Just a thought… The value of identity of course, is that so often with it comes purpose. [Richard Grant]
I’ve been getting some odd emails and tweets in the past few weeks and they have to do with my name, but, you see, it’s not my name. Let me take you back a few decades. In the 1960s, I’d never heard the name Erin on anyone but me. My grandfather had heard it on the radio (there’s a coincidence) and suggested it to my parents. Being too tired to fight or come up with anything better, my mom agreed and here I am: Erin Dawn Davis.
There were plenty of Lauries and Loris and Lisas and Michelles and Karens and Susans to be sure, but never, it seemed, an Erin. That was, until the credits rolled and I squealed with delight to see Erin Murphy (Betwitched‘s Tabitha) or Erin Moran (Happy Days‘ Joanie) and I started to hope that one day I just might find a placemat with my name on it. I did.
I knew there was another Erin Davis in radio, but she was in BC and I was in Ontario, so there wasn’t much room for confusion there. But it wasn’t until a writer/blogger with a big Christian message (and following) posted something that I wouldn’t go near in 100 years, that I realized having a shared name on the internet could go sideways, fast.
“Erin Davis makes a compelling argument for why masturbation has absolutely no place in the life of a Godly woman.”
Well, clutch my pearls and throw away the batteries! That is NOT me doing the writing. And I had to explain it to at least one person who tweeted me angrily: “Is this you saying masturbating is bad for girls?” and I replied, “Hell no, that’s not me!” and then went to look for whatever article this person was referring to.
Apparently, somewhere in the US midwest is a Christian woman who lives with her husband, chickens and goats. She writes about leading people to a Christian life and I’m all about whatever makes her and her readers happy. But that person is not me!
I thought that little self-pleasuring brouhaha had passed, but then just yesterday I got this email at work from a Toronto PR company:
Erin – I’m reaching out to you, as a key Christian influencer in Canada, to invite you to join us for a free, exclusive VIP pre-screening of the soon-to-be-released faith film, I Can Only Imagine.
Yes, so can I. I wrote her back and told her that I am an author, and a former Toronto broadcaster who now does a show in Victoria, BC and that I’m definitely not the person she thought. But thanks anyway!
In terms of confused identities I could do worse: “Erin Davis, Serial Killer faces 75 Years in Jail.” That’s one headline I could do without. Or heaven forfend, someone named Erin Davis defaults on credit and I have to sign affadavits when I buy a house swearing I’m not that person. That actually happened to my husband Rob: someone sharing his first and last name had been a deadbeat dad and Rob, to the tune of $75 out of his pocket, had to sign and have witnessed a statement that that bum wasn’t him.
But back to me. A quick Google search finds these links:
Erin Davis | Graduate Studies | University of Lethbridge
Erin Davis. Master of Science. Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Arts and Science in Religious Studies and Psychology Honours
Erin Davis, Author at – View the Vibe
Erin is a Toronto-based writer, actor and queen of the side hustle.
I wonder if that’s the Erin Davis who wrote a great piece about making Toronto more livable in @torontoist last week? I hear it was really good, because I was getting tagged in all kinds of praise for it – praise that I turned around so that the actual author could get her props.
I suppose this will start to worry me a little more in a year when the book tour begins; will people be asking me questions from a fast and inaccurate Wiki search and think I’m someone else? (Read the book, interviewers – like I did when I was in your shoes!) We’ll see. Will there be preconceived notions in markets outside of Toronto of who I am and what the book’s about? What if they expect the Christian writer Erin and then drop the book in shock in the first 100 pages when they read how five-year-old Lauren learned to swear? (It’s a funny story – I promise.)
Oh well…I will approach it in the same way as the Canadian writer of the World War II book that shares its title with a recent political tell-all. If you buy one Fire and Fury (the war version) thinking it’s another (the White House tell-all), or pick up one Erin Davis thinking it’s the other, I’m fine with that. Who knows? You might get something out of this one, too, but just not until February 2019, my book’s official arrival date. I’ll be back with you here tomorrow. (THIS Erin Davis – not Miles Davis’ son. I’ve heard fan notes about him, too.)