You Spelled My Name Wrong..

“C-H-R-I-S-T-A-L”
This is what I have to tell people when they ask for the spelling of my name. Christal, a name so basic that is spelled so many different ways. Crystal, Cristal, Krystal, Christl, no matter which way you spell it, it always sounds the same.

It did not matter how many days that I showed up for school, or spelled my name for teachers, they would never get my spelling right. Every hall pass that I had ever received always had the spelling “Crystal” on it. To some people, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but to me, it just infuriated me. I understand that I went to a larger high school where my teachers would see hundreds of kids a day but come on now…I hand in papers and homework with my name written on them so I could get them back, my name was on their class lineup list, I even had it written in my text book all with the spelling “CHRISTAL”, and how do you not even realize you’re spelling my name wrong? I always chalked it up to just mere ignorance, not realizing that not all Christal’s are the same…or maybe they just didn’t care? I had a teacher in high school who I had ALL FOUR YEARS and up to and including the last hall pass he wrote me as a high school student, my name was spelled incorrectly.

The spelling, unlike my name, is very unique, but that doesn’t give you the right to not figure out how to spell it. There are lots of ways to spell lots of peoples names, and it seems like names like “Shaniqua” or “Mikaela” are always asked how to spell their name more often than my name…is this because they think they know how to spell it? IGNORANCE.

22 years ago, my mom was pregnant working at a hair salon as a hair dresser when a client came in with the name “Christ’l”. My mom was in love with the name, but she didn’t want to have an ordinary spelling. Christ’l then told her that she would receive mail with her name spelled “Christal” because they could not put an apostrophe in a name, it was just unheard of…then. So my parents talked it over, and decided that they were going to name their first born Christal. Little to their knowledge, I was in for a lifetime of misspellings. Some of those misspellings being more unique than the spelling of my name. Fortunately enough for them, I grew into my own original being and made the spelling of my name a representation of who I am, not ordinary.

At my job, I wear a name tag where it spells out my name for all to see, along with the little “Its my pleasure to serve you” slogan. I always get “Oh wow, that’s a different way to spell Christal” or “Chris-TAL”, never just “Christal”. EVERYONE feels the need to try to pronounce my name as something different than what it is. If you really think about it, just say the name “Christal” in your head and spell it phonetically. The way I spell it, I feel is the most common sense way to spell it. In this spelling, “Crystal”, I just don’t understand where the “Y” comes from, what noise is it making? Or when they spell it “Krystle”, what were you thinking when you spelled the name like that? Do you not know your poor child has probably gone through life having their name misspelled the entire time? Having to spend valuable minutes at counters and desks everywhere spelling their name out loud because you, as a parent, wanted your kid to be different.

Now that I am older, I still have to spell my name out for just about everyone who asks for it, and that includes boys at the bar. Instead of just spelling it out for them like a normal person does, I have made it a game. I normally tell the guy asking for it that if he spells my name correctly the first time, he gets to have my number. If he doesn’t, he has to wait until he can figure out the spelling to get my number. If they want it enough, they will pull out every spelling in the book. It helps you feel out the guy and if he really wants to get your number or if he’s just gonna give up like a loser and forget about it. It also helps create conversation, and when you’re meeting someone and getting to know them, sometimes that in itself helps you out a great deal.

There are times that I really dislike the way my mom spelled my name, like when everyone else could get personalized everything from the store and you had to settle for things that said “Awesome” or “High Maintenance” because the store didn’t have anything with the spelling of your name on it. There are times, though, that I do thank my mother for making me so unique, because when someone writes “Crystal” on a piece of paper with a list of things to do, I know its not me. It certainly does beat being given a name like “Amanda” or “Alexandra” or “Mary”. Having a unique spelling can prove to be a struggle in itself just because people don’t care to ask about how you spell your name, but everyone is different in their own way. Whether it be the spelling of their name, their attitude, personality, hobbies, interests, there are so many things in life and in this world that make us unique, why would you ever just want to be ordinary?