When I first moved to Fort Worth, I received a rather panicked phone call late one night. The conversation went a little something like this:
MAN: Mr. Grubbs? Eric Grubbs?
MAN: Are you related the Grubbs family dealerships?
ME: No, that's a different fam-
MAN: Well, we've got a situation going on out here where we have some people locked out on the lot. Can you come on down-
ME: I am not related to those Grubbs. That's a different
MAN: Oh, sorry!
A few years later, KRLD ran a show on Saturdays called The Auto Show. It was sponsored by Grubbs Infinity and its co-host was George Grubbs III (who I believe was the owner). Well, guess who read the traffic reports every ten minutes during this show? Your's truly. Thankfully, nobody called and asked if we were all related.
In the last year or so, Grubbs Nissan has run spots on a few local radio stations and who's voice is on them? Its owner. Thankfully, we sound nothing alike, but I'm really tempted to try something: go to Grubbs Nissan and meet the man himself. I wonder if he's ever received phone calls looking for me.
I bring this all up because no matter how strange or unique we think our name is, chances are there is somebody else out there with the same name. It's amazing when you enter a name in a search engine like Google. For example, there's the Kev(in) McNerney I know from his blog but there is also a former microbrewer and a partner at Heidrick & Struggles with the same name. There is Jeff Giles I know from his blog but there is also a Senior Editor at Newsweek with the same name.
I'm glad there is not a cheesy balladeer that shares my name (like the Michael Bolton character in Office Space) or a serial killer that shares my name (like the Joel Rifkin that Elaine dates in an episode of Seinfeld), but what about people that have very common names? Ever had or heard of a weird encounter with that?
I gotta remember this: names are merely reference points. They give us identification but they don't define who we are.