What would you do if you had David Lee Roth's old phone number? Especially if calls started coming in at odd hours of the night for the Van Halen singer?

Think about how confusing that situation would be if there was also someone in your family named David. Naturally, the person answering would assume the constant calls were an attempt to reach the David they knew. That exact situation is what nearly drove one newly married couple to the brink of romantic disaster in the '80s.

That's how writer Nancy French describes it in a story published in The Washington Post Monday (Dec. 30). Although the two barely knew each other, she married a man named David in the '80s after he suddenly proposed. French ignored advice from her friends and associates regarding the wedding, and the pair moved from Tennessee to New York City soon after getting hitched. Then the calls for "David" started coming in, mainly from female callers trying to reach the Van Halen frontman. But the newlywed didn't know that at first.

"Did my seemingly loyal husband have a double life?" French writes. "Another wrong number, he said. I believed him, until the phone rang at 3 a.m. And 4. The calls became more regular, at all hours of the day and night. It got so common, I was no longer surprised when the breathy voices on the other end of the line morphed into sighs of disappointment."

Luckily, a call from Roth's manager eventually cleared up the confusion. The business associate of the Van Halen David had called to talk about Roth's mounting music business comeback. When Nancy replied that her David was at work, the manager shot back that all of David's "work" had to go through him. Then and there, the conflation of the rocker David Lee Roth with New York attorney David French was resolved. At least for the author.

"There'd been a big mix-up," she continued. "Apparently, the rock star had changed his number right before we moved to Manhattan but still gave out his old number to women he met but wanted to let down easily. Later that year, he appeared on MTV with Van Halen. When rumors of them getting back together started flying, our phone rang with congratulations and invitations to exclusive parties."

The couple stayed together through the confusion, however. To wrap up the story, the writer sums up the pair's relationship with a line from Van Halen's song "Jump": "You've got to roll with the punches to get to what's real."

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