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!