Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Identity Crisis

For those (two) of you who regularly read my blog, you may have noticed an interesting phenomenon lately in the comments section. You must be thinking either I am living a double life, or I was really spiritually productive in my early years! Alas, neither is true (I can barely keep up with the one life I have...). Finally, I have to come out and say it.

There is a prolific Christian author Ann (I'm not sure if she spells hers with an "e" or not, but it still sounds just the same) Kimmel. And I am not her. I am not that Ann Kimmel.

I found out about this other Ann Kimmel when I was working in a church in Cincy. One of our volunteers seemed really impressed by me at first meeting (now there's a red flag), and saying how neat it was to meet me in person. ('How else would people be meeting me?', I wondered.) Eventually something was said in passing about "my" books, and the cloud of confusion finally lifted. This lovely volunteer and I had a good laugh, and eventually she brought in some of "my" writings. I had no idea I was so clever!

Oh, wait. I'm not.

Thus, my first awareness of the "real" Ann Kimmel. Over the years I have bumped into people who, after being introduced to me, look slightly impressed and say, "Oh, are you Ann Kimmel, the author?" Most of the time I explain that, no, I am not that Ann Kimmel and we share a little laugh about the statistical likelihood of two Ann Kimmels (My husband could write an alogarithm to figure it out exactly. I wonder if hers could.). I will confess here that there was that one time I was asked about being "Ann Kimmel, the author", and in a moment of mischief said, "Yes. Why, yes I am." While it wasn't an outright lie (my college magazine published an article I wrote called, "Everything I Needed to Know to Stay Home with My Kids I Learned at Westminster College"), but it was perhaps slightly misleading. In my defense, under enough pressure to admit you aren't somebody fabulous and deep who people want to meet, anyone would buckle at some point.

Just last night at a Bible Study I was asked if I was "that" Ann Kimmel.

Nope. Still not.

The part that mystifies me a bit (and toes the line of "offense" in live inquiries) is that this Ann Kimmel wrote back in the mid 70s. When I was like 5. So when people familiar with her and her work meet me in person and ask if I am the "real" Ann Kimmel, I am not sure what to think of their perceptiveness. Do I look like a literary prodigy? Or have I aged way worse than I thought? (Note to self: More piercings may help.)

I confess I would ask too if I were in other people's shoes, but it does get a little old after awhile. I know what pork feels like now, having been labeled "the other white meat" in the ad campaign. Perhaps pork sold better, but the pigs probably didn't get any ego strokes out of it.

So while I haven't written any books (yet) or been interviewed on the radio (the "real" Ann Kimmel was on Focus on the Family today, How do I know? Because I've gotten emails and facebook messages telling me how great I did.), I am still Ann Kimmel. I may not have inspired generations in their spiritual walk, but I try with two boys who are growing up quickly right before my eyes. Don't get me wrong - I am happy to see the impact that the "real" Ann Kimmel has had. It is encouraging to me that one person can touch so many lives. I hope someday I can do that too.

(I told Mark I should have hyphenated my name...)


Renovation Girl said...

I saw those bizarre comments and it did cause me to pause a moment and wonder, "Has Ann been holding back on me???" I like my "real" Ann Kimmel! Your touch reaches a lot farther than your two boys...but I still do think you should write a book of your own...and perhaps use your maiden name on it! :)

Melody said...

It was quite humerous! :)
She actually spells her last name Kiemel.

Norwood Mama said...

Yes. You definitely should have solved this problem by saddling yourself and possibly your children with a hyphenated name. So that Jude could have been JSMEK! (if you know him, you know what he would have had to sign on his college application!)

Aly-Rae said...

I always knew you were a rockstar. That is kinda funny and I agree with Renovation Girl, a book from you is long overdue!.

Jessica said...

What a great post. I have to admit that after I read the comments I googled your name as an author to see what you had written about...LOL.

Glad you're just who you are. Though it has been many years, your impact on my life is still a blessing.