My name is Kristine. See, it says so right up there ^ at the top of the page. Sounds like Christine, but spelled with a K, just like every other name in my family. We’re basically the Kardashians.
Variations on my name were huge in the 80s, so nobody can remember which one I am. I’m regularly called Kristina, Kristen, Kristy, Krissy, Kirsten, Krista, Kris… and every possible spelling variation of each name. But who came blame people? It’s not their fault all the 80s parents were reading the same baby name books. Besides, I’m just as bad with other people’s names. When I have a Marco or Marcos in my class, I have to just say one randomly, figuring nobody will hear the difference. Irene and Ilene have to be very patient with my efforts. And for reasons I don’t even understand, Brandon and Bryan are interchangeable when they come out of my mouth.
So, yes, I will answer to Kristina, Kristen, Kris-anything….. and, Jennifer. I also answer to Jennifer.
The Jennifer thing has been happening all my life. I run into someone that I’ve only met once or twice before, and they make that face people make when they’re trying to remember your name, then they finally come up with, “It’s Jennifer, right?” I haven’t found a non-awkward way to say, “Close… Kristine.”
Do I just have the face of a Jennifer? I guess living in a world with Aniston, Garner, Lawrence, and Lopez, that’s not the worst thing. Or do I have a twin running around somewhere named Jennifer?
Those were my questions for many years, but now I’m actually pretty sure that the doppelganger theory is the right one. Because I think I met her. On Amtrak.
I had just gotten on my train in Portland, and one of the workers asked, “Are you headed to Vancouver again?”
“What? No… Everett.”
He looked confused, and looked at me closer. “Oh, sorry, you look a little like another passenger that used to ride regularly.”
“Was her name Jennifer?” I asked mostly for my own amusement.
Now he did look surprised. “Yeah, well, Jenny… How did you know??”
“Seriously? There’s a Jennifer who rides this train and looks like me??”
“She used to! She was a makeup artist. Traveled back and forth to Vancouver for a while for some work thing.”
“Weird…. Wait! A makeup artist in a wheelchair? Going to Vancouver? I think I rode with her once!!”A couple years earlier, there was this lady who was very concerned about her giant makeup case, refusing to let it out of her sight, saying Amtrak had lost it before.
Guys, that had to be her! That was my Jennifer! She’s the person everyone apparently meets before they meet me, and then can’t keep us straight! The world finally makes sense.
I wonder if my makeup artist doppelganger ever gets called Kristine. Or if she’s connected the dots and realized that we’ve met before. I hope we meet again someday. Now that I know she’s a real person, I’m dying to compare notes and figure out which of us is the evil twin.