What’s in a name? Sometimes a racial slur.

What is wrong with people?

I came across an old picture the other day, and since I’ve yet to master the appropriate way to celebrate Throw-Back-Thursday, I thought I’d share it with you. But before I reveal the photo, I owe you a quick explanation.

In a prior job, one of my daily tasks was to interview people who were applying to college. I would schedule appointments with prospective students, and upon their arrival to the school lobby, they were asked to sign-in on the visitor’s sheet. It was the standard sign-in sheet, asking for their name, the current time and the name of the person they were here to see. It’s pretty customary shit, people.

My name is Whitney. Although that’s not a terribly difficult name to spell, I fully understand that it’s not a beginner level name like Jan or Sue. I’ve learned over the years to expect misspells. I’ve seen Witney, Whittney, Wendy and even Brittany a million times over, and I’m completely okay with that. I don’t even flinch.

But on August 4th, 2011, I did flinch. Twice.

Flinch #1:

That’s right. At 9am, I strolled out to the lobby only to realize the student I was greeting had renamed me “Wintey” while I wasn’t looking. As in, rhymes with “minty”. Although I found the spelling a bit odd, I shook the student’s hand and walked my spearminty ass down the hall towards my office like nothing ever happened. I’m a professional, dammit!

But then, 4pm rolled around, and with it came Flinch #2:

Tango.

Foxtrot.

I did a double-take. I lifted the sheet closer to my face, squinting my eyes in disbelief of what I was reading.

WETNECK!?!

How in the holy hell did anyone mistake the name Whitney for WETNECK? God rest her soul, I thought Whitney Houston was a household name, which should render a mistake of this magnitude impossible! And even if they thought I introduced myself as “Wetneck” during our phone conversation, why wouldn’t they have questioned it???

And what exactly is a Wetneck anyway? I was curious, and therefore posted the photo that evening to my Facebook page, where my friend Paula enlightened me.

hanks, Paula. Maybe the kid wasn’t a moron, but instead just using my name to test out a newly invented racial slur. Great.

Have people botched your name before? Share your entries to the idiot name-game below.

Sincerely,

Wetneck

Truth be told, I think I’m doing Throw Back Thursday wrong.

I admit it. Being in your 30’s sometimes means you’re only partially “hip”.

Which is why for months, when friends posted Facebook statuses with the hashtag #TBT (at least I know what a hashtag is), I thought it meant “Truth Be Told”. When that acronym started making less and less sense, I finally sought the guidance of a much younger cooler pal, who informed me it actually stood for “Throw Back Thursday”.

Well, kiss my vintage, that makes much more sense!

However, I still think I’m doing it wrong. For the most part, it seems as though people take TBT as an opportunity to post a nostalgic picture. And many of those photos are quite sweet.

But at least on this particular Throw Back Thursday, here was my weird-ass train of thought:

Hmm. I’m feeling a little chuckle deficient today. Wait! I know what never fails to get me giggling. That Taylor Swift song parody with the goat in it! Yup, that’ll do swell.

Considering that video was released well over a year ago, posting it alone should count for a TBT contribution, right? But oh no no, my brain didn’t stop there. Where did it wander to next?

Hey, remember that time in 2004, when that one dude who was running for President lost his shit during an impassioned albeit off the damn rails speech, and let loose a manic scream and it was kinda hilarious?

And then I started imagining what Taylor’s song would sound like when replacing the goat cries with Howard Dean’s lunatic screech.

And if I had adequate computer skills, you know I’d mesh those videos together so you could see what I mean. And that would be my TBT contribution. And, that’s why I think I’m doing Throw Back Thursday wrong.

Maybe I actually should just post a nice nostalgic picture instead, like the rest of the good boys and girls do.

Mommy and me, circa 1984?

Yup. That’s decidedly more appropriate.