The other day I was clearing out my inbox when a certain starred email caught my eye. It's one I just can't seem to delete or even archive. The subject line reads:
Congratulations! You are invited...
and it opens by saying:
Dear Chandler Lasch,
Congratulations on qualifying to the 2011 Stoa National Invitational Tournament of Champions, aka NITOC!
And if that's not a great way to start an email, I don't what is. This little email is what we strive to receive all year long, and if you do get one, it's super exciting. Even if you already knew you qualified, it's still exciting and reassuring even to see one of these things pop up on your screen. I mean, you know you have the required number of green checkmarks, but the invite is what makes it official. And if you didn't qualify, well, hopefully you still have next year to work hard, have fun, and maybe receive your invite to NITOC.
What is the actual receiving of the email like? Well, picture this: It's late April or early May. You stumble out of bed and head straight to the computer. You squint really hard at the screen because you haven't bothered to put your contacts in yet. (At least that's what I do.) You open the page with your inbox and hit refresh. Something pops up. You see the sender and subject line and smile really big like this:
but not sideways, and probably bigger than Blogger allows you to type, and possibly in a serif font. You have just received an invitation to the National Invitational Tournament of Champions.
You scan the email that you're too excited to read completely but will go back and read ten times later. You see the event(s) you qualified in. Your fingers get kind of tingly as you think about how fantastic you're going to be. Or hope to be. Or something. You immediately post on Google Buzz or Facebook or something that that you got your NITOC invite and everyone screams and goes crazy in the comment box and likes your post. Several months later you write a blog post about that experience and everyone loves it.