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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Case of the Mixed Up Identity

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Kathryn.

Or so she thought.

One day, she was going about her business when she was informed that her name was not actually Kathryn.

Not legally.

"What?" She thought. "How can that be?"

Somewhere in the hours after her birth, someone made a mistake.

And named her not Kathryn...

...But Katherine.

Now, you might not see a big difference when you read the names, but to Kathryn/Katherine, it was a very big change.

It changed her life!

She could no longer get a job without proper documentation. Her signature was different. She had to contemplate whether or not her entire life had been a lie!

If she had known what her true - legal - name had been growing up, how different might she be now?

Maybe she would be a professional singer, or an astronaut?

She will never know.

So now that she knows the truth, Katherine has adopted her new name.

But if she's honest, she misses the "ryn". 

Good thing most people know her as Kate.

Okay, seriously though. I went to fill out paperwork for my AWESOME new job.

And they noticed what countless other employers have missed. Something I'd never even noticed.

The name on my Birth Certificate and Social Security Card wasn't Kathryn, but Katherine.
However, I've grown up spelling it Kathryn. And my Driver's License was spelled Kathryn as well.

Apparently the Utah DMV doesn't care if you spell your name the way it is spelled on your documentation either.

But my new employer does.

How is it my fault that someone mixed up my name when I was an infant?

Did they expect me to point out the mistake right out of the womb?

I didn't know how to read. Or spell my name.

Heck, when I heard my name, it probably sound more like the teacher from Charlie Brown was talking for the first few months of my life.

I blame the adults of 1989.

Yet. I'm still being punished.

They made me go to the DMV.

Living hell. Seriously.

I spent a grand amount of time going through the process of changing the name on my Driver's License.

I realize that it is spelled the correct (illegal) way on my Driver's License and I could have tried to change my Social Security Card to the correct (illegal) spelling.

But it was so much simpler just to adopt the wrong (legal) spelling of my name.

But I still feel a strange case of missing identity.

It's like finding out I have a long lost twin or that I was switched at birth or something.

Only... much less awesome.

Oh life.

Someday I will reclaim my name and my freedom!

6 Thoughts:

Shane Prather said...

Oh wow, this is too funny! I have a similar story... my birth cetificate had me as a male because of my name and my parents had to go get it changed 9 months later. Worst part, a birth certificate can't be altered so every time I have to turn it in I have to use the original AND the correction!

Remy said...

Ugh, I wish people (in this case, your new employer!) wouldn't make a huge deal about your name.

RAWR. Sorry you had to go through all that Kate!

Celita said...

I've had the same thing happen to me. At 18 I had to get a new ss card because my name was wrong, and currently I'm fussing to find ID with my proper name because the DMV refuses to hyphenate a person's first name.

It's all just rubbish!
Good luck :)

ps-I like the 'ryn' better, that's how my sister's name is spelled.

Rach said...

Haha, so when I was born, my parents wanted to name me after the Rachel in the Bible right? Well, I was their firstborn, so it was all a bit new to them. They forgot to bring their scriptures to the hospital, and asked the nurse how "Rachel" was spelled in the Bible. She told them "R-A-C-H-A-E-L" [the kind with the extra A in it].

That is the way it is spelled on my birth certificate to this very day, even though my parents realized their error pretty much immediately after they got home and I've never spelled it that way in my memory.

I managed to get it spelled the right (illegal) way on my Driver's License thanks to the DMV worker making a typo that I "forgot" to correct.

Somehow they let me get a Passport with the right (illegal) spelling too, even though I had to send in my birth certificate with the wrong (legal) spelling in order to get it.

A name is a funny thing, ain't it?? :) So sorry you had to cave in to the incorrect spelling of your name!! Good luck changing it back :D

Booklogged said...

I wish you didn't have to have the original and the amended one every time you do anything. Sorry for causing an identity crisis! Do you think if you legally change it that you'll need the original birth certificate, the amended certificate and your legal name change papers to get driver's license, pass port, etc? Three papers instead of 2?!

Kate as of Late said...

I thought my social security card was bad "ksthryn" instead of "kathryn" but I totally know what you mean, I'd be DEVASTATED if I found out i was actually katherine!!!!