Yesterday while I was shopping at Walmart (yeah I know, it's not my favorite place either but it didn't smell like farts and the cashier spoke english, it was a pretty good Walmart experience...you know...comparatively speaking), I get a call from a woman from Oregon Virtual Academy (I'm trying to get Sara in). Now normally I don't answer my phone because of my phone phobia. I think it was all that time I spent on the phone with insurance companies when I worked for a doctor and the time I spent on the phone getting pricing for a buyer I used to assist. Anyway, I no longer can stand being on the phone for any extended period of time or answer the phone . Well, I was expecting this call, so I answered.
Her: Hi, may I speak with Cristin?
Me: This is she.
Her: Did I say your name right?
Her: Did I pronounce your name correctly?
By now, I'm pretty sure that she thinks that there is something mentally wrong with me and wondering to herself if she can trust me to teach my daughter.
You see, I normally don't even pay attention to the way people pronounce my name, especially if I know that I'm not going to be talking to them often or having any sort of relationship. My name and the many pronunciations are now like background noise, I just expect them to mispronounce and add letters where there are no letters. Maybe it's laziness but I get bored with pronouncing my name, I always give extra effort saying "Cris TIN" like it's two words giving extra emphasis on the TIN part so people can hear that there is no INE or IAN but without fail I still get those...in fact my own nephew calls me Aunt Christian ..... I love you Sam.
While on the phone, my mind started to wonder to the first time I realized that my name might be difficult for others to say or get right. Hopefully, I didn't miss anything the woman was saying...
I was 7 years old, we were living in Alpine, Utah in the house with a gigantic apple tree that turned into the Poltergeist tree at night. If you don't know what I'm talking about don't go rent Poltergeist, you'll never look at a tree the same way again or clowns (whole body shiver).
Anyway, every school day I would walk to my best friend Heather's house to pick her up so we could walk to school together and EVERY morning they were running late. I'd knock, her mother would let me in and tell me to take a seat while she finished braiding Heathers hair the same way she braided it every day. While I sat there thinking about if Heather ever wanted to do something different with her hair, her mother would say "How are you this morning Christian?" and every morning I would say my name giving extra emphasis on the Cris TIN part. I guess I said it one to many times because this particular morning she stopped braiding, looked at me with a stern look and with an annoyed voice said, "I'm just going to call you Christian." I just sat there, not sure what to say, I know I blushed, looked at my feet and never again tried to correct her.
I don't mind if someone takes it upon themselves to shorten my name, I don't mind Cris or even Tin but for heaven sake don't call me Christy or Crissy. Cathe is the ONLY person in the universe that is allowed to call me Crissy. I mean it!
At H's wedding, I was sitting at a table with a woman from church on one side and H's grandmother on the other side.
I turned to H's grandmother and said:
Me: "Hi, I'm Cristin" giving emphasis to the TIN part and telling her how I know H.
Woman from church: "But we just call her Christy."
Me: (stunned silence)......
Me: "But you can call me Cristin" giving extra emphasis to the TIN part.
I've known this woman from church for about 6 years, I think the world of her but I'm amazed at her inability to get my name right. I normally just let it go but there was no way that I was going to let her go around spreading the word that it was ok for people to call me Christy....UGH. No offense to the Christy's out there but that name is sooooooooo not me.
Soooo, I don't know why I'm bringing it up except that it was on my mind this morning...still. At least you get hear what goes on in my head when someone is talking to me on the phone.....