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May 10, 2006

Me, Myself and Every Other Susan McBride

Me, Myself and Every Other Susan McBride

by Susan (who else?)

I always thought that my name was, well, my name.  That it was unique to me, made me different from everyone else.  Okay, sure, I grew up with lots of other Susans, Sues, Suzys, or Susies.  I even had other Susie M's in my classes, so I was always "Susie Mc," but that was okay.  I was still the only Susie Mc in my kindgergarten class at Greeley School in Winnetka, Illinois...and in my first through third grade classes at Prairie School in Prairie Village, Kansas, and at Julian Curtis in Greenwich, Connecticut, from third through sixth grade.

I still felt special.

And then I noticed another "Susan E. McBride"...in my sister's graduation program from the University of Colorado.  Though, in my heart, I knew she must have "Ellen" or "Elizabeth" as her middle name, which I don't, so all was right with the world.

Until I got online and found Google, put in "Susan McBride" and realized there was a virtual army of women with my name out there!

Good God, how could that happen?

There's a Susan McBride who's in the movies.  She mostly does voice-overs, apparently, and was the "Big Witch" in Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas.  I've had a few emails from people thinking I was this particular Susan, praising my films and asking for my autograph.  Is it wrong to have thanked them for the kind words and to apologize that I had no current pics at hand?

If you want to know about abalone, ask Susan McBride, the marine biologist in California.  She's a member of the International Abalone Society and the National Fisheries Association, and her research interests include sea urchin growth, nutrition and reproduction.  The photo attached to her online CV shows her on a boat with a big ol' abalone.  Man, how cool is that?  All I know about marine life is what I learned from watching Jaws.  If I ever decide to have Andy and Cissy get caught up in a caper involving endangered species and the effects on coastal economies, I'm contacting this Susan McBride for research.

For quilting expertise, there's always Susan McBride-Gilgen.  An accomplished seamstress, this Susan creates pictorial quilts and captured first place at the American Quilters Society International Show.  One article online states that, "her quilts have been featured at the New England Quilt Museum and have been exhibited in Japan in the Winner's Exhibit at the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival."  Wowza.  And I can barely sew the buttons back on my shirts when they pop off.  I'm in awe.

There's a Susan McBride who designs computer games, another who works in the Canadian government, and one who serves as vice president of the Dallas/Fort Worth Hospital Council Data Initiative.  Let's not forget Susan McBride who's part of the Department of Psychology at Langara College in British Columbia, Susan McBride at the library of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and Susan McBride, facilitator of the USDA Science News Center in Maine. 

I've been confused (I think) with the Susan McBride who's very politically active in opposing the death penalty.  I got a letter once, through my old small press publisher, from a woman who criticized my liberal leanings and who insisted I stop taking digs at Bob Dole.  Um, okay.  Thing is, I never discuss my politics in public, and I'm fairly sure this woman (who didn't have my home address, thank heavens) had never been privy to dinner conversation at my house.  I'll bet she just didn't realize how many Susan McBrides there were, just assuming there was only one.

Don't I wish.

I'm not even the only Susan McBride who's an author.  There's Susan McBride Els who wrote a book called INTO THE DEEP:  A WRITER'S LOOK AT CREATIVITY.  I'm thinking I should read that one someday, in case someone thinks I wrote it and asks me questions.  I recently realized there was a plain old Susan McBride whose "doodle books" have been coming out from Sterling Publishing.  I've had at least one bookstore where I've signed say, "Look!  We got in THE DON'T GET CAUGHT DOODLE BOOK just in time for your event.  Hooray!"  Then I've had to explain, "Um, that's not mine."  Folks who'd signed up with Amazon to be notified of my new releases even got a plug about the DOODLE BOOK and wrote to me, asking, "When did you have time to do this?"

Well, I didn't.  It's one of those other pesky Susan McBrides out there, making life confusing for everyone.  Although, I have to say I'm a little proud and impressed to see how accomplished these women are who share my name.  Not a bank robber or dictator among them.

I'm wondering if I shouldn't send out invitations for a Susan McBride Reunion someday.  Not that we've ever met before, but I feel like I know them.  I mean, they sign their checks with my name, don't they? 

It could be interesting.  Picture this: 

"Hi, I'm Susan McBride, and you're...?" 

"Susan McBride.  Nice to meet you.  Oh, and I'd like to introduce you to Susan McBride."

At least, no one would have to wear name tags.

Suehat_2 Cheers,

Susan McBride (um, not the marine biologist, the quilter, the political activist, the voice-over artist, or the doodle book writer...I'm the one revising NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEB, the fourth Debutante Dropout Mystery...anyway, my mom can tell us apart...I think)


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Just be happy there isn't a porn star with your name. That would get you eyebrow-raising emails, for sure.

Names notwithstanding, you're one of a kind, Susan :) I tried the Google thing myself, and all I came up with was me, one Texas Energy lawyer (a guy-type Kerry Kilburn), and lots of cool B&B's in Ireland.

The last was useful, though -- I'm hoping for a trip in 2 years and staying at the Kilburn House in Kerry is now at the top of my agenda!

I loved this post! A great read while I drink my coffee and pretend to work. ;)

It could be worse, Susan. You could be sharing a name with a child murderer...not that Jeremy Strohmeyer and I share any DNA whatsoever.

I guess this is something to think about when you decide to stop sowing your wild oats and settle down. Just don't pick a guy with the last name Els or Gilgen.

There's a Nancy Martin who writes books about quilts and a Nancy Martin who writes books about training dogs. And there's a Nancy Martin who's a realtor who's got NancyMartin.com, and somebody tell me why a realtor needs a website? Hm, I wonder if they're all the same person?

Anyway, here's the breaking publishing news. It's about time, huh? http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060509/ap_en_ot/books_cutting_back

Josh, I know a banker who shares his name with a porn star. I just hope all those Susan McBrides out there never get desperate enough to do porn flicks.

Aw, Kerry, thanks! Hey, you'll definitely have to stay at the Kilburn House in Kerry! You should get a free room, because, honestly, it's like you own it.

Lauren, did you find any other Lauren J. Harwoods out there? (Something else to do while you pretend to work--I'm full of good ideas for procrastinating!)

Sarah, I promise not to pick a guy with the name Els or Gilgen. In fact, I've already picked him, and it's not either...so I'm safe. Phew! ;-)

Nancy, there's also a Nancy Martin who's a singer. I saw one of her CDs at the big library sale a few weekends back. Almost bought it for you! Oh, and I forgot one Susan McBride who writes gardening books. I think she's a Master Gardener or something. I, on the other hand, kill plants with abandon. I don't mean to; they just don't like me much (or maybe it's getting eaten by the cats they don't enjoy).

Funny, I've never had this problem. I wonder why?

I have a worse story. There's another Lisa Hunter in Manhattan. Okay, fine. But she lives in my former apartment building!! I can't tell you how many people have looked up "my" phone number and thought that I'd snubbed them by not returning their messages.

When I Google my real name (Wonder Girl, of course), I might be a male race car driver or deputy sheriff, a female photographer or student, or a horse. Guess which one is really me! (The horse, of course.)

Of course, I have had some experience assuming the identities of others on national TV shows. This, along with my multiple personalities (which also have different names) and my stint as a desperate porn star (not really), may make it a bit difficult to pinpoint my true identity!

You, Susan, are the real thing.

David, I don't care how you tied your blog in to that picture. I just like the picture. Did you take it yourself?

When I google me with the middle initial, I only find myself (one is enough, surely). When I google without the initial, I am any number of high school athletes. ;)

I don't think there's another Harley Jane Kozak, but I haven't looked carefully. There are a whole lotta Harleys, though. One was a guy I dated. (is there a name I didn't date?)And a lot of people have dogs named Harley, and they often feel compelled to share this with me. I'm honored . . . I guess.

Yeah, but did you date a guy with the last name "Davidson?" Isn't there a guy on a soap named Doug Davidson?

Any Wollstonecrafts out there? Probably not many.

David, you're obviously a true original. (And I think Josh would appreciate a poster-sized copy of that photo on your blog. Can you take care of that ASAP?)

Lisa, that's just nutty! Honestly, the chick who moved into your old building should have changed her name, just out of courtesy, so as not to have confused anyone.

Thanks, Wondergirl! You, too, are the real thing...um, whoever you are. (And it sounds like you're a woman of many faces...or a horse of many colors...or a zebra of many stripes...you know what I mean.) ;-)

Lauren, you're any number of high school athletes? How cool! Did you win any marathons? Or triple jump competitions? There are a few Susan McBrides who are super-sporty apparently, which is how I know they're not me.

Harley. There MUST only be one of you. In fact, I would bet on it. You're so special that you had a motorcycle named after you. How many people can say that? I'm waiting for them to name a scooter after me, or at least a tricycle.

I googled (Technorati'd actually) Dusty Rhoades and got the MySpace blog of some 19 year old hottie who gushes about how madly and passionately in love she is with Dusty Rhoades. From the details she gives, I'm pretty sure it's not me.

My husband and I have been bombarded with 50th anniversary cards perfectly addressed to us at our house. Although my husband insists it FEELs like we've been married for 50 years, I'm pretty sure it has only been 10 - and our anniversary is in October.

I am very tempted to write some of these people back and tell them how well we've aged...

This whole post is kind of creepy, Susan. The timing, I mean. I was just bitching about this very same subject with my friend last night. I, too, share my name with both a literary agent (kind of neat) and, now, another author (she writes romance and releases with Kensington next month). Anyhoo, according to the manager at my local Borders, Ingram sees us as one and the same--even going so far as to say that the lone Laura lives in Boston (which is impossible since I pronounce my "r's" quite nicely, thankyouverymuch). I beat her to the website but not sure if that makes much difference. I can only hope she's about ten years younger and a whole lot cuter.
In the meantime, I'm thinking about giving myself a new middle name in the event it becomes necessary. How's Laura Lynn Bradford sound?

There are lots of Mark Bakers running around out there. One reason I started using Carstairs38 to log in. I have yet to run into another one of those.

And Harley, my dog isn't named Harley. (I'm allergic to dogs, so I don't have one, but that's beside the point.)


Dusty, what makes you think she wasn't talking about you, you hottie??? ;-)

Juanita, that's just bizarre! Are they addressed to y'all, or to someone else at your address? Maybe a couple who've been married for 50 years used to live there. I still get mail for the people I bought my condo from, and it's 10 years later.

Laura, it's so funny that you bring that up, 'cuz I saw something about this other Laura Bradford's books the other day...and I was, like, um, who is this imposter??!! What if y'all run into each other at conventions? Or get on the same panel? Or if committees putting together conventions think you're the same person??? Harley, doesn't SAG (or some other acting guild) require actors to have different names, even if it means using a middle initial or middle name? I think authors should have to do that, too!

Speaking of actors, Mark, isn't there an actor named Mark Baker? Or maybe it's Mark Lynn Baker? (Or both...hmmm.) No wonder celebrities give their kids freaky names like Teflon Toaster Cruise. At least they won't have this problem, right?

Mark Linn Baker. Went to the same college as my wife at the same time she was there.

Josh, I swear, it's six degrees of Kevin Bacon!

Oh, I just remembered, there's a Susan McBride who reviews books on Amazon, and who must've gone to LCC in Phoenix, 'cuz people still say to me, "I think I met you in Phoenix at LCC." Only I wasn't there. I'm figuring it's that Susan McBride who urged Jan Burke in her online guest book to: "WRITE FASTER, PLEASE!" I told Jan in Birmingham when I saw her earlier this year that her guest-book-fan wasn't me. Though I wouldn't mind if Jan wrote faster, as the other Susan McBride suggested. Man, this can get confusing!

I've got two names to choose from, so it's double the fun. The Marjorie Jameses of the world seem to be pretty boring people- one manages the diversity program for a company in Redmond, one's a Councillor of Owton Ward (Labour Party) and one fell for that poetry.com scam and got herself listed in their "International Poetry Hall of Fame". Daisy James, on the other hand, is a name that makes for a much more interesting life (it also makes for a lot of hits for "Daisy Miller" by Henry James). There's one who was in two Broadway plays in 1911 ('The Balkan Princess' and 'Alma, Where Do You Live?') and is probably the same on who turns up in IMDb, appearing in 1924's "Straws in the Wind" as 'The Friend'. They're musical too: Daisy James-MacLean was one of the first woman pannists (apparently, some kind of African rhythm instrument) and you can buy Daisy James's album Christmas Saxophone Moods online for $19.95.

At least there's not another Susan McBride in your own family:

My sister's name is Debbie, and recently my brother got engaged to a woman -- also named Debbie. My sister says there's only room for one Debbie Schilling in this family, so the fiancee will have to pick another name. ;-)

"Dusty, what makes you think she wasn't talking about you, you hottie??? ;-)"

Thanks, darlin', but I'm reasonably sure I've never been to Anaheim. Plus, she has pics of the dude up, and it's definitely not me.

I may steal the picture she has up of her holding up a sign that says "I (heart) Dusty" though.

Dusty, I think you should steal it.

Jeanna, I am the only Susan McBride in my family. And, God willing, it'll stay that way. We do have two Jim McBrides, and on my mom's side, two Joe Meisels. Which mean doing the "Big Jim/Joe" and "Little Jim/Joe" thing for many years...well, we still do, actually.

Daisy, so did you order the Christmas album???

I should, shouldn't I? Then I could put it on display and when people asked about it I could say, "Oh that old thing? That's just something I whipped up a couple of years ago when I had the time."

BTW, I'm off on my trip to New York tomorrow, so I won't be around here for a while. If anyone's interested, I'll be recounting my adventures (or, more likely, total lack thereof) on my blog:


I just got the shock of my life!!! I just Goggled my name and what appears but me commenting on the Lipstick Chronicles!!!!!! Now why on earth would my rant about kids be on a goggle? Does everyone get put on the web when they comment in here? LOLOLOL To Funny, guess I had better watch what I say from now on considering some of the major faux pas I have made in here. Hummm wonder what else is out there? I must go and see. SusanCo

See what I mean I cant even spell right!

See now i'm with David. I don't have this problem at all.
Course I recently had someone describe exactly when he had met me for the first time. But it wasn't me, I was never there. He didn't seem to accept that, swearing he'd met me at that time and place - where I'd never been. So maybe it was that other Andi Shechter.
But, no I have the other problem (I bet David occasionally gets this too) that no one but NO ONE can spell it. Not even the first name often. Not even if they're looking at my email and writing back to me. Not even doctors, lovers, friends who've known me for 10 or 15 years or more at times and, yes, people who've done me the supreme honor of acknowledging me in a book.
Andi Terrenoire (no no JUST kidding, it's really Andi Kozak)

If you're Andi Kozak, and my mother officially adopted Harley, does that mean you're also my sister??? ;-)

SusanCo, really, we're all about making faux pas here at Lipstick. So you fit right in! :-D

SusanMcB you do know how to make a person feel good dont you? Thanks

Oddly enough, nobody has my name. :)

That's 'cuz you're one of a kind, Alesia!!!

Don't forget Susan McBride, part-time stripper, full-time spy, who had an affair with JFK and was the first to set Marilyn up with Bobby: all before she was twenty-two years old.

She's now retired and raising Michael Jackson's kids in Dubai.

I think.

Rob, I didn't know about her! Cool! She'd fit in great here at RT. ;-)

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