The other Mrs Reid

Growing up in rural Oz through the 80s and 90s, I didn’t know any other Shauna’s. I thought my name was daggy and annoying. I longed to be a Jenny, Tracy or Melissa and be spared the indignity of being nicknamed “Shauny Prawn”.

But thanks to the invention of the internet I now know there’s twenty gazillion fellow Shauna’s, and many Shauna Reid’s too. There is one living in Canada. I know this because I often get her emails.

Because of a missing hyphen or full stop or similar, I hear about Canadian Shauna Reid’s PTA meetings, carpool plans, and practice schedules for the school hockey team. Today was the best one though – her son’s metalwork teacher sent me his report card.

The kid scored a solid B. He aced Hand Tools, Power Tools and Lathe Operations. He got an 87 on his Safety quiz. He also did well on both his Hammer and Welded Log projects.

I wrote back:

Hi there Mr W.,

I think you have the wrong email address as I’m a Shauna Reid in Scotland. Looks like J. is doing well with his metalwork though! 🙂

Best wishes,

The teacher thought it was all pretty hilarious. I kinda love the life of this other Shauny Prawn.

I reckon there’s a lot of dramatic potential with doppelnamers. You could do a sinister Scandinavian crime drama about identity theft where the two Shauna Reid’s use email to mess up each others lives on the perpetually rainy streets of Copenhagen. Or a Richard Curtis-esque fluff fest about two twentysomething women with great hair and very similar Gmail addresses. Shauna A* writes back to the yoga teacher or school principal or plumber of Shauna B** to say, Hey You Missed A Hyphen! ***

Shauna A and the plumber start writing back and forth, then fall in love, then decide long distance is just too hard… but then the plumber flies over on Christmas Eve, to say he can’t live without her. Meanwhile Shauna B is all, how about fixing my bloody radiator?

* the better looking one
** the “Hollywood
neurotic yet hot when she takes her glasses off” one
*** possible film title?

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

Find out more about me and how we can work together – I’m now booking for June 2021.

20 thoughts on “The other Mrs Reid

  1. I occasionally get email intended for a woman with a very similar name who’s an ophthalmologist in the same health system where I’m an internist. Mostly I need to remind the schedulers every few months that I’m not the person they need to ask about operating room availability. The metalworking report card is much more entertaining!

  2. I get work emails all the time from someone in our massive company with the same name….the best one was…

    “Becky, I’m sorry I made you cry, but we can’t go on like this” !!!!

    It was from a woman, and I know other Rebecca is married (to a man), and NO ONE is allowed to call me Becky anyway

    I could only respond with, “Eerm think you’ve got the wrong Rebecca, but in my experience chocolate always helps!”

  3. My real name is not common and as far as I know unique, so I don’t get emails intended for other people.

    Unless… I do get a lot of inquiries about whether I want any v1agra or cia1lis from Canada. Could be a case of mistaken identity, right?

  4. Oh please write that novel, Shauna. The Richard Curtis one. It would be a Christmas bestseller. Who would play the Shaunas in the movie?
    Loving your work as I have done for years.

    1. PS: When I first moved to Tasmania and went to put on the phone, I found out there was a girl with the same name as me living in Melbourne (Telstra guy: “Oh, you’ve still got the phone connected in Fitzroy…”; Me: “Uh, no. I don’t think so…”). Strangely enough, not long after that I got an email from her. It turned out that she knew about me because her grandmother had sent her some newspaper clippings from some environmental work I had done. We had a great old e-chat. Your post has inspired me to email her again and see “where is she now” 🙂

  5. You nailed the Richard Curtis scenario. Now go help them write the script for that Bridget Jones movie so we can get the cast back, get Renee Z. plump again, and save Mr. Darcy.

  6. Oh you really could do so much damage, couldn’t you? 🙂

    I once did as you did and replied to a person who mistook me for another “doppelnamer”, courteously pointing out she had the wrong person. She replied to me saying “You know me! I’m your sister, you dozy mare!”

    She was reeeaaaally embarrassed when she finally realised the truth (but it took me to write twice more before she believed me).

    I still pull “you dozy mare” out occasionally. Great phrase 😉

  7. This reminded me of a story of my own…
    Once upon a time, two boys from the same town were first year students – same university, same faculty, same degree stream, same work groups. And, you guessed, same first and last name.
    I had had an unrequited crush on a boy, but we didn’t stay in touch after graduating high school. The crush wasn’t letting on, so a few months down the line, I did some internet digging, located the boy’s university email address and was ecstatic to resume contact. Later it turned out that I’d emailed the wrong one of the two…

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