It happened again. I spammed my friends. Again. Not just the tech woman, but all of my friends. New friends. Old friends. Family members, college buddies, business contacts, neighbors. All of them.

And it wasn’t my fault.

I hit send one time. ONE time. I learned my lesson last time. I was careful with the one click this time.

But I think I know what happened. When Hotmail has a nervous breakdown about sending things to groups, it just keeps resending it. It doesn’t stop when you tell it to.

Hotmail lies.

It says things like “I can’t send this, there’s been a mistake, do you want to try again?” (I’m paraphrasing here, I know. I should write those messages for Microsoft…I’m a good communicator.)

And like a desperate diplomat, or a careless congressman caught in a precarious situation I say “No! NO, NO, NO! Just stop right now, walk away, take a time out, LEAVE the room. Don’t try again. Don’t send anything. I’m begging you, just don’t do it. And Please, for the love of God, don’t tell anyone about what just happened!”

But Hotmail just keeps trying and trying and trying. I log off. I shut down. I do all the things panicky people do. I run upstairs (I ran, I tell you, bolted, actually) to find my tech man to help. I even cried a little, to get him to hurry.

But it was too late. Hotmail has sent 15 messages to my friends telling them about my new blog. These friends will probably block me forever now. It saddens me to think of myself stuck behind a firewall. Well meaning, friendly me, shunned. Disgraced.

Hotmail said it was canceling, but it wasn’t. It was resending the whole time. I couldn’t have run any faster, really. I mean, even if I were Marion Jones on drugs, I couldn’t have made it back in time to stop the madness.

I’ve stuck with Hotmail since the beginning. Seriously. I was one of the first. You can tell by my address: [email protected] Trust me, there are many, many Julie Andersons in the world. I was first. I was the first Julie Anderson to sign up for Hotmail. It’s unbelievable, really. So I’ve kept this address through thick and thin. I’ve stuck up for it and fought for it for years.

Every time my husband says “Hotmail sucks. You should get a Yahoo! email,” or later “You should get a gmail account.” He keeps up on trends, he knows about the next best things right at the beginning (he told me to get my Hotmail account, actually) I dug my heels in. I said I was loyal and I liked my Hotmail. My friends knew my address, there was no sense in changing it. I was proud to be the first julieanderson, I said.

Now, I fear I may have to change. I’m not sure I can continue the relationship. It’s about loyalty, and I’ve been loyal. But Hotmail has failed me, repeatedly. I mean, really, how much can a girl be expected to put up with?

It’s like Dear Abby says: “Is your life better with this relationship, or without it? Are you working too hard trying to change someone? Maybe you just need to accept the reality and move on.”

Maybe. Maybe Abby’s right. Maybe my husband’s right.

Why do I feel so much turmoil about ending this relationship with Hotmail? Why the anxiety? Why would I stick with something that’s so wrong for me? Am I co-dependent? Am I kidding myself? Do I need to take a long, hard look in the mirror?

I think I need to go for a run now. This situation has built up too much tension in me. I need a good song to drown out the conflicting voices of reason in my head.