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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hidelfont of Bengal Baden

In real life, I have a problem remembering names. Not a normal one. I'm really good at remembering names. Once I know your name, I'll never forget it. My problem is that I don't always get the name right in the first place, or pronounce it correctly, and once that happens, I will always remember what I think is your name. If your name is Margo, but I heard it wrong, I'll never be able to remember that you're not Margie. One poor lady I met, because I saw her name in print before I met her, will forever be Marcia (Mar-SEE-ah) to me. Her name is Marsha. But she spells it Marcia. Because I made this mistake early on in my relationship with her, I never trust myself to say the right name. I always wait for someone else to say her name first.

Happily for me, I tend not to do this with saints. Except for two. St. John of the Cross and St. Hildegard of wherever she is from. I always say John of the Cross when I mean St. Joseph Cupertino. I confused them once and it stuck.

And poor St. Hildegard. I have butchered her name six ways to Sunday. I have to stop myself from calling her St. Hilgefort, because I thought that was her name. And when it comes to her place of residence, forget it. I may as well just make up a name that starts with a "B" and be done with it.

Which is, apparently, exactly what I did.

Wasn't St. Hildegarde of Bingen, not Bergen? :-) 

Sideways smiley face, indeed.

I suppose there are worse mistakes one could make. Although there are few more humiliating moments that confidently calling someone you've known forever by the wrong name. At least I'm on the elderly side and am therefore often let off the hook. It's the one upside to being older. But the truth is, I've always done this, to my chagrin.

I brought it up to a friend recently and he rattled off a list of the hilarious things his Dad cluelessly gets wrong. 

"the DMV (department of motor vehicles), he calls the D and V"

"Immodium AD he calls Ammonia AD"

"he calls the Heimlich maneuver the Heimlich remover" (which is kind of what happens, really)

"Alzheimers is oldtimers" (understandable mistake)

"and he calls an out house and owl house"

 Like him, I believe I have the right name. Once in a while, someone is kind enough to correct me. It doesn't really help though, because going forward I second guess myself over which name is correct and if I got the correction right.

Thanks for the correction, dear reader. Upright smiley face.


Katney said...

In college we had a psychology prof who used mnemonics to remember names. Unfortunately, he often used the mnemonic rather than the name, thus, among other things, calling Sister Mary Andrella Sister Mary Umbrella.

Claudia said...

Being in the medical business we would hear mean that about their "prostrate" instead of their "prostate" Sometimes it is funny listening talk about their medical conditions and you know they have the wrong words or what the thought the doctor said instead of what he/she really said.

I hear that in restaurants a lot at the next table...

dre said...

And did you know that Jesus died on cavalry?

I've been a teacher for nearly 40 years, and a mother for about the same time. I am constantly calling my students by their parents' or siblings' names, and my own children are often called by the cats' names...

Sigh....my brain just can't file all that information and retrieve it successfully.

Katney said...

Just call the girls "Honey" and the boys "Kiddo" like I do. They never figure it out.

Anonymous said...

My husband also, having recently immigrated from the UK, inadvertently messes up the names of big-box stores: Home Depot = "Home Town Depot," Trader Joe's = "Sloppy Joe's," and more.

Anonymous said...

I found the Brown Scapular that was given to me at First Communion. Now I don't remember what the priest said at enrollment to do every day, the prayer. What to do?