Maybe I was too nonchalant? - Denese Rodgers

My first car was a baby blue, 1978 Ford Pinto, and for the next quarter of a century, I was pretty much a Ford bigot.

Technically, the others were made by Mercury, but, back then, the dealerships were Ford/Mercury and were considered one and the same.

I followed the Pinto up with a 1990 Cougar, and then, a 2000 Cougar. Loved 'em all and drove the dang wheels off of them.

My 1990 Cougar was one that I purchased up in North Carolina on an installment plan. When I got it proudly all paid off, they sent me my title - with the wrong name on it.

Talk about an anticlimax! I had worked 36 months to pay off my pride and joy, and the finance company sent the title in the name of Demetrious Rodgers. I was distinctly nonplussed.

The finance company fixed it quickly enough, and even sent me the replacement by certified mail, with my name corrected.

I can truly say that I had not thought about that incident in ages and eons until last fall. There was a message on my home phone machine from an agency, seeking Demetrious Rodgers. I called and explained that I am not, and never have been, Demetrious.

I asked why they even thought I was someone else, and of course, I got a vague non-answer in response. It niggled at the nape of my neck for a while, until I connected the dots about the incident in North Carolina.

Ding! This can't possibly be the same Demetrious, right? I've never been the paranoid sort, but twenty years later and the same name?

I was around during the mid-1980s and the millennium, when everyone was spooked about Big Brother and digital surveillance. Now, I'm sort of wondering myself exactly what information is out there and why Demetrious Rodgers is still tied to me, since he/she got tied to me through no action whatsoever on my part.

It also makes me curious as to whether I am tied back to him or her? Does he/she get calls for utility assistance and help at Christmas?

I've intentionally avoided My Space and Facebook, more because I don't need one more thing to do than any actual aversion to the medium. Now, I'm tempted to log on, get in and see what the rest of the world thinks they know about me and my "bizness."

I'm also a bit concerned about my future eulogy. The way I drive, I'm likely to be killed in traffic. I can just envision the front page headline, "Denese (aka Demetrious) Rodgers Meets Her Maker" - details to follow.

My mama ain't gonna be happy about that. She wouldn't even let me have a nickname in grade school, much less a pseudonym.

Denese Rodgers is executive director of Connecting Henry, a social-services, networking, community organization in Henry County.