Life is good. Dare I say it? My dad is very zen about the airline ticket disaster. His whole attitude about us possibly losing a thousand dollars is, “Eh.”
He’s not rich, and neither am I (although I certainly spend money like a drunk sailor), but his income is sporadic as a self-employed lawyer, so usually whenever things seem bad, he’ll rally and earn some coin or get some money from somewhere.
But the zen attitude is just because some things are outside of our control, not because we’ve given up. I prepared documentation for him today, giving dates and times and phone calls, as well as screenshots of relevant information, so he can talk to his credit card company. I even found the parent company of Justfly and their contact info, after filing a complaint with the BBB.
My mentor says I shouldn’t lambaste people for calling me [M-word] if they didn’t know otherwise. “It’s officially your name,” he said, so I told him that I had it legally changed in early 2008. But upon further reflection, he makes a good point that I shouldn’t harass people who get it wrong on accident. The problem is that I’ve had to fight to be called Meg, and I’ve dealt with people who kept calling me [M-word] because they wanted to, and I’m talking about extended family, bankers, doctors, dentists, and on and on. I asked repeatedly to be called Meg. After about the third strike for all of those parties, I found new bankers, doctors, and dentists; and I’ve come to disregard many of my maternal extended family members.
In 2007, I had a job where my employer introduced me to everyone online as [M-word]. My computer was set up with [M-word] Kimball on the top of the page. I asked the HR lady to change it in the system, and she got whiny. “Do I have to?”
And then I had a coworker there who constantly called me [M-word], ever since I’d been introduced that way. The first four or five times this happened, I said, “It’s Meg.”
The next time, though, I got aggressive. “My name is Meg, and that is what you will call me! Do we understand each other?” and I got all up in his face and almost forcibly made him step backward.
We understood each other.
While I understand that some people are too low in intelligence or too lazy to learn someone’s name the right way, such people should get used to simply not addressing people by name. “Hey, how’s it going?” It’s not hard.
My dad took me to court to get my name changed after that, and the judge said to him, “You’re the father? Does the minor’s other parent approve?”
And my dad said, “Your honor, she’s thirty.”
Let me tell ya, that sort of flattery no longer happens to me now that I’m forty-four.
But I hated the judge. She knew I was there to change my name, but which name did she yell out to call the case? “[M-WORD] KIMBALL??”
That was low. And judges are supposed to be smart. I mean, geez, she had to go to law school and pass the bar and everything.
I’m doing a literary thing in my memoir. Are any of you familiar with the classic novel Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier? My mom loves it, as her name is Rebecca. It’s a great mystery book. No spoilers on the mystery, but there’s a certain literary technique in the book that makes it stand out. The main character isn’t Rebecca. It’s the woman who married Rebecca’s widowed husband after Rebecca died, pre-story. Throughout the whole book, the main character is referred to as her married name, Mrs. Last Name. Never does the reader learn her first name. And that literary technique is reinforced by the book’s title being Rebecca.
So in my memoir, here’s how I’m doing it: I’m not having anyone refer to me by name until after I reach the age of changing my name to Meg, which was in 2002, six years before I made it legal. And so at that point in the memoir, the reader might think, Oh, interesting. What was her birth name, then?
Pretty cool, huh?
I was at a staff meeting, a boring one, and something needed to be done. My fellow reading teachers were discussing the minutiae of obscure spelling patterns, and my brain was fried. Everyone’s was. I raised my hand, and I swear that Claudia was afraid to call on me for fear I’d perpetuate the idiocy. But she gave me the floor.
“I’d like to change my name to Meg,” I announced. Until that moment, I hadn’t even known I was going to. There might have been applause.
I’ve never known specifically why I came to hate my birthname. It’s a mystery, and it has something to do with Felicity, the TV show. It ran from 1998 to 2002, and 2002 was when I became Meg. Felicity’s roommate was named Meghan. And I couldn’t relate to her at all. She was goth, extreme, into wicca, nose piercings, and so forth. I loved watching the show. I dimly recall that something terrifying happened in its fourth and final season. I’ve wanted to rewatch it and solve the mystery of why I hate my name, but I’m not much of a binge-watcher, and I haven’t gotten past the beginning of season 3.
And I hated how people butchered it. WRONG: Mayyygn. RIGHT: Meh-gun. Granny Smith, my paternal grandmother, couldn’t say it right to save herself. She had awful country twang. However, she strove to call me Meg when I changed my name, even though she was old and had age-related cognitive decline. That was nice of her!
I’m in a pretty good mood now, but tired. I’m glad it’s almost bedtime!! I’m conked!