Today is Wednesday, August 23, 2017

So wheres your identity been?

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By ANNE DONNELL

Do you think the term “identity loss” or “identity theft” is accurate? And did you weary of hearing “…nailed it” repeatedly in the commentary on the Olympics?    -Local Observer

Twice this last year someone I don’t know has started charging little heart’s desires to my credit card. The huge bank who issued the card (and took lots of taxpayer’s money fairly recently, operating on a small level – me – and a big one – all of us) notified me promptly by e-mail the second time. The first time was more complicated; I received fake notifications, accurate down to the “site key” picture on the pretend bank website. Ah, the talent of evil!

But, all is well, I have my third card now, two of them delivered the next day after an easy phone conversation with folks I believe to be employed by the real bank issuing the credit card. Amazon is no doubt relieved because they surely noticed we went one night without purchasing something for our Kindles.

A nice cousin sympathetically commented on Facebook about my latest problem; his mention of “identity stolen” marked my first connecting of any of this credit card fraud to this quite famous term. I hadn’t thought identity theft or identity loss. Coincidentally his situation resulted in one that happened to me another time: E-mails fraudulently dispatched in your name stating you’re stranded in London and need money. I received this about a local preacher I’m quite fond of. His wife answered my call; he was right there eating breakfast – not even in London, Kentucky.

I never felt my identity was missing. I didn’t think it lost or stolen. It seemed just where and how it always was; what was different about me was my billfold had a dead card in it. A card not even invented when I was born, when I went to college, when I married, when my two sons popped into the world. And now that this is all over except for my, again, signing a fraud statement, I’d say my growing-old identity isn’t even scarred. 

My name is not sufficient for identity; there are plenty of other Anne Donnell’s around.  Teachers even – one in Murfreesboro I’ve heard about but not met. Years ago I had the rather creepy feeling of reading the obituary of Anne Donnell of Nashville. My daughter-in-law is Ann Donnell. I’ve told her I’m bigger so I get more letters. When I was Anne Evans in graduate school at Vanderbilt, an undergraduate Anne Evans’s date showed up for me at Homecoming. I wasn’t there. Is that slipping closer to identity loss?

Perhaps we’ve grabbed another not-quite-thought-through term to swing around. 

Now as to the “nailed it” bit, I did notice that, but it seemed to decline as the Olympics unfolded. Mercifully. Not a home improvement show with hammers and nail guns, the Olympics emerged from ancient history (Greece, 776 B.C. probably the first one) under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee in 1890. Our modern Olympians, giants each one in preparation, commitment, endurance, and skill, deserve fresh, respectful news coverage. It’s annoying to hear the same phrase, a trite one, repeated and repeated.

(And that reminds me, I object to “deju vu all over again” – humorous the first time, but long past that now as it stands tall in the cannon of redundancy.)

Clearly like every group of people everywhere, Olympians are a mixed batch, but I found that refreshing and exciting. Their skills, their performances are truly unparalleled – until the next Games. The terrible touch of tragedy could not stop the great hearts of athletes from so many countries, so many places. Their love of sport and love of competition shone. Friendships blossomed across the national lines. A mix of ages taught the depth of dedication necessary even to approach Olympia. There were gold medals unrewarded; the peak of excellence was not always something to be “medaled.” We learned of sacrifices by athletes, by their families. 

And watching the faces of the gold medal athletes as their flags rose highest and their anthems played -- so much emotion, beauty, speed, and heart stopping danger. 

REDNECK JOKE (Thanks, B.F.) Two bachelor rednecks were discussing the recent department store catalogs they’d received in the mail. One of them says, “I’m gonna git one of them perty wimmin. Postage is free.” His buddy says he will, too. A few days pass before they see each other again. “Did yer woman arrive yet? Mine ain’t.” His buddy replies, “No, but it ain’t gonna be long; her clothes showed up yestiddy.” 

BW (Bigtime Word) inspissate – to thicken, to make or become thicker or denser.  This is happening to skulls all around us.  Beware.

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