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A Rose By Any Other Name… And She’d Still Get It Wrong

, , , , , , | Related | March 1, 2022

My mom had a strange and rather maddening habit of constantly mispronouncing or mixing up people’s names. If your name was “Ben,” she’d keep calling you “Bill.” If your last name was “Williams,” get used to being called “Willman.” I had a teacher whose last name was “Wainio”; she kept referring to him as “Weinberg”.

One day, my mom took a message for my dad. He returned the call.

Dad: “Hi, I’m looking for a Maxine [Last Name].” *Pauses* “This is [phone number], right? She left a message concerning [topic].” *Pauses* “Oh, I’m sorry!”

Dad slammed down the phone after the conversation.

Dad: “How in the h*** do you confuse ‘Molly’ with ‘Maxine’?!”

I came home one day to find a note saying, “Please call Karen at [number]; she wants to talk to you about [issue].”

Me: *Hesisitating and dialing* “Hi, my name is [My Name]. Someone called about [issue]…”

Call Recipient: “Do you remember who left the message?”

Me: *Pause* “It was a bad connection; we didn’t get the name clearly. It started with a K, I believe?”

Call Recipient: “We have a Kathy and a Kayla.”

It turned out to be Kathy.

And for the mother of all blunders. This happened at my wedding. My mom gave a brief closing speech:

Mom: “…and I wish [My Name] and Florence the absolute best—”

Wife: “My name is Felicia!”

I squeezed my eyes shut while the audience chuckled loudly.

Me: “Thanks, Mom!”

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