It hadn’t happened in awhile.
I was at a Christmas party, flying solo as usual. There were those lame games that make a party fun. Draw a name out of the basket, find the person whose name you have while you mingle and talk to them. You’ll have to introduce them later with a detail that no one would have known about them. I find my person. Introduce myself.
My own name is alliterative. I have four letters in my first and last name, and they also end in the same letter. Plus, added together, my friends like to point out that they sound like a stripper name (and that’s the PG version).
When I introduced myself, the woman immediately chuckled and said, “That’s not your real name is it, I mean, did you change it?” I told her it was my married name, that my parents hadn’t done that to me. I hadn’t thought through my response; it was just what came out. I didn’t think about the fact that I was speeding down the road to an uncomfortable conversation. Her next question…”And where’s your husband?”
Ah, the awkward moment. Crap. “Well, I’m widowed.” Now I’ve made you uncomfortable. It’s made me feel weird. I just want to run. I hate parties like this anyway.
I will say that the more it happens, the better I am at dealing with it, and it doesn’t devastate me to the degree that it used to. Plus, I think I’m getting better at putting people at ease with it. But it’s still no fun, and I’m ready for my stretch of holiday stuff to be over.