Back in the day, pre-Apron Stage, Rebecca and I faced a common problem: How could we interact frequently/casually/intimately when we didn’t even live in the same area code?  (In our case, when we weren’t living on the same coast.)  We knew this: neither of us had the emotional energy, time, or capacity (“disk space,” my mom would say) to call more, to email more, or to—good heavens—send packages.  That’s when we decided to institute the bcc.

The rule: Every once in a while, bcc (yes, blind carbon copy) the other person on an email we had written for other purposes.

This, it turns out, is genius.

Sometimes I’d bcc Rebecca on emails I wrote to announce events I was hosting.  Sometimes I’d bcc her on emails I wrote to arrange vacation logistics.  Sometimes I’d bcc her on emails I wrote that were funny or awkward or otherwise strange.  (In reviewing our bcc’s in preparation for this post, I discovered I once bcc’ed her on an email I’d written entirely without spaces.  Apparently, my spacebar was temporarily out of order, and I was sending an email to a classmate to scheduleatimetomeethim.)

And then, of course, sometimes I would bcc her on emails I was writing to boys.  To which she would usually respond with at least a question (“Exactly what is your kissing philosophy?”) and something encouraging (“Loved this one though.  Inspirational really.”).  Which, to be honest, was exactly what I was hoping she would say.

I will acknowledge that this is tricky territory.  Clearly I think my recipients would not feel comfortable knowing there’d be an outside reader, else I would have cc’ed her.  But still—it is my email.  I did write it.  And is it different to bcc than it is to report or to recap or to read aloud? But isn’t the bcc in some ways a big fat secret lie?  And haven’t I, Sarah, already gotten myself into trouble by sharing too much with too many because, for various reasons, sometimes my Saying the Thing is worse to others than it is to me?  Especially to boys?  (Yes to these last two.  Yes and yes.  I’m still sorry.)

These are good questions.  And ones I’ve begun to consider.

We’ve dropped the bcc’s for the time being (our Apron Stage interaction/logistical emailing being as frequent as it is), but I did—despite all of the above—bcc one of my finest bcc’s this month.  It went down like this: I had told what turned out to be a lie (more specifically, an overstatement) to a girl at a party, and the boy it was about heard me say it and said, “That’s not true.  I love being a lawyer.”  Later, I emailed said boy and, as part of it, apologized for lying about him to the girl.  He responded: Feel free to lie about me to her or to anyone.  As long as they are good lies, I will try to live up to them.  So I responded: That was very gracious of you.  And I’m totally on it.

And then I bcc’ed.

To: Girl
Bcc: Boy
Re: You
Girl!  I was talking to Boy the other day, and he said this month he would bring a treat of my choosing to any one of my friends, and I have chosen fresh berries and you.  What kind of fresh berries do you want?

Upon receiving this—his first bcc (from me)—Boy chatted me this perfect (and un-Rebecca–like) reply:

good grief

But this weekend Boy bought Girl berries.  And she was delighted out of her rocker.

The bcc, I tell you.  Devious.  But with so many possibilities.