I receive errant emails at least once a month, each one from a person thinking he or she has reached a different Sherry Barber, usually someone from a different state. I live in California and notify these senders to check their directories or contact lists, but the notices keep coming.
My name isn’t common or uncommon, but it has provided a peek into the lives of other Sherry Barbers.
I once got a stern reminder from an art gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico that I needed to complete payment for recent purchases. I tried to explain it wasn’t me, but the gallery owner simply itemized the bill. I could almost hear her tapping a brightly polished fingernail on the invoice. Months later this same establishment contacted me to say I could “collect great art at 40% below retail cost.” Maybe I’m in their good graces again.
I have also been cordially invited to Plein Air classes on Cape Cod, landscape painting instruction in Bar Harbor, Maine and pastel painting workshops in New York and Massachusetts.
One woman wanted to get together for brunch and discuss wedding invitations. In Texas.
An art supply store in Rochester, New York notified me of a sale on wax paints and hog brushes, and reminded me with exclamation points that now was a good time to start my holiday shopping.
In a break from art world communications, a link came to me “valid for only the next 24 hours” to confirm my participation in The Zero Day Initiative. I had no idea what that was, but I hoped the other Sherry Barber hadn’t missed it. I later learned, through Wikipedia, that it had something to do with malware, viruses and worms…and selling my discoveries to the government.
Then there was someone named Debbi, who “so loved our time together last week” – in Colorado – that she wanted to make sure I signed up for her class which would instruct me on how to paint, teach, or create an exhibit. She called her workshop “the best kept secret in Texas!” Apparently the correct email address was, too.
And now there is an invitation, according to recent email, from someone on the north shore of Lake Michigan who wants me to learn about Under-Painting and Field-Size Theory. I’m pretty sure this has nothing to do with the government.
I’m wondering if my daughter-in-law ever has this problem. I’m going to drop her an email.
Her name is Sherry Barber, too.