For as long as I can remember I have had to explain to people how to pronounce my name. It's spelled Cherri, so I understand when they see it written they might think it's pronounced Sherry or Sherie' (with the emphasis on "rie.") Frequently, though, I am misunderstood when I introduce myself and I always take great pains to speak clearly. It goes something like this:
Me: Hi, I'm Cherri
Them: Did you say Sherry?
Me: No, Cherry.
Them: Jeri? Terry?
Me: No, Cherry. With a C-H.
Them: Cheryl? Sharon? Charity?
Me: No, Cherry, like on top of an ice cream sundae.
Them: Oh, Cherry! That's such a pretty name.
Me: Thank you
Then, that person will proceed to call me Sherry for the next three years until I decide to correct them again.
It recently occurred to me that, 100 years from now, people will be strolling through the cemetery and see a tombstone that reads, "Here lies Cherri...." and they will say, "Hmmm - Sherry, how strange that she has a purple tombstone." (I really like purple so....)
Anyway, my ghost will become so incensed at the mispronunciation that I will rise up and haunt that person for the rest of the day - maybe causing them to spill cherry soda on their nice linen slacks. (I imagine that's what they will be wearing for a visit to the cemetery).
I thought that if I changed the ending of my name, people would understand how to pronounce the beginning of my name. So, I looked into the steps involved in a legal name change. It is quite a process. I would have to fill out a petition and a legal order for name change, get the forms notarized, get fingerprinted, file all the paperwork at the county courthouse and pay over $200. Then, I would have to appear before a judge to explain myself. I would be a little embarrassed trying to explain all this to a judge. I'm sure she (or he) has much more important matters to deal with than me trying to get people to say my name right.
The other day I answered the phone at work and this time things were different.
Me: Thank you for calling Sunny's Liquor, Cigar, Wine, Keg, and Beer Emporium.* This is Cherri, how my I help you? (*Not my actual place of employment)
Caller: Did you say Cherry?
Me: Why, yes I did.
Caller: Oh, my goodness. My best friend is named Cherry and I've never heard of
anyone else with that name.
Me: Wow! That is so weird. I've never head of anyone with that name either.
Caller: Her middle name is Beth.
Me: What? That's amazing, my middle-name is Beth too. (weird coincidence)
Caller: It is? How strange.
Me: Yep, Beth, not Elizabeth, just Beth.
Caller: Wow - There's another Cherry Beth in the world. I'll have to tell my friend. Do you spell it with a Y.
Me: No, I spell it with an I at the end.
Caller: Oh.... (awkward pause) Anyway, I was calling to speak to Sunny. Is she in?
Me: Please hold.
This actually happened earlier this week. Strange but true.