One of the fun things about being one of the ‘older’ generation of SL residents is having an extended family, across the Grid, of avatars who share your last name. There’s something just a little bit special about the feeling you get when you spot someone on the radar with that familiar appellation – a sort of kinship that comes from knowing that here is someone who first rezzed around the same time as your own avatar and made the rather astute choice of picking such an inspired second name.
Even better if you’ve made the happy choice of selecting a possibly less popular name – I’ve not yet met another Haven on any of my travels, there’s only ever been about 1250 of us inworld. It gives one a sense of uniqueness, and if I ever do run into one of my cousins-by-nomenclature, it’ll just make it all the more fun when I do. What you tend to expect rather less, especially if you have a rather less common first name, is to bump into someone blessed with the same or a similar to yourself, especially in unusual circumstances. My name is a bit odd anyway – I forget whether I’ve ever explained its provenance to you: It’s complicated, so maybe some other time… and yes, it’s supposed to be spelled like that, it’s a name, not a happy accident!
Serendipper has just visited your land.
Eh, what? Who?
Somebody with a name suspiciously like mine is wandering around my plot? What’s that all about then?
It’s moments like that when the old SL paranoia kicks in – instantly I’m wondering if I have a stalking griefer, or maybe even a griefing stalker! Visions of some ne’er do well, out to sully my good name for some imagined slight I’ve committed against them in the distant past cloud my mind; worse still, I imagine this could be some hopelessly enamoured soul, a psycho-fan, quite possibly someone who looks and dresses like me and is now trying to absorb the very essence of my pixel being from the vibes of my land! The thought leaps into my head that at this very moment they might be sampling my bed, drinking my virtual coffee, or lazily soaking in my perfumed pixel bath… Oh, my goodness!
Then rationality takes hold and gives me a good, hard shake. Calmly, I look up my
stalker’s visitor’s profile, gritting my teeth and expecting to find they’ve copied and pasted my words into their blank spaces… but no, all’s well and I needn’t have worried. This is no C&P copy-catter, it’s just an ordinary person, with an ordinary profile, and nothing that even remotely suggests that she’s ever heard of me.
I breathe again and relax, and then another thought occurs to me:
What if she’s poking around Nowhere Land, consumed with SL paranoia over who on earth is this strange person, with the ever-so-similar name? Perhaps she’s having a good old nose at my own profile right now, checking out my groups and poring over my Picks for the slightest clue that funny business might be afoot!
No, of course she’s not. And, even if she is, I was here first – I can’t possibly be stalking myself! Crikey, now I’m even starting to doubt my own convictions.
A strong coffee and a decent dose of perspective later, and I’m seeing things much more clearly. Similar name, but by no means the same; happens to be exploring my parcel – well, isn’t that what I invite everyone to do? Acting suspiciously – not in the slightest; any connection with me at all – almost certainly not. It’s just one of those weird and wonderful coincidences that happen all the time, not only in SL, but in the real world too.
And there’s one final clincher that convinces me there’s nothing untoward going on… Who am I kidding? I’m not nearly famous enough to have a stalker!
I live in hope though!
Just when I think of escape then
There’s a fact I can’t hide
I go back to where I left her
But there’s nothing inside
Just these neon reflections
The Action – Shadows And Reflections