Hello, is that Wendy?

book manJack’s guest blog will be Friday this week, due to internal Welch-Beck household circumstances involving a burst pipe.

See this guy made of books? That’s the profile picture of my Facebook friend Wendy Welch. She lives in Nevada, and she’s the one who found eight Wendy Welches and hooked us all together via a secret FB group.

But then, we couldn’t figure out which one of us was typing at any point, so we gave that up and emerged on the Internet–to the consternation of friends and relations. Navigating ‘twixt so many Wendys is tricky.

In addition to Wendy, who started the whole thing, there’s Wendy the graphic artist hippie in Tennessee, and of course Wendy the eye technician, and retired Wendy, and then Wendy runs a homesteading farm in New England. Not forgetting Wendy who lives in Northern Virginia; she and I are the only ones sharing a state, that we know of.

So far, confusion has been abated by our differing locations and jobs, but poor Wendy’s mother-in-law in Nevada is having a time of it. She keeps leaving the sweetest notes on my timeline, telling me she loves me and is so glad I married her son.

This makes Jack nervous.

It’s intriguing to meet other people with your name, especially when you find out you like them. Graphics Wendy has a wicked fun sense of humor. The other day she talked about invading her son’s room for laundry pick-up he’d forgotten to gather, saying, “I’ve never seen so many ironic t-shirts in one place in my life.” Homesteading Wendy lost her husband to cancer two years ago, and moves bravely forward creating a sustainable lifestyle with her dogs and chickens–who get along with each other, so she must be doing it right. Nevada Wendy’s approach to life is playful. We’re considering ganging up on our husbands online.

As a kid, riding in a car I couldn’t steer to destinations I hadn’t chosen, I’d look out the window and play a game. Pick a house, imagine what it would be like to be a completely different person, living in there. Neat, messy, full of extended family, isolated and empty? In high school, books with “start life over” plots fascinated me: new identities, yuppies who upped stakes to become desert ranchers, that kind of thing.

Perhaps this winding circle of namesakes is the grown-up version of these, but I feel my life has been enriched by the embrace of so many strong, sweet, funny Wendy Welches within it.

A battering of Wendys…. look out world, here we come.

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7 Comments

Filed under Big Stone Gap, folklore and ethnography, home improvements, humor, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA

7 responses to “Hello, is that Wendy?

  1. Janice Brooks-Headrick

    Wendy, When Cuz and I decieded to get married, I discovered that not only were there 5 Charles Headricks in this county, but there were 6 Jan Headricks. So, I did the hyphenated name thing. I am the only Janice Brooks-Headrick. HOwever, its been a battle, especially with people who change my name for me, call me by the wrong name, and mess with my identity. Plus they almost never can file it correctly. You are the only Wendy Welch I know. Jan Janice Brooks-Headrick 865-429-1783 Storyteller Author Instigator TALESproject.org Timeline: facebook.com/janice.brooksheadrick Email: janice.brooksheadrick@facebook.com

  2. Tobie Pierce

    Hello to my Wendy Welch! Thought about you the other day at the library when I found a new book by Wendy Wax, While We Were Watching Downton Abbey. It is such a good chick read. Hope you get to read it. And we are looking forward to visiting the cats and their bookstore as soon as snow stops.

  3. What a fun and silly idea! I have often wondered about the long list of Susie Kleins I see when I google myself. (We all do it, admit it.) Susie Klein

  4. James R

    Yes, we all do it. I have often thought about having a James Ryan gathering and wondering what it would be like to have a motel with a James Ryan in every room. There are about 64 of us in Virginia alone.

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