18 September 2010
World Wide Namesakes
After I moved to the US, I stopped using my maiden name, except for official purposes, because my married name is so much easier to pronounce. Once again I was convinced my name was unique. With such a typical Dutch first name, how could it not be? Again, I was mistaken. This time it was Google that taught me there is another Hanneke N., a professional mediator somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.
The funny thing is, I have been in contact with both namesakes this past year. The first time was accidental. I had received a strange, legal looking email at my email address designated for possible spam. At first I thought it was junk, but that didn't seem quite right. When I got to the end of the message, I noticed the sender was from Colorado and I put two and two together. I responded, letting the sender know there was more than one Hanneke N. and she had the wrong one. A couple of days later I received an email from the other Hanneke N. Like me, she is an immigrant though she moved here as a toddler, and we discovered we were both born in the same town.
My Dutch namesake contacted me directly just days later. She had found my blog online and we emailed briefly back and forth. Isn't it amazing, and amusing, how quickly the anonymous world wide web can become personal?