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Reporters Erica Jones, left, and Lauren French pose on Wednesday in the Leader-Telegram's photo studio.

While sitting on a bench one sunny summer afternoon at SHIFT Cyclery & Coffee Bar, a man approached me and struck up friendly conversation.

I don’t mind talking to strangers, so I smiled and listened. Confusion set in, however, when I realized this man thought we already knew one another. Nodding along as he spoke, I searched my memory for any trace of meeting this person and came up blank.

“I’m sorry, I don’t think I remember your name,” I admitted, thinking maybe we had met and I’d just forgotten.

He told me we met at BioLife Plasma Services, and thus began a summer of amusing mixups that never failed to leave my coworker and friend, Erica Jones, and I giggling.

You see, Erica and I look very similar to those meeting us for the first time. If there’s a tall, lanky, dirty-blond-haired woman walking around town with a notebook in one hand, a recorder in the other and a pencil behind an ear, it’s likely either one of us.

The man I met at SHIFT had just spoken to Erica at Biolife recently, so he thought he was talking to her at the coffee shop. Funnily enough, when Erica first met him at Biolife, he thought Erica was me because he had spoken to me briefly at my bartending sidejob once before. Confusing, I know.

On another occasion, a friend of mine who has never met Erica before approached her on the street for a hug. A woman at a coffee shop once asked me if I work at JC Penny, and when I asked her if she meant Kohls, she nodded enthusiastically. Erica used to work at Kohls.

When we meet new people together, they usually ask if we’re sisters. At the office, our coworkers often comment on how similarly we look and dress.

To set the record straight: We are not related. But that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to sometimes pretend we are.