mistaken identity (or not)
I got my first email my first year of college back in the late 80’s and spent many Saturday mornings in the computer lab on usenet reading alt.romance, alt.sex, etc., and a lot of my social circle communicated by email (no cell phones) or discussion boards that we would all log into many times during the day, running to the computer lab between classes (no personal computers).
We were living on the internet and when the web came along in the early 90’s it was cool, but we were already doing zines and email lists and quote boards, ntalk/otalk and IRC to stay in touch across the country. When I had to be away from my computer for a few days, my fingers would start typing on tables and furniture by themselves as I was thinking to myself, which gives you a sense of how addicted we could get, even before the rise of social media as a phenomenon.
So: I’m in grad school in the first years of the 90s, and I get an email at my school address (that’s all you had back then!) that is clearly not to me. It’s to someone else of the same name, and it was a very interesting email that was clever and alluded to some things I was interested in, but it was from a new student in a different division and I didn’t know them.
So I responded to them saying hey, wrong email, and they said oh sorry sorry, the email filled in the wrong address (which it did back then just like it still does now), and I said no problem it actually sounded like an interesting conversation, and they said something else clever; and since their lab was near mine we figured we’d grab coffee and continue the conversation.
We proceeded to flirt for the next few months over email, kissed at New Year’s and were married the following summer (we both know a good thing when we see one!). They admitted, once we were dating, that they had been trying to figure out a way for us to meet, and sent the “wrong email” to break the ice. Classic! I know others who’ve done the same, since then, but at the time I thought it was brilliant. We always claimed we met on the internet in the early 90s.