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I had an ugly moment the other day when I realized that I knew my parents' email address but not their postal address or phone number. They'd recently moved, and the new contact information hadn't insinuated itself into my long-term memory. Of course, that doesn't explain why I didn't know my brother's or sister's address, either. The fact of the matter is that, except for a couple technicalities (friends who live at a variant of my last address), I don't know the addresses of anyone that I've met since high school.

Before you decide that I'm a misanthropic hermit, let me assure you that I have a reasonable pool of friends with whom I correspond regularly. I just prefer to do it by email when I can. I have all their addresses, even my parents', in my address book. (The address book is electronic, but I'm an admitted geek.)

I've been trying to make most of my correspondence electronic for some time. I first had reliable email sometime in 1986 or so, and since then I've been trying to convince various friends to get themselves electronic addresses. I bought my Mom a modem and a Compuserve account in the early 1990's. I've wanted to communicate electronically with the world since I've been able to do so with a subset.

So why do I feel so guilty about it now?

I've got to get used to the idea that I'm not a bad son just because I have to look up their address. I suppose I shouldn't feel bad; after all, they have to look up mine.

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