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Breaker One-Nine, What’s Your Handle?

The blogging community is a powerful thing. There’s really nothing like it.

Since I started blogging, I have made countless friends and have enjoyed reading other people’s personal stories. When great things happen to each of you, I’m cheering. When sadness strikes your home, I’m crying with you. And it goes both ways. Some of you have checked on me when I have had an uncharacteristically bad day, and I have received countless “Woot!”s and “Yay you!”s when I have posted about something exciting.

Although I have met very few of you in person, I talk about you all the time as if you’ve been in my life for years and years. In some cases, I can even tell Jim something about one of you and I don’t have to say “you know, that blogger —” before I use your name because he knows who I’m talking about.

Actually, that is easier to do with some names than with others. If I mention “Weaselmomma” or “Nukedad“, he *knows* I’m talking about a blogger without that prompt.

It occurred to me several months ago (Disclaimer: This is a real “DUH!” moment. Go easy on me.) that many of you have REAL names behind that blogging moniker. It all started when I sent off an e-mail to check on Nukedad, who had disappeared from the scene for an eternity in blog time (I think it was actually only a week or two).

I received an “I’m okay, thanks for checking!” e-mail back, from some guy whose name was NOT Nukedad. The (Yeah, obvious. Gimme a break!) realization that Nukedad doesn’t sign his personal checks “Nukedad” actually took my breath away for a second. Wow, he has another name!!!

And then over the holidays, I sent Momo Fali a direct message on Twitter, asking her for her mailing address so I could send her a holiday card. Guess what? Momo has a real name too! You’ve got to be kidding me. In my opinion? (and I already told her this) Her real name does not fit. At all. In my head. (It’s all about me, you know!) When I meet her in July at BlogHer, I will do my best to use her real name out of respect for her and for her momma and daddy, who–no doubt–spent lots of time trying to figure out what beautiful name to bestow on their lovely baby girl. But she’ll always be Momo to me.

Got time for one more? Of course you do. In December, I got a message from Facebook saying that someone had “friended” me. I did not recognize the name at all. I went to her page so I could try and figure out who this person was, and as her smiling face stared at me from her profile picture, I realized it was none other than Mags from Ms. Maggie Moo Talks 2 U. Guess what? Her name is not even CLOSE to Mags. Shocked the heck out of me. Again, like Momo, I have a really hard time thinking of Mags as this other name, but especially when I’m on Facebook, I try. Totally bizarre.

So, let’s back up for a second.

Blogging community=

Tight.

Caring.

Supportive.

Powerful.

Nothing like it.

Or IS THERE something like it?

I recently remembered another community of strangers who take on fake names and become tight, caring, and supportive.

That’s right: Truckers.

What am I trying to say? I have no idea.

And I don’t know where this post spiraled out of control, but I have to say, as a former little girl of the 70’s who spent HOURS in the car with a CB radio-crazy set of parents (all four of us had “handles“!) and wondered what was the big deal, suddenly I see.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Mags January 26, 2009, 1:18 am

    But my MIDDLE name is Margaret. πŸ™‚ Which is where “Maggie” the nickname came from…and the blog world pared THAT down to “Mags”…

    It’s ok to still call me Mags. πŸ˜‰ Lots of people IRL call me that.

  • Momo Fali January 26, 2009, 1:19 am

    You can call me Momo. I figure I’ll be answering to that a lot, and I’ve certainly been called worse!

  • Mags January 26, 2009, 1:19 am

    PS. I talk about lots of you bloggers too.

  • OhCaptain January 26, 2009, 2:44 am

    You mean my name isn’t really OhCaptain? Oh yeah! You’re right.

    When I went to a poker blogger gathering in Las Vegas in December, it was weird that most of us knew each other by their online names. Switching gears could be really difficult.

  • Sue January 26, 2009, 2:59 am

    I hope at Blogher people wear tags with their “pseudo” name and their real name!
    OK,kinda funny that you and your family had CB names. Maybe I am just jealous….

  • Anonymous January 26, 2009, 3:12 am

    From Dawn:

    Breaker 19…It’s Chicken Little here. We had the whole CB thing going on too when I was little. My dad was Big Al. πŸ™‚

    It’s funny when some of my students see me in the grocery store and look in my cart. OH MY GOODNESS! She shops and eats! LOL

  • Tom January 26, 2009, 3:29 am

    I do that too. Whenever I relate some exciting new fact I’ve learned, I’ll always begin it by first relating who said it: “Nukedad said…” or “The Weasels were doing…” It’s just easier that way. I like our community.

  • NukeDad January 26, 2009, 3:56 am

    Oh, great, now EVERYONE is going to know my first name is Cranston. Thanks for outing me like that. Wait; you didn’t actually type Cranston, did you? Damn….

  • Michelle January 26, 2009, 4:01 am

    Bummer. Now I feel like I need to come up with a cool name. Michelle is just far too ordinary. *sigh*

    Oh! And what WAS your CB handle?

  • nonna January 26, 2009, 5:16 am

    i’m even worse than you. half the time i don’t even know if i’m typing to a male or female! i have to go back to their profiles and try to figure it out. i think we should allll stick to our “bloggy” names, cuz i’m having a hard enough time just keeping those straight.

    when i get an email from a bloggy friend and it shows up in their real name, i modify it back to their bloggy name, just so i know who the hell it is. heck, i met weaselMomma and heard about weaselMomma for years, but her name now is permanently weaselMomma to me. i have a hard time even remembering her real name!

  • Weaselmomma January 26, 2009, 10:15 am

    10-4 food buddy! Feel free to call me WeaselMomma. Over and out.

  • Melisa with one S January 26, 2009, 2:02 pm

    Mags: I forgot about the middle name aspect of it!

    Momo: I’ve been called way worse too: LOL

    OhCaptain: It’s not??? Shoot, you’re another one. LOL

    Sue: I’ll wear my real name on a name tag: how about you? πŸ™‚

    Dawn: Chicken Little? Seriously? How cute is that???

    Tom: Me too!

    Cranston: I was trying to keep it a secret: shhhh!

    Michelle: You can’t change your name now; that would confuse me.

    Nonna: In my e-mail contacts, I have most everybody listed under *both* names, to keep it all straight!

    Weaselmomma: Food buddy! hee hee

    For the record, my CB handle was “Little Mermaid”, which was ahead of its time because it was years before the Disney version. Or it was way out of style when you consider the original Hans Christian Anderson story from years and years before. Anyway, I liked it. Julesie was “Little Jewel”, our Dad was “Ripoff-1”, and our Mom was “Sweet Lemons”, which never grossed me out when I was 8 but it totally does now.

  • Oh My GOFF! January 26, 2009, 2:18 pm

    It’s Candy Cane… Candy Caneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee… tell me you’ve seen “Joy Ride”

  • Huckdoll January 26, 2009, 6:55 pm

    Loved that post because it’s so true. I remember speaking to Colin using all the girls “handles”. I also know what it’s like to get friend requests on Facebook and it takes a half an hour to place somebody…also in that “People you might know” section? I often wonder who the heck all those people are. Before blogging they were all old school mates. But I guess people think the same of me and why I’m trying to use my real name a lot more. I know Huckdoll won’t ever die, but I do like Jen, too!

  • Colleen - Mommy Always Wins January 26, 2009, 8:22 pm

    Have you been to a blogging conference yet? One worse is INTRODUCING YOURSELF by your blog moniker. Cuz otherwise how will people know who you are?!? There’s nothing more “loserish” feeling than saying, “Hi, I’m Mommy Always Wins, how are you?!?!”

  • nonna January 26, 2009, 10:50 pm

    and all this cb talk just reminded me that i had one for a little while in high school and me and a g/f would drive up and down the interstate talking to the truckers just for kicks…lol my handle was smurfette! i’m short and drove a turquoise vw bug so it fit me pretty good LOL

  • Kat January 27, 2009, 7:49 am

    What a great post. I do feel exactly the same and Mags and I was really surprised when I found out her real name. I β™₯ my bloggy fellows.

  • Palymama January 30, 2009, 5:22 am

    Breaker. Breaker. I can’t believe I’m hearing this. I had forgotten all about the CB and all the wonderful truckers who used to to be my “front door good buddy”. It might have had something to do with the fact I had a tight little 20-something body driving a car with a sunroof but…I’d like to think they were just good guys. My handle was Daffy Duck…as if.

  • The Microblogologist March 2, 2009, 8:42 am

    When I delurk on a blog I usually sign my first name for the first few comments, give the person the option of only having to type out Karen instead of Microblogologist or Microbiologist (funny how the brain turns to former into the latter, I learned about it in psych 101). Several have given me the nickname “Micro”, Nonna being one of them, and it totally throws her when she sees my real name so she harasses me, haha!

    I definitely talk about my bloggy friends, including you, and I interchange the names to a point for those I know both of. My greatest challenge is keeping all the weasels straight though, hehe! Oh and we so have to meet (if possible) next time I make the journey east, which probably won’t be until the end of summer or Thanksgiving. Your burb is about 30 minutes from mine/my parents, I’ve gotten lost in it (or more like coming back from it after a concert), I’m not actually sure what burbs I was lost in (yes burbs plural, it was quite the journey back, I am so never getting off I-88 in the middle of nowhere again! Oh and I was 100% sober, lol).

    Karen/micro/MB/Microblogologist/Microbiologist/Auntie Kee (I can’t go to a conference, my names wouldn’t all fit on the name tag!)

  • Mrs4444 December 31, 2009, 4:59 am

    I love this!

    I agree-Weaselmomma will always be Weaselmomma to me. Good thing you are Melisa and not Scrawler (or something like that πŸ™‚

    My handle was Daisy Duck (I know; it's dumb, but I can talk DD..)