It’s amazing how frequently people mess up your name when your name is Bethany.  They either think you said “Stephanie,” or when they read it they only see the “B” and the “any” and assume you’re Brittany.  Never has this occurred more frequently than at work when I answer the phones.  I enunciate as clearly as possible, but nearly everyone still replies, “So, Stephanie, I need to talk to so-and-so.”

This got me thinking of how many people have unusual or frequently-misunderstood names.  Our fate struck me as humorous.  So of course I wrote a poem for us:

Here’s to Unusual Names
By Beth Wangler

Here’s to the kids with unusual names-

To Hayleigh, Elias,
Blythe, Levi, Louis,
Tracy-Stacy, and Siobhan.

You talk a lot on the first day of class,
Correcting pronunciation.

You’re quite adept
At spelling it out
For the people on
The other side of the phone.

You’ve got awards and diplomas
To a person who doesn’t exist.

You’re the advocates of the misunderstood,
Staunch expressors of identity.

And sometimes,
Just sometimes,
You let it slide
And answer to another name
‘Cause you’re tired.

But hey, you’ve got the last laugh–
They think they’re so smart
But they don’t even know your name.

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