I have to tell you of this fear I have everytime I’m in a new class or in a waiting room or at the chemist.
It’s about my last name. For a surname of four letters people seem to have a lot of trouble with it.
Every time I’m in a situation where I know someone is going to say my full name I shrink with anticipation. I remember all the times someone has stood before me sitting with a group of strangers and called out in that painfully confident voice, ‘Kathleen Nude’.
I remember the tight-lipped smile I get when everyone looks at me as I stand up and I can hear them thinking, ‘Gosh, what an unfortunate surname. Wouldn’t you change it if that was your surname?’ I correct the pronunciation under my breath and pretend it never happened. (When I was little I used to say, ‘Noud rhymes with cloud’.)
Some days I giggle and other days I strut forward like I’m a burlesque star, but most of the time I’m sitting in the corner chair hoping I can give ten points to the person that says my name right.