I recently found myself needing to gain access to my old hotmail account that I made when I was in high school. So, I put in my (immature and ridiculous) original email and then used my ancient password. Well, it didn't work. So, I tried some other old passwords but came up empty handed. I was then given the option to recover my password by answering a security question or having the hotmail wizards send me a text with a recovery number to type in. "I'll take the recovery question," I thought. After all, I know myself quite well. I felt confident in the answering of the question. Until I read the security question. This was my security question created at age 16.
"Who do I like?"
When I saw that's what the 16 year-old version of me created as a security question, I could not help but emit loud guffaws! I was reminded that I am not the person I have always been - I used to be a boy crazy teen sitting on my blow-up furniture, twirling my hair, applying self tanner, and dreaming about the boy that I uh, "liked." I did this all whilst carelessly failing pre-algebra.
Now teenage girls who happen to suffer from boy crazy developmental disorder require a gaggle of girls with whom to conspire. And, I had just that. At social events, we would have clandestine meetings that consisted of plotting, scheming, and hushed chortles. We advised each other on how to land a man. "Stalk him. Then you could impress him with your 'detective skills'" or, "Stand outside his window and sing 'Make you Happy' by Celine Dion." We'd make plans to bewitch our teenage crushes. Then, we'd proceed with all dispatch to lure them into our enchantment.
But of course, we could never talk about the boys who we happened to like using actual names. Otherwise, someone may overhear our conversation. They undoubtedly might find out! Mortifying! So, at these conspiratorial meetings, we would come up with code names for our hopeful matrimonial allies.
One target of affection happened to have the initials KM. His name was Klaus Meister. In order to conceal his identity (actually, more to conceal the identity of the liker). We came up with the nickname "Shackles." Why you ask? Let me explain. You see, my friend Keiko, and I were subjected to being the children of vitamin evangelists. My mother, and Keiko's mother would frequent the same vitamin dealer. Thus, we were both regularly administered a dosage of a vitamin drink called KM - made by a company called Shaklee. Now, when you meet a fellow minor, who is also at the mercy of a mother who happily espouses Shaklee products, - it creates an profound, deep, everlasting bond that crushes through bedrock. Nothing bonds two people like shared childhood trauma. Anyways, when we saw Klaus, er "Shackles," at various social events - we would alert each other of his presence by saying things like: "I spot Shackles at 3 o'clock" and nobody knew what on earth we were talking about.
I had a crush on a young man called Theodore Arrington. Actually, maybe it was more than a crush. I mean, I did refer to my feelings for him as "an out of control forest fire." Anyways, he had initials of TA. So we obviously called him "Tallahassee." Again, people who weren't "in the know" didn't know what I mean't when I said, "Tallahassee is such a dish!" And, when my accomplices sang back in unison, "Dishee dishee Tallahassee!" It only elicited blank stares from those who did not speak our language. Now, had I said "Theodore is a babe and a half!" those in close auditory proximity would have noticed the surging teen hormones - which, of course, would have been a huge embarrassment alert.
Now, the idea for code names was a genius idea. But, not such a genius idea when one decides to make it a security question answer to their hotmail account. Who did I like when I was 16? Was the answer to my question "Tallahassee?" Was it "Theodore?" Was it "Theodore Arrington?" Was it "Shackles and Tallahassee?" All caps? No caps? Was it a code name of a guy that has long since been forgotten? I feel like "Lord Pimberly" may have been a code name. Maybe it was that guy called Jeff who I sat next to on the bus on the school ski trip. There was that really cute guy who worked at the organic hippie store. Maybe the password was "organichippiestoreguy." Maybe it was...gosh.. this was getting tough. As I scratched my head and banged my forehead, I made a decision to give up (something I often do). As a teen, I had crushes on a lot of guys. I mean, I wasn't discriminating at all.
Digging into the depths of my romantic past - or shall I say "could have been a romantic past" was too hard. There was simply too much material. In the end, I opted to have my password reset via a text message code. And guess what? My old hotmail account still exists!