Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What's In A Name?

When I was growing up my Mother told me that lying was wrong. Lying never leads to good. Lies are like scars to the soul. Liars never prosper. Or is that cheaters?

I'm not a very good liar. I don't do it very often so I'm not practised at it. If I do lie it's generally to do with business stuff - 'the fabric was out of stock' (I forgot to order it) - or keep the peace stuff - 'no of course I'm not upset that you left your washing on the floor.' Little, inconsequential lies that don't really hurt anyone.

The other day I got a reminder why lying is bad. And I didn't really even lie. Except by omission.

We were having our painting done and I introduced myself to our painter, Neil. His memory for names must be as good as mine because I became Chantelle instead of Charmaine. I felt bad about correcting him. Figured that it didn't matter because he'd paint the house and be gone. I could be Chantelle just for Neil. No harm, no foul.

No, it wasn't role-playing, Bob. Bob's one of my running friends who suggested I was enjoying my new persona with a warped sense of gratification. I may have created a whole personality profile for Chantelle including the private jet that whisks her away to exotic locations to run events. And the Swedish masseuse, Sven, who accompanies me on these running junkets. But that's only because I have a vivid imagination. Only yesterday I was parking next to an impeccably clean car (unlike my own) at the shopping centre and saw fingerprints on the dark tinted window of the back seat. Instead of assuming that the car was owned by a family with kids, I assumed that the car was owned by a psychopathic killer who'd abducted a teenage girl. See - vivid imagination.

I did Google Chantelle Donaldson just out of curiosity. Turns out that she's an academic at Auburn Montgomery University in Alabama. She's in the field of Communication and the Dramatic Arts. A far cry from Charmaine Donaldson from Miami whose criminal profile includes petty theft and failure to appear. Maybe a name change isn't such a bad idea.

Anyway Neil finished the painting on Wednesday. He came down to my workroom to say he was done. He also said that if there was anything he'd missed or if it needed touching up after we'd had the flooring laid that he'd come back. I took his phone number and he left.

When I finished work later on I went up to see the finished job and yes, there are some things that he's missed. Just a couple of spots have the wrong trim colour. And he's left behind a paintbrush. So now I'm left with a huge dilemma. How am I supposed to make the phone call? When I go to introduce myself do I use my real name (which he won't recognise) or do I continue to perpetrate the myth of Chantelle? It's such a tough decision for me that I've almost decided to paint the trims myself. With Neil's paintbrush. And I really hate painting.

Or I could just get Iven to make the call.


  1. make Iven do it, and keep your aura of mystery wrapped around you.

  2. I'd be stressed out about making that phone call, too. And what if his name isn't really Neil?

  3. You have me laughing so hard here. I'd just say "hey remember me!!??" and he'd say "yes of course Cheryl", and then you'll really be stuffed.

  4. Does Chantelle Donaldson, the communications and drama lecturer, know she's a runner from Brisbane and a superstar with a private jet?

  5. I'd call him and use my real name. Our landscape guy keeps calling me Tanya and I keep correcting him. Poor Charmaine from Miami. I wonder what her back story is?

  6. Oh yes, I'd use my real name as he probably won't remember anyway.

    And damn, I was imagining an entire scenario around Chantelle swanning around the kitchen in her skimpy lingerie... and Neil (or whatevs), the buff tradie...


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