My wonderful mother Jeanne cannot seem to get my name right, especially when she sees me with my sister, niece, or dog. She simply gallops through her list until she skitters up to mine. “Wiggles! Sassafrass! Pancake!” she barks as if she’s running an auction at Sotheby’s. Sometimes she throws in a “Sandra!” referring to her beloved sister.
I fix her with a stare.
“I know who you are!” she then finishes with a harrumph. To make peace, she’ll proffer a piece of chocolate. “Want the other half of this Klondike Bar? How many calories could it be? 100? It’s nothing! Try it, Wiggles! I mean Sassy! I mean Sandra!”
There’s no real reason as to why Jeanne does this. I think she just looks at me and sees “Female Family Member” on my forehead and proceeds to jog around the wayward track of her mind from there. Wiggles used to call Sassy by my name, which was pretty annoying when Sassy was 3 years old. I guess Jeanne can’t help it. After all, this is the woman who thinks Dr. Oz speaks directly to her. As in breathless phone calls where she says things like, “Dr. Oz told me I should be taking fish oil!”
I’ve given up trying to correct her. I simply know when I drive to her apartment that it will be a busy afternoon being called by the wrong name. At least there will be chocolate.