It is my pleasure to inform you that you are being considered for inclusion in the upcoming 2009 Edition of Who's Who in America®, which is scheduled for publication in October 2008.
Since 1899, when A.N. Marquis published the First Edition of Who's Who in
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The information you provide will be evaluated according to the selection standards Marquis Who's Who has developed over 100 years as the world's premier biographical publisher. If your data passes our initial screening, we will prepare your biography in Marquis Who's Who format and send you a pre-publication proof for your verification and approval.
I congratulate you on the achievements that have brought your name to the attention of our editorial committee. We look forward to hearing from you.
(I did edit it a little bit, I bet you couldn't tell). When you get it, you get this little hiccup inside. It's like "They like me, they really like me!" Until you realize that they don't even know who you are.
In my case, it's like this. I'm not a somebody, and I'm not a Who's who. I'm a Who's That. As in "who's that over there at our exclusive party and how did he get in here and how do we get him out." Or something. So you get this email and you figure, how much are they going to charge you. And it says they don't (in a post script I didn't bother to paste here). So then you figure, do I have some old high school buddy working for WW that would put my name in as a joke? And then you realize, you only have one old high school buddy, and she writes a brilliant blog and works in a different industry and would tell you if she was working for WW (right, Katy, right???).
So what I figure they do is go through and pick out everyone, say, who has a PhD, or everyone who has published anything just about anywhere. And if they do that, they'd come up with me, just barely. I mean if someone from WW read something I published that pushes the numbers of people who have read my work up to, oh, about one reader. I am definitely among those who is "published" but not at all "read." Even a little. So I should probably be thankful some poor bastard at WW is paid to see if I've published anything. But that doesn't make me a Who's Who. Still pretty much a Who's That.
Not that there's anything wrong with being a Who's That, mind you. Most of us are, right? Let's hear a big rousing cheer from all the Who's Thats out there reading this (thank you both, loyal readers). The tricky thing is sometimes you get this feeling like you're a Who's Who, and that's a dangerous feeling. You start to feel like you're joining the elite club of people who have Made It. Don't ask me where they've Made It to. I really don't know, cause I haven't Made It there. I mean I've made it, if you know what I mean (nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more) but not in the capitalized sense. It feels a little bit like being invited to sit at the cool kids table in mid school. I imagine. And when you think of it that way, there's really only one thing for someone like me to do with an email like this.