As everyone knows, when you sign up for an online account, you usually have to answer a few security questions. This is so they can help you if you ever forget your password and/or log-in name, which I do roughly 99% of the time because while my Benadryl and Diet Coke speedballs may be a lot of fun, they don’t really keep my short term memory very sharp. I know, the price I pay.
Most of the time, the security questions are something benign like, “Which hospital were you born in?” A simple answer for most of us. (Unless you’re the Son of God. Or the Daughter of a Carny.) Or something easy like,”What was the name of your first pet?” But lately I’ve noticed the questions are getting a lot more probing in nature. For example, last week I had to answer this:
“As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?”
Now, this question is moronic for two reasons. First, nine times out of ten, the answer will be “fireman” or “princess,” so how is that good security? Even a glue-sniffing hillbilly could crack that mystery.
And second, when I typed in my answer of, “As a young girl I dreamed of becoming a famous archaeologist specializing in Egyptian antiquities and pottery from Mesopotamia but then I saw Animal House my Freshman year and changed my major to Film Studies even though my parents told me that I was making a huge mistake and now I’m unemployed and chubby and spend my days spying on my psycho neighbor with the German accent and the muttonchops and that’s why I’m pretty sure I’ll die alone and penniless and trapped in my own Spanx and chardonnay vomit but THANKS FOR ASKING,” it didn’t fit into the space provided and then I started crying and shaking and now I really, really hate Piperlime.com.
Besides that stupid question, I’ve also seen other Psychology 101-ish queries like, “Who was your hero when you were young?” and “What was your favorite song in high school?” What, am I lying on a black leather couch holding a box of Kleenex, Dr. PayPal? Seriously, it’s like I have to bare my freakin’ soul to just open an account at OrientalTradingCompany.com now. And for the love of God, a person shouldn’t have to be that introspective when they’re ordering a gross of novelty rubber chicken feet. They just shouldn’t.
Personally, I think the websites are better off asking you security questions about the traumatic episodes in your life that are forever embedded in your delicate psyche. Things you’ll never forget, like:
Q: “Who laughed the hardest when you got your period in gym class?”
A: Danny Adams!
Q: “What was the cruel nickname given to you by your sorority sisters?”
A: Rotten Crotch Roberta!
Q: “What did you do at the office Christmas party that got you fired?”
A: Fed my boss my birth control pills and told him they were orange Pez!
Q: “How many bouts of diarrhea did you have after eating bad shrimp at that Red Lobster that one time?”
See? Memorable, easy and tailor-made to make you feel insecure at the exact same moment you’re trying to feel very secure. Which, now that I think of it, is a little bit like high school. Huh. I sort of wish I could remember what my favorite song was back then.
Maybe Target.com knows.