Hi I’m Thu, but sometimes I’m Katie. Let me explain.
My name is difficult to pronounce. I remember in college one of my professors completely butchered my name when he called me “TH-oo New-Guy-In.” Well…that’s a first. Not to mention elementary school and my 6 year old self sitting in full anxiety as the teachers go down the list of names for roll call.
Long pause …
Another long pause…followed by eyes squinting and her slightly mouthing the name to herself before saying it out loud.
Oh god, it’s me. By this time, I’m already breaking out in sweat.
I quietly whisper “It’s…it’s…Thu Nguyen”
All of the other kids immediately turn towards me and giggle. Kids can be so cruel at that age. It’s a 6 year old nightmare realized. Now repeat this same scenario year after year in school.
Fast forward many years into my adulthood and I’m still struggling with the introduction of my name. Minus the whole anxiety factor, because you know…we’re grown up now. And if you do laugh at my name and you’re in your 30s like me, then you might as well be laughing at fart jokes. So, ha!
I’m pretty much used to introducing myself (generally followed by a look of confusion from the other party…no surprise there) and then re-introducing myself in that same moment. Only this time I say, “It’s Thu…like the number 2.” All while holding up two fingers to make a peace sign so that they are sure to get it this time.
So, then comes in my alter ego: Katie.
I love eating out with friends but I hate making reservations because it generally goes something like this:
“Hi, can I get a table for 4 please?”
“Sure, can I get a name?”
“Oh, table for two?”
“It’s Katie. My name is Katie”
I don’t know where I picked Katie from, but I think I just blurted it out one day. Ah, Katie. She never struggles with her name. I sometimes envy the ease of her getting reservations or getting her name written right onÂ her Starbucks coffee.
So there you have it, an explanation as to why I am Katie sometimes and Thu most of the time.