Soon after I moved to Asheville, North Carolina and began working in social services, I learned there was another Kelly Wolf in the area. The imparting of that knowledge involved a number of conversations like this:
Person: “Oh! You’re Kelly Wolf!”
Me: “Yes, I am!”
Person: “The PhD sexologist?”
Me: “Um, no.”
Person: “Oh.” <insert look of profound disappointment>
Almost a decade later, I still have that conversation on a fairly regular basis. It always ends with me biting my tongue to prevent an explosive outcry of: “But I have strengths, too, goddammit!!”
In the virtual world, I am also periodically mistaken for another Kelly Wolf, this one an ultramarathon runner. [Side note: I am the opposite of an ultramarathon runner. I hate running. Other people who hate running tend to say, “I only run when chased,” but I wouldn’t even do that. If someone were chasing me, I would turn around and try to talk them out of it. After a couple decades of work in the mental health field, I figure my chances of verbally deescalating a person are way higher than outrunning them.]
Occasionally, an online article is posted about Kelly Wolf, the ultramarathon runner, detailing her most recent thousand-mile dash over a series of mountain ranges, and my social media persona is erroneously tagged, resulting in a flurry of undeserved praise for my inspirational endurance and exceptional physical feats. Again, I have to explain to these starstruck fans that I’m not the Wolf they’re looking for, and again, they are terribly disappointed upon learning my true identity.
I’ve decided the next time I have to explain that I am a different, far less exciting Kelly Wolf, I will add a random tidbit of self-appointed praise, like: “No, but I do take a mean mushroom photo.”
Or: “No, but I once found an egg with Australia stamped out of it.”
Or: “No, but I do have a really big dog.”
And then I will scurry away, either virtually or IRL, hoping I’ve left the person so confused, they forget to be disappointed.