Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thoughts at Large: I Am Not Unique

After setting up this blog and working with it a while, I've confirmed something I had suspected for a while: 

I am not unique.

Not in the "Hey-I-started-a-blog" way, or even the "I'm-an-aspiring-writer" sense -- those I already knew.  There are a multitude of blogs out there, and you can't kick over any Internet rock without a horde of wannabe-writers swarming out.

No, I mean in the way that a kid christened "John Smith" encounters very early in his life: 

What the Hell are all these other people doing with my name?!?

I grew up in a small town, and while I can remember a few other kids named 'Chris,' there weren't very many people named 'Fries,' and I was definitely the only 'Chris Fries' that I knew of. 

A one-of-a-kind. 

But now, after doing some research to see if anyone who knew my name but not my blog address could find this place, I've realized there are many other people named 'Chris Fries' out there.  A whole slew of them:

  • There's a guy who does professional voice-over production (HERE).  Looks like he does some pretty cool work, and he has a very impressive resume and client list.  But he has a picture of french fries on his page, and a "you want fries with that?" blurb, so I wonder if he pronounces our last name as "Fry-es" instead of "Freeze," like my family always did (the old-country German way, evidently).
  • There's a guy in Washington, DC who has his own blogspot blog (HERE) that he evidently regularly maintained for a couple of years, although it hasn't been updated since last May.  Not sure if that's because he just decided to quit blogging or because something happened to him.  Either one is a sobering thought about the potential longevity of this blog...
  • There's a guy in Cincinnati who does real estate, although it looks like his domain name ('') may have expired.  You can see the real estate site under the 'cached' entry in the Google search, but the live URL takes you to a 'domain available' blurb.
  • There are twenty-five other profiles for 'Chris Fries' or 'Christopher Fries' on Linked-In (HERE) besides the one I created and never completed.  Looks like I'm not even the only 'Chris Fries' who's an Engineer.
  • And I found at least thirty 'Chris Fries' pages on Facebook, and I know there are probably a ton of others, including all the versions of 'Christopher Fries'.  But I don't have my own Facebook account, so it won't show me the full list unless I create one.  No thanks.  Not today...


In some ways it's a little disappointing -- we all want to know that we're unique and special individuals. 

But still, it doesn't really bother me.  I know that what makes me special and unique is much more than just my name.  Every John Smith had to learn that early in life, and it's probably a little easier for me to process at age 50 than it would have been at age 5.  So, despite being just one in a herd of people named 'Chris Fries,' I am still a totally unique person (and you can ask my wife -- she'll tell you just how frustratingly unique and quirky I can be).

Plus, in some ways it's kind of cool.  All these other 'Chris Fries'es and I may be related through some twists and turns of our family trees, and so having a sense of being connected to a larger, extended family is sort of nice. 

And if we ever combined into a unified collective, we could probably conquer the world...


Justin Germino said...

That is a pretty funny motto and image, I do somewhat agree that different isn't always good (criminally insane) but generally most people unique have some positive traits that help them stand out.

Yeah, Facebook makes it hard to find people with generic names, I have a writer who writes for my blog and he told me to look him up on Facebook but 20 people matched his name, I had no way to know which one was him so I told him to just friend me first :)

Chris Fries said...

Too true -- I just never realized that, while maybe not quite at the 'Bob Jones' level, 'Chris Fries' is kinda generic, too. ;^)

Thanks for the visit and the comment, Justin! I appreciate it. Keep writing the verses, man -- you've got a true talent!


JKN said...

It took a while but I found the Chris Fries that I was looking for. (and I did check out every one of those FB sites before I realized you weren't there) I enjoy your writing. Thanks for sharing with me. I think you are indeed unique.

Chris Fries said...


I'm really, really glad you found me, too!

Thank you so much for the very kind words.