I got this email on Monday morning: “Guess what… you’ve got a secret admirer! Want to find out who it is? Just click to [URL excised]!”

I immediately suspected one friend who might be teasing me. I considered calling her on it, but I had some doubt and wondered if someone else may have registered a genuine crush or was playing some mind games. I investigating the site a little, made up a list (taking into consideration the time the email was sent, Monday before 9:00.), but decided it was just to much of a mind-fuck to mess with. Plus I thought, I would basically be fishing for a crush – which might be against the nature of the thing.

On Tuesday the “service provider” sent me a hint. Or rather, hey sent me through a couple of hoops to find a hint. I had to register for a job search site (for which I guess they got a referral fee) using a phony address, then fill in a quote from the job search site to show I’d been there.

The clue was that my secret admirer’s first name started with a letter from within a particular range of the alphabet. I checked my list, but only one name didn’t fit the bill. The odd thing was that, though there’d been no other clues, the email and the site both said, “This is your THIRD hint.” “THIRD” in allcaps, I assumed that this meant it was from someone whose first initial is the third letter from that range, i.e.: my original suspect. I checked my sent & deleted folders and my address book for others’ with that initial, but didn’t find another likely candidate.

I forgot about it for awhile, but this morning decided to call her on it. I filled in her email address and hit “send”. There was no confirmation, meaning it wasn’t her and I’d just sent her an anonymous email. A little later I asked her about it and she’d immediately passed it on to people she suspected were messing with her head. And so it spreads among the insecure – like a computer virus or like the email about PBS funding.

I’m not going to play this anymore. I’d like to know who it was, but I don’t want to expose myself to potential embarrassment. I think I’ll give someone from that list a call though.

Categorized as Before