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Speaking of mug shots…

a book cover

Do you ever google people from your past?

Hmmm?

Well, okay. So.

I set my novel in 1985 because that’s when I was a teen and because I didn’t want to deal with cell phones and google.

I used my hometown as a starting point for my novel. But then my fictional town of Lake Belle became something more than where I grew up. The connections between the two are now almost nonexistent.

The novel isn’t autobiographical, but writing a particular scene did bring my former step-sister to mind. So, I googled her name. It was late and I haven’t seen her in 25 years. My dad ran into once while she was working as a cashier. He didn’t recognize her. My dad is like that.

Anyway. I google this girl of my past. She is forever that girl in my head. That young teenager who hit be with a baton and protected me from an aggressive boy. She’s the girl who when I found a way out of the crazy house we were living in said, “How can you leave me here?”

Saving myself.

She was such a tough girl. She could fight and shout, while I just sat quietly with my head down. I thought–she is so strong. She’ll take care of herself.

Googling her, I found her mug shot. For battery. It was a random search and I didn’t expect to find anything. But there you go.

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about learning this information. Seems wrong for people’s mug shots to be online, doesn’t it? Feels wrong to search for people too–but also tempting. I’m as curious as anyone else, especially when I’m putting off the really hard work of editing my novel.

She isn’t in my novel, but some of her spirit is in an odd roundabout way.

So. Have you/would you google someone form your past? I don’t know if I’d recommend it.

11 thoughts on “Speaking of mug shots…

  1. I don’t anymore, but I have in the past. It brings up too many current things I don’t want to know. I stupidly sent my ex an e-mail a couple of weeks ago asking if I could send him a copy of my book when it comes out. He replied and said yes, but then went on to tell me about his new girlfriend and their new house. A simple yes and his address would have been fine. So, no book for him. That would be too uncomfortable for all parties involved. Let me live in my dark cloud of denial.

  2. I’ve googled everybody I can think of. Very rarely do I contact them. BTW, just last week I friended my ex-step-brother on Facebook. Hadn’t seen or talked to him or anyone in his family for about 30 years. Wow, there’s people I haven’t seen in 30 years? I must be getting old.

    • If your relationship was friendly, that’s great. Unfortunately my step-sister is too wound up in the worst years of my life. If I saw her again I would turn around and walk the other way. Harsh but true.

      Last year I was in the mall and saw a woman who looked remarkably like my step-mother. Now, she looked like her from 30 years ago, which means it obviously wasn’t her because she would’ve aged, but I actually had to leave the store because it was too unnerving.

      Too bad I can’t afford therapy!

      • That would have bothered me, too, with some people.

        My step-brother was a jerky 13 year old when I knew him, so anything would be an improvement. He’s a biker now. I don’t know why I’m comfortable contacting him when I don’t even want to contact my own extended family, but it probably has something to do with what you said. There’s nothing bad wrapped up in our relationship. Nothing good either, but I wouldn’t be embarrassed to sit around and reminisce with him. He knew me as an innocent child, before most of the damage, and it might be interesting to see how he remembers me.

  3. Oh, I’d love to find out how some people remember me if I had someone safe to ask.

    It’s good you have this opportunity and it will either lead to something enlightening or nothing at all. That’s not a bad thing.

  4. I’ve Googled numerous people from my past — some I wouldn’t mind hearing from, and some, well, otherwise. I think you know I like doing Web research, and this is a special case of that, more curiosity- than nostalgia-driven. I think I actually contacted only one girl — well, okay, one woman — I once dated, after a Google quest; that was to reminisce briefly about a mutual friend who’d died.

    And I blogged about a friend I’d had in elementary and high school, who I met up with on Facebook something like two or three weeks before he died, suddenly, of a heart attack. That really unnerved me.

    And then there was the guy who contacted me after finding me on FB. He asked me, “Are you the JES who used to live in Smalltown, NJ, and had Mrs. Xyz for a third-grade teacher?” He was never an “enemy” of any sort, but he was always a little weird — even weirder than me, which is saying something — and other than being in third grade together I don’t think I ever had any interaction with him. I Googled him, though, and I found him — on a forum where guys were discussing the breast sizes of various models and starlets. Cannot tell you how the ick washed over me when I saw that. Needless to say (I hope!), I didn’t reply to the FB message.

  5. Mugshots is really a bloody thing, I think. It can ruin one’s reputation. So, if anyone want to remove his/her mugshots from mugshots related site then use removemugshots(dot)con and it can remove any mugshots within 24 hours!

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