Thursday, March 05, 2009

Whoa. Who are you? And who am I, again?

A funny thing happened just now on Twitter. (Well, over the course of the last day or so.)

Last night, I saw an old high school friend on Facebook. He's now a transplant surgeon in Wisconsin, and his Facebook status said he was "putting the kids to bed then going on a fly out for a liver!" Which I thought was pretty awesome, but which also intimidated the hell out of me. Because, while this guy is brilliant and way more focused and ambitious than I ever was, the fact that we graduated high school together made me think, "Wow. That could have been me."

I started at IU thinking that I would go to medical school. But I decided part-way through that I definitely did not want all that much more school, let alone all the stuff that doctors have to put up with (malpractice, insurance, malpractice insurance, actual patients, etc.) -- so I opted not to go the med school route. But seeing his status update got me all "What if..."

So I tweeted out into the Twitterverse both his original status update and my response: "I kind of wonder where I stepped off that path (those paths, really), but I'm both super happy and a touch regretful that I did." Because I couldn't imagine having kids right now, nor could I imagine being a transplant surgeon right now. But, you know, "what if...?"

Still with me? Because here's where it gets weird.

A woman named Diane, whom I had not met before, engaged me in conversation about my friend's status update and my response. I thought that she was perhaps just being (overly) friendly, but it turns out (as I found out just now) she thought I was somebody else. Somebody named -- wait for it ... wait for it -- Scott Smeester.

I'll wait while you read that again. Scott. Smeester. Shall we continue?

So, yeah. There exists someone whose name is like my name, but with two letters transposed.

What amazes me is how I reacted. Because there are currently eight people in the US with the last name "Semester," three of whom -- my sister-in-law, niece, and nephew -- we've added in the last three or four years, I have grown supercomfortable in thinking that I would never, ever be name-confused for someone else.

But this sudden threat to my name-identity really threw me for a loop. I mean, I've never before discovered Scott Smeester when I've Googled myself -- and trust me, I've Googled myself plenty. (It's the only truly safe form of Googling.) So I don't think it's all of a sudden a thing or whatever, but it did make me feel a little less unique.

Gonna need to noodle over this and figure out if it really means anything...


JL said...

okay, to add to that blog post, this is kind of strange. My sister got a friend request from Jenny Schell the other day. Being that she was one of my first friends, she got all offended that I somehow accidentally deleted her. Then she looked into it and that Jenny Schell is one in Vancouver, British Columbia! And when she accepted the friend request and started looking down Jenny's friends, she saw that she has a relative named Melinda Schell (something) so Schell must be her maiden name. Isn't that weird?????

Scott S. Semester said...

That is SUPERweird! And odd that it just happened when I found my other (almost) Scott Semester!