Oh yes, it finally happened. I did it. After years of following another Leah's academic carreer, I have managed to make contact.
I'd already managed to make contact with the Leah who likes to order online from Macy's, and was able to verify a few months ago that she was indeed not the Cooper Union Leah when I had to call her again. (I didn't even try to contact Macy's this time, just went right to the phone. She remembered me, which was nice.) That Lea spells her name without an 'H', which Macy's seems to feel is a grave error on her part and strives to correct it as often as humanly possible. I anticipate being forced to call her again in the future. At least she's friendly.
But the other, younger Leah who likes skiing and photography proved much more difficult to find. See, her email differs from mine only by one initial in between her first and last name, something I found out from one of the several places I've called on her behalf. But I didn't know what that initial was, and with 26 letters to choose from, I didn't think I ever would. But after some luck and a great deal of effort, I managed to find her on Facebook (where else?).
"Lo, it is accomplished!" I thought (in exactly those words). "For I shall forewith contact yon maiden fair and request of her kindness to make sure no one sends me more of her fucking emails." But sadly she never replied to my friend request or FB message. And I kept getting emails meant for her.
And then, I got yet one more email for Leah the Younger, this one was the second from the Cooper Union Photography Department. Not the first place I'd called who didn't change their records. Except, it turned out, they had. But the bright spark sending out the notices had decided to cover all his or her bases and use both Leahs' addresses.
That's right: mine, and hers.
I emailed her immediately, as you can imagine. I explained the situation, with enough details I've learned about her life to hopefully scare her into understanding how serious this is. As I've said before, she's really, really lucky I'm a nice person.
And she replied.
She seems to be as sweet and vivacious as I could hope for anyone with my namesake. She thanked me for my help and assured me she would make sure it doesn't happen again. She did not, however, tell me she was going to change her email address. I really hope she does before she starts going for job interviews.
Fun fact: aside from having the same birthday, I also had a premonition about what her middle initial is. The might be less about me being wicked psychic and more about me being familiar with the naming habits of Jews. But it was still pretty cool.
I'm hopeful that this email problem may well be over. But I admit I'm a little sad, too. It was kind of fun, getting the other Leah's emails, much as it was also annoying.