As I’ve mentioned before, not a lot of people have my name. On the rare occasions when I find myself within earshot of another Clara, the five or six decades between our ages make it pretty easy to tell who is being called. This means I never had to tack an initial on to my name in elementary school…
…and I never had to bother with the “Which Clara do you mean?” line of questioning.
It also means that I’m extremely unaccustomed to hearing my name when people are not talking about me. This weekend I visited a museum exhibit about Clara Driscoll, who designed stained glass for Tiffany Studios in the 1890s, and I felt compelled to contradict the signage.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I changed the channel on Friday night and discovered Counselor Deanna Troi talking to a little girl named Clara.
Spoiler Alert: If you’ve been avoiding plot synopses for twenty years until you get the free time to indulge in an 8,055-minute Star Trek: The Next Generation marathon, turn away now before I destroy your dreams. Also, there are four lights.
When I say “surprise,” what I mean is “almost disturbing level of excitement.” It’s the only appropriate reaction for unexpectedly appearing on Star Trek. It’s even okay that I was being threatened by an intelligent alien disguised as a visible manifestation of my imaginary friend.
As the episode continued, it revealed further incontrovertible links between this space Clara and myself:
- Our fathers have the same name.
- We both talk to ourselves a whole bunch.
- Casual observers question our sanity.
- Our taller, more fashion-conscious friends got us in trouble in elementary school.
- We were roughly the same age in 1992. (Okay, very roughly. Rounding, people. Also, stardates.)
I was left with no choice but to conclude that I, unbeknownst to myself, had spent some childhood time on the Enterprise.
Moving forward from this assumption, CHECK OUT THIS PICTURE OF ME WITH CAPTAIN PICARD!
That’s the two of us teaching a valuable lesson about human civilization to an energy-based life form. Take that, 19th-century glass designers! After this episode, the captain and I are going to go get some dessert!
The picture comes from startrek.com, of course.
I have no reason to suspect that Clara Driscoll disliked desserts. She probably loved them—people named Clara have excellent taste in that department.