site stats WhizGidget Wonders...
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
I Don't Exist!
...That's right, folks. I am just a figment of your collective imaginations. Call it a mass hallucination if you will. That may or may not be good news depending on your perspective and opinion of me. I think this is kind of interesting since on Friday apparently I was The World.

Kari posted a neat little widget on her blog the other day entitled "How Many of Me" that told her that there is one other person in the US with her name. I thought that was pretty cool and I tried it out.

Apparently no one else in the US has my name.
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

I thought that was interesting considering I know how large DH's side of the family is. It's quite inconceivable that there aren't any others with my rather common (ranked 96th in popularity, tied with two other names) first name. This would make me very unique - not that I wasn't already, and knock off the snide comments from the peanut gallery.

Google says otherwise. Sort of. There was one reference that wasn't quite right because it was my MIL's name - my first name is part of her first name and if you put a space in the right place (where there isn't one) then her name would come up when I search mine. Technically that strikes her off the list. There was someone with my name in a geneology chart from 1880 that indicated the individual was 95 at the time. So, technically, that's not a valid one because she's not living right now. The only other entry was someone in Wisconsin in 1995 who did a lab presentation about 'founder in horses', and I know that that wasn't me because I've never been to Wisconsin and I don't have the foggiest idea what 'founder in horses' means. Ah, well, let's get back to the subject at hand. The name widget.

What blew me away from the widget is that apparently there is no one else with my last name in the US. Which means I don't exist in the first place. So I checked into what it means - they used census data from 1990! Well, that would explain why I don't exist because I wasn't married by then. But that doesn't explain how the last name of DH's family isn't in there. After all, it's not possible that we *all* missed the census, right? And there was that entry from the 1880s I mentioned earlier. They do say 1 in 10 last names won't be in the database, but that's pretty astronomical odds that ours wouldn't be with as large a family as DH has.

Which means none of DH's family exists. That's going to be a surprise to DH (surprise!) and his brothers. And the son of one of his brothers. And his 4 sisters and parents. They'll be pretty surprised too. They don't read this, so it's up to DH to share that information. It makes me wonder about the genealogy that the youngest SIL has been doing - if the family doesn't exist, then how does she have information tracing us back into Europe pre-Mayflower?

I wonder what DH's uncle, a Jesuit priest, would do with the idea that he doesn't really exist? That could be a very interesting existential discussion he and I could have. And he's got a good sense of humor, so I think he'd find this as funny as I do.

Still, considering that 1 in 10 won't be in there, what were the odds that my maiden name wouldn't be in there? It's not likely, right? Then again, they do state that about 19% of the population will have either one or both names not on the list.

Guess what... I'm in the 19%. On both counts. I've never existed. I'm a figment of everyone's imagination, including my own.