Monday, January 16, 2012

The story of Smiles from Mel

Once upon a time, when the internet and I were much younger... 
I wanted to create a hotmail account. 
Now my parents, being protective as they were and perhaps having watched an episode or two of Dateline, said no.  Clearly they didn't understand the difference between an email address and chatrooms just yet.
I, a respectful and obedient teenager listened to their wish.  For about a week. 
Then I went to the library on my lunch and made one. 
Unfortunately melanie at was already taken.   So was mel, melg (damn Spice Girl trend) and even melanieg.   I refused to be known as melanie_g_3457, as hotmail so brilliantly suggested, and had to come up with something truly unique to me. 
I thought about how I would often sign my letters to penpals and notes passed in class. 
I always put a smiley face and my name.
 :) from Mel
It was perfect.
And in the years that followed, the email address became part of my identity.   Everyone that I ever met at a conference, or new job, or debate club meeting or drama club knew me by that email address.  
I am not going to count how many years I've had it. *shudder*
So a few years ago, as I was moving to a new city, starting a new life and a blog, I just went with it.
Do I still love it now?
Oh no. 
I do think of changing it, to something less 'teenage-girly' but I haven't come up with a new blog name yet.  Suggestions welcome.

While we're strolling down memory lane, I may as well share a photo.  Circa the early days of the smilesfrommel account.
I'm second from the right.  
The day - Retro Day - as part of one of the Spring Fling/Spirit Week activities that year.   In the yellow is my best friend at the time.  Behind her, her other best friend/my first boyfriend.  She thought it would be genius if we were together.  Didn't quite work.
Funny enough, I would wear this outfit on a regular basis, just with a few less accessories.   
I rightfully deserved the nickname Austin Powers, but that's another long story for another post.

Do you have a dorky email address from back in the day?
How did you come up with your blog name? Do you still love it?


  1. Such a cute story behind your blog name :) I remember the days of first creating an e-mail account. The creativity flowing, the race to find a name that didn't have a load of numbers after it. I came up with Side Show Cobbe, although I wasn't a big Simpsons fan.

    When I think of it, I can't remember exactly how I came about my blog name. For-shame.

  2. This is so cute! I think you should start signing your blog posts " :) from Mel" hehe. Love that photo too!
    Mine's derived from two nicknames people've given me, and they just sounded good together! It's only been in action since September ish but yes I do still love it!


  3. My first e-mail address ever was - I believe I made it in 6th grade! Which is hilarious because I was anything but girly back then! I love your smiles from Mel story, and I honestly don't think it's corny :)

  4. I've always been pretty boring with email addresses. The earliest I remember was "Goldeneyed" (because I played the game Goldeneye 007 so much that I was basically *infected* by it), but after that I usually just went with my full name.

    ...of course, for a while that included my fake "Bry Katz" name, but you already know the embarrassing details about that one. ;)

  5. Cute story and I really like your name! My first email address was a hotmail too and my name was ocpoppetje. OC for Orange County because I was obsessed with California and had just been there for the first time, haha...and poppetje means little doll in Dutch, people kept telling me I had a doll face and for some reason I chose to have that be a part of my first on-line identity! So funny to remember that (and a little weird)!
    My blog name comes from me being Dutch and my husband being British and the fact that we love each other and I think love is the most important thing in the world! :) I am a on the fence about the name though because I don't feel it actually represents what I usually blog about...

  6. haha, what a neat name! I don't think it's teenage-y at all. That's a cute story, and frankly I'm impressed that you come up with something so memorable on your first go. Not to mention marketable.

    My name was taken, so my first attempt was chilipepperfunk_rem. That might have lasted a couple of years, but then hotmail had this thing where accounts would expire if you didn't access them for 60 days. I went to Italy for a couple of months and... lost the account. Dang. I've had the second one since then. frank_pzen. The second half is an abbreviation for Planet Zen, aka the name of my first band. I needed an account ASAP to sign us up for a show. The account has stuck long after the band and the band name.


thank you for leaving a comment! i love to know what you think :)


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