Two women with the same name became best friends

Kim Pflieger grew up in the USA and thought her name was unusual.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
01 July 2022 Friday 16:15
18 Reads
Two women with the same name became best friends

Kim Pflieger grew up in the USA and thought her name was unusual. Kimberly was a common name, but she was not familiar with it. She was familiar with the spellings of her name, so she was rarely able to find another Pflieger. Her first and last names were unique, she decided.

Kim was made aware of another Kimberly Pflieger through the internet.

Kim had to include a dot or dash when creating email addresses as there were other options. Kimberly Pflieger, an American health professional, often appeared next to her on Google and Facebook as she made her way into the reality TV industry.

Kim always abbreviated her name, while Kimberly did not. They had shared their exact same name and spelling since childhood. In fact, they were both around the same age in their early 60s.

Kim was naturally curious about the other Kimberly. Kim discovered that Pflieger, a German surname, was derived from Alsace-Lorraine in Europe. This region used to be called Alsace-Lorraine. It was a region that moved back and forth between France (and Germany) during the 19th and 20th century. Kim wondered if the two women shared an ancestry.

Kim decided midway through 2019, to send Kimberly a friend message on LinkedIn explaining why she reached out and hoping that the stranger wouldn’t find it strange.

Kimberly responded in a warm and enthusiastic manner less than an hour later.

Kimberly, a Canadian, said she was also aware of her American counterpart, and had been intrigued by it for a long time. She discovered that she could Google Google her US counterpart, who lived a glamorous life in Los Angeles working in television.

Kimberly recalled thinking, "Wow, she's the exact name of me, and she looks exactly the same as me," the first time Kimberly stumbled upon Kim.

Kimberly had never expected to hear from Kimberly, but Kimberly says that she was thrilled to get the message in 2019 out of the blue.

After some back and forth on LinkedIn, they exchanged email addresses. Kimberly Pflieger and the two women exchanged long emails to discuss their lives.

It became apparent that the Kimberlys had not only the identical name but also the same outlook on the world. Both were deep thinkers and naturally curious, social, and eager for connection.

Kim tells CNN Travel that it was easy and fast. Kimberly is so curious and present, as well as being so fun and smart that she was able to quickly get along with Kimberly.

"We shared many of the same values, morals, and other things." Kimberly adds that this "kind of spurred our conversation and created an even greater connection."

Zoom calls were a regular part each woman's social life. They would connect via video and chat for more than an hour about their lives and politics.

Kimberly says that Kimberly was a warm and open person. "I felt comfortable talking about aspects of my life with Kimberly, even though she didn't really know me."

The calls grew longer and more complex, and they began to plan for a meeting in person. Kimberly and her partner had planned a trip to Los Angeles for March 2020, but the pandemic interrupted their plans.

Kimberly explains that Canada closed its borders so we kept communicating via Zoom back and forth, getting closer to each other, and learning more about our families.

Both women found that keeping in touch with each other was comforting during two years of uncertainty and lockdowns.

Kim says, "It is rare to find someone you feel connected with at this stage in your life."

Meeting in person

The two Kimberlys finally met in January, as travel opened up and the pandemic was less severe in North America. Kimberly and Paul, her partner, flew to California to spend one week exploring the state with Troy and Kim.

Kimberly and Kimberly said that meeting in person for the first time felt like reuniting with old friends. This camaraderie also extended to their partners.

Kim says that all four of them said "Oh my God, it feels like we've known one another forever and ever,"

They enjoyed delicious local food and formed bonds over a shared passion for fine wines.

Kim says that while zoom is great and can lead to intimate conversations, sharing experiences with someone really deepens the bond.

Kimberly adds, "And there was that tangible connection." Kimberly says, "I am a huge hugger so we hugged as soon as we met because I believe that the physical connection is very important to us."

The fact that the Kimberlys had a common name was even more obvious when they were interacting in person. This was a source of great amusement.

Kim laughs, "That's when I really felt it," she says.

Kimberly brought along various research and information about her family tree to LA. Although there wasn't a clear connection to Kim's family tree, the two women now plan to have their DNA tested. They are still curious if there is a connection.

Kimberly and her husband are planning to visit Kimberly in Canada this fall. They hope that this will be their next vacation together.

They would love to go to Alsace Moselle, the region in France that was once called Alsace-Lorraine. This is where the Pflieger name is believed to have originated. They enjoy the idea of digging into their families' history together and enjoying good French wine.

Kimberly was surprised to meet Kimberly when she first reached out. Kim believes in "being curious, trusting your intuition and being open-hearted".

Both women claim that their unexpected connection brought them joy in a difficult time.

Kimberly says, "I thought it was just so heartwarming und delightful that you could connect with somebody that you don't know that lives abroad."

"You can make a connection with someone, despite all of the turmoil, and you could foster it, and you might make a relationship grow.

To me, this is the most important part of being human. It's being open to others and being able connect. We all need social connections.