Reader Question

Too Big to Mail: Style Girlfriend's Over-Stuffed Inbox

401. That’s the number of unopened emails currently waiting for me in my inbox. My sister saw my email screen recently and was horrified. She has only six unopened emails, she informed me (rather haughtily I thought).


{maybe I just need more mailboxes?}

While I’d probably do well to unsubscribe from a few newsletters, the source of my email overload is actually…you guys. Which is why, instead of digging into a reader question this week, I want to quickly address the status of any of your unanswered questions.

I try as hard as I can to respond to you guys’ emails, which – by the way – I LOVE getting. I feel so honored that

  1. You value my opinion, and
  2. You’re looking to better yourself by asking for help at all. It can be hard to say, “I don’t know the best way to do ____” or “How do I ___?” Especially for guys, I think – so I really admire every single one of you who emails me for advice.
Which is why I try my hardest to get back to each of you – but my inbox is horribly, grossly, embarrassingly overstuffed with questions going back months now that I have not been able to get to.

I tend to work from the most recent down because some questions are time-sensitive (ie, “I have a date this weekend with a new girl i really like! what do I wear?”) and I want to be able to help out while those queries are still relevant. But that means that some reader questions that are evergreen – “I want to overhaul my whole wardrobe – where do I start?” – sit in email purgatory, and unless I take a solid week out of my life just to un-bury myself from my inbox, I’m not ever going to reach them. Like I said, I love getting your questions, but lately, I’ve just felt this huge sense of burden and guilt knowing how many were sitting in my backlog. I want to tackle your questions with excitement and enthusiasm, not dread opening my email each day because of the huge number of unopened emails I know I’ll see.

So I’ve made a big decision. I’m declaring email bankruptcy. If you sent me an email before March 1, I very regretfully inform you that I am simply not going to get to it.

If it was time-sensitive, I apologize for not helping out when you needed it. And if it was a broader question – about the best wingtips at a certain price point, what to wear on a first date, etc etc – please know that in the next month, I plan to build a few resource pages on the site for some of my more commonly asked questions, which should alleviate both your need to ask the question, and my inability to answer it in a timely manner. Some questions I know are just going to take so much time to answer that I put them off. With these new resource pages, I’ll be able to say, “Glad you asked! Check out this page on …whatever.” Problem solved.

Also, excitingly, I’m about to have far more time to devote to Style Girlfriend, so I will set aside a portion of each day to answer reader questions, rather than the hour or two here and there that I tunnel through a hundred at a stretch. While I hesitate to set an expectation right now of responses within 24 hours, I think saying you should receive an answer within a week is reasonable. And because my “ask” box has recently gotten hit by some crazy spam monster (I don’t think “Play Online Poker” is the name of any of my readers), I’m removing it. If you have a question, go ahead and email me at megan (at) style girlfriend (dot) com. I’ll put that where the submission form is now, so you won’t forget it.

I’m sure I don’t say it enough, but THANK YOU GUYS for everything you contribute to Style Girlfriend. You help make the site what it is, and I couldn’t do what I do without you. The brands I work with, and the friends and family who pop by SG from time to time to see what I’ve been up to always say the same thing – “Your readers are amazing! They’re so engaged! They’re so positive! They help each other out in the comments section! They sound like they know you!” Please don’t think any of this is lost on me. The internet is not known for being a warm, loving, inclusive place (just take a look at any YouTube post for proof of that), which is why I feel so SO lucky that you guys are so great. I feel really blessed to have such a great group of readers on Style Girlfriend. 2013 is already awesome, and it can only get better from here.

Tell me: Have you ever had to declare email bankruptcy?

(image: Grumbler/Flickr)