Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Don't Say My Name(Ish)

            I have a couple of neighbors who think my name is Anna. I wouldn’t be so bothered by this if they didn’t insist on saying “hi Anna,” every time they see me. I don’t expect everyone to know my name. That would be ridiculous. I wouldn’t care if they had no idea what my name was. I just can’t understand what is so wrong with a moniker-free greeting. Why must they always make such a point of addressing me by not-my-name?
The worst part is I’ve made myself complicit. It’s been over a year, and I haven’t corrected them. I’m assuming that when we met, I told them my actual name, because (and yes, I mean to brag) I have never fucked up the process of telling someone my name. Not even when I’m drunk, because I’ve had a lot of practice at both of those things. So, I am completely sure I did not tell them my name is Anna.
But for whatever reason they started calling me Anna, and I didn’t correct them, because I’m really not that social, and it’s not like we hang out. Also, I had no idea they were going to be so persistent about saying hello, or rather, “Hi Anna.”
 So now I live in constant fear of being accosted with the wrong name as I scutter to or from my apartment. I know it seems like an easy fix, and it would have been, once, but now at this point I’m going to look like a douche if I say anything, mostly because I’m actually being a douche.  I’m spending way more time writing this post than it would take to march my ass across the way and say, “Hello, my name is Anne. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” But what if they didn’t get the reference? To be fair, I’m totally fucking up the syllable rhythm by using my own name, and only my first name at that, so it’s not like I’d blame them, much, but it would be pretty awkward. They would think I was crazy, which is valid, but for the wrong reasons, which I don’t want to encourage.
There is also the worry that if I speak up, I may set off an entire conversation. Something like:
Me:  I just wanted to let you know my name is Anne.
Them: We know your name, Anna.
Me: No. It’s just Anne. Not Anna. I should have said something sooner. Sorry.
Them:  Why didn’t you?
Me:  Because I dreaded the conversation that’s happening to me right now.
Them:  What’s wrong with you, Anna?
I’m left feeling resentful every time they say “hi Anna.” Between the two of them it happens at least five times a day, and it’s exhausting. They’re so aggressive about it that I’m never allowed to slip by un-greeted. And I get stressed out about the whole situation every time. Lately I’ve been wondering if they’re calling me the wrong name on purpose just to torture me.
The thing is, if they legitimately liked me enough to justify their urge to bury me in salutations, they would know my fucking name. It’s not normal to greet someone so often when you never otherwise converse. There is no one I say “hi,” to five times a day. Except for them, because I have to say it back or I’ll look overly antisocial.
I am the one who’s disgruntled, so I should speak the fuck up. But instead I’ll probably just bitch about it here, and continue to quietly resent them. I hope no one got into this post looking for a moral.

P.S.  I know both of their names, and their kid’s name. And their dog’s name.