Friends, Classmates, Donors

"The College of New Jersey, Princeton University and Rider University reported a banner year for donations in 2012, with each breaking its previous fundraising record.... [At Princeton] more than 8,000 volunteers worked phone banks, sent flyers and met with potential givers over the course of five years, bringing in donations from 65,120 alumni."
--Times of Trenton


Hey Buddy,

How's it going? Long time, no speak, classmate! I'm sorry to be so slow in responding to your last e-mail -- the week-five reading assignment for Economics 102 is pages 236-248.

Best,
Your Pal

****

I'm sorry -- I think you may have sent this e-mail to the wrong person. I haven't taken an economics class since 1999.

****

Haha, friend-- you were always such a jokester! Of course you took an economics class in 1999 -- I was in your class! I'm just saying that I'm sorry it has taken me so long to write back to your e-mail about the reading assignment! But just in case you were still looking for that information, I thought I would let you know! Glad that e-mail address still works! I was just thinking about you the other day and wanted to reach out and say hello. Can you believe it's our 10th reunion year? It's been so long -- are you still interested in macroeconomics?

Go Tigers!
Your Amigo

****

Uh, no, I'm not still interested in macroeconomics. What are you e-mailing me for? I barely even recognize your name.

****

You crack me up, old pal! I just happened to be thinking about you the other day and wanted to catch up! What have you been doing these past ten years? Where are you living? Do you have a family? Have you given yet to the class fundraising drive? So many questions, friend -- can I give you a call sometime? What's your number?

With fondness,
Friend O' Mine

****

No, you can't give me a call. Last thing I remember about you is when you knocked on my door, drunk, begging me to vote for you in some sort of student government election. We weren't friends -- what do you want?

****

Oh, what memories! That really brings me back, hombre. I was telling my wife all about you the other day. (You know I got married, right? Small wedding, otherwise we would have loved to have you there!) She couldn't believe all my stories about us -- that time we both did the reading for our Economics class, that time we both took that Economics exam, that time we got our transcripts and both had grades in Economics. Oh, man, it cracks me up. She imagined you'd be exactly the kind of friend who would be amazingly generous to the alumni giving campaign. Have you given yet? Just curious -- not at all in my role as head of the fundraising committee for our class, but as your friend. You sure I can't give you a call? Maybe swing by for brunch?

See you soon,
Bestie

****

No, we are not having brunch. I haven't given any money, no -- I'm still paying off my student loans. I don't know why you're pretending we're friends, but please take me off whatever list I'm on and stop contacting me.

****

Wow, you were always a little paranoid, friend -- you're not on any list, and, according to our records, you're actually delinquent on those loans. A fact I wouldn't want to see come out as we put together our awesome 10th anniversary yearbook, paid for by funds from generous classmates like you. I hear that the head of the fundraising committee is planning to include some crazy photos of everyone who doesn't donate. Just letting you know, buddy. Hey, I've got an extra spot in the car for a camping trip with some old pals this weekend -- you want to come? Let me know.

You rock,
Your Best Bud

****

I'm not going camping with you -- I barely even know you. And I have no idea what kind of photos you're talking about, but I'm really not concerned. I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to donate to the class this year, good luck with the fundraising, and please stop e-mailing me.

****

Of course -- why would I keep e-mailing you when I'm right outside? I know you can afford to give something to the class -- that's a beautiful ottoman you've got. I just want to reconnect, remember old times, and -- Oh, the photos -- you know, sophomore year, fraternity initiations? It's amazing what people can do with Photoshop these days, that's all I'm saying. Look, pal, I just think it's a shame when people have a grand old time at college and then don't give back -- especially when they pretend on their resume that they graduated with honors and it's part of what gets them their job over at 1462 North Salem Boulevard, Suite 627. As your friend, I just want to save you from yourself, and I think I'm going to have to clue your boss in, unless of course you can prove that you have the kind of school spirit I've always known you do.

Did you know you can donate online??!

I can see you,
Your BFF

****

Okay, whatever, you win. I'll give $20 on the website -- just leave before I call the police. Happy now?

****

Thrilled, mate! And, you know, it's never too early to start thinking about our 15th reunion -- perhaps you can start planning for a more substantial gift. I've put a reminder in my calendar to check back with you, and to send that e-mail exchange about your pretend honors to the entire class, depending on your participation in our future campaigns. That's not a threat, friend -- you know why? Because I can tell you've truly rediscovered the old "Rah, Rah! Sis, Boom, Bah!" and can't wait to put your name on a plaque in the brand new student center.

Take care -- my wife sends her best, my kids can't wait to meet you, and I've still got my eye on that ottoman of yours!

Turn around slowly...
Boo!

 

Find more of Jeremy Blachman's writing at jeremyblachman.com.

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