February 18, 2002, 10:46 p.m.
Walking through Giant this morning at 10am with astringent and conditioner in hand, I heard a vaguely familiar voice saying, "Jen. Jen. JEEENNN." Of course, I didn't think the voice was addressing me, because my name is very clearly NOT Jen. Then I heard it, "Hey! Ms. Biensoul!"
I whirled around, and standing there was an administrator from school. The same woman who, 2 seconds previously, was trying to get the attention of someone named "Jen." That someone, as it turned out, was me.
Now, I understand getting someone's name wrong. I even understand confusing "Jennifer" and "Jessica" as they're fairly common names, and they both start with "J-e." Understanding these things do not make the hurt go away.
I teach my students every day that they should always have pride in their names; if someone mispronounces or messes up their names, they should correct them politely and go about their business. I said nothing but "Oh, hi, have a good weekend?"
I had no idea what to do in this situation. This woman is someone who I have talked to for at least 2-3 minutes per day since the start of the school year. I know her name is Sheila. It makes me sad that she has suffered under the delusion that my name has been Jen for lo these seven months.
In high school one of my best friends was a Jenn. She was Jennifer Lynne B; I'm Jessica Lynn Biensoul. We even looked alike. We sat next to each other. We did this on purpose. We wanted to feel a part of one another, like the twins we could never be.
Having a teacher trip up on my name is not the giggle-inducing spectacle it once was, as this is my co-worker, and this is the adult world.
I'm rambling, aren't I?
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet..." Ah, Juliet, you had something ELSE all wrong...