I may have a personality disorder. In the last week I have been called Linda, Rose, and been mistaken for a Minister. Perhaps, unbeknownst to me, I have a much more interesting life than the one that I currently lead as LouAnn. In the past I have been called MaryLou (as in Rick Nelson’s song, “Hello MaryLou, Goodbye Heart”), or my sister’s name Peggy. Both of these monikers are understandable, as MaryLou at least has part of my name in it, and my sister and I bear a resemblance to each other, though she is four inches taller and prettier.
I wonder if as Linda I am a wild and crazy gal, or as Rose I am a ruthless business woman. While I am interested in theology, I do not think that one of my lives includes that of a Minister. The role seems too daunting. I was at a funeral out of town, and the Minister who conducted the service did resemble me in that she wore glasses and had long brown hair. An older gentleman came up to me and told me that it had been a “good service.” At first I did not know what he meant, but when I realized he thought I was the Minister, I did not want to tell him about his case of mistaken identity in order not to embarrass him. Then he sat down beside me at the luncheon in the church auditorium. Can you say awkward?
By this time, I thought he had realized his mistake, and we had a good conversation about life, politics, kids, diabetes—you name it, we talked about it. As my husband, John and I took our leave, the gentleman shook my hand warmly, and again told me with great sincerity that it had been a “good service.” I was thankful that we were in a town about four hours away, and would not likely see this gentleman again. And no, I will not be presiding at any weddings, baptisms or funerals in the near future. At least that I am aware of.
I am sure that at one time or another we have all been mistaken for someone else. And many times it is awkward to tell the person who thinks you are Linda or Rose that in fact you are not. I always fear that they will be vastly disappointed or embarrassed, so I tend not to correct them. Which then leaves Rose and Linda in a bit of a quagmire, unless of course, they really are other parts of my personality.
Actually, I am quite sure I do not have multiple personalities, as I am certain that even if I am unaware of them, others would let me know that I was not always “myself”. But wouldn’t it be kind of cool to have a personality that was a bit more daring and adventurous than you are? Unless of course you are already daring and adventurous, then your other personalities might be more conservative and wary.
I heard a politician on TV call this the “silly season”, (in politics, is it not always the silly season?) so perhaps my unschooled discussion of multiple personalities is just part of the seasonal change. But it is disconcerting to be mistaken for three different people in less than a week. I am starting to think that I should develop a more distinct personality of my own that would not be mistaken for that of others. Notoriety for the sake of being recognized may not be the way to go though, so maybe I should find a more conventional yet somewhat distinctive way to distinguish myself.
When I married I made the decision to add my husband’s last name to mine in order to make my life just that little bit more difficult. I definitely wanted to keep my own name, but I also did not want to have a last name that was different from my kids’, so I opted to hyphenate. Admittedly, it does take a while to sign cheques at the bank, and I often say to the Tellers that they are free to take a coffee break while I sign my name. They always laugh because they are kind, but I may have used this line once too often. Lots of people hyphenate their names, so this is not distinctive enough to be remembered. And anyway, in the face recognition game, the way you write your name does not register.
In the scheme of things, it does not really matter that I am mistaken for other people. Do I really want to leave an indelible mark on people’s memories? Maybe I should just be happy being a human chameleon–someone who just kind of fades into the wallpaper. Or perhaps I had better start working on my next sermon.