An email love story, from Storycorps and NPR
May 13, 2011 5:55 PM   Subscribe

It is 2007, and R.P. Salazar is living in Waco, Texas. His email username is rpsalazar. One day an email arrives addressed to another rpsalazar, meant for someone with the same initials and surname but a slightly different email address. He sends it along to the right person, an R.P. Salazar living in Bangkok. Before clicking Send he adds a p.s.: "How's the weather in Bangkok?" Before the end of 2007, Ruben Salazar and Rachel Salazar are married. Storycorps and NPR report the whole story. (The text is good, but the audio is even better. Click "Listen to the Story.")
posted by mark7570 (21 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
That was brave of both of them! I wonder if she had much trouble adjusting to life in Texas. And yes, the audio is better.
posted by dragonplayer at 6:20 PM on May 13, 2011

I actually have a good friend to whose sister something similar happened. She sent an email to my friend – her brother – and sent it to his Yahoo address, which happened to be his first and last name; the only trouble was that he had a Hotmail account, not a Yahoo account. So the guy she sent the email to was actually a fellow by the same name as her brother who lived in England.

They ended up married, too. My friend thought it was pretty hilarious. It has to be weird, though, marrying somebody with the same name as your brother.
posted by koeselitz at 6:38 PM on May 13, 2011 [3 favorites]

That was very sweet! Thanks for the link. I loved how willing each of them was to take a leap of faith and get together.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 7:11 PM on May 13, 2011

I always thought it would be darned convenient to fall for someone with the same last name as you.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:23 PM on May 13, 2011

This is nice!
posted by Glinn at 7:29 PM on May 13, 2011

I have [first initial][last name] I've been getting emails intended for [first initial][last name] for the past year and telling her and her friends and co-workers to stop and get their address books right. I have no interest in getting to know her better.
posted by Plutor at 8:48 PM on May 13, 2011


posted by mightygodking at 8:56 PM on May 13, 2011

The same thing happened to me. Well, except the marriage part. Some years ago, I sent an email to my boss at work, but I accidentally sent it to another guy with the same name in London. He wrote me back to let me know and I sent him an apology which he replied to which started a long correspondence. Eventually he flew over here to meet me, which in turn led to a torrid intercontinental affair which lasted a few months. Fun times.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:56 PM on May 13, 2011

Aww! Reminds me of this story of a Facebook name search leading to Kelly Hildebrandt marrying Kelly Hildebrandt:
posted by creepygirl at 11:04 PM on May 13, 2011

Every so often I get texts from a stranger in London telling whomever they intended to send it to that they're on their way to work. I find that a lot weirder than a misspelt email address.
posted by cmonkey at 12:45 AM on May 14, 2011

I get email all the time for some banker dude with the same name as me in Toronto with details about the off-the-hook-parties he and his buddies plan/have with all the usual frat boy banker asshole bullshit in them. I really enjoy responding to the more awkward ones.

So far I have not married him.
posted by srboisvert at 1:59 AM on May 14, 2011 [5 favorites]

I get email from time to time meant for another jquinby in Oxford, England. Last time it was an invitation to brunch. I always respond with a "I think you meant this for someone else" message and did so this time as well, with an wittily added "...but brunch sounds lovely". No response.

Moral of the story: I'm not really that witty.
posted by jquinby at 5:10 AM on May 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

Back in the days when I used Hotmail, my dad's address differed from my [first initial][last name] only by the addition of his middle initial. I subsequently received an email from a lady he was dating at the time which, while it didn't contain anything outwardly explicit was nonetheless a bit innuendo-y and breathless.

posted by romakimmy at 9:17 AM on May 14, 2011 [3 favorites]

I got a very... ahem... "affectionate" voicemail a few years ago, meant for someone named Nick from his breathy-voiced girlfriend. I debated about whether to try to let her know, and finally decided to do so, thinking if I were her I'd want a chance for a do-over to make sure my affection reached the right recipient. And, hey, if I was a guy I wouldn't have wanted to miss out on hearing it.

So, even though it felt awkward, I called the return number and tried to be casual and matter-of-fact about the situation, but it was a Big Mistake. That poor girl just completely did not get what I was telling her, and she responded angrily, "How did you get my message? I left that message for Nick!"

I said, "Yes, I know the message was for Nick, but I got it because you reached the wrong number. I'm just letting you know so you can try to reach the right number next time."

It degenerated from there:

Her: "Well, who are you and how do you know Nick?"
Me: "I don't know Nick. I'm just the person who happened to get your message."
Her: "Then why are you using Nick's phone?"
Me: "I'm not using Nick's phone, I'm using my phone."
Her: "Well, who are you, then?"
Me: "Who I am isn't the point. I'm a random stranger whose number you dialed. The point is that I'm not Nick, I don't know Nick, and this is not Nick's phone."

She tried to steer us back to square one with another cluelessly insistent "But I left that message for Nick!" so I ended the conversation by saying that I was sorry I had upset her, that this was nothing more than a simple matter of her message reaching the wrong number, that I thought I was doing the right thing by letting her know but she could rest assured that she had shown me the error of my ways by acting like a BRAIN-DEAD DRAMA QUEEN! (Okay, I didn't say that last part out loud, but I was thinking it vehemently!)

I felt so frustrated when I got off the phone (and mad at myself for thinking that calling her was a good idea), I spent the rest of the afternoon fantasizing about her finally reaching him and bombarding him with a litany of false accusations, and him responding by dumping her for being a psycho.
posted by amyms at 11:06 AM on May 14, 2011 [4 favorites]

Ha, my phone number is relatively new to me – well, I've had it about six months, I don't know – but I seem to have gotten a ridiculous number of texts to the wrong place. In the past month, I've gotten:

"Baby, I'm sorry, I didn't mean it that way... please call me back. I love you."


"Spread the word... senior ditch day today! Meet at Harrison Park!"

and (my favorite)


which was followed immediately by


Heh. No wedding bells coming of that one. Kinda wish I'd called back, though; I might have made a few dollars in my spare time.
posted by koeselitz at 12:29 PM on May 14, 2011

Aww! Reminds me of this story of a Facebook name search leading to Kelly Hildebrandt marrying Kelly Hildebrandt:

If it isn't too much to ask, I'd like the Hildebrandt's to have twins, boy and girl, and name them both Kelly.
posted by found missing at 1:34 PM on May 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Over the course of about four years, I've been getting emails intended for someone with the same initial and same last name as me. I don't know his actual email address, but through these misdirected emails, I've been able to chart the course of his recent history. He used to live in New York and get these emails detailing all the "sweet honeys" he and his I-banker friends were apparently meeting. Then, he moved to Los Angeles, got a honda, and was subsequently suspended from World of Warcraft for unacceptable obscenity and harassment of other users. I felt really bad for him at that point, because his life in LA just seemed so unfortunate.

I don't really want to marry him.
posted by eulily at 8:42 PM on May 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


No, they just made it better! People love movies "inspired by a true story"!
posted by Jacqueline at 10:51 PM on May 14, 2011

Someone with the same name as me contacted me on facebook to say "Hey, I thought I was the only one." She friended me and I reciprocated. Except every once in a while, it gets really confusing because I'll see something that "I" said or did or like and think, "No, I didn't!"

I guess people with names like John Smith get used to this sort of thing.
posted by threeturtles at 9:16 AM on May 15, 2011

I share the same name as a fairly well-known evangelical priest in the US (one of the good guys, so far as I can tell) who writes books with titles that use the word 'faith' quite a lot.

I'm a fantasy writer. Among other books, I wrote 'Mark of Damnation' and 'Mark of Heresy', and a Ren and Stimpy tie-in.

I suspect he hates me.
posted by Hogshead at 1:54 PM on May 16, 2011

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