It has come to my attention that for, I don’t know, my whole entire life that a lot of people don’t know my name. My name is Bethany. B-E-T-H-A-N-Y, not Brittany. My sister’s name is Brittany and for most of my life I have been called her name. I used to think it was because people met her first since she is older than me, but now I think people’s brains just cannot process Bethany.
I have left voicemails for people saying, “This is Bethany Porter with the Southern Standard blah, blah, blah,” and will get a call back asking to speak to Brittany. I wrote my name down on a sign-in sheet the other day and a lady introduced me as Brittany. I have had substitute teachers read my name off a role sheet and call me Brittany. The announcer at my softball games would be looking at a list of names and still read it as Brittany. By the way, no hard feelings Kevin. I know it wasn’t on purpose.
My sixth grade class once got a pizza party because my teacher had my sister before me and kept calling me Brittany. He said if he kept doing it a certain amount of times he would throw us a party. Every time I graduated I would hold my breath hoping to not be called the wrong name. Luckily, that never happened or I would have had a meltdown for sure.
I didn’t think my name was so uncommon. People at work will call me Brittany. Coworkers at the shoe store would call me Brittany, but we did have another person who worked there named Brittany so it was understandable.
I used to be sensitive about it because I was always getting called by my sister’s name, but now I don’t think it has anything to do with her. I think people are only reading the first and last letters of my name and assuming it says Brittany and maybe Bethany isn’t recognized by the brain as a different name when it is spoken. I don’t know.
I know it is not intentional, but no one likes being called the wrong name. I have yet to find a polite way to correct people when they do call me the wrong name. The standard, “It’s Bethany,” comes off rude sometimes, but I just don’t know what else to do. I wonder if this is a problem for all the Bethanys in the world or if it only happens to me.
I have been told I should just change my name or go by my middle name, but personally I don’t think I should have to. I am certainly not going by Beth because that is not my name either. I have resisted writing about this in fear of intentionally being called the wrong name as a joke, but it is happening so frequently lately and is getting frustrating.
In closing, my name is Bethany. B-E-T-H-A-N-Y. Like Beth, but with some more letters. If you see me or call me and accidentally call me the wrong name, which will 100% happen in the future, it’s OK but I will correct you because that is not my name.
Standard reporter Bethany Porter can be reached at 473-2191.