Thursday, December 19, 2013

Senile Files: The Trouble with Names

If you haven't notice, I have kind of an unusual name. Maybe "unique" is a kinder term for it. Some say it's beautiful, some say "Oh, you should go by your middle name." Whatever.

Because every blog post needs a photo... even if it has nothing to do with the topic and is 1.5 months old. If anyone has this photography thing down, help me, please.

As I'm sure you know, Reader, mispronunciation comes with the territory when having a unique name. And for me, it's even more difficult for people to hear my name because I am fairly soft spoken. I seem to have one of those voices that's just the right tone that old people can't hear, like a dog whistle or a plug-in spider repellent, even when I do my best to project.

For example, the first time I met a particular sweet, elderly woman (I say "first time I met" because every time I saw her was, to Ms. Dementia, like we were meeting for the first time). I introduced myself and she said: "Arlene? Ohhhhh, what a bee-ut-i-fulll name. Ohhhhh." I didn't have the heart to correct her after that nice compliment. It doesn't matter anyway because I got to introduce myself to her again, and again.

While at work on Tuesday, an older man introduced himself to me. So, of course, I was obligated to tell him my name. The conversation went like this:

Chalayn: Hi, I'm Chalayn.
Old Man: Jolene? *gives thumbs up*

With that response I briefly considered nodding my head "yes" and taking the easy way out. But... I didn't.

Chalayn: Umm, no, it's Chalayn.
Old Man: Hmmm?
Chalayn: *raises voice* Chalayn.
Old Man: 
Chalayn: *projects even more* Chalayn!
Old Man: Jo-layn?
Chalayn: *nods head weakly*

I give up.


  1. Oh man, I hear you. I once volunteered in a kindergarten classroom and the teacher thought my last name was my first name. After my third attempt at correcting her (she talked over soft-spoken me every time) I gave up and just went with it. It was awkward level: midnight a month later when she figured it out.

  2. Haha. Siri is not so great with your name either :) Today, when I tried to text you, she kept giving me "Breanna Chalayn" (yes, that's Breanna's name in my phone- I really should change it). Then, I realized that I put your name is as Chalazn a long time ago. I tried to get her to text you for about 5 minutes. I give up ;) I type your name in.