PG-Rated Password Humbles

Flash back to those wild 1990s.

I remember having a neighbor show me how to order airline tickets online for the first time. My mother wanted to visit grandkids out of state.

This was the first time I’d ever need a password to shop online.

“Password not available.”

“Too long.”

Again and again, I was failing.

Finally, in frustration, I typed


“Password taken.”

My computer engineer neighbor suggested I add a number.



We laughed louder.

How many people had cursed the website before us? We tried a few more numbers, snorting and cackling each time.

I’d proud to say that I won, getting acceptance at


Ironically, my mother was eager to learn how to navigate e-commerce. After all, she came back to the computer to see two people laughing until they cried.

Don’t spend forever on your first draft. Don’t worry whether someone said it, or wrote it, previously. Your number will come!


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