I was sitting in a charming little neighborhood dive bar with my friends Claire and Kelsey on Friday night. We had each ordered a beer and were having a good time. Approx 5 minutes later, a dude approached our table. "Hey," he opened. "Hey," we replied. (Most interesting opener ever.) He asked for our names, and Claire responded "I'm Claire, that's Kelsey, and that's Pharon." He goes "Wait, WHAT'S your name?" And I said, very clearly, "SARAH. I'm Sarah."
Claire gave me a weird look and Kelsey laughed out loud. I HATE explaining my name, how it's spelled and where it came from to some random shmuck who can't even think up a creative opening line. So this guy got suspicious at my friends' reactions, I could tell. He looked at me while Claire and Kelsey said, over and over, "Yeah, that's SARAH. Right, SARAH!? Want some nachos, SARAH!?" I hadn't said it to try and deceive the guy, I said it because Pharon is interesting and likes to talk about her name and her super awesome life. "Sarah" does not. Sometimes I really like Sarah.
My friend Kim used to resort to the same thing. When she'd say my name, inevitably someone would say "WHAT is that girl's name?!" Yelling my name, spelling it and where it came from over the boom of bar music was just heinous tedium so she too changed my name. To Barb. No one asks questions about Barb. Everyone knows how to spell Barb. Sometimes when she's mad at me, she still calls me Barb.
See, this is different than just lying about your name to be mean. But we would totally do that, too. In college, Kim and I would ALSO alternate telling people one of our names was Allyson, who was our very real friend in Minnesota. Then "Allyson" would give someone our REAL friend Allyson's phone number. We knew it had been a fun night when we'd get a call from Allyson the next day being like "You guys! STOP IT! Also, call someone named Shane back."
But the worst part about any name lie, whether for ease or deceit, is keeping others in the loop and being cool about it. About 30 times throughout our drink this weekend, one of the girls would call me Pharon and then overcompensate by repeating "Sarah" over and over and over. And loudly. SO not smooth. It's also why I can't give a fake name at Caribou. The people taking my credit card always say "Wait, what's the name on this card then?!" UGH! What's with the third degree!? Can't you people just ACCEPT a fake name when it's given to you!?
It's not that I don't love my name. I do. I just have places to be, people, and don't have time to explain my name and my siblings' names to every person on the planet. I also don't have time to hear about that one time you met a guy named "Farlen," which is just sooooooo close to Pharon, right?! No, it's not. I don't tell every Nick I meet about the times I met a Rick or Victoria.
Anyway, as we were leaving the bar on Friday night, the jig was definitely UP. "Sarah" was left behind because "Pharon" was the buzzkill making us all leave because she was driving, and the protests from Claire and Kelsey were VOCAL. If anyone around us had grown fond of Sarah, they may have been confused to learn she was just a front. Poor Sarah fans. I hope they were okay.
Besides the name confusion, this weekend was great fun. I spent Saturday dress shopping with my mom and today cleaning my nasty apartment and buying child-sized moccasins at Target. Sooooo totally Pharon.