I didn’t like my birth name until the last three years or so.  The name Karrie seemed so boring.  It also irritated me that my parents spelled it with a K instead of the traditional C.  So, for fun, when I was in college I created a blog (a friend of mine had a popular fashion blog and she gave me the idea) and used the pen name Muirin Harris.

I thought Muirin Harris sounded British, and actually I suppose it sort of does… Muirin is Gaelic and I believe it means “born of the sea” or something like that, and because I’ve always loved the sea it seemed appropriate…   Also, I thought it would be safer than using my real name (people always discuss the dangers of the internet so as a young woman I was trying to be careful).  I’ve used it a few times after that for various online accounts (although not as much in recent years), and actually MuirinS is my name on Fragrantica right now…

Then, when I married Mark and lost my last name it didn’t seem like too far of a stretch to just drop my first name too.  So, for a while I toyed around with the idea of changing my first name to Margaux like the wine and like the Hemingway descendent  (I enjoy red wine and Ernest Hemingway is one of my favorite authors).  But, based on people’s response to the idea and my own changing attitudes about my birth name I decided against it.

Anyway, this all is relevant right now because I’m sending an email tomorrow to Handsome, but I don’t want to use my normal email address.  Handsome if you’re reading this, I’d like to explain.

I’m still so soo scared this whole thing is in my imagination.  That might seem frustrating but, I am.  It just seems too magical to be true…  Too otherworldly.   Too beautiful

So, I’ve devised a way to send you an email without giving myself a totally sleepless night of heart palpitations, and/or a reputation as a total weirdo.  I’m going to send you an email of a photo of tomatoes (my husband’s idea) and then create a signature using my pen name Muirin Harris.  My signature will include my real phone number.  But, of course, my actual name is Karrie Schiebel…   And, I’ll add the email address to this blog in the about section (it will be the same as my “fragrance name” on my Instagram account – fragrance lovers use special names on Instagram).  That way, you’ll know it’s me, but if this is all in my imagination I also get to save myself a little (although using Balsamic Lilac is pretty close to using my real name it isn’t my real name of course so it still seems like you wouldn’t connect it to me unless this has been actually happening).   Oh, and the subject of the email will be tomatoes…  What else?

How does that sound to you?  Totally bizarre and off-putting?  I hope not…  Is that enough for you to take this as a sincere attempt on my part or…  is it whatever you need it to be?   I’m even almost tempted to give you the name of my old blog right now,  but that also scares me for different reasons…  It’s such a personal blog from my last year at college and slightly after that time, while I dated my husband.  If you manage to find it, please…  be kind and try to reserve any judgments until you know me better?  If you ever do…


The photo of the tomatoes is from the late summer of 2009, before I met my husband.  They were from a garden that belonged to a woman who was in her late 80’s (now deceased).  She and my mother had been very close friends for decades…  She was like a second mother to my mom.  And they were delicious tomatoes…    I have very vivid memories of them.  That was a beautiful summer in Minnesota too, but of course, also a very emotionally dicey one.

So, that’s my plan.  Again, I hope that’s a fair and good way to do it?  Is it?  I’ll send it to you tomorrow at 9:30 pm your time.  I feel like that way it’s less likely to disrupt your day?

You know, my husband also noted that if I’ve imagined this whole thing you might think I’m just “throwing tomatoes” at you in this email and not think twice about it…   I’m not though, of course, and I’d feel bad if you took it that way (if this was all in my head).  I just want to make it really clear (although if this is in my head you’ll never read this anyway… soo this pointless I suppose…).  It’s just that tomatoes has been our… thing…  if this is real.   (I can only imagine how strange that must sound to other people reading this)

I’m sorry again that I am too scared to be more direct.  I really am…

So…   Will this be ok?




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