Dear Jido – December 2021

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Dear Jido,

I have a very common name and so sometimes I receive invitations from acquaintances (and strangers) who more than likely intended to reach someone else with my name. When it’s an acquaintance, I have the dilemma of whether to attend or not. If I attend but I was not the intended recipient, it will seem as though I am crashing and could be very awkward. On the other hand, if I was the intended recipient and I don’t attend – or reciprocate the invitation for my next occasion, it would look as though I am slighting the other person. What do you suggest?

Signed,

Guess Who

Dear Ikey, Joey, Abie, Eddie, David, or Jack,

Ha, that’s funny! I have the same problem. In real life, I share my name with several other family members. So, many years ago, I took the advice of a community fund raiser. He explained:

Gd bless our community. We name after our grandparents and sometimes even after our favorite relatives. As a result, we have duplicates, triplicates, and multi-cates of the same name, even with the same middle initial. Many times, I would get a check or pledge from one of those names. No address, no phone number, and no middle initial. What I would do is immediately send a bill or a receipt to the one I thought was the most likely. If I was correct (lucky guess), they would send a check or not respond to the receipt. If I was wrong (more often than not), they would immediately respond – “I never made that pledge” or “It wasn’t my check, try so-and-so.”

I do the same thing. When I get an invitation from someone I hardly know, I look at the names of both families as well as the honored grandparents.  If I know them (at least one of them), I make plans to attend. If not, I can usually tell which of my family members it was most likely for. 

I then either text, call, or get word back to the celebrants that it wasn’t me. 

One time, the other party said, “Don’t you remember me?  You and I …” We laughed and I said, “Oh, of course, can’t wait to see you again. Thank you so much for inviting me to your farah.”

Be proactive. Don’t wait for the date of the party to find out if you were really invited. Not only do you spare yourself the possible embarrassment, but you also give the correct party the chance to enjoy the party. 

Jido