Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What's My Name Again?

Hi my name is Carey. You may not remember me or my name. It is a situation I’ve had to live with since the day I was born.
‘But Carey isn’t that unusual a name’ you may say, or you may not say depending on your ability to voice opinions. Or you may just disagree with the suggestion altogether, drawing from a number of situations and experiences lacking any involvement with a Carey or someone who could be a Carey but instead had an entirely different name. Or is it that you have forgotten any experiences or situations involving a Carey and as such have a skewed sense of the problem and are in fact, the very reason I am writing this nonsense? A-Ha! Hhhmm. Of course I agree with the notion that Carey isn’t an unusual name, partly because at the time of writing this my name is Carey and I have seen it mentioned in this article at least 6 times more than necessary.

My name doesn’t sound particularly unusual so people think that my name is something fairly innocuous like Corey or Garry. I either have to be polite and awkwardly correct them or if I don’t like the person I will just run with it and lap up the constant misunderstanding that my enemy is completely oblivious to. The audible similarities to other names can also give rise to unexpected problems. One such instance is when one of my brother’s teachers rang up our house (in my day the house was responsible enough to have its own phone before any of us kids were allowed) and asked if she was speaking with Garry, my dad. I politely informed her that she was speaking to Carey, which was apparently good enough for her because she started to talk to me about issues to do with my brother and his insistence on studying Outdoor Education, a bludge subject over French, a more respectable and tediously practical (for the French) subject. I did what any good father would do and told her that my son/brother would from this point on study French. Of course in this instance the difficulties that arose from my name were more of a problem for my brother, I nonetheless had to talk to a teacher outside of school hours which is just as foreign to me as speaking French. It’s not that I don’t push my name onto people either, I’ve been guilty of pushing too hard in the hope that we can all live in harmony throwing names back and forth on a sunny beach like a furry anthroponym (look it up, I had to).

In high school I made it my life goal to make my bus driver remember my name. Every day I would have to watch others converse back and forth with ‘Matty Boy’ our bus driver while I waited my turn to get on the bus to a blank stare and the words ‘Good Morning’ sliding out of his mouth like cold air under a door. I tried name tags, organised friends to insert my name in every sentence at the front of the bus and even conveniently left my lunch box on the bus littered with my name and details so he could put a name to the face and a face to the lunchbox (which wasn’t as necessary but important nonetheless.) Unfortunately none of these tactics worked, in fact the whole situation became more awkward as the discomfort on his face when we spoke suggested he was trying to remember something, my name or more likely, how to drive the bus with a raging hangover. The issue culminated at the point in which a friend of mine and I (listen to the podcasts I never speak this grammatically correct) found ourselves at a pub with him. My friend and I had no place to stay and ‘Matty Boy’, in a stupor akin to his driving state, invited us back to his place. By the end of the night we were trading names like 'prose' (I am so sorry), my life was complete. That was until alcohol made its way to Matty boy’s brain and felt it necessary to remove all my good work. So the situation became even more awkward as I had slept in his bed (he's a high school bus driver, he wouldn't do anything weird to me while I was asleep) and yet he still could not think of my name.

The problem is not so much that it is an unusual name but that it is not a particularly usual name either. That and I’m pretty sure it’s a girl’s name. I probably lost ¾ of my male readership who were under the impression that I was a witty and attractive female with opinions too hot for the press. Although I probably lost them long ago when they found out I was neither witty nor attractive and that the only reason my opinions were too hot for the press was that I insisted on printing them on molten steel. This was because I hoped that after my printed opinions settled they would eventually become harder hitting as time went on. I digress, but that’s an unrelated topic.

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