Monday, November 20, 2006

To Correct or Not To Correct

There's this stereotype of librarians being kind of schoolmarm-ish. And for once I am not talking about fashion. (Although I could start talking about fashion right now, so so easily. Go ahead, get me started. Have you seen the spring 2007 Sass and Bide collection? Liking the dresses from the waist up, but what is up with the bubbly skirts?) Whoa. Back to my point.

So, yes. Librarians. Schoolmarms. I know, there is a reason for the stereotype. I'm not going to argue that. With the type of work that we do, plus the fact that we are often smartypants, it stands to reason that we add up to a big pink bottle of Correct-All. As in, we correct all. On many levels. This can be good, and this can be incredibly annoying. So what happens when the Librarian gene that programs us to correct ceases to function?

Yesterday, I was on the receiving end of a random conversation. This lady starts asking me what I do, and is all interested in the fascinating life on board the good ship librarian. She was talking a mile a minute, and all I really had to do was inject a "yes" or an "I see" in here and there to keep her going. At the beginning of this conversation, she asked me what my name was. I told her. She kept on with her jibber jabber, and I began to notice that she was referring to someone named "Lisa." Oops. That would be ME. She somehow heard my name as "Lisa." Lisa is not my name. Not even close. So now, she is saying my Not Name over and over again as she talks. "Oh Lisa! That restaurant was to DIE for...Lisa, I love that coat you're wearing." She was really bonding with me, and here she was calling me by the wrong name.

Now, you've heard me say before that people often fuck up my name. This, in the grand scheme of my life, is so old hat that it barely even registers any more. You want to call me Lisa? Okey dokey. Want to call me Prunella? Fine, who the hell cares, random lady. Anything short of Dirty Whore and I'm all good. So, I just let this lady call me Lisa for ten minutes. My librarian powers of Correct-All just didn't kick in.

You think that's bad? Listen to this. This may be the longest case of non-Correct-All action I've ever had the privilege to witness. So, in my last post, I mentioned the incident where Neighbor B mistakenly called Celine Dion "Cilantro Diaz." Not only did I mention it in my last post, there was a longer post earlier on where I talked about it in more detail. And not only THAT, the reason that I've mentioned it twice in the short history of this blog is that it is a Droll Story That Is Famous In My Circles. All my friends know this story. It is one of the stories that showcases the Hilarity and Awesome Nature of Neighbor B.

So when I posted that yesterday, Neighbor J read it aloud to Neighbor B. "Ha ha," he said. (Well, maybe he didn't actually SAY the words "ha ha." He laughed, is what I'm getting at). "You guys are so funny passing that story around. Especially since that is not even what I said."

To which Neighbor J channelled Lil' John and said "Haaa-what?"

To which he replied..."I never said Cilantro Diaz. What I said was Cilantro Dijon."

Ok, let me just say that this is years after the fact. Neighbor J and I have been gleefully hopping all over town telling this story to bazillions of people for YEARS. Neighbor B is present almost every time the story is told. And he has NEVER CORRECTED US. This is disturbing to me on many levels. First of all, the librarian in me thinks "how could he STAND to hear this story told incorrectly all this time? How?" Second, this makes me ever more suspicious that Neighbor B has not registered a word we've been saying for the past ten years. Maybe he sat through us telling the story wrong because he just couldn't bear to listen to another minute of us flapping our jaws about who knows what. But more than both of those concerns, the jokey storyteller in me thinks "Cilantro Dijon? DIJON?" That is WAY FUNNIER than Cilantro Diaz. How could he have sat on such a geniusly more-funny quote? That material is gold! And the storytelling potential, all these years...squandered. I was robbed, I tell you. Robbed.

I think Neighbor B is getting a big fat jug of Correct-All for the holidays this year.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl


Kirk Battle said...

Y'know Emily Bronte was a librarian before she wrote 'Wuthering Heights'. Then everyone got freaked out because the book was about rape, gypsys, and this weird paragraph about cleaning products. It was the beginning of the whole porn star librarian image, or at least one of the main inspirations for the weird chick Rochester locks in his attic for years. I have no idea where I'm going with this.

Just another pirate cruising the 'Next Blog' world and having fun.

Sphincter said...

Dijon is way better.

One of my nicest patrons always calls me by the wrong name. I run into him outside of work and he calls out a freindly first name greeting. This has gone on so long that I hope he never finds out my real name. The time to correct has passed.

Darlene said...

ahahah I thought Diaz was funny, but Cilantro Dijon is so way funnier, now that I think of it...How ironic it is, Lisa, that you were corrected after all these years - kind of a bit of ass-biting kharma. ;o)

So, Lisa - what IS your real name?

Anonymous said...

Once when I took skiing lessons, the teacher misheard my name as Monica, and that's what she wrote on my name tag. I was Monica for the whole day - for the class, the lift operators, at lunch, on my "report card"... I regretted have chose "not to correct" when I had the chance. :)

Desperate Housewife said...

Cilantro sounds kind of like a stripper name.

Anonymous said...

Cilantro Dijon?! I feel like all of these years I have been living a lie. What else is Neighbor B keeping from us?

shelleycoughlin said...

I have senior citizens that volunteer in my library that have been calling me the wrong name for two years now. The sad thing is that I actually correct them, they just forget by the next week.

Anonymous said...

Having never been a fan of my real name, I've always embraced any other name that people call me. As long as it's not Susan...because that is not my name.

Katie Kiekhaefer said...

I once had a guy in one of my classes call me Michelle for an entire year. Michelle was my friend's name (who was also in the classes.) The best part, he didn't ever call her by any name :)

Thanks for the nice comments on my post--and thank god the email didn't go through. When I read that I would be receiving a picture of celine (gah, can't even type her name), I'm pretty sure I twitched. :) Hope you have a great holiday!