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Dear 4,374 Subscribers to the Norwich Listserv...

Dear 4,374 Subscribers to the Norwich Listserv,

No, you are not invited to the upcoming pasta bolognese party at my condo. It was just a mistake, an email invitation intended only for a few friends, yet somehow—a careless keystroke?—I accidentally sent the invitation to the entire listserv. (Thank you, Betsy, for sending your regrets so promptly, especially because I don’t have a clue who you are either. And Ron, also thanks for RSVPing, and for your kind offer to bring a dish to share, but I’m afraid I never acquired a taste for paté, and our dinner table only seats eight.)

Now I know how Hillary Clinton feels. All this brouhaha about her using her private email server when she was Secretary of State, even though she, like me, never intended to share classified info. I mean, if I’m embarrassed by my gaffe, she must be mortified knowing that anyone (anyone with a lot of time on their hands and a right-wing political agenda) can read 650,000 of her personal emails. Like the one to Huma Abedin in which Hillary complains about the White House operator who refused to believe it was her on the line. Or all those emails about her hair appointments. (Talk about classified; I would never want anyone to know I cover my grey!) Or that email to her BFF Betsy Ebeling with this bit of gossip, “Did Bill tell you that on the receiving line of his second speech yesterday, he had the weirdest exchange ever when a woman loudly announced that her father ‘circumcised Bin Laden!’ What a claim to fame. Love to all...”

Even more distressing were those messages that Hillary received in her personal account from journalist Sidney Blumenthal, who offered his advice on national and international politics. Yipes! Those exchanges sure caused a sticky wicket with the Justice Department, though Secretary Clinton’s impropriety pales in comparison to the crimes of former CIA director David Petraeus, who emailed highly classified info to his biographer (aka mistress), including the names of covert agents. Double yipes! (And now, in keeping with the lunacy that is Trump’s pre-presidency, Petraeus is being considered for the position of Secretary of State, and will have to report to his probation officer if appointed to the post.)

Of course, my situation is much worse than theirs. At least Secretary Clinton didn’t leak herself, which is what I accidentally did, and which just sounds wrong on so many levels. And the former CIA director only lost his job over his e-scandal, and was able to cut a deal to avoid jail time. But I, as an ordinary citizen, am going to have to answer for my mistake, which, by the way, I already tried to correct. Only minutes after I sent the invitation to the listserv I discovered my error, and emailed the administrator, asking him to delete the post. Alas, he responded, it was already too late—the emails go directly into a “black box” that can’t be accessed. (Would that the government had such foolproof methods to squelch all this talk of voter fraud.) The administrator reassured me that my transgression was nothing compared to some others in recent listserv history, like the time a doctor broke the news to a patient about his unfortunate lab results in a posting. That is indeed worse than my mistake, and yet I still feel the need to make things rights.

So first, let me repeat that all 4,374 of you are uninvited to my pasta bolognese party. This hurts, especially because I don’t like to be exclusive, plus you Norwich folks tend to bring liquor from a higher shelf, which is greatly appreciated. Second, I want to say that I am sorry if I falsely raised your hopes and messed up your weekend plans. And last, I would like to make amends by inviting you to stop by my condo at another time! With winter encroaching and an ill wind blowing from our nation’s capital, I know I could use more friends. Indeed, we could all use more friends, and we could certainly use more parties. Just remember, if you come, that my dinner table only seats eight, and I really don’t care for paté. What a claim to fame. Love to all...

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