Hey, Jenny, Jennie, Jenn, Jens

…If seeing
your name
in the obits
ain’t freaky…

Okay, raise your hands if your name is also Jennifer Coke. Yeow. Can you believe how many of us there are, truly?

Hello, my googlegängers! I guess I feel fortunate to have snagged the domain name before the Jen doing real estate in MO, or the cool middle school teacher in TX, the rehab guru in NC, the Jen volunteering in community radio in AZ, or that nice Jen who adopted the Chilean Flamingo at the San Francisco Zoo. And I feel infinitely more lucky than Jennifer Coke from Redwood City who died at age 29. Car crash. If seeing your name in the obituaries ain’t freaky.

Plain truth is I’m not now nor have I ever been a Jen. It has always been the whole rhythmic name, my middle name, my mother trying to balance the meter by giving me a short and punchy first name that she never intended to use. Yes, shhhh – I’m a G. Jennifer Coke.

But never a Jen or Jenny, which I don’t so much like. I’ve been a Jennifer way before it was the nom du jour, you know? In fact, I’ve been one so long, I get the double blink when I show up in person. People look past me when they call my name in reception areas. A man in Spain, asks me in Russian-accented English, if I had changed my name. No-no, I tell him. I was named after Jennifer Jones, the actress. He nods his head but his face is blank; it’s clear he doesn’t know that name from Adam.

Speaking of actresses. How disappointing it is that this Jennifer Coke who’s listed in various French websites as one of the leads in the movie, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives isn’t one of us at all. She really is Jennifer Cooke.

Course, I’ve been called that a hundred times, too. But that’s a whole nother story.