Monday, February 2, 2015


Mary Lee  recently had a cute post about the many messages she kept getting on her cell that was obviously a wrong number. It reminded me of a time when I was a victim of right name but wrong number.

While I was living in Florida I discovered there was a person who shared my name. The "Patti" clone not only carried my first and last name but we also shared a gynecologist plus had links to the same boyfriends. Only our middle initials and life styles were different.

When it first came to light for me was when I made my annual trip to my gynecologist for a pap smear.  The nurse held my chart and led me to a room I hadn't been to before. I thought it odd that there was no exam table with stirrups in sight. She told me to bare my butt as she  prepared a needle.

"Whoa," I said. " I am not here for shots."

"Oh yes you are," she countered a bit sternly while drawing a fluid into the syringe. "You need a booster for the STD (sexually transmitted disease) we have been treating."

I pulled up my pants up rapidly and said there had to be a mistake.

"You are Patricia Ann ***** aren't you?"

"No," I said a quite relieved. "Patricia Louise *****."

Oops--someone had the wrong file.  Now you know why they ask for your birth date these days.

I was telling my boyfriend about the mix up which by then was funny. His roommate Leo heard us talking and said,"Oh yeah, I use to date that Patti. She teaches music at the high school."

I reminded him of  the STD part and hoped he would do some checking himself.

I started getting random calls for her on my phone. Evidently her number was unlisted, mine was not. Any one checking the phone book or calling information for her number, got mine.

Unable to get her number, I called her school asked her if there wasn't some way to stop the calls. However, she was really snippy with me. She said her number had to be unlisted and it was basically tough buns my getting her calls. Harrumph!

Now I could  have change my number and had it put on the unlisted status also but I was single and had no reason to hide. So I suffered.

The other Patti evidently did some pub crawling and when guys would ask for her phone number, she probably gave them her right name, then told them her number was in the phone book. Most of those calls, which came in the wee   hours, were hard to understand as their voices were a bit slurred.  It had all the charm of having my number scrawled on the men's bathroom wall following, "for a good time call-------."  

The final straw came when about 10 of her students called one Saturday afternoon asking if they were supposed to wear their gowns for the dress rehearsal that night.

I no longer denied being her and said each time, "No, you won't need your gown," and hung up. I was hoping that was the wrong answer. Maybe then she would see just how many calls I was getting when half her choir showed up improperly dressed.

Tired of being her social secretary, I caved and had my number changed and added to the unlisted category. The unwanted calls stopped but I am sure some of the wanted ones did also.

No, I never met her and never wanted to. I do hope her STD cleared up however.

Have you ever been mistaken for someone else?


  1. My husband has the same name as a man who owns a local business. We have never met him.......but we know he is a member of the local country club, is a member of a city board, has a mother in a local nursing home, has a charge account with a local business which apparently does not have his home address, but does have ours from the phone book in which he is not listed. We receive his phone calls and mail regularly. Why would a person of this high social/political/business profile not have a listed number? You have an excellent idea. My husband should start scheduling this guy's golf games with these callers.

  2. I needed a urologist and was referred to one about 50 miles north of our little town. I should have been wary when I got an appt right away... got there for my appt... the doctor came in the room, looked at me, looked at "my" chart, looked back at me... Seems he had another patient with the same name as me and they "assumed" it was she making the appt. He wasn't happy... but I was even less happy. Never went back. Also... we rented a house in Costa Rica a couple years ago from a lady with my same name... that was kind of weird... writing checks out to "me".... who wasn't me. So far no good stories like a STD ;-)

  3. Well, I know there are one or two with my name...somewhere out there.
    I have gotten wrong number calls with long, involved messages left on my machine--some quite interesting indeed. I sometimes daydream about the problems some of those missed messages may have caused.

  4. I think I would have changed doctors, too!

  5. From those calls, I'm not too surprised she had an STD issue.

  6. I haven't run into anyone who shared my name, but when I was in college, my roommate and I had first and last names that sounded very similar.
    Back then, our male visitors would have to ask for us at the front desk using a speaker linked to our floor. With that grainy sound and our similar names, we could never tell who they wanted and so would have march to the front each time to see who it might be.

  7. Whoa! Now that's a story!

    I apparently have a twin here on the Cape. More than once I've had people tell me 'oh, saw you last night at such and such.' Um, no you didn't.

    The worst was my brother-in-law who was in a band and insisted I was at the club he was playing but miffed because I wouldn't say hello to him. Nope, was not there. sorry, bro…

    Good you questioned that nurse! Who knows what they were gong to put in you.

  8. I have never had an experience like this one, Patti. Yikes. I'm sorry but that other Patti sounds like a total jerk. We have gotten calls for people who at one time had our landline phone number. Angry collection calls a few times a week. It's a good thing the other Patti paid her bills. Those calls are a serious PAIN.

  9. Unfortunately my last name while not common in other locales is very common here in NM. And because of that, there is a woman here to passes bad checks who shares my last name and her first name is Lina very close to Linda. I can't tell you how many times I had to prove I wasn't Lina back a few years ago when I still wrote checks. It was a monumental pain in the keester.

  10. Yes, there's a Stephen F. Hayes who is a Fox news contributor. He's a big Dick Cheney fan and I couldn't be further from him on the political spectrum. We both spell "Stephen" the same way and even share the same middle initial.

  11. My husband & my mother-in-law used to read the obituaries in the paper every day. For a while I did, too. You’ve heard that old joke, I suppose. It goes, “First thing I do every morning is to look at the obits. If my name’s not there, I get on with my day.” One day I looked at the obits & my name was there--right down to the unusual “c” in our last name! It was someone else, of course, but I don’t check the obits anymore.

  12. When I lived in Boulder, there was a woman with the same last name as me, and she used my middle name, Jan, at the bank we both shared. Fortunately I was able to tell them of the difference in names. That was one more reason to be thankful for my old fashioned first name, Dorothy. :-)

  13. Oh, how annoying that must have been! Twice I have gotten threatening letters from a collection agency saying I owed money because of a credit card I hadn't paid. The name and address were right, but it didn't belong to me as I didn't even have their credit card. And besides, I would never be delinquent on any bill! I googled my full name and there were several of us in my state. They must have just picked the address out of a hat or something. Anyway, upon looking closer at the statement I saw that the social security number wasn't mine, either. I called this company and got a hateful person...both times!...acting like I was lying to them. It was very frustrating. Finally, they figured out I was being truthful, but one thing that really irked me was that they couldn't even apologize for the mixup. They still acted like the whole thing was my fault! I wonder how often this stuff happens and people just pay the bill even tho it isn't theirs just to get them off their backs?

  14. This is too funny only because we have been there...not in the std department but in the confused name department.

    We got a call after midnight. Some irate man said our cows were in his turnips. We said (at the time we had none) we have no cows. The man said, it wasn't funny cause he had no blank-blank turnips.

    We have had no winter yet. Two snows and few days below freezing. We used to have several ground hogs but through the years we ate them. I think they moved.

  15. Pudge,
    Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I think you may have hit on the solution to your problem. Guys don't like their golf dates messed with so that should get his attention. Hope it works.

    Odd Essay,
    Good thing he didn't try to treat you for the other's problem. He had his nerve being upset with you. It was his receptionists fault. Bet your bank was confused by your rent checks, especially when the signature on the back wasn't yours.

    I have gotten a few of those also and like you wondered if not getting the message to the right person was life altering. Not having caller ID, there was no way to call them back.

    I was happy with him and I think his nurse learned a good lesson that day. It never happened again.

    I do believe it was a well earned STD.

    Wow, that had to have gotten old. At least you got good exercise.

    Ha,ha now that could be a blessing as well as a curse. You could do something marginal and just blame your doppelganger.Think I would have had to have met my double.

    You know, I never thought of that and it would have been awful. Thankfully she paid her bills.

    Linda W,
    Goodness, that really had to be a hassle. I'll bet people thought sure they had her when they saw your signature. Good think you didn't get arrested.

    Oh, no. I feel your pain. It would be as if my parents had named me Sarah Palin. That would be grounds for a name change.

    Now that would shake a person up big time. I might have been tempted to attend the funeral.
    I do tend to read obituaries also looking for friends.

    Makes you wonder if maybe she got credit using your history? Glad you were able to put them on alert.

    I never thought of that and what a nightmare it could be. I hear those collection agencies can be overbearing. I have had creditors call here looking for a Pete, Pam or Paul*****since I now days just use my initials with my last name. Fortunately, they aren't persistent.

    Guess your "cows" ate all his turnips:))
    I did not know groundhogs were edible.

  16. Our phone number was previously held by a local dentist who had moved away. His wife was Carolyn, same as me. Can't tell you how many calls we got the first year we were here. I tried to get their real phone number so I could relay important messages such as confirmation of doctor's appointments. Then I realized that if they hadn't thought to give them the new number why should I?

  17. Yes, I have been mistaken for a woman whose daughter ran around with my daughter. We shared the same name prior to my remarriage. Nothing funny happened because of that shared name though.

    Thank heavens medical records found by birthdate. I guess there still could be some mishaps, but at least it has probably kept most of them from happening.

  18. I've never had this issue, but when I moved out of the house I shared my sister, she and my brother would tell people who called for me that I was dead.
    I really wasn't that upset...I figured if I hadn't told them I was moving I probably didn't want to keep in touch.

    That's quite the story! She was certainly a b*tch for not caring that you were dealing with the late night calls.

  19. Not the person you wanted to share a name with! I can see where that would get old in a hurry.

    I used to hear "you look just like...." quite often. I never met any of my lookalikes. Does't happen much any more. I guess we didn't age the same.

    There are oodles of Mary Lees, but more times than not, Lee is their middle name.

  20. Wow. That's quite a story! I would have been tempted to let those late night callers know that the person they sought had an STD.
    You put up with this a long time. But then having to change your number is very inconvenient.
    We used to get a lot of calls for a phone store, always from people with heavy accents.

  21. Another good one, Patti! Bob's sister and I both have the name Barbara Ann. After I married him, we also had the same last name for awhile until she also married. However, thankfully, we didn't have the same gynecologist...

  22. Oh, my sweet Patti that had to have been more than annoying. For over 20 years our phone number was one number different than a number to a beauty shop a few miles from us. We received a lot of calls over the years from people asking for an appointment. There were a lot of calls especially near the end of the week. They should have dialed a 40 for the last two digits but they would dial 04. I was glad when the lady retired and the phone calls stopped.

    Hope your bumps and bruises have all healed up and you are doing okay.

    Hugs and some hugs and nose kisses for sweet Minnie and sweet Callie from me, Chancy, Baby Boy and Pooh

  23. I have an extremely common name so it happens to me quite frequently. I love how you told the students they didn't need their gowns!

  24. Oh dear, I am glad you eventually got rid of those callers! ;-)

  25. I have rarely been mistaken for someone else.... I am one of a kind! but we have had the misfortune/entertainment of having our telephone number very similar to that of a business. I was rung one morning by someone complaining bitterly about their leaking goldfish tank!
    Another time I had a very pleasant phone call from a business person in Canada about a metal fabrication job... I mostly enjoyed the mix ups.... But I wasn't being rung at 2 in the morning. However....., the phone did go at 12.30 one night with the Indian gentleman from "Microsoft Technical Department...." He put the phone down whilst I was still saying..."Do you know what time this is....?" Which annoyed me as I had not had the chance to rant and rave!

  26. NCMountainwoman,
    Hum, they really just wanted to cut all ties didn't they? I'd have done the same thing.

    Like you, I feel pretty confident now days with the birth date ID. If for some reason it didn't work, I'd like to meet the person with my name plus being born on the exact same day as me.

    Wow, saying you were dead was a bit harsh but it certainly put an end to further inquiry. Sure hope you didn't miss out on a bit inheritance:))

    Mary Lee,
    I never had a "look alike." I think that would be cool. Obviously you aged much better.

    Linda R,
    I did think of that but I really wasn't supposed to have that information. Didn't want to be sued though I am sure the doctor would have been the deep pockets she would have gone after.

    Ha, ha. Yes there are many things we don't mind sharing, our GYN is not one of them.

    That is just too close and would be easy to goof up. Sure glad she retired though it took her long enough.

    I hope all your mix ups are pleasant ones. It had to have made an impression with 10 kids dressed wrong.

    It really did get old, especially the late night calls.

    Oh my, that sounds like that scam where they mess up your computer, then sell you software to fix it. I got one of those calls also and just hung up. Sorry you didn't get to enjoy your rant.

  27. Oh My Gosh---would love to have seen your face when they took you back and tried to give you a shot..... Yipes!!!!!

    You were probably smart to change your name and go unlisted... I've never had that experience happen to me --but I will say that, even though we are on the 'do not call' list, we get LOTS of junk calls on our 'home phone'... That is why we NEVER answer that phone. If the calls are legit, they will leave a message. Works for us!!!!


  28. Hi Patti! I admit this post made me laugh out loud - though I'm sure it wasn't funny at the time. Luckily I never have been mixed up for someone else!

  29. Betsy,
    Shocked would put it mildly. She was determined to give me the shot.
    I do screen my calls if I don't recognize the number.

    Ah, you get me. That is what I was going for. Most things are funny given a bit of time.

  30. Oh wow, what a story! It makes me smile even though I know I'd been sooooo annoyed! What a shame you had to change your number in the end, but that was probably the best thing to do :)

    Thank you so much for your sweet comment on our wedding day! Sending a big hug to you,

  31. Oh my Patti, you do lead an interesting life. I have been mistaken several times. One lady asked me if I still had all of those horses. I explained I've always lived in town and never had a horse or even rode one. And another time this lady asked me if I was still taking orders and baking cakes, I explained I had never done that. So someplace there most of been some poor soul that looked like me. And Abe, even with his name, went to a different doctor, and the file folder they gave the doctor was actually for a cousin of his that he hadn't seen in years, didn't even know he lived in the area. The last name wasn't even Lincoln, apparently he looked like his cousin whose last name tarted with B. I think the receptionist just assumed she knew who he was. Life can be exciting and challenging at the same time. Have a great week end, don't do any more falls.

  32. Yes, I was in a restaurant and a lady come to our table and said it was strange to see a good friend of her Mothers in North Carolina since she lived in Utah.
    It took a bit of convincing that she had the wrong person and then, before they left, she came up and took my picture to show her mom !

  33. Beate,
    Probably should have done it sooner but it did involve a hassle.
    Looking forward to more wedding pictures.

    Goodness, your near misses were interesting. When you look like someone, you kind of hope they behave themselves.
    That was bad about Abe with it not even being his name. Scary huh.

    You must have been a dead ringer for that lady. Would love to have heard what her mom had to say.

  34. Since moving back to Hawaii, I know there must be somebody on the island who looks like me because strangers have stopped me to say hello.

    As for wrong numbers, we've got almost the same number as the Golden Dragon Chinese restaurant.