Dear AOL, by Laurie Darroch-Meekis

Dear AOL,I don’t recall asking for babysitting or legal guardian services when I signed up with your company. I simply wanted an online mail service that was easy to use and easily accessible from anywhere.

I must state emphatically that I am of legal age and sound mind. I am a highly intelligent adult who is quite capable of doing a simple task like sorting through my own emails without supervision. I really do not need to be asked, “Do you know this person,” and clicking on yes or no, when every email appears in my email box, before you allow me to open the email.

I am quite able to distinguish between an email from a dear friend I have known for years and one from the daughter of the former king of Maamboozia who has mysteriously left me 50 million pounds sterling, and who only requires my bank account numbers and personal pin numbers in order to deposit the aforementioned sum in my accounts.

I am also able to distinguish between emails from people who provide employment for me and Joe Shmoe’s Viagra Emporium where I can buy 50 pills to “enhance my erection” for half the price of those sold at all other similar places.

In addition, once I have passed the initial AOL screening test for stupidity, I do not need a second one within the email that keeps me from clicking on an enclosed link without first clicking an icon placed inside my private emails by AOL, which then finally allows me to click on the enclosed link.

Obviously you do not follow the time and motion studies teachings of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth. The point is to make the task at hand more efficient and easier to deal with, not add more layers of unnecessary steps that bog the work down and make the user feel like smashing the closest window to escape the wicked guardian.

Somehow I don’t think the people I write for by choice, and who I have been receiving emails from for a number of years, are trying to booby trap my emails with links to articles I wrote myself, which by the way I signed up to receive. I made the decision to get those emails. I don’t need the legal AOL guardian blocking them for me, just in case they are not safe. I think I can determine that all by my little self. I am over 21 and oddly enough, I can read. I can write. I can reason. I also have opossable thumbs and no tail to hang from trees with. I even walk upright.

Finally, I do not appreciate you refusing to deliver pieces of mail which affect my finances directly. As a writer I am letting you know I am likely to receive many emails with attachments, some quite large or in multiples. When you block delivery of legal contracts which will allow me to be published, you are denying me my inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness and the ability to have the basic human needs fulfilled, those of mundane things like food, or say something silly like a phone bill or power bill, so I can use your over protective babysitting services to begin with. Perhaps I should forward those bills to you, since you seem to want to control all my correspondence.

I do not recall having committed any crimes lately that would necessitate the screening of my mail and denying me access to it. I do not see bars outside my windows. I don’t believe anyone writing to me with freelance job opportunities is divulging any state secrets either, which need to be blacked out for the sake of national security. Neither do I believe the CIA, Homeland Security or the FBI would be overly concerned with an editorial correction of one of my typos, so why are you?

AOL, please let go of the apron strings and let me make my own steps. I am a real grown up woman now.

Laurie Darroch-Meekis


Laurie Darroch-Meekis began writing stories, poetry and lyrics the moment she realized the alphabet had the power to create and to move people. She discovered that writing could take her anywhere she wanted to go, even if she had to create the places herself. She is the featured poet in Elements of the Soul, A Short Story Anthology, due to be published in 2009. You can visit her author’s website here:

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11 Responses to “Dear AOL, by Laurie Darroch-Meekis”

  1. Rissa says:

    LOL Anyone who has had to deal with AOHell knows how horrible they are! Great letter, hope they deem you mature enough to get all your email soon. hehe

  2. Gillian says:

    Very funny whilst frustratingly true. Great letter

  3. Linda says:

    Very funny but awfully true. Thank goodness I do not have aol. I might break a window!

  4. This was hysterical. I’ve been off AOL since 2000. I miss the sense of community it had but after reading stuff like this, it’s amazing they’re still in business.

  5. Angel says:

    LOL, you know I can relate. AOL is a bad habit I’ve yet to break!

  6. Jo Brielyn says:

    This is hilarious! I’m a former unhappy AOL user, so I can relate. Great letter, Laurie.

  7. Like Jo, I am a former unhappy AOL user as well. A big, fat, UGH to AOL. So funny, Laurie, and well written!

  8. Right On, Laurie! I am a former, nay, RECOVERING, AOL user myself, and frankly, I am much happier paying more to use Knology (because you really do get what you pay for!). They don’t call it AO-HELL for nothin’!

  9. I love this! Very funny! AOL mail is very annoying.

  10. carolgibson says:

    Funny. I didn’t know AOL was like this. I was annoyed that Yahoo is so slow.

  11. Borgieskid says:

    This letter really made me laugh. Hotmail does the same thing, but that is free. Lets hope the AOL movers that be read this.

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