Thursday seemed momentous but actually a lot of little things happened. I worked out at the gym, completed a post (I'm still outraged!), had an appointment with Cheryl, also got a pedicure (Nantucket Mist on the toenails), finished The Hour I First Believed (this book makes me want to write -- I really 'lived in it' -- kind of hard to adjust out of it, actually), and then last night I got an email allegedly from AOL that told me I needed to 'update' my account information and if I didn't, my service would be suspended.
That brought me pause, stopped me in my proverbial tracks. First of all, I don't have an AOL account, although I retained the address when I switched to another server. Secondly, AOL was always very clear that they would NEVER request personal information online. The form I was to fill out was unbelievably thorough, including credit card verification numbers, my mom's maiden name, my passwords for my internet accounts and bank. When I clicked on the various AOL-typed icons around the site, they all came up "Site not available" -- another red flag. How easy (and remarkably stupid) it would have been for me to give them all that info. I clicked on "Report Spam", hoped I'd never see their message again and that AOL would, and that big, heavily armed, scary, hairy men and women would raid their lair and arrest them all.
What is really frightening is how naive I am. I'm the last one to see a scam. I think Bernard Madoff looks like such a nice man -- those cute cheeks, and that innocent twinkle in those calculating eyes. (Not like Ann Coulter who just looks nuts.) In my personal journey, I have had to learn the hard way that evil sometimes looks so beautiful, so friendly, so caring and honest. I'm not alone; sometimes we all trust too easily, too readily. In the words of James Taylor in "Home by Another Way," "Herod's always out there, he's got our cards on file... A king who would slaughter the innocents will not cut a deal for you." We all need to take heed.
- I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.