Tracy Lee Curtis

Hillary’s email woes apply to so many of us

This Hillary Clinton email thing is freaking me out. I honestly didn’t know that as a high-ranking official I was supposed to register an official email account separate from my personal one. So ever since I was sworn in as a mom in 2002, I’ve been communicating solely through private email.

Just as Hillary used her private address for everything from State Department matters to planning her daughter’s wedding and issues related to the family’s philanthropic foundation, I too have used it for everything from PTA matters to planning my son’s Batman birthday and issues related to the church’s annual Chicken Pickin’.

And now I have two problems, the first being separating the professional from the personal communication. Some of it’s obviously private business – like the e-vite to a joint birthday party for my friend Kitty and me. And some of it’s obviously official business – like the schedule for the middle school lacrosse carpool.

But what about the emails between parents collecting money for a coach’s gift? That’s a personal choice. But parental business. So is that personal or official? I would say official, but I don’t want to make public how much we collected for that coach cuz it’s more than we gave the last one. (But he didn’t get us to finals, just saying.)

Which brings me to my second dilemma, determining which official emails I’m comfortable releasing. I mean, it’s pretty well documented that the Sunday I coordinated volunteers for the Chicken Pickin’ fundraiser, I mistakenly scheduled families that were either on the confirmation retreat or attending the third-grade Bible presentations. It was a total blunder – I didn’t even have anybody to wear the chicken suit. Those emails are damaging and sure to ruin any chance of me making deacon.

I could justify some of the personal emails being official. But even that birthday e-vite uses a photo to represent Kitty and me – a picture of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey – surely an illegal use of likeness, a copyright infringement and a monumental insult to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.

I guess my aides will decide which emails to hand over and which to hold back. I’ll suggest releasing any communication where I chaired a committee, chaperoned a field trip, hosted a sleepover or offered to wear a chicken suit. But maybe hold back on emails where I asked my bosses for free tickets, challenged teachers over homework or begged a camp director for mercy after forgetting to sign up my kid.

I’m just glad Hillary brought this issue to the forefront. This could have been a disaster for any mom planning to run for PTA president. My dad’s president of his neighborhood association and I promise you he’s clueless about this. He’s gonna have a fit releasing all those snow-plowing guidelines.

Anyway, good to know. I’m so relieved. I’m sure Hillary is too.

Curtis: tcurtis@charlotteobserver.com

  Comments