Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Where's Waldo et. al.?
Caroline loves the Where's Waldo? book series. If you have never seen one of these books, look through one on your next book store visit. Each page features a very complex and busy scene, full to the margins with colorful characters, buildings, and props, and scattered amongst the madness are minuscule pictures of Waldo, a guy in a red and white striped outfit. Of course, there are red and white stripes everywhere in the picture, so finding Waldo can be difficult (although Caroline has mastered the technique).
I personally don't enjoy looking for Waldo. I have better things to do, such as trying to find old friends using the Internet. But believe me, it's just as frustrating.
My sister says that my blog has gradually shifted away from "Journey to Simplicity" to become more like "Oh My! I'm Getting Old!" I can see her point. The journey to simplicity is all inclusive, and the act of moving towards a simpler life involves a great deal of introspection. And, unfortunately, every time I stop to look at my life, I am apt to say, "Oh My! I'm Getting Old!"
The more I feel my age, the more I look to the past because, after all, the past constitutes the majority of my life now. And the more I look to the past, the more I think about people I once knew - people I've lost touch with. Occasionally my curiosity will get the better of me, and I lean on Google to find Waldo - or in this case, someone from my previous adventure-filled life.
Of course, I realize right off the bat that it is much easier to find males than females. A male goes to high school with a name, keeps that name through marriage, divorce, even remarriage. Google a guy's name and you might easily find the one you are looking for. Not so with a woman. It's a convoluted mess trying to search for a woman.
I went to college with a girl named Annie Smith, and I lost touch with her and would really enjoy finding out where life took her. After some searching, I do believe one has to have the combined detective skills of Hercule Poirot, Sherlock Holmes, and Columbo to find anything specific with the name "Smith." I also realized that I didn't know as much about her as I thought. When I met her, she lived in Nashville, and that is where she went to high school. But which high school? I have no idea. Did you ever wonder how many schools there are in Nashville? A lot.
OK, then, maybe she is listed as an alumna of Lambuth College, which is where we first became friends. Maybe she kept in touch with Lambuth and is listed on their site, so I went there. Apparently before I can look at a list of alumni, I have to register as an alumna myself. That wouldn't bother me so much if I didn't have to pick my class year. I only went there one year; I didn't graduate. The site said they would verify my information before I would be allowed in, and all I could think of was the probability of being labeled a fraud, trying to impersonate an actual college graduate. So I nixed that idea.
I also visited the Memphis State site, because I believe Annie might have graduated from there, but I wasn't sure. At any rate, I had to register there too, and since I've never been a Memphis State student, even for a year, I gave up on that.
It was at this point I remembered that Annie Smith's first name was really LuAnn. Or LuAnne. So, armed with more correct information, I continued my search with LuAnn. And LuAnne.
However, Annie had married a Mike Davidson, and, if I remember correctly, got divorced. Did she keep her Davidson last name? Return to Smith? Heck, she might even be remarried again and changed her name altogether! To make matters more confusing, the last time a mutual friend heard from Annie, Annie had been living in Michigan.
Before throwing in the towel, I came across a promising match with a Nashville address. Every time I came across this lady's name, it was because she was involved in marathon running all over the country. Annie wasn't a runner when I knew her, but she was skinny enough to be. Her age was right, too.
I took the chance and called the lady. She was very understanding, but, alas, she wasn't Annie. I almost wished her luck in her running career, but I figured she would think that was too creepy, coming from a complete stranger.
So now I am back to square one. Well, this blog reaches around the world - maybe someone has heard of Annie Smith, a skinny girl who grew up in Nashville, attended Lambuth College and Memphis State, worked as a waitress for Red Lobster, married Mike Davidson at one point, and maybe (or not) divorced him. If so, would you please contact me?
I think after all, I might try again to find Waldo in one of Caroline's books. It's got to be easier than this!