So popular, in fact, that since this chance romantic encounter last year I've had a complete stranger text me (an eleven year-old girl in another state who was trying out her new cell phone. Her mother actually called me to find out why her kid's best friend kept asking who she was), and at this point no less than eight emails addressed to some other Leah in some other part of the United States who also unfortunately uses Gmail. A couple of those were repeats (yes, repeats. After I'd emailed them back), but overall it did give me pause to think of exactly how popular my name really is. Which is ironic because when I was growing up you could never find anything with my name on it because it was so 'exotic', and now everyone and her sister has it and is using it on Gmail.
I wish I'd kept the emails now if only to prove the insanity of some of them. There was one group of emails from a ski resort reminding me that it would be my turn soon to be some kind of hut 'ambassador'. The chirpy email ended with 'God bless!' or some such so I assumed it was some kind of Christian retreat. I sent back an email saying they had the wrong address, only to get another chirpy reminder about the ambassador thing a day or so later.
So I sent another email, saying in no uncertain terms that I'd never heard of these people, was in another state several hundreds of miles away, and furthermore I'm Jewish so I wouldn't be a member of their organization anyway. So please stop sending me emails, KTHXBYE.
The next day I got another email, from a guy this time. He was a supervisor obviously and Very Concerned that I seemed to have made an error, since this wasn't a Christian retreat but a ski resort and all the new employees were invited to be hut ambassadors and I really should consider it. To which I wrote back that yeah, there was an error but it wasn't mine. I explained in teeny words that I was in Texas, not Colorado or New Mexico or wherever the hell they were (I forget), I wasn't an employee and--like I'd already said twice--they had the wrong address.
They stopped emailing.
Since then I've been reminded about get-togethers and meetings and sent what was probably a hilarious anecdote if I'd been the Leah who knew the context and the writer. Most of the time all I have to do is send back an email telling them I'm not the Leah they're looking for, move along, and either I get an abject apology and/or never hear from them again.
And then there was the online version of the American Macy's Department Store.
Now, Macy's wasn't nearly as bad as the Chirpy Ski Resort of God where it seems the first assumption was that one of their normally happy campers was having a nervous breakdown. No, Macy's just sent me an order confirmation intended for a woman in Brooklyn. I replied politely that they had the wrong email and was sent a groveling apology begging my forgiveness and assuring me--assuring!--that they would never, ever, ever, do it again.
Which of course lasted right up until the same woman (oh yes, I remember that Brooklyn address) ordered some cashmere sweaters for her daughter.
This time I decided to call Macy's, because obviously just emailing didn't work. After the requisite half-hour number key gantlet I finally got to a human being. I was in the process of trying to explain again that no, the email I was quoting to her was mine, not the one for the woman from Brooklyn, when the line went dead.
I was a little pissed. So I got creative.
It's appallingly easy to find someone's phone number if you have their home address, which I of course did. So I got her number in Brooklyn and called the other Leah to tell her that Macy's was sending her order confirmations to the wrong email address.
She was a little surprised to hear from a complete stranger in Texas with the same name, as you can imagine. She assured me she would call Macy's immediately.
Hopefully they'll send the next grovelling email to the right person. I'm not going to hold my breath.