My name is Mari de Armas.
Mari, of course, is a nickname. My full name is made up of three constants and 42 vowels, which is why, from a young age, I decided to shorten it into a four letter word, as I thought, erroneously, it would be easier for humanity to spell and pronounce.
However, for as long as I’ve been Mari, I’ve had people misspell and mispronounce it as Mary, Maria, Mara, Maury, Madi, and Marie. Compound that with my last name, de Armas, consisting of a little d, a space, and a capital A, which has caused more than one government office to nearly shut down from mass confusion.
Apparently neither the passport office or the DMV have figured out how to disable the caps lock on their keyboards – not unlike my mother.
I’ve had emails addressed to me as Marie Dearmas and sales reps on the other end of a telephone conversation call me Maride Daymarmass. I’ve taught non-Spanish speakers how to roll the “r” in Mari (just pronounce it like a d, as in MAH-dee), and I’ve taught Spanish speakers not to anglo-cize my name into Mary or stereotype me into Maria. I’m certain the Mother Virgin cringes as much as I do when either of these two things happen.
Thanks to this blog and other extrawebular activities, the only godforsaken place where I can preserve the immaculate spelling of my name is on the internet. Or so I thought.
In a recent exercise in vanity, I googled myself. Sometimes I do this when I need a self-esteem boost. Seeing my name appear straight through the first two pages is my version of being on the New York Times Bestseller List. It’s like, “Look at me, I’m indexed.” But, instead of reading off the results like a checklist, I hit a speed bump with:
Of course it annoyed me. But, I genuinely felt bad for my doppelgänger. I mean, I don’t know what’s worse, bad plastic surgery or being a dirty cougar wanna-be.
My empathy, however, was short-lived. I actually called her a couple of other names when, upon further research, I found out she worked in the public relations industry. And, really that’s not the main issue. If she worked for a respectable company, I wouldn’t mind being confused with the dirty cougar with bad boobs. The problem is that she works for some silly company named Deep Impact Boats – and she goes around calling herself, Ms. Deep Impact. But, worst of all, she capitalizes the “D” in her last name.
To add insult to injury, she appears in Google images – in-between my photos – in a bathing suit.
I contacted the good people at Google and explained my troubles and they responded, very professionally and logically, that Mari De Armas had as much right to be listed as Mari de Armas.
Only, the rep misspelled my name.
Or our names. I guess.