In the mid-80’s, I worked at an underground food co-op in Washington, D.C. One night when I was bagging raisins, I noticed that a woman was staring at me. Finally, she stepped forward and said, “Michelle? Michelle Golden?” “No,” I said, “I’m not Michelle, but do you mean Michelle Golden from Madison, Wisconsin? And she said yes, that was exactly who she meant. I told her that I knew Michelle and that many people had mistaken me for her. A few years later, I moved to the West Coast. One Saturday morning as I was walking in downtown San Francisco, a woman approached me. She stopped in her tracks, looked me up and down, and said, “Michelle? Michelle Golden?” “No,” I said. “But what are the chances of your making the same mistake twice in your lifetime on two different coasts?” —Beth Kivel

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