I know them by their geographic locations, their interests, hobbies, the baby showers and parties they're invited to, or that their kids are invited to. I know when they need to take their dogs to the vet, when they need to go to the dentist, when they bought a new book on Amazon or are late returning some books to their library.
I'm speaking, of course, of the other Kate Vincents out there in the world. Florida Kate seems to be the most likely to cause trouble. Of course. Florida, right? She seems a little loose in the old... code of morals? Obviously as a feminist I object to the idea that any human can be "stolen" but, you know, if I didn't, I think she'd be sort of a man-stealer.
Australia Kate seems pretty cool. She rides her bike a lot, gets invited to a lot of parties. She's got a couple dogs, 2 small children, and a very fun loving and boisterous group of friends, including someone named Hammish, which is fantastic.
Louisiana Kate reads a lot of vampire porn on her Kindle. That's... really all I have to say about that.
Oxfordshire Kate is turning 40 this year -- congrats Kate! Her husband is planning a surprise party. They seem to be doing well - comfortably upper middle class, for sure. They have kids, but I think they're in high school -- old enough to be doing most of their own party planning and net working.
This is one aspect of a technologically interconnected world I did not anticipate. I, like all humans, used google for the first time to search myself. Back in 1999 there was only one other Kate Vincent on there, and she was best known for suffering a terrible brain injury, mostly recovering from it, and founding a center that authored a guide on the study of brain injuries. The Brain Injury Guide. Her website was therefore BIG KATE.
I was thrilled.
There are lots of Kate Rodens out there, but I wasn't searching that name until 2002. At this point at least some of them are me. My etsy shop makes it to the first page of results! Anyway I used to have to go looking for myselves... but not anymore.
I was relatively early with the gmail adoption, and thought myself lucky. I wasn't early enough to get kateroden@gmail -- so somewhere that Kate is no doubt writing a rambling post about MY life and inability to correctly share my email address with my friend community.
I already have a kate@roden address anyway, so the next name I tried was katevincent... and I got it. I was the first of my apparently numerous tribe. All following Kates had to resort to dots, dashes, the dreaded tilde.... middle initials even. The horror.
So I was happy to get the address.... for about a year. And then gmail became everyone's email client, and all the other Kates started giving their addresses out (sloppily, apparently) and the mail began creeping in. Australia Kate got invited to a BBQ (of course she did) Amazon would like to know if NOLA Kate was satisfied with 'Sheathing Her Dark Master's Blade' (of course she was) and some poor girl in Nebraska emails Florida Kate to ask if she could please stop sleeping with her boyfriend, or if not, at least tell her, so she can break it off.
KATES! Get it together! Shut it Down! I know it's not really your fault, ladies, if other people can't get your address right. And listen, I will probably put y'alls addresses down the next time the dentist or the vet asks for mine -- I understand a little intentional misdirection. But listen -- you need to know those books are overdue. You're missing play dates, Australia Kate! You'll hurt your friend's feelings! And Oxfordshire Kate, how is anyone going to RSVP to your party if you give them my address?
Florida Kate, listen....I think we both know you need to make a lot of changes. But let's make "correctly disseminating my email address" one of those changes for 2013! Okay ladies?! May 2013 be the year of GIVING PEOPLE YOUR OWN DAMN EMAIL ADDRESS!
Alright girls! Good talk. Break!