Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Is that some kind of disease?

Long ago and far away in a magical land.... oh wait, that's not it. Long ago, when I signed up for my very first AOL account and my very first taste of "The Internet" (which when I think about it IS a magical land, so maybe I wasn't so very far off after all), I knew nothing. Ha. Filling out that little account information quiz for AOL, I chose my username. No. I chose my name. I quickly learned that there were OTHER people already ON The Internet, and I would have to ::gasp:: Make Up A Different Username.

Now, if you don't really know anything about The Internet, and you're really really eager to get ON The Internet, and the only thing holding you back from GETTING on The Internet is a fake username, you aren't really inspired to spend deep contemplative effort crafting a clever and memorable moniker. Or at least I wasn't. So when I typed in "JSouthern" and AOL spit back JSouth 4205 as an ingenious alternative to my dull suggestion, I was a bit dismayed until I noticed that the digits at the end could be rearranged to be my childhood telephone number (yes, I grew up in a town so small that we had four digit telephone numbers), and JSouth4502 was hastily born so I could get ON The Internet. I really felt terribly clever, with my half-name-half-secret-code-from-the-past.

That clever feeling lasted until the moment I actually got signed in and was ON The Internet. In that magical land I quickly picked up on the fact that other folks had spent more than 3 minutes planning their cyberpersona, and actually had cute, meaningful, and here's the kicker, EASY TO REMEMBER usernames. And now I had saddled myself with a Borglike Master Screenname which could not be changed, because let's face it, AOL figured anyone in a position to create a Master Screenname was old enough and wise enough to come up with something charming and clever and EASY TO REMEMBER, and therefore would not need to make any changes. Oh sure, the other screen names that my account was allowed were able to change at a moment's notice, at the slightest whiff of boredom. But not the reliable, intelligent Master Account Creator who JUST WANTED TO GET ON THE INTERNET. ::sigh::

Many years down the road, AOL allowed one to create a second master screen name. By this time, I was reasonably accustomed to no one having a clue whether I was a man or a woman (although it was generally assumed that I was a man, because a WOMAN would be more CREATIVE with their username!). No one being able to remember my secret code, no one being charmed by my cleverness and ingenuity. Though beaten-down and fatigued by my dreary status, I retained enough strength to try again. I spent a great deal more effort on this attempt. I knew I wanted something much more representative of ME. No more anonymity. No more ambiguity. I wanted girly and personal. Unfortunately, a whole string of Julies before me had also wanted girly and personal and unambiguous and they had all chosen their AOL screen name well in advance of my feeble efforts. At long last, after trying multitudinous combinations of my name and my presence of being, I found one that was untouched and available: JulieItIs. Scarcely believing my good luck I rushed through the rest of the screenname creation to save my precious invention before some predatory and equally desperate Julie snatched it away from me just at the brink of my new cyber existence. Whew! Success!

I gleefully signed into my new account and sent email to everyone I knew and loved and cherished, announcing the New Me. It was glorious. My entire attitude to the world was new and fresh and giddy and happy and nothing could bring me down...

Until I filled out a form somewhere on The Internet asking for my email address. I cheerfully filled it out, julieitis (at) aol (dot) com. Hmmm. Somehow losing some capital letters put a new and not entirely satisfactory slant on my proud creation. It no longer looked girly and personal and fun. In fact, it bore a strong resemblance to... well, to a disease. Like something that might get left on a drinking glass in a lipstick schmear, or lurk on a doorknob waiting to pounce on some unsuspecting cyber wanderer and land him in a hospital bed with various distant relatives whispering dread pronouncements over the likelihood of his continued existence. This wasn't what I wanted. This wasn't the New ME. This was disgusting!

And as I sat there, frozen with the shock of the ice cold rain falling on my parade of screenname joy, the first "congratulatory" emails began to arrive in my box. Never had "You've Got Mail" sounded such a death knell on hope and anticipation for me. I opened the first.

"Cool, you've got a new screenname. So what are you now, some kind of disease?"

And there it was. Fate had tricked me a second time. I knew I couldn't bear the shame of writing back to everyone and admitting my folly; I was just going to have to brazen it out and convince everyone that I, in my infinite wisdom, had willingly chosen this path, and I began a barrage of self-justification that started with I Was Being Clever and Thinking Outside The Box and ended with a storm of You Won't Forget It and You Can Spell It, and buried my shame deep in the recesses of my rarely defragged hard drive.

Until Now. Now you know.

13 comments:

Hummie said...

OH what a hoot...you had me laughing there....some kind of disease...the things we should think of and don't!

You also made me laugh because I remember my first time on the internet too...I ended up with my initials and some random numbers and just said okay...it's still my personal e-mail address today and everyone always asks me what those stupid numbers stand for.

Scraps of Candy said...

You are hysterical!. Yea I have that first master account I don't use either much for the same reason! Nice to know I am not the only one. And now I don't even have any clue what the password is to it. Thanks for the entertainment.

MamaB said...

ROFL.... Oh you are fabulous!!!! You gave me the best giggle I've had in a long time :D

Kati said...

That happens in my game a lot. One of my friends, all of his characters are variations of his name... Tyler. Ewwww. And extraneous :: or ~~ or .. or ++ are kind of frowned upon as they indicate much the same thing: you are inexperienced and unclever.

(My main character was .::Aphrodite::. and is now Whimsical. Due to another bout of uncreativity, another character is named WhimsicaI (capital i) and the latest is Whimsy.)

Now that I have said too much, good night.

And those giggles were authentic, not sympathy giggles.

Flergs said...

LOL that is the funniest read I have had today!! Julie It is! not a disease, I will always remember how your screen name came about. And thank you also for your lovely comments on my blog, you have lifted my day twice now I thank you for that. I was in tears of sadness and now I am in tears of laughter.

I always love to know the reasons behind some screen/usernames. Sadly my darling husband opened my ebay account, you ready? Sir Edward Fleshwound! Lovely isn't it LOL.

Julie said...

Sir Edward Fleshwound! Lovely isn't it LOL.
****

Oh Dear. Although I will admit this really makes me want to go to eBay and do a search...

Janet said...

>this really makes me want to go to eBay and do a search...<

My thought exactly. What could Sir Edward Fleshwould have to sell? Could be interesting.

Tammy Moore said...

LOL - I remember my first time thinking of a username as well!! Who would've thought "skydancer" was already TAKEN?! *I didn't know it was a cigarette brand in those days* So in my youthful exuberance I decided to be.... wait for it... Skydancer123. Yup, creative and classy. But I WAS a tween, so what can I say? ;) Then I came up with the equally difficult "msntlm" for "Matt And Tammy Lee Moore". Eventually I went with tammymoore.msntlm for all those people who MAY recognize the msntlm, but really just want to know my name! ;)

Hugs to ya girl - love the name!

unruly said...

lol...lol...LOL...I love it. Great tale to tell. It was only recently I realized that your last name was not Itis with a long I....the disease part only came later...probably my blocking mechanism since I'm a BC survivor (used to love pink but now that's an sad reminder)....anyways my heart goes out to you...thanks for the laugh...I needed it. PS...I love your kits....Cindi

Anne of Alamo said...

you are my friend!
I am so glad
you make me laugh and laugh...
parker colorado, I shall save my pennies and one day live on your couch

So~Inkin~Cute said...

This is my first time reading the "Julie It Is" story, although I have known your "Name" for a very long time. This was so funny....you crack me up!!!!

I am not sure if the commenter above me is making reference to the fact that you live in Parker, CO, or if she does. If it's you, I wanted to say "HOOW COOOOOL" I live right next to you. I am in Centennial, near Park Meadows Mall.

You're so funny and I love your designs. Of course you wouldn't know this because I am never able to shop! I started digi-scrappin' after I lost my job because my paper scrapping habit was getting out of control and was WAY TOO expensive.

Anyway, just wanted you to know that I am a fan!!! I have a case of the julieitis! :)

Nikki O said...

Lol -- Just read this and cracked up. :) Figured I would also offer you a flip-side re: that first screen name.

When I got my first one, I took the time to be creative (well, what I thought was creative at the time, lol). But I was young. YOUNG. With no awareness that my e-mail address/screen name might one day be used for more than chat rooms and funny forwards.

Fast-forward a few years, and I realized I'd have to abandon first online persona as I became a "grown-up." Somehow, "angelic_blue_eyes" just didn't come across as very professional. ;)

Loved reading your story, and I love your products. :)

Cardinals Kate said...

Oh Julie, this was just hilarious! I loved reading about your screen name saga. And any story that uses the words multitudinous AND Borg-like, I'm going to be a fan of!

(And I have to admit, when I got an email from you, I DID think julieitis, like some kind of ailment LOL)