In Writing

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.”


“No.  A-N-D-R-E-U.”

“U?”  Like maybe I am kidding.  Or mistaken.

“U, yes.”

“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?

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