For almost the entire time my blog has been in existence (like, maybe a few months), I've received periodic comments from Mary Robertson (a talented local artist & long-time resident whom I've never had the privilege of meeting) lambasting me as "cowardly" for writing an "anonymous blog."
I've given some thought to this & have decided that she's right. So now, my online profile includes my real name, email address, & probably more information about me than anyone in their right mind could possibly want to know.
I mean ... What the hey ... my credit rating is so shaky at this point, that even a couple of Vietnamese kids on a lark couldn't possibly find it worthwhile to steal my identity, obtain credit cards in my name, & make thousands of dollars worth of purchases (believe it or not, this actually HAPPENED to me five years ago, it took me about 200 hours to clear things up, & I have the paperwork & faxes to prove it ... the fact that I had JUST GIVEN BIRTH & was getting collection calls made the entire process extremely annoying, to say the least).
Since starting this blog, I've been extremely open about my identity to my acquaintances & the folks I write about in person (with the exception of Declan ... oops ... I mean, Dolan the Evil Safeway Pharmacist & I'll explain that shortly). I figured that in a small community like this, that would be enough, since everyone seems to know everyone else (& Mary Robertson was able to discover my not-so-secret identity with little trouble). I wasn't trying to be sneaky or mean. My persnickety & often downright snarky comments have generally been directed towards folks involved with RRROC who've seen my face & know danged well who I am.
But, when it comes down to brass tacks, YES ... I AM a coward, Ms. Robertson. But it's not the people in this community or their occasional disapprobation that I fear (though I AM an extrovert & definitely prefer to be "liked"). It's all the creepy folks out there who trawl online & sift through our trash for information about people like us for the benefit of their corporate masters, Dubya's Department of Homeland Security, or on their own recognizances in order to exploit us in some way.
Personally, I believe that companies involved in background checks, credit checks, identity searches, direct mail/phone/email marketing, etc. should be required to pay all of us royalties when selling copies of our personal & financial information. After all, we're the authors of our own lives & authors are supposedly protected under Copyright laws. But ... hah! ... That'll never happen.
The sheer lack of privacy rights provided in this country make me utterly disinclined towards giving out even the most basic information about myself on the Internet or to the public. When my doctor & my daughter's dentist require a social security number on their forms, I leave it blank & adamantly insist on my right to do so. This stance requires immense amounts of haggling & paperwork, but I feel it's worth it. After all, the earliest social security cards (like my late Grammy's) are emblazoned with the following guarantee in bold print: "Not to be used for identification."
As for not using Declan ... oops ... I mean, Dolan the Evil Safeway Pharmacist's real name in a recent post ... I felt that my situation with him required different treatment than what I accord to folks who are already in the public eye & whose views & personalities are known to everyone, because I was pretty much going off on a personal rant. But you're right. Perhaps I should talk to people about the service they're receiving at Safeway & at the pharmacy; take notes; & write something that befits a journalist who writes for one of the publications you (Mary) have mentioned.
But in the meantime, gosh dang it, I want to have my unprofessional, totally biased, mean & evil rant! It's one of the few rights that I, as a citizen of this allegedly democratic country, have left! And naturally, I lie awake at night imagining DTESP working through his massive, secret cabal of malevolent former pharmaceutical students to ensure that my Prozac is spiked with copious quantities of arsenic, regardless of which pharmacy receives my next order for prescription refills.
Mwah ha ha.