Dear Crabby, Should I Use My Real Name?

Dear Crabby,

People always seem to get my name wrong. Should I be correcting them or just let it go?

Sincerely, Missy Mixup

Dear Ms. Mixup,

I have been torn on that issue for quite some time. You see, the wrong name has worked out to my advantage so many times that I am starting to use it for personal gain. It all started for me when I went to The Rochester Barber Shop for the first time to get my hair cut. I had heard that Brian was an excellent classic-style barber and had to get in there to see for myself. Well, being an impatient man, I did not like that there were three people already waiting when I got there. Brian looked up as I walked in and said, “Are you George? The guy who called for an appointment? If so, you are next.” I will tell you that I felt bad for a few seconds, but quickly said, “Yup, George it is. Nice to meet you.” Then I jumped in that chair and enjoyed my haircut. I liked the haircut so much, I kept going back.  And even though I have been going to Brian for quite a while now, I still haven’t told him my name isn’t George. I figure it doesn’t matter what he calls me so long as he keeps cutting my hair so well! The other times I use this “mistaken identity” to my advantage is when we go out to eat. If we are waiting and they call anybody’s name more than twice, I chime in and say, “That’ s us!” And we move to the table and get seated. I have only been caught doing this a couple times, but at my age I can just say that I am hard of hearing or that I misunderstood. So you see, in these instances I certainly don’t mind them calling me by another name, as long as I am getting what I want. In other cases though, it can be offensive. I know that whenever my daughter brought home some deadbeat boy that I did not like, that was my tell to her. If I messed up his name each time, it meant I did not approve of him. For example, she would introduce her friend Dennis to me, and I would say, “Nice to meet you, Darryl.” Then he would reply, “You too, sir, but it’s Dennis.” A little later I would say something like, “So Doug, what’s your father do for a living?” Then he would correct me again and my daughter would shake her head at me. Finally, when he would leave for the night, I would shout out from the other room, “Nice to meet you, David. Talk to you later.” This way, my daughter always knew whether or not I approved without me ever having to share my opinion with her. Of course, I would always share my opinion anyway just to make sure she was clear on my position. So as far as your concern goes, I’m not sure what to tell you. If you have one of those faces where people often mistake you for someone else, you may have to be more assertive in correcting them, or you may just want to bask in the benefits that it brings!

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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