One of the perks of blogging is the level of anonymity I can enjoy. I can twist the facts, blame fictional older brothers, and avoid posting pictures or details about myself. I can be whatever I want to be on the internet, no matter how socially awkward or weird I am in real life. And while that is a scary thing in the hands of some people, I choose to use it for good (to make fun of myself without consequence). The problem with real life is that it's not so easy to control information like that. The perceptions that others have of you are really hard to influence. And wouldn't ya know it, I've got a perfect example of this!
A few months back, I mentioned to a friend of mine that I knew someone who didn't like meat. It wasn't a vegetarian thing, just a picky-eater/specific food preference thing. Well, the man I was talking to then sent me a link to a bacon-wrapped sausage/bacon meat dish (pictured below) and said, "I guess your friend wouldn't eat this!" And my response was, "No way! But I'd probably try it!"
And with that simple response, I earned a reputation. A reputation that I will apparently never shake. By telling him that I would try the "Bacon Explosion," I put it in his mind that I love bacon. And don't get me wrong, I like bacon... a lot. But it's not one of my defining character traits. At least it wasn't one of my defining character traits, until now. Because my friend has somehow tied bacon to my very existence. When he thinks of bacon, he thinks of me. When he thinks of me, he thinks of bacon. If he were to play the word association game and someone said "bacon" he'd immediately say, "Taylor."
When I post on Facebook, he chimes in with some way to bring up bacon. He sends me links to stories about bacon-flavored milk shakes. He sends me links like this one. And every time I see him, he mentions something about bacon. And he's not a person who doesn't know what to say. He's a well-spoken, outgoing, friendly man. So I know we could talk about many other subjects (because we used to). But his way of identifying with me now is to bring up what he thinks is my favorite subject. And his influence is spreading. I was talking to a mutual friend recently and he said, "You love bacon, right? Well, I was told to tell you about this restaurant we went to. They have a BLT with about a pound and a half of bacon on it." And I'm too nice ("nice" = "awkward and scared") to correct anybody on this. So I've just accepted it. Eventually, everybody in my life will know me simply as "the bacon guy." And I'll have to move and change my name and get new friends. New friends who will know my real defining character traits; insecurity, dry humor, and baldness.