Thursday, October 2, 2008

Shhh! Don't Tell

Do you ever have the urge to mess with people? Or just to pretend you're someone else? Maybe it's just my twisted personality, but when I'm in a situation where I'm never going to see someone again, sometimes I have fun pretending I'm someone entirely different.

I remember when my mom took me to Regina High School for a visit to see if she was going to send me there. Yes, I went to Catholic school up until 8th grade when I refused to go back to the school I had been going to where I would have to take Spanish from a woman who didn't speak it herself among other indignities.

Before I started junior high though, my mom looked into some schools as options for me. Regina, shockingly an all girls school, was one of those.

For some reason, I pretended my name was Stephanie. I loved the name at the time (and I'm still a fan now). I told everyone I introduced myself to that I was Stephanie. I wrote it on my nametag. I had glorious tales about myself and how I loved to sing in the choir and was really interested in history and all sorts of things that nuns love to hear.

And would never suspect to be false.

All was going well until the principal Sister ummm Someone (like I said -- people I'm never going to see again. Sue me, I don't remember her name) walked up to my mom and started talking to her. I didn't notice the conversation at the time, or I might have intervened.

The sister talked to my mom about her daughter Stephanie and how wonderful she was and how great it would be to have such an addition to the choir at the school and how excited she was to have such a great student coming.

My mom is quite polite. Picture Donna Reed (including the pearls and flip hairdo), and you've envisioned my mom. The poor woman kept trying to tell the sister that she had the wrong family, but to no avail.

The sister finally pointed me out, and it clicked in my mom's head. All I know is that I heard a very shrill "STEPHANIE" in my mom's voice. I froze and turned my head only to get the death look.

My mom politely smiled at the sister, and thanked her for her time. She marched over to me, grabbed me in the meat of my arm with a pincer grasp and dragged me out of the school building, muttering at me through her gritted smile.

Oddly, Regina was never an option going forward. Instead I stayed at my tiny local parish school for another year and then ventured into the public school system. After the tongue lashing I got and punishment so horrible I've blocked it from my mind, you'd think that I'd have learned.

But nope. On airplanes I'll pretend to be an architecture professor from Ohio State. Or at a play, I'm Sara with my husband Bobby. Sometimes, it's just fun to step into other people's shoes. I just make sure that my mom's not around when I do it now!


Brandy October 2, 2008 at 7:50 AM  

That's pretty funny ... I'm sure at the time your mom was dragging you out of the school it wasn't that funny. Somedays I wish I could be someone else!

Melisa Wells October 2, 2008 at 7:59 AM  

Reminds me of that Las Vegas Visitor's Bureau commercial from a few years ago where the two women went around Vegas introducing themselves as "Monica and Rachel", "Lucy and Ethel", and other famous tv pairs. Hilarious!

P.S. I like the name Stephanie, too. :)

Anonymous October 2, 2008 at 8:01 AM  

I haven't done it myself, but I do see the appeal. The most we do is make up names for the wait list at restaurants. Why not?

Your Stephanie story cracked me up!

MaBunny October 2, 2008 at 8:10 AM  

LOL MIchelle. I used to pretend my name was Emily due to my old initials with my maiden name. Today I still use that, and I used to use it when I was dating, if i danced with a guy or something and didn't want him to know my name - I was Emily, and if they did know my real name and wanted my phone number - I'd give it to them, but it was my local area code with the phone number from when I lived in Oak Lawn, IL, lmao!

Melissa October 2, 2008 at 8:19 AM  

Too funny...and I love the "on-airplane" persona.... who cares, right?? You'll never see them again!! (shhhhhh--but I have pretended to be a single woman with no kids/attachments)

Rhonda October 2, 2008 at 9:28 AM  

Oh, my! That is hilarious! But your poor mom!!! lol

Angie October 2, 2008 at 9:57 AM  

Sounds like you'd make a very good actress!



morninglight mama October 2, 2008 at 10:00 AM  

I LOVE this. You're cracking me up and making me think of Regina Regina Phalange from Friends. :)

AutoSysGene October 2, 2008 at 10:23 AM  

Yikes, sounds like another doozy! Didn't they end up rescinding the foie gras ban?

Steph October 2, 2008 at 10:29 AM  

That's hilarious!

I've heard "Stephanie" shouted in that shrill voice a few times myself. :)

Steph October 2, 2008 at 10:29 AM  

That's hilarious!

I've heard "Stephanie" shouted in that shrill voice a few times myself. :)

Unknown October 2, 2008 at 11:16 AM  

Wow you got lucky and didn't have to endure Catholic high! Hrmpphh, not me, I'm a former Counselite and I have the scars to prove it LOL

Weeksie50 October 2, 2008 at 12:14 PM  

Oh, you are too fun..
I hope to read about your fun airplane pretend sometime too..

Laurie October 2, 2008 at 1:11 PM  

I think it shows great imagination and adventure!
My husband and I were at a rent a car place in Fl. and the woman at the desk asked if it was just for pleasure and we said yes.
She said she loved to rent a car looking very expensive on the weekend. Go to Palm Beach or somewhere like that and pretend she was someone of importance. I will never forget that, I thought it was great!

Michelle October 2, 2008 at 3:27 PM  

Oh my goodness, that is such a funny story! :)

Debbie October 2, 2008 at 4:17 PM  

Oh my gosh that is hilarious...So are you really Michelle with a degree from NU or are you Candy from the local high school???

taratoons October 2, 2008 at 4:23 PM  

ha ha ha! I have never done that personally, but I bet you are not the only one that does. Maybe I'll have to try it sometime! Too funny!! Thanks for stopping by today. Go Huskers! Are you from Nebraska? Kool-Aid originated here... that's why! :) Love your blog!

Lex the mom October 2, 2008 at 4:45 PM  

Awesome! We'd have been an interesting pair in school. I think you may have been my bff.

I no longer have the cajones to tell the stories anymore, but I hope to one day run into one of your characters. It'd be fun!

Great story!

jori-o October 2, 2008 at 6:15 PM  

You sound like a hoot and a half!

Shell October 2, 2008 at 6:29 PM  

Great to meet a fellow Michelle!! Thanks for stopping by my blog today. You were brave to go into those hidden rooms in Chinatown. One of my best friends did that. She said the place was a bit scary but she got a wonderful bag. You got to see Peter Pan as a kid. That must have been so much fun. Take care. Hope you come back again real soon.

Michelle October 2, 2008 at 7:34 PM  

Brandy - Welcome! I'm with you on wanting to be someone else some days... but I always come back to wanting to be me!

Melisa - Oh, I forgot about that one! That's a good one, isn't it?

Shelly - Yep, I make up names for that, too. The fun one is when it's a takeout order and you pay for it then -- my credit card says one name and I give them another. Sometimes I get the most confused looks!

Mabunny - Emily. That's a good one with a good fake phone number (I went with an old boyfriend from a different area code for my fake number). Easy way to remember it so you don't slip up!

Melissa - Oooo, a single woman with no attachments? No way!

Rhonda - Welcome! My poor mom there, but really I was a good kid. I never drank or did drugs or skipped school (literally, I never skipped a class). She had it good with me.

Angie - Ummm, sure. Except for my lack of patience and need for perfection.

Morninglightmama - Oh I remember that character, too! Fortunately, my name was a little more ummmm natural.

Melissa - Yes, the foie gras ban was rescinded recently. And there were some foie gras parties in celebration. Unfortunately, this also meant that my favorite restaurant EVER (TRU) now has foie gras back on the menu for the fourth course.

Steph - Thanks :) I'm glad someone can appreciate my shennanigans.

Megryansmom - The only reason I didn't was because the parish school was so bad. Had I not insisted on getting out in the 8th grade, high school would have been spent at Benilde-St Margarets.

Weeksie50 - Thanks. You're so sweet! Welcome back.

Wblmom - Welcome! Wow, you're a really nice mom to say that! And I like the rental agent's theory.

Michelle - Welcome! And thanks!

Debbie - Actually, I'm Pete from Pawtuckett PA. I'm not even a chick!

Tara - Welcome! I'm sure I'm not. It's fun and harmless, right? I'm not from Nebraska but dated a guy for awhile from Lincoln whose parents had season tickets. And I didn't know Kool-Aid was from NE! Fun fact!

Lex the mom - Welcome! Oooo high school was a dangerous time (in a good way) for me. I also remember playing Chinese fire drill with a friend driving in front of me as we'd drive from the barn to her house or mine. That probably wasn't the smartest thing we could have done. Hmmmm.

Jori-O - Welcome! And thanks, but you're making me blush!

Shell - Welcome! And great to meet another Michelle who goes by Shell (or Shel, whatever). I'm actually wearing my high school softball Shel sweatshirt right now! The hidden room wasn't scary. And $40 for two knockoff Gucci's isn't bad :)

Cookie October 2, 2008 at 8:52 PM  

I may have to try that sometime :)

EmmaP October 3, 2008 at 10:16 AM  

hahaha! And is your Architecture Firm called "Van De Lay Industries"??? bwahahaha! I LOVE this idea. Seriously! I am gonna do it with my kids the next time we all go out to dinner. I am gonna all let them Choose their own fake name! too funny! Thanks for stopping by my place on your layover from BATW!

EmmaP October 3, 2008 at 10:19 AM  

too funny! I am gonna try this the next time my kids and i go out to dinner. I will let them each choose their own fake name!!! hahaha!

Thanks for stopping by on your layover from BATW!

EmmaP October 3, 2008 at 10:44 AM  

by the way - Pancit is a Filipino noodle dish. But maybe it's spelled "pansit" i don't remember. but my kids dad is filipino, and i learned to make it when we were married.

Angela October 3, 2008 at 10:59 AM  

You crack me up!! That is too funny!

I am sending that check for the cookbook today, but I will totally understand if you are not willing to wait on it. I apologize but I JUST found it in my bag (where I put it the other day so I would NOT forget it...sigh) With all that has been going on here I am just behind on several things. If you would rather not place the order without the check I totally understand; just tear it up when you receive it and let me know.


Brian and Staci October 3, 2008 at 2:08 PM  

THAT IS TOO FUNNY! I can never "pull it off" when trying to mess with people :) Staci here from Oklahoma just saying sorry for taking so long to say thanks for visiting my blog on my BATW spotlight day! Thanks for your sweet comment! It's so nice putting faces with names isn't it! Anyway, thanks and hope you have a great weekend!

Ronnica October 3, 2008 at 3:30 PM  

Wow, I'd never think to do that! I'm not even good with prank calls...

I love that your mom called out to you using your assumed name...

Michelle October 3, 2008 at 3:32 PM  

Cookie - Go for it. It's lots of fun and a great stress reliever!

Emma - Welcome! Actually, my parents use the screen name Art Vandelay for some things. I'm not a Seinfeld watcher, but I've learned about that much from them. Thanks for the heads up on Pancit; I was intrigued (I love to cook).

Angela - No worries! I know you're busy and stressed right now. Our mail is pretty good since we're just outside Chicago which is a major mail hub. I'll get you your book one way or the other!

Brian and Staci - Welcome! It is hard sometimes, but the embarrassment and shame of getting caught do help motivate me to keep it straight ;) Thanks!

KatBouska October 5, 2008 at 12:47 AM  

It's nice to be able to look back at these things and laugh!! This was great.

...and I LOVE what Lex did for you! Isn't she awesome!?!

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