See, the problem is that I don't always understand the nuances of the tech. In this instance I have the little black Dell Latitude laptop, with Thunderbird on it, and all the email (which I keep way too much of, I've been told many times, but I still manage to think "Oh, that's over with" and delete the one thing I mustn't), and mail goes from whoever sent it (damn the spammers!) to my various services' servers (yes, I have multiple email accounts), and from them I download it and it shows up all bright and shiny. When it's not caught in the junk filter whence I must wade through a stinking swamp of spam to pluck the good stuff from undeserved obscurity and return it to the inbox. Miss Material Girl doesn't have all the accounts loaded yet, which is OK because I can use the Little Black Dress for those until I finish the transfer, right?
That would be "Only if you're careful, idiot user."
I was in a total panic today because I could not find an email to which I'd replied but which I needed to forward as well. I looked on Miss Material Girl--no luck. Not in the inbox. OK, I know I answered it, so surely my reply will be in the Sent box. No. I was sure it was on Miss Material Girl because I remembered (but I am now 64, so it means nothing to say "I remembered...") that I had needed to go back to the Little Black Dress for the e-addy of the person to whom I wanted to forward the email. I went on Little Black Dress, which, being older and more educated than Miss Material Girl, has not just one but several inboxes, each for a separate account (and whose rapidly multiplying passwords I can't keep up with) , and folders to that I don't have to read all the posts to one of the listservs I'm on when there's a time-critical email from my agent hidden among them. And at first I couldn't find it because I was sure I had downloaded the mail on Miss Material Girl.
You see this coming. I had gone onto Little Black Dress to look at mail in an account not yet duplicated on Miss Material Girl. but since I was there already, and it was habit, I went on and read all the mail available on Little Black Dress, including checking one of the junk files where good stuff hangs up more often than it does elsewhere. So I had rescued from oblivion the email in question, answered it, then sent it on to the Inbox , thinking ( I remembered when the panic settled) that I would pick it up on Miss Material Girl. But instead I'd gotten interested in something on Little Black Dress and before leaving, as was my wont when having only one machine on the internet, downloaded all available mail.
Which is why it wasn't still on the account's server to be downloaded when I looked for it on Miss Material Girl. Which means I'm an idiot because I knew (in the back of my head) that I'd set up the account to remove it from the account's servers after I'd downloaded it. Apparently, though, I thought (long enough to panic) that it was floating around on the little home network waiting for me to put it on both machines before it went *poof*.