My momís name is Laura Burch. In our town when I was growing up, there was another Laura Burch. She also had two daughters, about the same ages as my sister and me, and we all went to the same school. Having two Laura Burches in the same town wasnít that big a deal, we quickly learned where to direct phone calls (My mom was listed as Laura Burch in the phone book, while the other was L. Burch), and sometimes it had its advantages. For example, when my mom discovered that the other Laura Burch had been paying for her pap smears because they went to the same clinic!
It had its disadvantages as well. One day a deficiency slip from the schoolís principal office came in the mail. It was addressed to "Laura Burch," so of course my mom opened it. She took no notice of the fact that the studentís name on the top was "Mariah Burch," she just waited for me at the door until I came home from school.
"How could you be failing Spanish?"
"Iím not even taking Spanish!"
"How could you be failing a class you arenít even taking!"
"Itís not me, mom, I swear!"
"And whatís this ĎMariahí bull#@$%? Is that your Spanish name?"
"MOM, Iím taking FRENCH!"
I was subsequently grounded; Mom figured I had signed up for Spanish, and was now failing because I never showed up, and didnít even remember I had signed up for it. It took a couple of phone calls to sort this out. I hope Mariahís mom took things a little better.
Another irritating factor was when I was sick, and brought signed excuses from home to the Attendance Office for inspection, as was the standard procedure. Mrs. Q-Tip, the attendance lady (so-called because of her tall, skinny physique and fluffy white hair), checked my momís signature against the signature on file.
"Your mother didnít write this."
"Yes she did!"
"No, she absolutely did not. This does not match."
Thus I got two truancies before Q-tip figured out what was going on. Luckily, I got my justiceóQ-tip actually pulled my out of class to personally apologize to me in the hall, and I got my truancies erased. But still, the requisite truancy letter got sent home, causing my mother to flip out.
So, boys and girls. Let this be another lesson to you! Unique names are the way to go!