She hated the idea from the beginning.
“I’m going to have something made to send out to all the people that write in questions for our column!” Allison responded with, “Uh huh. Have fun.” Okay, she wasn’t into it. In fact, I’ve witnessed more excitement in line at a salad bar. Now, to be fair, Allison’s and my communication mostly consist of me writing stupid things on email or instant message and then waiting for her to get annoyed. Just yesterday I was drawing up the graphic for our newest column. As a goof I created an additional one which I emailed over with, “Next month, I have our topic.” This was attached.
Allison’s entire reply?
Deep down I believed she laughed. But she doesn’t want to encourage me. Allison thinks my ego is big enough and has made it clear that someone needs to dress me down. So, even when I have what I think are great ideas, she’s often lukewarm. And, to be fair, her compass is well-tuned. Over the holiday break I ran with this idea that I would come up with something to send out to the people that write in questions for our column. When I landed on, “Stickers! We’ll send them a sticker!” Allison was confused. “Nobody wants a sticker, D.J. Least of all, about us.” However, I had already paid someone a few shekels to draw caricatures about us. I figured once she saw the end result, her opinion would change. After a week the artist completed the job. I emailed over the proof for Allison’s approval. As expected, she hated it.
“Once again, I’m really not excited about this idea. Nobody needs another sticker and, by the way, that doesn’t even look like me!” I replied with, “It looks exactly like you. Now shaddup.” And, it does look like her. Way more more than mine. At least she doesn’t resemble an early-forties lesbian. I was going to ask the artist to draw in chest hair, which would have made people vomit, but at least confirmed my masculinity.
To me this was a slam dunk. We’d sign a bunch of these in advance, and then if when we answered questions we’d mail out a sticker. It’s a goodwill gesture and us showing appreciation to the readers. I’m not unrealistic, however. I’m aware someone would receive this sticker and deposit it directly into their garbage disposal. But that didn’t matter to me. I wanted to go above and beyond for the people nice enough to support us. And, in theory, it is a good idea.
There were a few problems, however. First, we don’t ask for anyone’s email in the question submission form. This is by design because often people write in anonymously with personal details about themselves or their families. So, I’d have to add that field to the form, and then email them asking for a mailing address. “Hey, firstname.lastname@example.org, thank you for your question about how to handle your boss’s infatuation with staring at your butt when putting away files. Where should we send this thank you sticker?” It sort of undermines the whole anonymity premise of the column.
I assumed Allison’s reluctance was a smokescreen for her true feeling that she didn’t like the caricature of herself. So I ignored her complaints and almost ordered a few hundred stickers. But, the truth was she just didn’t think it was a good idea. I disagreed, but after I reflected on it, she was right. Most people aren’t going to want to provide their personal information and, even if they do, aren’t going to get excited about a dopey sticker.
So, the sticker project is scrapped. I’m working on some other ideas to thank our readers. Here’s a prototype I’m toying with. A thank you throw pillow. Practical and classy!