You’ve Got Hate Mail

A Peek Inside My Awful Inbox

I try not to make a habit out of bitching about the hate mail I get. Because that would make me just as mean as the people sending it. We’d all be caught in this vicious circle of cruelty.

But it’s the holidays — a time to reflect on where we’ve been.

And where I’ve been — a lot — is sitting in front of my computer with tears welling up in my eyes.

I won’t share those emails with you because they just hurt too much. But I will give you a peek inside the file in my mail account I’ve labeled “You’ve Got Hate Mail.” In it, I keep not only the emails where my blogs are being … um … critiqued, but also the drafts of the replies that I’m not brave enough to send. Yet.

Here are some of the best ones from 2014:

When I wrote that Carrie Underwood was in a bit of a second-trimester style purgatory, I received this: “There’s no such thing as purgatory. God is all-forgiving, and Ms. Underwood will be embraced by her Lord when she enters into His kingdom.”

After I recapped an episode of Nashville where Luke was acting like a 4-year-old, someone told me, “You have no idea the kind of stress he has to cope with on the road.” Well, I responded, there is no stress because there is no road … because there is no Luke because this is a television show.

I learned a bunch of things from Vegas cab drivers when I was there for the ACM Awards in April and wrote about it. Then I got an email telling me that I was the worst blogger ever because “you shouldn’t be out clubbing you should be home working.” (For the record, I don’t club.)

From a story about Jason Aldean’s engagement, I had no less than a dozen emails telling me this Brittany Kerr woman he’s planning to marry is a home-wrecker, and I shouldn’t be providing free publicity for their sordid affair. “You are just as bad as her,” one hater told me. (I can’t even imagine the sort of messages Aldean and Kerr must have received this year.)

After I reviewed Luke Bryan’s massive Chicago show at Soldier Field this summer and recounted in great detail what happened in the six hours I was in my seat while watching Bryan and three opening acts, someone wrote me and asked, “Were you even there? It sounds like we were at two different shows?” To that one, I did respond, sending along photos of pages and pages of notes I took at the show, just so he knew.

I had lunch with Jamie Lynn Spears and her dad and a few other people. We prayed before we ate, so I wrote a story about that. But — and I should know this by now — any mention of God, prayer, heaven and/or hell results in immediate responses. Not very Christian ones, I should add. “That family doesn’t have a God-fearing bone in its body, and even if they are praying, they are still all sinners,” one woman declared. All that because we said grace and had some jambalaya?

When a Dierks Bentley fan vomited onstage during one of his shows and he then joked about the incident, I wrote about that as well. But a couple of Web MD-schooled doctors took issue with his cavalier attitude about it. “Mr. Bentley shouldn’t take this so lightly. Vomit can be loaded with harmful bacteria from the stomach, the small intestine and the esophagus and could have infected him, his band, any fans in the front row and the janitorial staff,” one said. “You never know what’s in someone’s vomit.” And yet, I think I do know what was probably in this girl’s vomit. Beer. She just got a little sideways.

Every time I mentioned that Lady Gaga went to see one of the Garth Brooks shows in Chicago, I threw in a mention of her date, Chicago Fire star Taylor Kinney. Someone pointed that out to me, and he asked me why I was so obsessed with Gaga’s boyfriend. If he’d seen even one episode of Chicago Fire, he’d know the answer to that question.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.