Thursday, September 20, 2012

Oh, What's Your Name Again?

No, this post is not about my pet peeve (people who reintroduce themselves 1,000,0000 times, no matter how many times you meet).
This post is about the select group of people in America that have difficult names and must assume an alias at Starbucks. You know, the Tarkinsh'a(s) and Eglantine(s) of the world, the kind of name spell check never recognizes. Well instead of enduring the mass embarrassment of irritable morning coffee drinkers while they spell their name - they simply pick a new one!

My favorite story is one of my friend, we'll call her Dominicah. Each morning she chooses to go by Darla when ordering her venti specialty coffee. Well, one morning she's waiting for her coffee in the busy hustle of morning workers and the barista calls her name "DARLA, VENTI WHITE MOCHA." Like normal she grabs her cup and assumes her regular identity as she walks towards work. Halfway down the block she hears someone screaming "Darla, Darla!" Confused and concerned she just hijacked a drink she turns around to notice a boy running towards her. The boy introduces himself, says he sees her every morning and asks for Darla's number (very rom-com of him) ... when she gives it to him, she returns to her walk and realizes that this boy doesn't know her real name!
So, Dominicah is patiently waiting for this boy to call and is wondering how do you gracefully tell someone you just met that you lied about your name? You could continue using the alias if he was a dud, but what happens if he's your future bf? After a poll of friends and several exchanged flirtatious texts with him it was deemed too late to come clean and she chooses not to reveal her real identity. Besides, for her it was kind of a thrill to be incognito and reinvent herself simply because her name is chronically hard to spell and comprehend (and she just turned 25...I empathize it was a major identity crisis year for yours truly). So, my friend went on two dates with this guy under her alias, but of course it didn't work out after she was forced to jokingly confess, when he casually mentioned she was impossible to find on Facebook.
Oh, the shame of a name and the challenge of personalized drink orders at Starbucks makes for a failed place to pick up anyone. Just goes to show, the only good examples of an alias are writers that create new names because they are trying to write in a different gender and hope to avoid stereotyping -- and superheroes. 

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