Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It's a Small World (Wide Web): Will the real SCooley please stand up?

Back in 2001 when I was pregnant with Grace, I got a lot of e-mails from friends wishing me well and stuff--especially throughout that long, hot summer as I approached Grace's August due date. Back then, my personal e-mail was cooleysl@yahoo.com. If you think that it's the number "1" between the s and the @, you're wrong. It's an "l" as in Louise or Lightfoot.

Our friend Rick, aka Ricksta, aka Rickstar, bless his heart, was trying to be a good brotha and sent me lots of e-mails asking me how the pregnancy was going with little messages like, "Not long now," and "Bet your belly is getting really big," and "How does David feel about becoming a daddy?" Then the next group e-mail from Ricksta went something like this: "Hey everybody--Sarah Cooley's e-mail address is cooleysL@yahoo.com NOT cooleys1@yahoo.com. I thought you should all know, because I've been sending messages to a 'Steve Cooley' and he's not too happy. He wrote me back to tell me he wasn't Sarah Cooley, he wasn't pregnant, and he's not married to a guy named David. Just wanted to make sure everyone else had her e-mail straight." Everyone else did.

I, too, got a couple of curt emails from Steve Cooley himself, informing me that my friends were e-mailing him by mistake and would I be so kind as to notify everyone in my address book the distinctions in our e-mail addresses. I thought seriously about abandoning that account, but in the end decided, nah.

Fast forward a couple of years to 2004 or so when the tables turned and I started getting messages that were intended for Steve. First it was an itinerary for his trip to Japan and instructions on who would pick him up at the airport. Then it was from his cousin saying she'd enjoyed the visit, and another from someone who said they'd like to see the photos from his trip. It was my turn to be curt, but I had fun with it. I forwarded each misdirected e-mail with a pleasant header such as "Remember me? People are still getting our addresses mixed up. By the way, I'd like to see your pictures from Japan sometime too."

I think he was surprised to hear from me again, but he did e-mail back acknowledging the long-term imbroglio in which we were both entangled. A couple of e-mails later, we finally found ourselves on common ground, I mean cyberspace, for the first time in our five-year relationship.

I wonder what's of Steve Cooley now...whether he's back in Japan, whether he ever got pregnant, and whether he ever ended up with a good man named David. After all, if Grace had been a boy, we'd decided to call her Steve.

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