The young girl behind the counter, in her festive Fuddruckers uniform, took
my order of a chicken sandwich and fries, took my debit card, ran it through the
machine, then asked for my name so they could call me when my order was ready.
"Jared." I said as plainly as possible.
She stared at me. "I'm sorry?" She gave me one of those dubious looks
that one would give to an obviously unarmed bank robber.
"Jared." I repeated louder. I spelled it. "J - A - R - E -
She nodded slowly then typed in the name and handed me the receipt.
On the way to my table I glanced down at the name on the receipt, printed
just below the name transferred from the debit card and stood, dumbfounded.
I have been called: Jerry, Jerome, Jeren, Jed, Jaarry, Jarel, Jarrot, Garrot,
Geren, Josh (I've no clue how they got that one), and (the most common and most
My name is Jared and I hate my name. This is because I have to deal, almost
daily, with morons who either cannot read or cannot hear and cannot pronounce
My parents decided on my name a few months before I was born. If I were a boy
they would call me Jared Lee and if I were a girl they would name me Jetta Leigh. Faced with those two choices I would have gladly
chosen Francis, Dick, Peter, Vagina, Placenta or even Sue.
Fortunately, I was a boy. I cannot imagine how my life would have been ruined
by the name Jetta - I'm sure I would have ended up a crack whore, wandering the
streets of Louisville, looking for a rich john.
At the time I was born there was at least three hundred miles between me and
another Jared. I never heard the name mentioned outside of my person.
So I became rather curious about others who were named Jared - and
more specifically - those with the same first and last name as me. My little ego trip uncovered
several people out there, most notably a gay porn star. The main fact that
hit me, harder than the fact that there were so many Jareds with my last name,
was that they were all so much hotter than me. Being attracted to a guy
with the same name as me seemed a little incestuous - I didn't do that again.
Instead I pitied them and their horrible name.
My deepest sympathies also go to any other Jareds who read this. I can provide only this
advice: wear a large nametag or hope you have a decent middle name - or hope
you're good looking enough that you don't even have to speak, let alone
Growing up, my teachers would begin roll call on the first day of school and
pause at my name.
"Jar - rd?" was the start, followed by
"Jay - red?"
I would shake my head and pronounce it for them.
By the time I was a freshman in high school I'd realized that I would rarely
meet anyone who would get my name correct the first time.
It got so bad that, when I was a telemarketer, I had to go by the name of
'Lee' so I wouldn't be confused with the woman in the office named 'Jerry'.
So having someone get my name wrong is not only common, but also expected.
I've come to hate introductions simply for my name alone. This wariness happens
whenever I go someplace where I'm referred to by name. There were several delis
in downtown Columbus where they would call out your name when your order was
ready. I always met this with a great deal of stress - mostly because I was
afraid that they would get my name totally wrong and I would be waiting for
hours while they called out the name "Walter!" in vain. Most of those
times I would give my last name.
But I never expected this one. This was the worst mistranslation of my name
I'd ever seen. I turned around and looked at the girl at the counter then walked
up slowly and placed the receipt on the counter.
"I'm sorry, but you have the name wrong on this." I pointed to the
word "SHARON" written along the bottom of the slip.
She rolled her eyes and looked down, then pulled out a pen and stared at the
wrong name written directly below my name from the debit card.
"How do you spell it, then?" she asked.
I gaped in awe, looked back down and gritted my teeth, then spelled out, as
clearly as possible:
"J - E - R - A - L - D"
I'm changing my name to Frank.