January 12, 2013


If you are a dreamer, come in
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar
A hoper, a pray-er, a magic-bean-buyer
If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax golden tales to spin
Come in!
Come in!

―Shel Silverstein

Just before Christmas, I decided to search for myself on Amazon Wish List to see if my mother would have an easy enough time finding me and discerning me from all the other Richelle Wilsons out there. 

Okay, you're right, I'm not sure why I was expecting there to be more than one or two of me, but there are a whopping nine of us on Wish List if you count the two girls whose middle names are "Richelle" and the one Richelle who has a hyphenated last name. Being the curious web-wanderer that I am, I decided to take a peek at these other Richelles to see what sort of things top their Christmas lists. And boy was I ever grateful to have done so.

First, there was the disappointment of Richelle from Maryland who hasn't actually made a Wish List. In an almost equally boring discovery, the richelle who didn't see fit to use upper-case letters in registering her name wants a Dell desktop computer and that's it.

Fortunately, this uninteresting start to my search did not deter me from meeting richelle Smith-Wilson, who wants a Wii Fit Plus with Balance Board and the Richelle Wilson just below her on the list who has taken her fitness goals to the next level: seven elliptical trainers on her Wish List! That's almost enough for each of the Richelles Wilson on Amazon to have one. One Ab Bootcamp and a Tae Bo "Get Ripped" DVD set later, we get to Richelle "Elliptical" Wilson's odd to-read list: 

Reading People: How to Understand People and Predict Their Behavior―Anytime, Anyplace

Get Anyone to Do Anything: Never Feel Powerless Again
―With Psychological Secrets to Control and Influence in Any Situation

Never Be Lied to Again: How to Get the Truth in 5 Minutes or Less in Any Conversation or Situation

(Is it just me or does this woman sound a little jaded?)

To wrap up her list, there are a couple books on the art and strategies of war and, of course, The Art of Seduction. Don't mess.

Lauren Richelle offered another sadly empty list, but just below her, we meet pet-lover Vanessa Richelle, whose list begins with a series of how-to books on training puppies and raising toy poodles. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, she next lists several largish Prada handbags (for trips to the mall with the toy poodle?). She also wants a BBC series called To the Manor Born, a funny novel by Jasper Fforde, all the seasons of My So-Called Life, and a strange book about adopting toddlers subtitled The Weaver's Craft.

The next Richelle is likewise fascinating, with only two Wish List items as clues to her life and innermost desires: Basic Dressage by Jean Froissard and Xenophon's The Art of Horsemanship. An equestrian Richelle! Who would have thought it? The strangest thing about her list is that both items were added in May 2001, back when I was cast as the Wicked Stepmother in the Legg Middle School production of Cinderella. Do you think Richelle gave up on horses because she never received these items? Or has she just been too busy competing with the Cadre Noir to even worry about such foolish things as paperback translations of Xenophon?

Last but certainly not least is the Richelle listed a dangerous two notches under my own name whose Wish List is comprised of the following:

Sometimes there are just no words.

In the spirit of my friend Jeff Harris, who did a fascinating Google search on his own name, I have to admit that getting a peek into these other Richelles' lives helped me to appreciate the things that connect us all. I may not want a pet poodle or a throwing blade, but I'm guessing all of these blessed souls in all their humor and desperation probably want a lot of the same things we can't list on Amazon: love, serenity, a good burrito, a sense of purpose, a feeling of belonging. 

And maybe some sweet revenge for good measure.


  1. You are insightful and hilarious as always. Thanks for great posts and inspiration (My most recent post was inspired by your 'I don't get it' rant). And a special thanks for listing my blog on here. Cheers to friends!