I have a pretty common name. Both in high school and in college there were girls with the same name as mine, which would typically lead to complications – mail mix-ups, wrong number phone calls and even once a sexual harassment suit filed against my favourite teacher by a name-doppelgänger, where I got all the backlash. All pretty annoying, and rather inconvenient, especially when your friends are ordered not to hang out with you by their parents, or that boy you like keeps calling the wrong house.
Nothing, however, has been more annoying than my gmail account. It started a few years ago; an email here or there for a girl who lives in North Carolina. We have the same first and last name and my email alias is firstname.lastname@example.org. I kindly told her friends that they had the wrong Liz. And then I kindly reminded them. And then I not sokindly reminded them.
Then came the Liz in England, Liz in L.A. and the Liz in West Palm Beach. I’ve received airline confirmations, car insurance quotes, a friend’s cancer updates, school district budgets, payroll information and even an email from a home-owners association. Just yesterday I received a dozen photos from some guy’s childhood which helovingly scanned in and then sent to the wrong person. (He once wore pink feetie pajamas and was number 69 on his little league team – awkward.)
I own a BMW, a beach house and had a baby in 2010 and 2011. I’ve been asked for my personal opinion on home-loans. I also should keep in touch with my friends more. (Obviously.)
Sometimes I delete these emails, sometimes (like today) I reply and inform the sender that the email didn’t reach its intended destination. Most of the time people apologise, sometimes people respond as if I’m still the person they think I am, but never do they delete the wrong email address from their contact list, carrying on the tradition of sending incredibly personal information to a complete stranger.
This post will now be my email response to those people who end up reaching me instead of their BFF Liz. Here's to all those people who think I'm their Liz in LA, England, West Palm Beach and North Carolina -- thanks for checking in with me at least twice a week. The Liz's couldn't ask for better friends.