Don’t Call Me That!

9 Dec

My parents, with all the good intentions in the world, and no malice aforethought, gave me a horrible first name. I suffered endless teasing over it when I was in senior high, and when I turned 21, I dropped it. It does not appear on my Social Security records, my passport, or the mortgage.

However (There’s always a “however”, isn’t there?), there is one couple who are members of the church I attended from the time I was ten until I was about thirty, who still call me by that name, even though I had stopped using it ten years before I left St. John’s. We live in the same neighbourhood, so I see them fairly often. I have asked them repeatedly not to use my first name. I don’t like it, and every time I hear that word it draws me closer to the rabbit hole that took me so long to climb out of.

Last evening I stopped at the pharmacy to pick up some medicine for The Squire and heard a male voice behind me say, “Oh, hello, what’s-your-name.” I didn’t react, even by instinct, because it’s been well over 50 years since I’ve had that name applied to me. When I didn’t respond, he actually called me by my maiden name!

We had run into each other only two weeks ago, and I had reminded him and his wife – for the thousandth time – that I DO NOT like to be called by my first name, so this was particularly galling. I turned around and said, very calmly, “You know I don’t like that, don’t you?” I didn’t even have to tell him what “that” was.

“Well, yes, but I don’t remember.”

“After fifty years of being reminded, I think you do remember, but you just don’t care how angry it makes me.”  I paid for my purchases and stalked out. So mature.

Well, it was that or slug him.

I hate getting angry;  it is a fast getaway on a wooden horse. If you can fix it, fix it, and if you can’t, walk away. Few things are worth getting angry over. It’s childish and foolish. But after fifty years, maybe this was the time to “fix it”.

To add to the fun, I wandered the parking lot for several minutes looking for my car. I never lock it; if I thought somebody would actually want it, I’d make sure it had gas in the tank, but I knew The Squire wouldn’t be pleased. Finally, in one of my excursions up and down the aisles, I spotted his car, and it dawned on me that I had driven that so I could bring home the recycling from church.  Face-palm.

Forgive us our trespasses…

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2 Responses to “Don’t Call Me That!”

  1. Peg Wilson December 9, 2015 at 3:18 am #

    Your story reminds me of the time (one of oh so many) I had gotten frustrated with the ex and had told him what I thought of him and stalked out the back door of the townhouse. It was one of those memorable diatribes worthy of a Tony; but, it was not meant to have an audience. I had stalked into a party my next-door neighbor was throwing for 20 or 30 of their closest friends. What was I to do after embarrassing myself so royally? I took a bow; I even got applause.

    • thisendoftheswamp December 9, 2015 at 2:19 pm #

      I’m quite sure your next door neighbours knew your ex and undoubtedly approved of every word!

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