i have been suffering the escalating consequences of what was only a minor brain-fart all day. On my way out for a run/walk this morning, i shut down my laptop – hitting the “sign out” button on several windows without really thinking about it. Returning an hour later, i attempted to log onto my e-mail — an drew a complete blank on the password.
Thinking “of course i know this password”, i managed to get myself locked out after three failed attempts. Going to the “password help” page, i realized that i was up against a major obstacle – this e-mail account was formed in 1988. The security question “What is your pet’s name?” would have been four dogs ago… and could have been one of either critter we had at the time.
i managed to get myself booted out of that after three incorrect answers, and went to the live chat “help” screen. Where i was informed by a delightful young Indian man named “Krystal” that i was NOT the account owner, and therefore, he couldn’t reset my password. Oh, right. In 1988, i was married to a man with several graduate degrees, including a Master’s in Computer Science. HE set up the account, even though he hasn’t used that address for 10 years.
Quadruple Fuck. i use that account for ALL of my personal business. Bank accounts, bill paying, and all sorts of things… to have it just disappear? Up the ass without a courtesy spit… fucked bad.
On my way out the door, i grabbed my work blackberry and sent my ex-husband a desperate plea for help… “really sorry to bug you, but i’m fucked. can you try to reset my old e-mail password?” Fortunately, he was able to guess at the set up information from two decades ago, and got the password reset.
Having no luck re-setting the password (due to the aforementioned failure on my part to remember animal names – even though i used the one he told me he used to no avail), i decided it was time to retire the old e-mail.
i’ve spent the better part of the afternoon and evening beginning the process to migrate to a new account. Was delighted to find that gmail has an ‘import’ function, which moved all of my saved messages into a sparkly clean in-box. Even moved my old “saved mail” folders. Groovy!
Along the way, i realized that i’d been packing a SHITLOAD of e-baggage. First folder to be deleted? Theater business. Fuck all y’all. Didn’t even read any of it. “Skatepark” files? Um, the local skater punks have been burning up those ramps for three years. Done. Next? Went through all of the “home logistics” folders and deleted information that had gone well past the expiration date. A receipt for a gift ordered in 2006? Probably not worth keeping… Therapeutic!
Oh, but the treasures… e-mail exchanges about work stress with my “day husband”. Shit. We were funny when our heads were exploding. Sharing “trailer park” stories with my friends. Pre-blog. Some of those exchanges are ripe for lifting directly as historical posts…
Messages exchanged with my daughter as she sailed around the world. Heartbreak delivered, and received. My entire divorce, essentially documented in e-mail exchanges with a friend going through her divorce at the same time. E-mails with gentlemen friends as we tested the murky dating waters. The “you have malaria” / “no wait, it’s mono” story. The breast cancer coaster.
It was my intention to just trash those folders… but i don’t think i can do that just yet. There are about 1,876 nuggets of “holy shit? i completely forgot about that!” to wade through first…
For giggles? Here’s a look at an AOL ad from 1986. Well, quantum link, the AOL predecessor. And it doesn’t even mention the porn!