The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Same name

Courtney Cox | Tuesday, September 6, 2011

“Hi, I’d like to make a reservation for six.”

“Okay, what’s the name?”

“Cox, C-O-X.”

“And what’s the first name?”


“Like the actress?!”

Yes, like the actress. I do indeed have the same name as one of the actors made famous by the 90s sitcom that followed around six friends who sit in a coffee shop and occasionally hold down glamorous jobs.

I was born in 1991, and at that point she would have only been recognized for her cameo as the cutoff-wearing super fan pulled onstage in Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” music video.

I can promise you that my parents were not big enough fans of The Boss to name me after some random chick in his video.

They simply liked the name Courtney. How could they have possibly known at that time that they were defining every first interaction I have with a person?

Some people laugh, some people ask “Really?” but most people ask, “Like the actress?” Regardless of what my response is, the person usually follows their initial reaction with, “I’m sure you get that all the time.”

The truth is I do get that reaction all the time, but it doesn’t bother me one bit. It’s pretty funny and honestly it makes me a little bit more memorable, which is pretty awesome.

There is, however, one part of having the same name as a celebrity that bothers me.

Whenever someone talks about Courteney Cox-Arquette in my presence they always refer to her as “The real Courteney Cox.”

This is constantly confusing to me because honestly if somebody is actually having a conversation with me, should I not be considered infinitely more real than the person they have never met and have only seen through a television screen? It’s rather insulting to suggest that I’m some second-rate version of the real deal.

Aside from that minor inconvenience, it’s quite a sweet deal to have a recognizable name.

When I was in third grade, my friend won an autographed picture of Courteney Cox and instead of keeping it for herself she gave it to me. I still have it today because it was just such a nice thing for an eight-year-old to do.

Due to a clerical error, I once received a check for a small amount of money that was intended for the actress. I sent it back and wrote her a letter about having the same name, but I have never received a response.

My name even spared me from having to put a picture of myself on a board in my dorm. Rather I sent in a black and white picture of the Courteney Cox from the 80s. I have dark hair and blue eyes like her, so my rector didn’t realize it wasn’t me until later in the year.

I have been waiting for the day when my famous name scores me a starring role in a movie, but until then I will just relish the fact that people won’t forget my name.

The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Courtney Cox at [email protected]