Mistaken Identity

A few weeks ago, Emily, Daniel, and I attended a baby shower for Jeremiah and Kortny Cox, hosted by some of their friends from Quest.  My mom and dad had been in town that weekend and on that Sunday, my mom had dressed Daniel in his “Amazing Grace – Grace United Methodist Church, Salem, IL” t-shirt.  As we were leaving the shower, a woman stops us.  She asked if we were from Salem, since she had seen the shirt.  I told her that I had grown up there.  Her husband, Tim Lybarger, also grew up in Salem.  She had been hoping that he’d arrive before we left, but that didn’t appear to be the case.  Just as we were saying goodbye to her, he walked in the door with their child.  She introduced us.  Tim and I talked for a bit, figuring out that he was older and that our time at the high school didn’t overlap.  I mentioned that I grew up out in the country and went to Racoon.  He mentioned that he went to Selmaville.  I said “Oh, you probably know my aunt, then…Debby Hays.”  She was a teacher at Selmaville for a long time and Tim had been a student of hers when he was in 7th grade.  Tim and I didn’t know each other, but I asked his parents’ names, because the last name sounded familiar.  After we left, I called my mom and asked if she knew who Bob & Sue Lybarger are, what they do, etc.  She had heard the names, but also wasn’t familiar with them.

Cut to today…

I was on the phone with my mom, when she told me that I got my nephew in trouble.  I had to think really hard to figure out who my nephew was, as Mark doesn’t have a child (to my knowledge).  I responded “Which nephew?” and she said, “Joe.”  “My cousin, Joe?” I said.  “Yes, your cousin…not nephew.”

Rather than quote the whole story, I’ll give the rundown:

My aunt, Debby, heard from Sue Lybarger that her son, Tim, had run into one of Debby’s nephews in Urbana.  She was certain that the nephew’s last name was Deien, and that his mom had taught at Selmaville for a year.  My aunt Debby became convinced that this was my cousin Joe, who was supposed to be in South Korea teaching English to Korean students.  She called my aunt Brenda, Joe’s mom, telling her that Joe had apparently been kicked out of Korea.  He was too embarrassed to tell anyone, but was back in Urbana, running around with his friends.  Brenda hung up and got on Skype to call Joe and get it straightened out.

A few days later, my mom is talking to Debby and mentions that I had run into Tim Lybarger in Urbana.  Debby fills her in on what had already transpired.  Oops.

My hypothesis is that Tim wasn’t sure of my name.  He remembered that I went to Raccoon.  He mentioned it to his mom, who was familiar with the Deien family and part of the Hays family, but was not familiar with my branch of the Hays family.  His mom filled in details, like that Brenda worked at Selmaville for a year (something that I didn’t even know about…) and that Brenda’s son, Joe, graduated from Raccoon after they moved away from Selmaville.  Joe is a few years younger than me, so he and Tim wouldn’t have overlapped in school, either.  It’s a plausible fit…a true case of mistaken identity.

That being said, I think someone owes Joe a big apology…to make the leap that he got kicked out of Korea and was galavanting around Champaign-Urbana doesn’t put a lot of faith in him.  I’m going to apologize to him, even though I’m not even remotely to blame.

Also, I laughed a lot.  🙂

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