The Power of Naming

Tales for Life

gentry

“Sylvia?”

I paused between shelves of brightly packaged herbal teas and redolent coffee beans at my neighborhood grocery.

“How are you? Haven’t seen you in a long time!”

I waited a few seconds. There was no answering voice so I stole a look at the speaker. Ah, yes, a therapist from the agency I had worked for prior to retirement. I came forward with a smile and we chatted a few minutes. Then I corrected the misinformation.

“You know, it’s funny that I’m so often called Sylvia. I tend to answer to it, no matter where I am, like it’s a second name. But my real name is Cynthia.”

The woman frowned, then covered her face with a hand in embarrassment. “I knew that! I think I knew it? But you always seemed like a Sylvia…really, I guess I once heard it wrong from the start and it stuck–sorry!”

“It’s…

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