subject has been you.
Interesting; seems like subject of this manifesto is not at all Emily, but rather "Andrew." Carry on.
Historical revisionism is one of my beloved pastimes, but I can't dodge the record forever. The Cold War is over, and you won. I've long since resigned myself to the fact that you are destined to be more successful and more renowned and, by all accounts, more happy than I'll ever be. This is non-negotiable. No exchanges, no refunds, no blood for oil. It's one of those self-evident truths for which the cliche "it goes without saying" actually makes a kernel of sense, because I really didn't need to say it; we've both known it for years. [...]
So if it goes without saying, then why am I saying it? Because while I recognize and perhaps even welcome your inevitable supremacy over all things [ANDREW], it still gnaws at me. It shouldn't, because I don't get all up in arms when I think about other people who are (or will be) more accomplished than I am (or will be). Even when some of those people are (or used to be) my close friends, these feelings never rise far above the level of mild resentment. If this is envy, it's a woozy, introspective subgenre of envy, heavily influenced by Frank Ocean and the Weeknd, which places much more emphasis on my personal flaws than on the strengths of others and the achievement gap between us. I didn't care when my other friends won science fairs or wrote novels. But when you're the one doing exceptional or award-worthy or even just normal human things like having a semblance of a social life, then we've got a problem. Then, and only then, can my self-loathing come out in full force.
My inferiority complex is not promiscuous, is what I'm trying to say here. He believes love is blessed by monogamy, not cursed by it. Sure, he might stray from the path from time to time, but he knows where his true devotion lies. He knows who he wants to come home to every night. Truth be told, my inferiority complex has been in love with you since day one.
TL;DR: I suck!
Not only did you provide me with a single concrete target to project my fears and insecurities and Orientalist desires upon, you gave me someone to compete with, which is what I was implicitly doing every time I put my ideas to paper. I was trying to prove my eloquence and brilliance to someone whose own eloquence and brilliance challenged my perceived hegemony in those arenas. In my mind, I'd finally met a girl who was just as smart as I was, and quite possibly smarter, which simultaneously turned me on and freaked me out. So, faced with an unprecedented problem, I resorted to my default solution: purple-prose the hell out of it. As you can see, I still haven't broken this habit.
What I have broken is the desire to attach sentimental value to the time we spent together as friends, as acquaintances, and finally as two people who are vaguely aware of each other's existence but are close to forgetting what each other's voice sounds like. I do this not simply to spite you, but to deny your authority over my internal discourse. I like to think of myself as someone who doesn't care what others think of me (which is a total lie), but I had to care what you thought of me, because you were a singular girl, the Supreme girl. You were this goddess sent from the heavens by way of China and New Zealand, the reincarnation of the mythical lovechild of Alfred Hitchcock and Yoko Ono, and some other ridiculous nonsense that isn't as wildly off the mark as you would hope. I needed you, and needed you to need me, because the only way my numerous deficiencies could be validated and justified is if they were overlooked, disregarded, given the stamp of approval by the most beautiful person I had ever met. If the entire world thought me a failure, it wouldn't matter if just this one person thought of me in somewhat nobler terms. You were my one-way ticket to self-acceptance, and... yeah. There's no ironic, self-aware way of spinning that to make it sound less pathetic. I wanted to possess you in order to feel good about itself, and that's the way it is.
I can't imagine you know what it's like to face romantic rejection from someone who you consider superior to yourself in every conceivable way. If you have experienced this, then welcome to the club of people who are more capable of handling rejection than I am. Membership is huge, though meetings are sparsely attended. I don't blame you for rejecting me, because I would've done the same thing in your place. Hell, knowing what I know about myself, I would've been proactive and done it a lot sooner.
Andrew spends the next few paragraphs on the literary equivalent of sadsturbating. His martyr dick is incredibly chafed.
The negative emotions and memories associated with you are simply too strong for me to overcome. Which is why, Allah willing, this will be the last time you ever hear from me, and the last time I ever intentionally think about you. Call it isolationism, "out of sight, out of mind", whatever. My fear is that if I have to see or hear your name one more time, all the progress I've made in dismantling your authority over me will be undone. Bob Marley called it "emancipat[ing] yourself from mental slavery". Though if he'd called it "get[ting] this flighty broad out of your life" I would've understood him just as well.
"Flighty broad." Huh.
If this all seems a bit irrational to you, that's because it is. In case you haven't noticed, irrationality is the guiding principle of this entire message. It's right there in the prompt, even. If I haven't written something I'm going to beat myself up over for the next few days, I have failed as a writer. Even my purposes are irrational; the only reason I'm writing this is because I felt I "had to", in order to fulfill some vague need for "closure" or "reconciliation" or "reminding you that I still exist". But more than anything else, I just like having the last word on things. Any attempt to respond to this email will be met with a delivery error notification, which may or may not be real depending on my willingness to screw around with Gmail. You probably have no desire to respond to this anyway, but I gotta cover all my bases.
YOU CAN'T FIRE ME! I QUIT! says the guy who never got hired in the first place.
Until you've written a 3,000 word email explaining in meticulous detail why you are permanently inferior to someone who rejected your advances like 18 fucking months ago, you have no idea what it's like. You have no idea how bad some people have it.
Yeah, yeah, white male cisgender privilege, I get it. It's true that I have certain privileges that others don't, that I have no idea how bad other people have it. Not denying that. But privilege doesn't always come in the obvious, preordained categories like race or sex. At least I really hope it doesn't, because I don't want the social justice police to take away my right to feel miserable based on some ambiguous combination of socially and biologically determined personality traits. Throw some free will into the mix if you happen to believe in that sort of thing. I usually do, but not when it comes to myself, because if I ever come to believe that I arrived in this position through a lifelong series of deliberate choices and autonomous actions... well, I think the odds are pretty good that I'll kill myself.
And that's the way it is.
When Emily (who was and still is asexual and so she didn't so much reject Andrew as she just... wasn't into sex with anyone, period) got the email, she didn't respond or even read the entire thing through; she rolled her eyes, archived it, and moved on with her life, as she had been since her last conversation with Andrew. Then, this August, (8 months after the epic Crap Email), Andrew's Facebook updates started getting more self pitying than usual, according to Emily.
...he had posted to Facebook an obsessively curated list ... which included such phrases as "the culmination of the first 19 years of my existence", "Good night, everybody", and the ever-popular "Fuck y'all clubs, fuck y'all pictures, your Instagram can gobble these nuts". The same night, he posted an unsettling video of an analog TV going to static during the digital transition, with the caption "See you on some other channel" (a reference that should've tipped someone off, because Futurama eventually did end up on another channel). Finally, he changed his profile picture to a screenshot of a dead cat in a cardboard box from some anime video from 10 years ago or something?
A few days later, a friend from home forwarded her the following email, ostensibly from Andrew's parents.
It is with deep sadness and regret that we inform you of the death of our son, [full name]. [name] took his own life on the morning of August 15. He was 19 years old.
We may never know all the factors leading to this tragedy; however, experts agree that in nearly all suicides there is no single cause or simple explanation. While we invite you to keep [name] in your thoughts and prayers, we ask that you please refrain from speculating about the factors or conditions leading to his death when discussing the news. Insensitive handling of the issue may increase the risk of suicidal acts in others, especially those with a history of depression or other mental disorders.
Our family is extremely devastated by this loss and would appreciate privacy at this time. As such, no public funeral or memorial service is currently being arranged. We also request that instead of flowers, those who wish to do so may donate to the Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas in [name]'s memory.
Thank you for your understanding during our time of grief.
Naturally, because people who received the email are not assholes, Emily's classmates, teachers, etc believed that Andrew was, in fact, dead by suicide. People began entering counseling. A scholarship in his name was being set up.
Then, on September 24th, like the world's Nicest Zombie who doesn't understand why hot chicks' brains always get eaten by assholes, Andrew was suddenly resurrected on Facebook. Drake quotes, horse_ebooks quotes, like nothing had happened. Emily reached out to two mutual female friends and found out that Andrew's cell phone was turned on and he was, in fact, alive. She called him.
100% not dead. 100% never intending to attempt suicide. 100% douchebag.
So is there a lesson from the tale of Emily and Andrew? Um, check the obituaries when your friend's parents say they're dead? Call funeral parlors like a damn private investigator? I'm at a loss.
Emily, you dodged a hail of bullets.
For more Crap Emails From a Dude, click here.