At a young age, I had come to terms that my life would be full of people mispronouncing and misspelling my name. In school, when the teacher finally said my name right, I knew it was going to be a while longer for them spell it correctly. I can't remember a time when I wasn't patient with people trying to learn my name, and I usually gave grace when I had to repeat it for the ump-teenth time. I remember one time in Junior High, the school secretary went as far as to tell me that my mother had spelled my name wrong, and that my name IS Karlene. That didn't fly very well with my mother, I think the secretary got a phone call the next morning.
Coming out of high school and into the real world, it didn't prove to be any different. I continued with my patience and having grace, it was just inevitable.
Fast forwarding to yesterday: I called my biological father to wish him a Happy Father's Day. I've made mention before that I don't really have a relationship with him due to his drug usage in the past. I don't hold it against him, I have forgave him, but the critical parts in my life when I needed a father, he wasn't there. And due to the drugs, this demeanor is almost child like anymore. Repeating what I just said, or having to dumb down a good part of the conversation just so he can understand what I'm saying.
Our conversation was very basic:
How are you?.. Good. How are you?
How are the kids.. Getting big.. Good
Nothing very intimate, but somehow in the midst of our conversation it turned to email addresses. He and my step-mom want to say in better contact with us kids. Fine, I'll give you mine, you give me yours. I tell him my email address is my name, first letter of my last name, at sign and inland cellular dot com. He slowly starts to spell my name.. K-A-L-E-E-N-E. I interrupt him, laughing a little thinking that he was joking.
Dad, that's not how I spell my name. ( I have never altered my name)
Well, I just named you, your mom did the spelling... K-A-L-E-N-E.
No, dad. I have another "E" in there.. K-A-E-L-E-N-E. Then an "R" , at inland cellular dot com.
After going another 3 rounds, I think he finally got it. At that point, I was highly frustrated. I just wanted to get off the phone. We said our good-byes and he made a handful of promises that I know won't ever happen. Unfortunately, I've learned that my dad's words never carried much water. My sister saw me hang up the phone with great haste. She asked how our talk went. (She has a much stronger relationship with him than I do since she had to go live with him in her wilder days) I told her as good as to be expected. I explain how he went about not spelling my name correctly. I know she was trying to justify his memory loss, why he is the way he is... I know, I know.. drugs. I guess I just don't understand, I never did them.
Later that night, I talked with Eric about the way I was feeling...mixed. Should I be upset?..Let it go?...Should I even care?
Eric told me that I had patience and grace with everyone, even complete strangers, why not give some to my dad. He deserves it too. So, I woke up this morning, still a little torn. As the day goes on, I'm slowly letting it go. I have a feeling it's going to be a few more days for it to be out of my system... I just needed to get it out in writing.