Humor Magazine

I May Have Been Snubbed by Man Crates

By Katie Hoffman @katienotholmes

Most of the messages I receive in my blog email inbox come from freelance writers wanting to do guest editorials about boring topics most of which, contrary to their belief, would not fit perfectly on Sass & Balderdash. Every once in a while I’ll get an exciting email about a new Taco Bell location that’s opening or an invitation to  participate in some social media campaign, so when I received an email from the community manager at Man Crates about an upcoming campaign, I was expecting the same old, same old. To my surprise, after I read the email and checked out the product, I was intrigued. But, like most other promising opportunities that fall into your lap, I should have just ignored it in the first place because I was ultimately snubbed anyway.

I received the following email just before Memorial Day weekend:

Good Afternoon Katie :)

My name is ________, and I’m the community manager for Man Crates.  We are a new company that ships awesome gifts for guys in custom wooden crates!  At Man Crates, it’s our goal this Father’s Day to end all the struggles of buying gifts for men.

With Father’s Day nearing, we are running a fun campaign called “Dad Brags,” and we want to hear about some of the best brag-worthy advice and skills Dad has ever given you!  We would love for you and an elite group of bloggers to create a blog post that includes a write-up, and photo, of Dad and his timeless pieces of advice.  Whether this is tongue-in-cheek stories of his skills as a handyman, photo evidence of his tremendous style, or a more heartfelt memo about all that he’s taught you, creative freedom is yours.

We want this to be a fun, interactive way to connect with bloggers like you, and we will be running this campaign through June 8th (a week before Father’s Day).  We will be tweeting in support of this campaign all month using the hashtag #Dadbrags, and will be featuring some of our favorite blog posts as well!  Let me know ASAP if you are interested, and I can send you more information!

Hope to hear from you soon,


This didn’t seem like spam! I wasn’t even asked to wire any money to a struggling princess in Azerbaijan! The sender used a smiley face after my name!!!! And the… wait a second, Father’s Day?

If you’re just tuning in, let me get you up to speed here: I was fathered with a sperm donor. I don’t know who he is, what he looks like, where he lives, or how much sperm chowder he donated to create potential half-siblings I’ll never meet. Most importantly, if you couldn’t tell, I’m ridiculously okay with all of it.

Now obviously I’ve never celebrated Father’s Day or bought good ol’ pops a tie he doesn’t need, and I definitely don’t have any of these “Dad Brags” to share with the world, but since Man Crates sounded like a cage to contain the men in your life when they’re monopolizing the remote or a homosexual offshoot of Crate and Barrel, I had to check them out for myself.

The crates were pretty awesome, and as gift ideas for men go, these Man Crates were probably some of the coolest things I’d ever seen. It’s essentially a gift basket with stereotypical guy stuff in it. For example, there’s a zombie suppression crate WITH ACTUAL BIG KNIVES. There’s a personalized whiskey crate. THERE’S EVEN A BACON CRATE! The best part? Every Man Crate comes as a wooden box with a crow bar that the gift receiver uses to pry the box open. It’s entirely possible I’ve glamorized using a crow bar because I’ve never even held one before and they seem like the most mysterious and alluring of all the world’s handheld tools, but the whole Man Crates concept sounded pretty damn cool to me. Truthfully, I was a little disappointed I didn’t have any hashtag dad brags, because the product was actually one I wouldn’t mind telling people about.

Before contemplating how to respond to this genuinely nice email, I sat at the keyboard laughing at the circumstances. This poor community manager! What were the odds of her reaching out to a blogger who was conceived with a sperm donor?! I’m sure the thought never even crossed her mind!

I know my method of conception is a delicate topic for some people – people aren’t sure how they should react sometimes – so I didn’t want to make this woman feel bad given the extraordinary circumstances. I responded to her email as gently as I could:

Hi ________!

Sorry for taking a few days to get back to you–I’ve been in a sunburn and turkey burger-induced coma this weekend. Hope you enjoyed the long weekend!
So about the “Dad Brags,” I think it’s awesome, but I unfortunately cannot participate. I’m probably the only blogger of those you contacted who was fathered by a sperm donor, because really, what are the odds of that happening? I’m sorry my conception has put you in an awkward situation.

BUT! Whether you promote it or not, I would love to write a little something about this extraordinary circumstance and Man Crates, because I visited the website, checked out the entire catalog (a little obsessively), and I actually think this may be one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Seriously, what man wouldn’t want to pry something open with a crowbar?

If nothing else, thank you for reaching out and introducing me to Man Crates!

I don’t know what I expected, but I should have known there was only one possible outcome: this chick never responded again.

Okay, I know I said “I cannot participate” and “if nothing else,” BUT I STILL WANTED TO BE ACKNOWLEDGED AGAIN! WAS THAT NOT CRYSTAL CLEAR? In my heart, I had sincerely hoped the both of us could have a nice laugh about the unlikely circumstances that had brought us together via email. Did I scare her away with too much information? Should I have avoided the word “conception”? What was I supposed to say!? I didn’t want to ignore the email or outright refuse to participate in #Dadbrags, because that would imply I didn’t agree with it (or that I was a bitch or I hate my dad). I was trying to do the right thing! …Maybe my email just went to her spam folder?

So forget you, Man Crates, with your clever product idea and kickass crow bar. I’m sorry if I frightened your community manager with my realness. I think your product is clever, but I’m not going to encourage anyone to buy it because you snubbed me and made me feel like a bastard in Game of Thrones.

This Father’s Day, don’t buy Man Crates — not because they’re aren’t really inventive and cool — because their company email filtering system may be a little too stringent, or they’re such a manly, macho company that a woman having a baby on her own threatens the structure of their corporate model somehow. Oh yes, I went there. See what happens when you don’t acknowledge my emails? I can’t speak for all sperm donor babies, but I happen to love making people feel uncomfortably guilty for calling attention to my dadlessness.

PS: Man Crates, I looked at your Snack Pack Man Crate, and I see you’ve included a Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey granola bar in the same company as Oreo, Chips Ahoy!, and a Rice Krispie treat—are you out of your mind? How did that pass quality control?


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