By Janice Lindsay, Contributing Writer
The Internet is amazing. So much information — much of which is wrong.
The other day, I decided to find out if a photo of our house appears on the Internet.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered a color photo of a white house, labeled with our very own street address and town – but it was somebody else’s house.
The house in the photo sits not far from ours, on the same road, but otherwise its whiteness is the only attribute the houses share. We live in a two-story cape. The house in the photo is a mobile home. If you were looking for the Lindsays – or for the family in the other house — with the certainty that you could identify the correct house because you had seen its photo, you would be thoroughly befuddled, frustrated, and wrong.
I did find a street photo showing a glimpse of a white garage through a stand of trees. That’s our house, labeled with somebody else’s address. I hope you’re not looking for that other family, either.
Imagine my further surprise when, delving more deeply and perusing real estate websites, I discovered that my husband and I live in a multi-family dwelling.
Silly me. For the past eleven years, I’ve been under the illusion that only Dick and I share this space.
But no, the names of the five people who allegedly live with us are carefully spelled out on the website, complete with their phone numbers. They must be the most quiet, unobtrusive housemates ever. And they eat hardly anything!
Granted, at least some of those folks lived in the house until we bought it from them in 2003, but, as far as we thought, they moved to Florida. Or is it the case, as some might suggest, that the spirits of people leave an ethereal impression wherever they reside, and the website has included their spirits in the resident count. I think not.
This website also describes the ethnicity of the house’s inhabitants, for no earthly reason that I can think of. Once again: Wrong. My ethnicity is listed as Scotch. Never mind that this indicates I’m descended from a line of popular malt beverages – the preferred term is Scottish – but as far back as my blood line research takes me, I don’t find one Scottish name. (“Lindsay,” often considered the Scottish spelling of “Lindsey,” is my married name.)
The phantom resident of our house who used to live here is listed as “Caucasian,” which I believe is a now discredited racial, not ethnic, classification, but it could describe us, too. Perhaps phantom residents are devoid of ethnicity.
And speaking of wrong Internet information, don’t get me started on Global Positioning Systems, popularly known as GPS.
Our road begins in one town and ends in another. Each town has a house with the same number as a house in the other town – same number, same road name, different town, different house. One of those houses happens to be ours.
If you visit us – even you’ve entered our town’s name in your GPS – you’re likely to be directed to a lovely old farm house (well, yes, it’s white) with no Lindsays in sight. You will have to phone us, befuddled and frustrated, to find out where you are.
So don’t trust everything you read on the Internet. And don’t put total faith in your GPS.
If you’re coming to visit us, do it the old fashioned way. Ask me for directions. I’ll describe the house for you. And I’ll even do it right.
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