My life would be so much easier if my name was Marie Andrew. Like… orders of magnitude easier. Tallied up, I would probably get weeks or months of my life back that I didn’t have to spend explaining my name to people. Who would think that six little letters could cause such consternation? Well, actually, it’s just the one.
Here’s how every call to a utility or credit company goes:
“Can you give me your name, please?” says the rep.
“Maria. Andreu. A-N-D-R-E-U.”
“U?” Like maybe I am kidding. Or mistaken.
“So it’s A-N-D-R-E-U? I can’t seem to find it in my system.”
“Have you tried putting a U at the end?”
“Oh, there it is.”
I was reminded of this this morning when I gassed up my car at my local station. I handed the attendant my credit card and he went to run it. He came back with the slip for me to sign.
“Maria Andr-oooo,” he said.
I smiled, waiting for him to hand the slip over.
“Are you from America?” he asked.
“I am now,” I replied.
“No, but, really, where is that name from?” His own accent identified him as someone who spent the better part of the start of his life somewhere far away, Pakistan or India, if I had to guess from his intonations.
“Spain. Oh, Spain!” He said it like it was both delightful and improbable. “And your husband?”
I didn’t feel like getting into my complicated romantic history. Also, just in case he was coming on to me, I responded, “He is also in America. But Andreu is the name I was born with, not a married name.”
This seemed more perplexing than he wanted to cope with on a sunny Tuesday morning so he just handed me my receipt and went on his way.
I have been introduced a million times as Marie. I have gotten document after document with a W at the end. So… maybe it’s time to stop swimming upstream and convert?