here’s what it sounds like when i try to tell people how to spell my name:
them: “i got that.”
me: “no, again. another b-a-r.”
them: “oh, so b-a-r-b-a-r?”
me: “yeah, now i-c-h.”
them: “after the b-a-r?”
them: “so, b-a-r-i-c-h?”
me: “no, TWO b-a-rs.”
them: “that’s a lot of b’s.”
me: “my grandma’s name was Barbara. b-a-r-b-a-r-a b-a-r-b-a-r-i-c-h.”
them: “wow. what is that?”
i’ve tried several variations to spell my name to avoid this conversation. this is how that goes… futile, indeed.
them: “spell that, please?”
me: “barbaric, with an H on the end.”
them, after a long pause: “how do you spell barbaric?”
today is my dad’s birthday. he’s a heavy duty mechanic by trade, and a farmer by heart. he’s retired. well, as much as farmers retire. he’s my favourite man in the world. he taught me how to drive, how to chew grain to make gum, how to change a tire and how to make a fist.
“get ’em, bugsy!” he’d yell whenever my brother and i got in a wrestling match–which was fairly frequent. my mom would wring her hands a bit, but dad actually cheered.
he taught me how to fight. right now, it’s his turn. give ’em hell, dad. i’m cheering for you.