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LJ Idol: week 4 "Mistaken Identity"

There was, for most of my life, another me in the world. This is rather more literal than you might think. It all begins with a name.




My parents decided to name me Rebecca Ann because, as I’ve been told many times, it was the only girl’s name that they could agree on. Dad apparently wanted to name me Jessica, Mom wanted to name me Amber. I’m still not sure how Rebecca is the middle ground between those two, but they both liked it. 


So I became Rebecca Ann {mylastname}. When I was about a year old Mom took me to the pediatrician for a check up. I was supposed to be getting an immunization shot and that’s when things got strange. According to the state records I was three months old. Or someone else with my exact name was three months old. The office was able to track down my records quickly enough and I got the shot as planned. 


That was how we discovered that there was another Rebecca Ann {mylastname} in the world. It turns out that a second cousin* of my Dad’s had a daughter a little less than a year after I was born. They also liked the name Rebecca Ann, and didn’t realize, or didn’t care, that it had already been taken within the family. Thus, there were two of us.


(An aside: Apparently after Mom shared this story with Dad’s parents, my Grandma called the matriarch of the other branch of the family and chewed her out for not knowing there was already a Rebecca Ann {mylastname}. Grandma was horrified at their ignorance, and the confusion they had caused. I am hugely amused by that because Grandma was always so proper. I really wish someone would have thought to record her, it would have been fun to hear.)


The other Rebecca Ann {mylastname} lived on the opposite side of the state, and while we were close in age we were a grade level apart, so there weren’t very many opportunities for us to be confused for each other. I was aware that someone else with my** name was out there, but not in any specific way.




Then there was Google. You’ve done it, we’ve all done it. The day when you’re at your computer and a little bored and you decide to put your name into Google and see what comes up. The first several links were me***, the life I knew. And then there was the me who worked at a nursing home in Minnesota, and had been a swimmer in high school. It was still my name, but a completely different history. It was interesting, and a little scary. I wondered what life would be like if we traded. I wondered if the other Rebecca Ann {mylastname} ever Googled our name and looked at my life. I wondered if we’d ever meet, and what we could possibly say to each other.


But we never crossed paths. As adults we lived in different states, doing very different things. Other than the accident of our name, and a distant blood relationship, there wasn’t any connection between us. I never got her mail, or had her medical records pulled up instead of mine (again), and only my own ex-boyfriends ever tracked me down online. So mostly I forgot about the other Rebecca Ann {mylastname}. 




This summer I went home for a family reunion, the first I have been to in years and years. I was chatting with a few of my cousins and an uncle when Dad came over and said there was someone I had to meet. 

“Who?” I asked.

“The other Rebecca Ann.” Dad replied.


There we were in the same picnic area of the same park. She is a few inches shorter than me, and much blonder. She knew of me the same vague way I knew of her and we were both amused to finally be meeting each other.  We shook hands instead of hugging. We chatted for a few minutes but didn’t have much to say. It turns out that she got married a few years ago, and she took her husband’s last name. 




So I am once again the only Rebecca Ann {mylastname} in the world.****  Mostly this is a relief, it was a little odd having a doppelganger.


Though I always liked the idea of having a name-twin out there to blame in case I turned evil. Now I’ll have to come up with another way out of any predicaments I find myself in.



* Maybe? I tend to call everyone cousin because I have trouble sorting out the numbers and removed-s.

** I had it first after all.

*** That was true sixish years ago when I first tried it. It’s not even close to true now.

**** That I know of.



@@@This is my entry for week 4 of LJ Idol - the topic is “I think I thought you were someone else (mistaken identity)”.  I'll post a link to the poll on Friday once it is up.  Thank you for reading.@@@


Oh man. What a great story! This needs to be a book or something.

Thanks! It does sound like a good idea for a story doesn't it?

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I am excited for other people to share stories!

My name was never that unique, there were four Rebecca's (well Becky at the time) in my 26 member class in grade school. So people always had to identify which Rebecca they were discussing, which was a pain.

But at least that meant I never ended up in your situation. Which sucks.

Great entry. I know of another person with my exact name. She was no relation, we lived about 20 miles apart, were about the same age, and have never met. What are the chances though of being related to that other person? :-)

I know, it was so weird that we actually got to meet. It's cool that I'm not the only person with a name twin around.

When I was born, my dad screwed up the birth certificate, and I had the same name as my mom. Imagine not being the only person with your name in your own house! Then when I was in high school and our voices sounded the same, and she was having an affair, her boyfriend thought I was her (I nearly wrote that for my entry).

And then when I became an adult I found out how bad her credit (which was all over my credit report) was.

And then I legally changed my name. :)

I knew a girl whose dad was remarried and her stepmom had the same name as her. I bet that got confusing.

But men do it all the time. Think of the number of Juniors in the world. I don't know how THEY do it.

Such a unique story! Great job!

Really interesting story!

I bet you'll find something perfect to cover your tracks with if you ever turn evil. ;)

Thanks for reading.

And I am working on several other plans to cover my tracks for my inevitable future of evil.

My given name, before legal adoption was exactly the same as my husband's brother's wife's! Technically, both brothers married girls with the same 1st, middle and last names, but mine had been changed by age 18 months at the time my adoption was made official.

I can totally relate to this! P.


My boyfriend's sister is named Rebecca, and he has a sister-in-law named Rebecca too. I think we all have different middle names, but I may be stepping back into a world of name twins.

Thanks for reading!

Wow! That must have been kind of odd to think about. I'm glad you're the only one again.

I'm glad I'm the only one again too.

Thanks for reading!

Holy cow! That would certainly be very confusing! Great entry!

It was very strange. Thanks so much!

If I google my real name, it takes five or six pages to get to something that is actually me.

The curse of having the same name as a Famous Poetess.

Cute story.

My last name is unusual which works in my favor. Though I'm about to be booted off the front page of results by yarn.


There are a half-dozen or so people with my name. One of them is a tv producer of a few seasons of the Real World, and now one of those home makeover shows. I got email for one of them once- she spells hers with a Y instead of an I, and someplace she ordered something from didn't listen properly on the phone and her order confirmation came to me.

It would be weird if someone who had some degree of fame had my name. At least my cousin and I were both living relatively quiet lives.

Hee for getting her confirmation. Did you tell them you actually wanted 12?

I am the only one with my name in this world too, it is interesting to be alone. Great entry.

I rather like being the one and only. Thanks for reading!

I'm glad you and the other Rebecca Ann were able to finally meet. :)

There was someone with my same name that caused me a couple of issues with my credit/financial stuff. I got a call for someone of my name for a delinquent account I never had. Cleared that one up when I told them my SS# didn't match. Then another time, I made a payment on a bank loan in person and it got credited to another person's account that had my name, and I ended up with a late charge (it got cleared up). I have no idea if it was the same person or two different women with my name, but I wondered if she/they ever ran into problems because of me. I have to agree, having a name twin to blame in case I turned evil was nice. ;) Now that I'm married, my last name is not so common, and I haven't encountered another person with my name since.

As for naming cousins the same name, when I was trying to get pregnant a second time, a cousin of mine had a son and named him the same first and middle name as my husband and I had picked out for a boy's name back from when my older daughter was born. I was mad, but finally realized they probably had no idea and it was apparently just a common name. As it turns out, I had another daughter anyway (who shares your first name, actually), so no name clash. Both my mom and my husband's mom were encouraging me to use the name I'd picked anyway because of how rarely my child and their child would be in the same room, plus they'd have different last names anyway, but I'm not sure what we would have done if we'd had a son. We put that decision off until or unless it became relevant, and it never did. :)

Getting to finally meet was really fun. I am slightly surprised that our lives didn't get more entangled than they did, I guess we were just lucky (and used different banks).

The same first name between cousins with a different last name I agree would be fine. It might make the occasional family reunion exciting, but otherwise it's not such a big deal. And yay for Rebeccas! I wasn't overly fond of my name when I was little (may have had something to do with being called Becky until high school) but I grew into it and love it now.

Cool story! It's a bit creepy to think that there's someone out there with the same name.

Exactly - our names define us to a certain extent, it's weird to think that the same name could equal anyone else.

Thanks for reading!