Friday, August 19, 2005

Have You Ever Googled Yourself ?

Sherry Dion-Wright did. And what did this wife, mother, and former police dispatcher find when she used a search engine to find her name? (she actually used Dogpile)

1.
the Panic blog: Daddy's Sacred Underwear
... Sherry Dion leapt at me from behind a bush and threw a brick at me. ... romance story I would have grown up and married Sherry Dion but this is not a ...

panic-e.blogspot.com/2005/07/daddys-sacred-underwe...
[Found on Google, MSN Search, Yahoo! Search]

Oh yes. The same Sherry Dion.

Sherry shared the story with her family then decided to write me a very nice email:

I enjoyed your story, although I can not recall throwing a brick at you? I am sorry if I did so. I am no longer a MEAN little girl.

(some personal details deleted for her privacy)

Once again, I am truly sorry if I made any of your childhood memories bad. I know I was a brat, but that is no excuse. I just thank God that my daughter did not inherit those genes from me.

Oh no.

Using Sherry’s real name was just a point of accuracy for my little story. I figured my family would remember the Dions (fondly of course) and enjoy the little detail of the brick (which is, indeed, true).

What I had not considered was that Sherry Dion, a real person with feelings and memories and emotions of her own, would stumble upon my story. It never even entered my mind.

We shot some emails back and forth this morning. I begged HER forgiveness for using her real name and assured her that I was not scarred by the masonry incident but that it was just a particularly clear moment in time way back when. And I begged for permission to write about this whole incident. That’s a lot of begging but she was very gracious and friendly.

Whew!

I don’t consider myself cowardly but I also wasn’t looking for a fight by writing ‘Daddy’s Underwear.’ It could have easily been Joe Dion with a metal lunch box showing up at my work to exact his revenge. Okay, Sherry suggested that Joe is much more even-tempered than that, plus working at the police station affords a certain amount of deterrence, but still. Sherry’s husband, a 6’6” 290 lb cop, would have no problem squishing me like a bug if he chose to do so.

I mentioned in one of the Sherry mails that thinking about those days had brought back a very clear memory of an incident involving her mother.

Mrs. Dion was our cub scout Den Mother. As a child I had a terrible stuttering problem. Naturally, the other kids would pick on me and call me stupid. Mrs. Dion handled the situation wonderfully: she simply told me to take a second to collect my thoughts and try again while at the same time telling the other kids that I wasn’t stupid at all but rather so smart that my brain worked faster than my mouth could keep up with. Brilliant! No longer was I stupid; I was now a genius spaz. I could live with that.

Mrs. Dion should be happy to hear that I overcame my stuttering. The tradeoff was that now my mouth works much faster than my brain. This results in clear and occasionally eloquent speech, all without being aware of “the line” until long after I’ve crossed it (see: The Line).


So a public THANK YOU to Sherry for the courage to write me. You have nothing to apologize for and never did; you were probably five years old. You certainly were not the last person to throw heavy objects at me.


This whole experience has reminded me about the absolute beauty of the internet. 25+ years later I can catch up with neighbors from my youth. It also reminds me to be a little careful about what I say. Thankfully Sherry was very nice and didn’t have any dirt on me to spread across the world. I won’t always be so lucky.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

That is TOO FUNNY. Well, it could have not be funny, but it is- know what I mean?

I will now never, ever use someones real name. I swear.

Jackie Bolen said...

That's awesome...I love stories like that! I google myself sometimes too but it's kind of boring :(

Tracy S said...

Wow that is very cool actually ..that she found you .Very small world isn't it ..especially on the internet ...lol
Thanks for stopping by and for the compliment :)

Anonymous said...

Amazing. How small the internet world truly is.

Oddly enough, brother, I had finished writing a paper for my english comp class a few months ago where I recalled the events of where Chris Dion is the one that showed me that blood rushing from the top of my skull from a certain rock fight incident.
Although I didn't publish the paper, I did use his real name in class. I guess it brings up an interesting conundrum, do you use real names to be factually correct in your writing, or should you change names to protect the identities of people?

It is part moral, part ethical, and part legal.

Who knows?

I mention this Chris / Rock incident as a response to your blog
http://panic-e.blogspot.com/2005/08/to-all-blogs-ive-loved-before.html .
Chris just happened to be standing next to me at the time, innocent as I was.

#10

Tell Sherry that we missed them when they moved from the neighborhood, and I still had one of the gigantic teddy bears that Mrs. Dion gave me when they moved up until last year. I donated it to a kid's "bears for babes" program, where police and rescue workers give stuffed animals to children in trauma as a way to give them some security and comfort. It was professionally cleaned and restored by volunteers, and is now making some child feel a little bit better in their time of need.

WCTs said...

Such a nice post and a great learning experience for me to follow. Your site is so creative.

Years ago I told a new friend that I had Googled her and found she was in some guy's online motorcycle diary..they had motored through France on his bike and he wrote about her...well, he was not her current boyfriend at the time. She was so freaked out that she was not sure who to be mad at, him, or me for finding it....so now I don't even tell people what I find about them unless they are a good friend. <:-)

Again, love your site...I will stay tuned!
-^..^=

Anonymous said...

I once changed a name in a story that was published in a large paper. Subconciously must have wanted to be haunted my past as I used an old boyfriend's last name--it was too unique! From then on I stuck to common names

OMFG!! said...

if you publish or the local newpaper publish your name. i mean real name it will appear.. due to googles run on bot and robot and crawler..

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