Wednesday, April 30, 2008

When is it time to distance ourselves from old relationships? ...by Sybil Sage

Influenced, no doubt, by the extremely public questioning about relationships we've been privy to this week -- Obama's rift with Rev. Wright, Hillary's handlers trying to figure out what to do about Bill and Mc Cain establishing that his positions differ from those of George Bush -- a friend just asked why I took on a G-mail account after years of being with AOL.

I see G-mail as more intimate, the address used by most friends, while AOL is the address I freely give to doctor's offices, art galleries and when ordering online. "Why keep AOL?" she persisted. I explained it's so the Nigerian inheritances, British lotteries, classmates looking for me and knock-off watches will still get through, all of which are screened by G-mail, which serves as a gatekeeper. Then I admitted, albeit sheepishly, that when I'm avoiding going to the gym, I read AOL's "weird news" and take their tests.

"How did you do on today's armpit sniffer test?" she asked, also a freelance writer so as deft as I am at wasting time. I immediately went onto AOL to see how adept I'd be at picking out which in each category is the bogus job. Out of armpit sniffer, dog sniffer and garbage sniffer, I was right: garbage. And I knew the next one was candle waxer, not candy butcher or citrus fruit colorer. The third question was where I messed up, choosing brain picker, not nose tickler or tonsorial artist.

I stopped. Was this really a way for a grown-up to spend time? Look out, AOL, you may be heading into the dumper with Rev. Wright.

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