The Other AB

At the end of junior year of college, I got an email from Barbara Berger with the subject title “Golf.” Odd, I thought. I’ve never golfed before! I read the email twice. Never in my life has my mother ever referred to herself as “mom,” either.  When I realized that the other recipients of the email were people I didn’t know, I was beside myself. There’s another Allison Berger out there- and her mother’s name is Barbara, just like mine.

Later in the summer I started receiving various e-newsletters, from the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and a place called Pitcher and Piano, which is in the UK. There was also this:

Apparently this Allison Berger is a mother herself, or at least, at the time of the email she was expecting a child.


I haven’t put too much thought into this other Allison Berger, even though over the past two years, I’ve collected a lot of information about her. She’s about 28 (I was invited to her 10-year high school reunion), lives in Georgia, has a kid or two, and goes on lavish vacations, or at least cool business trips (I’ve gotten hotel and resort confirmations for hotels in Colorado, Chicago, and San Francisco).

She also has an unknowingly funny mother. But that Barb’s got nothing on mine.

The other AB has never contacted me for a missing confirmation email and she hasn’t changed her email address on any of those listservs either. While the whole thing has been funny to me, how annoying has it been for her? More importantly, how hard is it to get her email address right? I’m pretty sure the only thing that differentiates mine from hers is a period between our first and last names. Google message boards have explained the dilemma before, and most people insist that the periods don’t matter. I don’t know. Try sending me a message at and maybe the other AB will write back to you instead.


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