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I joined Twitter in May of 2007 as I was finishing up my third year of college. My first tweet had something to do with laundry. Shortly after creating my first account, @Rachelskirts, I was completely addicted and wanting to share my every thought. I refrained, however, realizing how annoying that can be, especially to strangers. I created a private account, @Skirts, for real-life friends only—the friends who might actually want to hear my uncensored thoughts about boys or an evil boss or folding socks.
Within a year or two, I had also collected usernames like @LOTR and @GrammarNazi to give myself other ways to connect with people who are obsessed with Frodo Baggins and semicolons.
My nickname has always lent itself well to spin-off nicknames, so it only made sense that when I was feeling particularly old and haggard one day, I created a @Grannyskirts account. When I found my old Oregon Trail CD and decided to name my party members after Twitter friends, I started a @Trailskirts account and tweeted about the broken wagon wheels and buffalo meat and dysentery. When I got really mad about something, I made a @HULKSKIRTS account.
Over time, creating Twitter accounts became a fun way to connect with friends and keep inside jokes alive. Some of the accounts, like @Deadskirts and @Whiskeyskirts, only get used once or twice a year, but I love knowing they're there, waiting for just the right occasion.
But then, the joke became that I was creating Twitter accounts, so people would suggest names just to see if I could resist the urge to sign up for yet another handle. (Spoiler alert: I cannot.) The madness only came to a halt when I realized I was in charge of fifty Twitter accounts. FIFTY. I decided that I didn't want to handle more than that, so when the time came to create yet another account, I started looking for accounts that had outlived their purpose. Those Twitter handles are flagged on my master list for a probationary period (to allow myself the chance to change my mind), and after a month or two, they are deactivated.
As of this moment, I have 60 active accounts and 11 deactivated accounts.
@Skirts ♥ ☰
At some point, I realized that I wanted a place to share things with friends, things that weren't appropriate for strangers to see. This has become my secondary account, a safe place for me to rant about work, swoon over a special someone, and indulge in long @-reply conversations with friends.
@Nerdskirts ♥ ☰
I created this account to livetweet an event without spamming my regular followers. I've also used it to livetweet as I watch my brother play video games, to livetweet the horrors of driving through Indiana on a road trip, and to post hundreds of screenshots from WoW and Minecraft and silly iOS games.
@CoachSkirts ♥ ☰
(Created for @purekatherine.) Katherine tweeted and asked her followers to motivate her to go for a run, and I responded by creating a motivational coaching account. I continue to use the account somewhat regularly to respond to other friends who want encouragement to exercise, to clean, to have willpower, etc.
@Riverskirts ♥ ☰
I love Doctor Who, and I am particularly smitten with the sassy and wonderful character, River Song. A friend compared me to her in this tweet, and another friend followed up by asking, "Why isn't @riverskirts a thing?" I folded under the pressure, created a new account, and have enjoyed Hello-Sweetie-ing there ever since.
@Grannyskirts ♥ ☰
I cannot wait to be old and a little bit angry and so very crazy. In fact, it's quite possible I'm already all of those things and am simply wearing a disguise to mask my wrinkles. This account is a place to document my age-induced madness.
@Trailskirts ♥ ☰
After digging up my old Oregon Trail CD, I realized that every update from the game was less than 140 characters. I started a new expedition, naming my companions after Twitter friends, and starting tweeting a play-by-play. It was a lot of fun, so I hope I can find the CD again someday.
@brokeskirts ♥ ☰
A former boyfriend thought I said hilarious things when I was extremely tired, so he started this account and then misquoted me constantly. After we broke up, I bullied him into letting me have the account, and now I use it to accurately quote myself when I say stupid things.
@royalskirts ♥ ☰
Due to character limits, I cannot claim the @thequeenoftheinternet Twitter account, so I compromised. (Note: this is not a nickname I gave to myself; many people have called me the Queen of the Internet over the years because I am very good at finding things via Google and seem to be "in the know" about web-related things. Someone once started a petition to make the title official, but it didn't really gain any traction.)
@curtseyskirts ♥ ☰
After @mattstratton spent an evening chasing down all of my Twitter accounts and adding them to a Twitter list, I kept him busy by creating a new account from which to tweet (with a curtsey), "TADA!"
@tadaskirts ♥ ☰
Tweeting "TADA!" from @curtseyskirts was the inspiration for this account, but it also coincided perfectly with a favorite memory (i.e. inside joke)—an epic sugar high (from far too many freeze-pops) and a sing-songy "Tadaaaaaaa!" and an obnoxious amount of giggling.
@yarskirts ♥ ☰
(Created for Haynes.) A dear friend, Haynes (a.k.a. Sexy Beast), made a comment that I had special accounts for many of my other friends. He wanted an account made in his honor, and I couldn't say no.
@rockskirts ♥ ☰
(Created for @justin.) Justin was talking about going to LA to see the 20th anniversary of his favorite band, I said something about throwing rocks at teenagers, he decided that was his new band name, and I decided @rockskirts was my new Twitter name. At least, that's what I can surmise from the bio and my very faulty memory.
@Feetskirts ♥ ☰
(Created for @ohmyseven.) People at my church went through a weird phase of obsessively commenting on my feet and my shoes, so I blogged about it, commenting that it would only be an interesting topic if my feet had their own Twitter account. Brooke responded, "If you start a Twitter account for your feet, I'm going to pee my pants laughing." The end.
@Auroraskirts ♥ ☰
(Created for @jdragz.) This was about the time when I was vying for the job of companion to Jeremiah's Doctor, and Aurora is my favorite name (taken from Sleeping Beauty). Sadly, that's all I can deduce about the backstory of this account.
@iSkirts ♥ ☰
I was watching a lot of iJustine's vlogs at the time and thought I should set up a special Twitter and YouTube account combo for iPhone vlogs of my life. I couldn't bring myself to have any public association with Apple product like that, though, so I turned the Twitter account into a reminder that I am a PC at heart.
@dotdotdotskirts ♥ ☰
This is the exception that created the rule: no one else is allowed to start Twitter accounts on my behalf, even with the best intentions, because it makes me very uncomfortable and even a little bit emotional. I have a (probably unhealthy) need to be in control of my Internet presence, so I appreciate that Gregor handed over the reigns to this (admittedly fun) account after making it for me. It remains a lovely homage to his infamous "dot dot dot ladies" joke.
@skirtsyskirts ♥ ☰
People really do call me Rachelskirts in real life, and most friends just call me Skirts. True friends (the ones who pat me on the head when I start ranting about misused commas and semicolons) call me Skirtsyskirts. I intended to use this Twitter account to communicate with that small pack of heroes, but that particular dream hasn't come true yet.
@skirtsafterdark ♥ ☰
For a long time, I forgot why I created this account and was kind of worried that I'd been intending to share devious, adults-only content on Twitter. But then I remembered that I wanted to create a YouTube channel with the same name and use it to record bedtime stories from my favorite books. (I have considered carrying out this plan as an audio-only thing on Spoken instead. If you have a book recommendation I could start with, let me know!)
@DrFrankenskirts ♥ ☰
(Created for @thursdayschild.) Tyler said, "You created this monster, Dr. Frankenskirts," and I created an account and cackled like a mad scientist. It's the only Twitter personality of mine that gets to use a pager, and I get inexplicably excited about that.
@skirtsoffire ♥ ☰
I was really excited to take my boyfriend to the Great Chicago Fire Festival, an event that promised to commemorate the burning of real homes by burning fake homes in the middle of the river. (It sounded so bad that it had to be good.) Spoiler alert: the people in the charge of the event failed to actually light any fires. It was the best worst disappointment.
@scandalskirts ♥ ☰
I like to say completely ridiculous (usually disgusting) things to my boyfriend that aren't scandalous at all. It's perverse payback for the fact that he had me read the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.
@zombieskirts ♥ ☰
(Created for @girlfrmmars.) I promised GFM that I would always have her back unless she tried to eat my brain as a zombie, and she decided it'd be way more fun to be chill zombies together, "lounging around by the pool with Zombieskirts, while zombie cabana boys bring us brains, served in martini glasses. Obviously."
@puddleofskirts ♥ ☰
My boyfriend makes fun of me for "melting into a puddle" when I get overwhelmed by people or situations (due to introversion or anxiety or both). He has been clamoring for this account to exist for a year, so I finally allowed it to happen.
@skirtsbot ♥ ☰
Some people do not like subscribing to blogs via email. Some people like getting blog update notifications on Twitter. Some people now have the option to subscribe to Rachelskirts.com updates via Twitter.
@GrammarNazi ♥ ☰
This is one of those accounts I started before Twitter really became popular, and I was delighted that the username wasn't taken by the time I thought of it. I use this account to educate people who ask for help (and to shame people who are being jerks to others). I also use it to validate the fact that I keep style guides next to my bed.
@MadLibsMonday ♥ ☰
For a few months (and intermittently since then), I hosted a video version of Mad Libs, wherein participants filmed themselves saying a few words (I assigned the parts of speech) while I narrated the rest of the story. It was fun while it lasted and might be fun to resurrect someday.
@baconfamous ♥ ☰
For a very brief period of time, my brother and I hosted the Bacon Famous podcast. (He was bacon; I was famous.) It was fun for time, but then one person stopped showing up to record and the other person stopped asking why.
@SecondBreakfast ♥ ☰
Hinged on two of my favorite things, breakfast and Tolkien, my current freelancing business happens under the title of Second Breakfast Media. Many thanks to @thursdayschild for naming the business and also helping to secure this mega great Twitter handle.
@LOTR ♥ ☰
I am tweeting my way through the Lord of the Rings trilogy (the movies). I have watched the extended editions of the movies 249 times so far, and this fun project has helped me connect with other insane people who happen to love a really great story.
@_TheHobbit ♥ ☰
I did not think to grab @thehobbit while I was collecting my Tolkien-related Twitter names back in the dark ages. However, an ex-boyfriend convinced me to grab this consolation prize, which I plan to use for tweeting my way through the extended versions of the movies (or the books).
@GrammarSauron ♥ ☰
If my friends were really honest with me, they'd agree that this is the most accurate account I own. I have an evil eye that sees all grammatical errors, and I would very much like to have editorial control over all the lands.
@JuanPedro ♥ ☰
I let the Internet name my very first sock monkey many moons ago, and he was so popular that I also let him have an email address and a Twitter handle. He has been charming the ladies ever since.
@Drunk_Ian ♥ ☰
(Created for dutchface.) Ian is a great guy, and one of the things that people love about him is that he can spend the entire weekend drinking and still be the most friendly and hilarious human around. Tales of "Drunk Ian" and his adventures became so popular in our friend group that I was tasked with tweeting about them from this very special account.
@JoeyCuddlez ♥ ☰
(Created for itismejoey.) I attended VidCon in 2012 with a group of friends, and all of us shared adjoining hotel rooms. Some of the best memories were from our evenings spent drinking and playing board games in the hotel while Joey continuously cuddled inanimate objects in the background—straws, napkins, curtain rods, stuffed animals, etc. I created this account to document this very adorable phenomenon.
@catlady1917 ♥ ☰
This combines my love of cats and my undeniably old lady-ish interests (knitting, sleeping, yelling at people on my lawn). It is important to document all of one's most attractive qualities on the Internet.
@Skirtspance ♥ ☰
(Created for @mattstratton.) Matt very kindly offered to make a Twitter list of all of my active accounts, so people could follow my tweets in one place. As we were discussing how he could go about finding those accounts, he asked if I would make a Skirtspants account. I told him that would be heretical. This account was the compromise. (I actually don't remember if that last part is true. Sorry, Matt.)
@strikslehcar ♥ ☰
I always liked that my name backwards sounded like a French phrase, "leh car." I could not resist the urge to nab the inverse of Rachelskirts, and if I'm ever clever enough, I will have all of my tweets duplicated there but backwards (or opposite! or both!).
@drumploop ♥ ☰
"Drump loop" is my favorite typo that I've ever discovered (found in sheet music and meant to indicate a "drum loop"). I document other silly errors on this account when my boyfriend doesn't want me texting them to him anymore.
@winetoreach ♥ ☰
This account was started by and continues in honor of @, who now tweets as @ashleyriordan. She started a weekly Saturday night Twitter chat with the tag #winetoreach, and it eventually grew into a video-based thing (hosted by Google Hangouts) and is a favorite way for our growing friend group to bond and chat and share drinks together from thousands of miles apart. (I inherited the account because I asked for it and also because I am super great at tweeting.)
@oh_grow_up ♥ ☰
(Created with @thursdayschild.) Tyler and I went through a brief phase of shaming people on the Internet who were whining about stupid things. It was not as satisfying as we had hoped.
super secret account ☰
I started this account because my manipulative ex-boyfriend wouldn't let me follow certain people on Twitter or favorite certain tweets because he found the content distasteful. Since then, the account has become a great place for me to tweet my strongest emotions into the void and also to document my dreams in 140 characters. Every so often, I get really excited to realize that I've managed to keep this account a complete secret for years.
YOU HAVE A MILLION TWITTER ACCOUNTS. DO YOU ALSO HAVE A MILLION EMAIL ADDRESSES?
No, thanks to my favorite Gmail trick, I actually have most of my Twitter accounts attached to one email address. Here's how I do it: email@example.com is the same as firstname.lastname@example.org is the same as email@example.com is the same as firstname.lastname@example.org. All of these email addresses are mine, and I can use those "tags" in a variety of ways.
My top two uses for those tagged email addresses? Twitter and shady online retailers. Not every website will allow you to sign up with an email address that has a plus sign in the middle, but Twitter is one that does. Now you know the secret. Go forth and conquer.
As for the shady online retailers, using the tagged email address, when possible, allows me to then set up a filter to catch retailers who sell my email address without my permission. (My dad used to do something similar to that when signing up for magazine subscriptions and the like; he'd give a different middle initial to companies he didn't trust and then watch to see if that middle initial showed up elsewhere.)
HOW DID YOU EVEN GET THE NICKNAME OF RACHELSKIRTS?
My nickname is my own dang fault, since I frequently run around calling people Señor Crankypants and Moany McWhinypants and, in the case of one lucky friend, Danielpants. His response was to call me Rachelskirts, and the nickname instantly became one of my favorites. Close friends call me Skirts, and my best friends call me Skirtsyskirts.
WHY ON EARTH DO YOU HAVE SO MANY ACCOUNTS?
Because it makes me happy.