Elizabeth from Flourish in Progress recently inquired about my blog domain name/email address. As I told her, the short version is that the string of letters and numbers is a former license plate number. Here's the long version.
Once upon a time, I was a foolish 22 year old. My father had recently died. My boyfriend of a year or so broke up with me because I was unwilling to support his lazy ass while he played dilettante, and he had found someone who would. I had just started my first professional job. Life, to put it mildly, was in a bit of upheaval. One day, I went out to meet my friend at a bar. While I was there, my car died. One of the guys helped me get it started so I could go on to the next bar. At the next bar, I met up with a guy I knew from college - he was with 2 friends. We all hung out for a while, and when I was leaving, I asked if someone could come out and help me if my car wouldn't start. One of the friends...lets call him The Idiot (although the title is really more appropriate for me)...came out to help. He asked me out, and I agreed to go. (Later, I would find out that the other friend and The Idiot were debating over which one was going to ask me out. This is a very unusual situation, as when I was 22, I was generally overlooked by anyone in the bar who was not over 40 and a raging alcoholic. I have a very forbidding air about me.)
So, I went out with The Idiot. Thus began an 8 year saga... The Idiot was a nice enough guy, except for the fact that he would basically be considered a loser. He was a spendthrift. He was directionless. He was generally unemployed and perpetually in college. He drank a lot. But, he "loved" me, and was nice to my niece and nephews as they came along. My mom hated him, but he was very helpful to her, so she eventually got used to him. I knew we had no future, and I told him, but he never believed me. I also knew, though, that since he didn't believe me, I was going to have a hard time getting rid of him, which is why it dragged on for so long.
Eventually, I turned 30. I was re-evaluating my life, and knew that I couldn't continue with him any longer, but I couldn't figure out a good way to make it end without restraining orders. We "took a break" to think about things. And then we went to a baseball game with a large group of friends, some of whom had recently gotten engaged. This made The Idiot start asking me when we were going to get married, and I told him that we weren't. That I was done with the relationship. He wanted to remain friends, so I said that I didn't think that would work. But I didn't want trouble, so I would talk to him when he called. I agreed to go see a movie with him.
Meanwhile, since I had broken up with him, I took up with someone else. My future husband and I started dating casually (well, for him, anyway. I'm more the monogamous sort). We would email each other back and forth most evenings, even though we shared an office at work.
One day, I got an angry visit from The Idiot. He claimed that someone had forwarded him one of the emails between Future Husband and myself, in which the movie appointment was discussed. I was less than enthusiastic about it and The Idiot used that email to get angry. He came over, pushed me, threatened to smash up my car with a crow bar, and generally made an ass of himself. It was at that point that I was smart enough to get my house keys back, at least.
The following Monday, when I went to work, I asked Future Husband if he knew anything about the email - he didn't. So I started digging. I found that little setting that lets you forward email to another account. The Idiot was monitoring my email. And therefore, I had to change all of my email addresses and passwords. I changed my phone number. The Idiot called and threatened Future Husband on his voice mail at work. He called my mom. He called my sister. He called my friends. He called my supervisor (with whom we had socialized in the past) and asked him to talk to me. Eventually, since I work for a police agency, the phone threat to Future Husband ensured a little discussion between agents and The Idiot. We managed to come to an end without restraining orders...at least at that point.
Things had pretty much settled down, except for one thing. I was foolish enough (and hadn't watched enough Judge Judy at that point in my life) to cosign on a car for The Idiot. Actually, I cosigned on one car, which he had had repossessed and later redeemed. Then I was stupid enough to finance another car with him as the cosignor, because he couldn't get financing as the primary on the loan. And then, I started getting parking ticket notifications in the mail. That was annoying, but fine. Then I found out that his insurance had been dropped. So, I repossessed the car myself. This led to more home visits from him (although he couldn't get in), more threats, and finally the restraining order.
Once that was filed, and The Idiot figured out that I was quite serious about cutting all ties, he managed to restrain himself. However, he sent a message on Classmates.com. He tried to friend me on F*c*bo**k. He forced me to end a friendship with the guy from college, by pumping him for information. He continued to call my friends to ask them about me. While he is a mild stalker, he is still a stalker.
So there it is - how I got my email address. In the need for an immediate and anonymous email address, I used something that I already knew but that no one else would ever associate with me. I was an early victim of cyberstalking. It's also one of the many reasons why I stay very anonymous on the internet.