La Tocaya

Way back when I started college ten years ago (!), I did what everyone else did: look myself up in the online directory. I wanted to see what information was listed so I could change it if needed, you know since I had so many potential stalkers.

I searched my first and last name and found something shocking and completely unexpected. I was not the only Cynthia Mosqueda on campus. Gasp!

I was upset for the rest of the day. I wanted to kick someone, preferably my tocaya (namesake). Of course, I had no reason to kick her. In fact, she didn’t have my name, I had her name. She was a senior and I was a freshman (I’ve never met her, but my section leader in band knew her). I thought about complaining to my parents about their name choice. Perhaps they should have named Veronica like they originally planned. They dropped the name when some friends chose the name for their daughter born just a few months before me. At least then, I wouldn’t have found my tocaya for another 8 years or so until I met my cousin Julio’s fiancé and they got married. Up until college, I’d never met a Mosqueda that was not related to me. I thought my last name was rather rare and I liked it that way.

I quit my pouting after a day or two. A few months later, la tocaya was gone from the directory as she graduated and moved on. All was right in the world and I was the only Cynthia M in the directory… for a while.

Last fall I started to get a bit freaked out by some comments made online. I wanted to make sure the harassment didn’t move beyond creepy comments, so I double checked my entry on the campus directory.

She was back. And worse, la tocaya was in my department. Since I’m hardly ever at the ed school and she’s in a different program, I’ve never met her. After a conversation with Oso about finding another white David Sasaki on Facebook, I decided to look up my tocaya.

Not only does she have my name, she’s also cuter than me. Damn. At least I’ll be Dr. Cynthia Mosqueda before her.


11 thoughts on “La Tocaya

  1. Tocayotl says:

    There’s a lot of power between tocayotls, i think it’s an important connection to recognize and respec. Have you met your tocaya and talk with her? The fact you both gravitated to the same school and even the same department is significant, no? I’m guessing you might be there to help each other somehow, not compete. Then again, your meeting your double could create a riff in the timespace continuum and start the end of the world.

    Hey by the way, in only two posts, you went from “I wouldn’t bite if you said hi” to “Get away you creepy stalkers!”

    I recently heard some chisme about a well-known journalist who was stalking a guy she dated for only a little while. I thought it was funny because usually it’s the one in the public eye that’s being stalked, not the other way around. Plus the fact that this was a journalist makes it even weirder.

    But I guess maybe along with the FBI, journalists are the prototypical stalkers, tho, digging up all the trash on everybody.

  2. There needs to be a way to distinguish tocayo (same first name) and super-tocayo (first and last). My super-tocayo is super-cool. Even though he’s from the middle of Canada and watches hockey, I don’t hold it against him. Turns out that he’s beige though, not white.

  3. diana says:

    this is a really fun entry cindy! I think i would have a total heart attack, followed by a fit if anyone had my name! I don’t like it when I have to share my first name!

    what’ll you do if she reads this entry? maybe i’ll look her up on the directory and forward her the link…just kidding!!


  4. My real name is fairly unique but there’s at least one other person in the city with the same name, which is pretty odd. We are on a particular database and I heard from one of the clerks that uses said database that this other person thought I was stealing his info by using his name! Because of this incident, I now get greeted by my proper name at this location, which totally makes me wary.

  5. i googled my name once and found out that there’s a dancer/massage artist with my same name. hopefully if i’m up for a job and they google me, they will know there is more than one person with my name!

  6. As far as I know my fname/lname combo are one-of-a-kind. I do have a 3rd cousin at UCLA though, so I’m not the only one with my lname, which is a little wierd. She’s not in my dept. though, so no one really notices. As far as I know, everyone on the planet with my lname is related to me (if only distantly), which is kinda cool. . .

    My gf has a totally generic fname and lname, so there’s no hope in googling her. Which does make things easier for her job applications, I guess. If potential employers google my name, all they get is me, so I gotta make sure what they find is OK!

  7. Beatriz says:

    I hated my name growing up. Well my real name that is. Beatriz. Never mind my last name – Garcia – is too common of a last name. It was such a harsh name for a little girl. I only ever heard it when my mom was angry at something I did. 😦

    Up through 6th grade I was always known as Vicki Garcia. My family called me Vicki even though I have no middle name and well to this day some still call me that. I distinctly remember a day in May close to my graduation from elemetary school, my mom getting a call from the school office, demanding to know why her daughter Beatriz Garcia was not attending school. School had two files one for Beatriz Garcia and another for Vicki Garcia.

    Needless to say I started junior high as Beatriz Garcia. I quickly discovered – hey – no one has my name. I’m the only Beatriz in the entire school! How cool is that? I started liking it a bit more. College at UCSC was the same, the only Beatriz.

    It wasn’t until my 10th grade math teacher muttered the phrase, “Do example B, Bea”, that my name was changed to what most people call me these days, “Bea”.

  8. Diego,
    I think the only time I’ve ever heard the name used for someone — aside from you and Fabián — was for a baseball player, Edgar Rentería.

    I’ve never heard anything about “tocayotls.” I have heard about the importance of naming ceremonies, so it makes sense that if two people share a name there might be something more there.

    As for the other one, I really did have a creepy dude leaving totally inappropriate comments. I’d be weirded out if he saw me in the grocery store and said hi. As for other readers (especially those who frequently comment), I don’t think they’re gonna hurt me.

    I think life as any Pérez might be tough. At least you can probably be sure you won’t be found via Google or some other search engine.

    I agree. I think super tocayo is a good term to use. So are you still the only known white David Sasaki? As for hockey, some people who or play are cool. Well, I only speak from knowing one person. And all those kids on the Mighty Ducks seemed cool.

    Can you imagine being an Elizabeth in MEChA? Talk about sharing your name. You’re my favorite Diana. Yay.

    Wait, is there a database for people who live in barrels and eat tortas de jamón?

    La Rebelde,
    Oh wow. Do you think a search committee would google your name?

    The totally generic name must be cool to hide behind in this era of everyone search on Google.

    There are maybe three or four other Mosquedas at UCLA. I’ve met a couple of people there. One was Colombian/Persian and the other was from northern California. I knew they weren’t related to me because I only know one other young Mosqueda in Southern California, and that’s my cousin. (My dad has a lot of sisters who took their husband’s names.)

    So that’s how you went from Vicky to Bea. I wondered about that. As for Beatriz, I only know one other, she’s our cousin and lives in Guanajuato. Most of the family calls her Nena (photos). I think they also call her Betty. I do find that the name sounds less “harsh” in Spanish. As for Cynthia, I only got called that when I was in trouble too, or by people who didn’t know me (doctor, new teacher). It was always so formal. I also didn’t like the sound of it too much in English. I like it in Spanish, but hardly anyone uses it. I’m fine with Cindy.

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