One of the weirdest things that blogging and Twitter have wrought upon my life is that I now belong to a sizeable social group wherein almost everyone goes by an alias.
Last weekend I went to an Elvis-themed party at XO's house and ate grilled peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwiches with PrincessofWorld, Toast, Spyder, Kanga, Banky, Thundabolt and Well Hell Michelle. Sponge showed up right after we left.
The weekend before that, I played Battlestar Galactica at PrincessofWorld's house with Banky, Logtar and Betizuka. CodeRigger, QueenTuffy, KipKillagin, TaraCuda and Imaginary_Mark were there, too. Kinda sounds like everyone was imaginary, doesn't it?
I call almost everyone in the group by their actual first names. Some of them call me by my real name; others call me Jane or A.J. I'll answer to any of them.
Renaming myself is not a new development. When I was the staff writer for a small teen magazine right after college, I wrote a lot of articles under various pseudonyms so it would look like they had more writers. In my early band days, I used the stage name "B.C. Irons." In fact, when I first met my husband, he called me B.C. for quite some time before he got used to my real name.
My husband has been using a stage name for decades, but has never legally changed his name. Even his family and old friends mostly call him by the name he chose for himself; most other people would never know unless they looked at his driver's license or checkbook.
Having lots of non-musician friends with nicknames - that's a new development. It doesn't help that I've always been bad about remembering names and now I have to learn TWO names for everyone...and remember who prefers not to have his or her real name mentioned online.
I love my new gang, but I can't help stopping now and then to think about how odd the names must seem to anyone who isn't steeped in the world of social media. Fortunately, I'm rather odd myself.