What’s in a (e-mail) name?

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I don’t talk about my day time job on my blog much – mostly because this blog is to promote my writing efforts and besides, there are only so many ways to kick a puppy. You all know the drill. However, there was an incident the other day I feel compelled to describe because it made me think of the power of words – and names especially.

Our first name – for almost all of us – is given to us by our parents. Some names we get to choose – easy examples are our email/blog names. What we choose to name ourselves – in all seriousness or just in fun – says more about us than the names bestowed upon us by others. (Conversely, what our parents name us says more about them than it does us – right “Justice’? Right “Eagle Eye”?)

One of our clients came in about a month ago to update his contact information. I sat with him and started updating the customer information screen and when we got to the email field I asked the question. He hung his head and laughed nervously – I just looked at him, waiting for the info. Finally he said “ricochetrobbie” at (some email address). I just typed it in (trust me, I’ve heard odder ones) but he felt compelled to explain:

“Oh man,” he said, with a California stoner drawl (even though we’re not in Cali), “When I was a Kid we’d play Cowboys and my cowboy name was “Ricochet Robbie” so I have always kept a variation of that as my email. Kind of silly hey?” He looked like he did, indeed, feel silly.

You know, I feel for the guy. We’re about the same age, it’s been a long tough winter, and you know what? Whatever brightens your day – it’s all good by me.

“Hey – it’s cool with me Rob” I said. “In fact, I’ve been on-line dating and “Steve Nine Plus” is my username on the website I use. Look at it this way – you really could be a cowboy. There’s time. You can buy a horse, a hat, and give it a shot. Ride off into that sunset. Me? I’m just another f*cking liar on the internet.”

We both laughed at that.

After I completed the customer information screen I brought a puppy out of the bag and we took turns punting it clear across my cubicle. Mission accomplished.Another happy customer.

Stay frosty my friends – I don’t always lie on the internet but when I do? It’s to strange women.

Steve

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