“Are we related?” I asked quickly .
“Sheehan is a unique name, so there could be a chance,” my dad replied.
Coming from a small town I pretty much thought the four of us and the relatives I had met were all of the Sheehan clan. In hindsight that was a bit naive but we weren’t Smiths or Jones, so it seemed like a logical assumption. My daydream the rest of that car ride was that the owner of the company was an uncle that had been banished from the family and therefore was never spoken of. By some weird twist of fate he had no male heir to his enormous trucking empire. Long story short, I showed up on his doorstep shortly after graduating high school and he took me in. We all lived happily ever after and I got a Lamborghini.
OK, I have always had an active imagination. Needless to say that didn’t work out and I have come to find there are Sheehans all over the country and the world but Eric Sheehans are a scarce commodity and that’s all that mattered.
That was until a couple of weeks ago. I had read that you should search your name on the internet from time to time just to make sure nothing out of the ordinary pops up. So I sat down at my laptop and typed “Eric Sheehan” into the Google search bar. I was expecting to see my Facebook account pop up or possibly an article I had written. In .067 seconds the all knowing Google returned 678,000 pages. To my dismay neither I or anything I’ve done made the first page of results or any of the others I scanned for that matter.
One page read “Top 25 Eric Sheehan Linkedin Accounts”. This meant that there were enough me’s to rank us and clicking it proved that I didn’t even make the short list. Facebook noted there were over 60 of us in the US alone and a lot of those Erics looked much happier in their profile pictures than I did. Then the White Pages link chimed in with 113 matches for my name. I knew there were lots of us Sheehans but I never guessed there’d be so many Eric Sheehans.
Feeling a bit deflated I assured myself that I was probably the gem among the gravel, so I began to check out my brothers by name. It turned out that there were a lot of pretty successful Eric Sheehans out there. There was a movie director. A CEO. An Interim Bureau Director in Boston. A wide receiver for the Arizona Wild and to beat them all, an Eric Sheehan that had directed a Justin Beiber video. And it wasn’t just successful ones that caught my eye. My name sakes had been arrested in Pennsylvania, Florida and Delaware, how scandalous. Yet another had married a woman named Shifa Virani. No offense to my wife but she sounds exotic. And then there were the obituaries… I couldn’t bring myself to read that many but the ones I did made me feel like I was possibly the worst Eric Sheehan out here.
Maybe I just needed to narrow the scope of the search, ‘Eric Sheehan Maryville, MO’ Finally some of the results were about me. Unfortunately they were all rather boring. My Twitter account that I haven’t logged into for a few months popped up. A picture I had submitted to the local paper was there. Worse of all, the awful times I had posted in a 5-K run/walk from the prior summer was on display for all to see. Was this really the extent of my electronic life justification? If so I am evidently doing something wrong. Sure my family loves me and it appears that a few people read the stuff I write but if Google doesn’t list it does it even count? At the end of the day if I don’t have my name on the side of a bunch of trucks or some fancy title or website, isn’t this all just for not?
I was starting to depress myself. I needed to do something quick to turn my mood around. I navigated back to the Google search bar and typed in John Smith. The White Pages registered over 75K matches. There were page after page of John Smiths, with no two entries being the same. This was reassuring. There might be quite a few Eric Sheehans out there but thankfully I wasn’t a John Smith because you really get lost in that ocean.
My mind jumped back to my long lost uncle at Sheehan Trucking. Maybe I should call him up, who knows, he still might be searching for a Sheehan to take under his wing? I sure would like to get my hands on that Lamborghini.
“Are we related?” I asked quickly .