>Ben By Any Other Name Still Is Ben

>I think Megan Jane Conroy needs to take some lessons from Ben, or is it Dan, Krull. I can’t imagine that many people mixing up his name. I know lots of Bens, and none of them say they’re called Dan a lot. I’d want to hear what he sounds like when he says his name.

I can sympathize with the poor soul. My last name has had n’s and x’s added to it, even after I’d just spelled it for people. Back whenI didn’t know how to sign my name, because when your blind, signing doesn’t get taught early on, I asked someone else to sign me into some event. She asked me how to spell it. I said, “h, e, a, d, r, i, c, k!” “Very good, ” she said. She turned to my dad. “This way, Mr. Hendrick.” Nooo!

My first name has had an o put where the a goes, and someone who works at the bank flipped the i and the n, so I was Carni for a while. Or there are the people who assume that my first name is Karen when I say it on the phone. Then, they claim I don’t exist until I remind them, “It’s C a r i n.” I’m actually shocked that every speech synthesizer I’ve ever had has pronounced both my names right.

And then, of course, there are the jokes people make with my last name. That’s what happens when it starts with the word head. I have a friend who insists she has it worse because her last name is Armstrong, but somehow I doubt it. but then again, maybe the jokes she gets are more corny and less dirty, and that could be worse.

I know what it’s like to stop correcting people. There was a time that I was mistaken for another person at the school for the blind, by both students and staff, so often that I started responding to her name. One day, I got a big scare as I sat in this hallway by the school dining room. One of the teachers marched over to me and said, “don’t you know that it’s against the rules to steal silverware?” I stared at her, confused. Was there a spoon stuck to my pants somehow? What was she talking about. Realizing that she had the wrong person, she said, “oops. I thought it was the other girl. She played a character in the school play who stole forks and stuff, so I was trying to give her a hard time.” I’m just glad the other girl didn’t do anything criminal in real life. That could have been ugly. I can just see it.
Me: I’m not who you think I am.
Cop: I know they all saw you do it.
Me: But there’s a girl who they always think is me!
Cop: Yeah, right. Sure. Move along. You have the right to remain silent…

What would be really weird for this guy is if he ended up meeting an actual Dan Krull. Would that Dan just happen to have a problem where everyone thought his name was Ben?Talk about your parallel universe!

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