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Mistaken Identity


I’m at a fundraiser, which is another way of saying I’ve had a glass of wine. I’m not slurring words, but my tongue is loose. You know.

So I come clean. Sometimes, I just cannot get a name right. Even though I have swam in her lane for a year and change beside her twice a week, and people have corrected me seventy times. My brain has decided her name should be Dawn, and not Sean, and there is nothing that can be done to alter its hellbent Dawn course.

Here is a two-paragraph crash course of our shared history:

Deanna, this is Sean. (I hear Dawn, and think, oh, she even looks like a Dawn, she is bright like the sunrise. I love it when this happens. She is so not an Elizabeth.)

Thereafter, I congratulate Dawn (Sean) at the end of each practice. Refer to Dawn (Sean) frequently as my friend. Introduce myself at the said fundraiser to her husband as, Hi, I’m Deanna, I swim with Dawn.

He looks at me oddly, which is not the first time I’ve been looked at oddly on this night.

Your wife? I prompt.

Oh, you mean Sean. I thought I had another wife for a second.

Fed up with my brain, I take my flawed self and my glass of wine and make a beeline for SEAN. Sean Sean Sean Sean. Banning Dawn forever from my memory.

I interrupt her bid on a silent auction item to blurt out I have a confession. I have called you Dawn for a year and a half. For some reason, I can’t get your name right. It’s not that I don’t value you as a person, but rather a lobe of my brain has ADD where your name is concerned.

She looks at me, laughter pushing up the corners of her mouth. I have a confession for you, she says. You mentioned your partner was Kim, so for the past year and a half I thought you were gay.

We both laugh heartily at our Three’s Company moment, and I wonder if she’s as secretly pleased that I likened her to a sunrise, as I am pleased that she mistook me for gay.

  1. Joanne
    February 24, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Too funny! I do the same thing with a few people, and it seems when I’m around them, the harder I try to get their name right, the more I mess up…..so I purposely try to skip the name piece!

  2. viewpacific
    February 24, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    What fun!
    I forget names a lot and am inspired by your example. Maybe next time I forget someone’s name I will ask them for their real name. Only question is how will I know whose names I have remembered and whose names I haven’t?

  3. Amy
    February 24, 2014 at 4:46 pm


  4. Helen Hall
    February 24, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Oh Deanna, So cute – do you think her name might be Shawn or Shaughn..rather than Sean? Love you, Helen.

  5. February 24, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    Oh, God, this sounds like me. Good God, this sounds like me. And my name is Kathy, by the way. KATHY! LOL

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  6. Jen Hill
    February 27, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Ha!! her name is SIAN! But we still really love swimming with you and miss your smiling face! Jen

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