Monday, July 13, 2009

If you have a date in Constantinople, she'll be waiting in Instanbul

It happened again.

I got another letter addressed to me by my maiden name. I've only been married for a few years, so. . .whatever. Take your time. The state of California is the biggest offender. I won't even tell you the story of one agency I've been dealing with, because I will get angry and throw things again. Moving on.

It's such a pain to change addresses. Worse to change to your married name. I bet I'll have the same email address until I'm 84 and then I die because the idea of changing it makes me twitchy. Too bad it's cute_young_and_under_thirty @ defunctISP.com (Don't click: it's not real. Duh.) and I've already had it for twenty years. I've had that email address since before email was even invented. I got it right after Al Gore invented the Internet. He called me up and was like, "I have this great opportunity for you. It's free to join," and that's how I got my address. Or else it was at BYU when the computer monitors still had green letters and everybody had to go to the library to check their email because laptops were still just a twinkle in Apple's eye. One of those two.

I was saying. . . ? Oh, yeah. Those logistical changes are a pain.

Which is why I'm wondering . . .

How the holy crud do entire COUNTRIES get away that? You ever met anyone from Iran? You ever heard them call themselves Iranian? NO. But I bet you've met quite a few Persians in your time. (This could totally be a Southern California phenomenon like Little Saigon six miles up the road. Second largest Vietnamese population in a city outside of Saigon. Little Persia, per se, does not exist except for as a network of widely strewn homes in all of the wealthiest neighborhoods along the SoCal coast).

And Thailand? I like Siam better. It may have something to do with my partiality to Yul Brynner.

Although I think Myanmar is a more interesting name than Burma. Except that it reminds me of Miramar which reminds of Top Gun which reminds me of the volleyball scene and then I lose my train of thought again.

Huh.

Oh, I know. Hello, Czechoslovakia. (I totally did not get that right on my first attempt.) Oh, wait. No, not hello. Goodbye, and say hello instead to the Czech Republic and . . . what? Serbia? No. Hang on. I'm hitting the Wiki. Oh, it's Slovakia. Uh, that should have been more obvious to me.

BTW, geography? Not my special talent.

I'm sure these countries have very good reasons for changing their names, but like. . .

Who makes it official? The U.N.? I bet it's not. I bet it's Rand McNally. You're NOTHING if you're not in their atlas. You can drop Babylon for Iraq when Mr. McNally says you can.

I wonder if there's a special international Dead Letter office where mail sits because it was addressed to the wrong country. Like maybe there's some poor sweepstakes winner who never got to claim their Publisher's Clearinghouse Winnings because it was addressed to Javier Nieto in Santo Domingo instead of the good ole (or kind of new-ish) Dominican Republic.

Can I tell you how tired I am of hearing the phrase, " The former Soviet Republic of Zxcrstgnstan, etc."? At least I can say "Soviet Union". Didn't care for their Olympic dominance and would as soon take on the republics one team at a time, but it's still easier to say. Not that I'm trying to bring back the Iron Curtain or whatever. One Germany is easier than East and West so some of that stuff worked out better. Anyway, in a shocking twist. . . I digress.

You know, I bet this whole post is the whole fault of geography. I don't think my brain realizes that my body made it back to Huntington Beach (a.k.a. Surf City--it's only a matter of time before it's not just a slogan) and it's still hanging out in Bear Lake somewhere.

Maybe just don't mail me anything. Except chocolate.

No, wait. Do. I'll just have to never, ever move from this address.

17 comments:

Amber Lynae said...

I have to laugh at this too because I can so relate. I still get letters in my maiden name, but what I don't understand is they have my updated address but are using my maiden name.

Yeah I seriously don't understand how whole countries can pull it off.

Christi said...

Our county did a 911 address change so that the ambulances can easier find the house. Except who ever assigned the numbers had to have been drunk because it is more confusing than before. And entirely pointless.

There are two houses on my street. two. Yet our address changed from 114 to 216. Except with the electric company, they check the electricity at 114 and send the bill to 216 and refuse to change it.

So just because the country changed their name doesn't mean that the people are getting their mail correctly. There is probably still some little man who is getting his mail with a sticker that says if he doesn't change his address from Siam to Thailand, he won't be getting his mail.

Kristina P. said...

My email address can kick your email addresses butt. I think I've had mine since I was 18.

And talk about changing your name. Have you ever tried to do it on eBay or Paypal? They basically require a blood test.

Kazzy said...

LOL You crack me up! We still get letters delivered to our house for the old folks who lived here...let's see...at least 19 years ago. One of the best was a Fingerhut catalog that was delivered in their name that said, "Mrs. Gould, is this goodbye?" I guess her subscription had expired, but so had she. Been dead about a dozen years.

Don said...

Whoa, baby! I'm really, really dizzy now after reading all that...

Eva said...

Hee hee, what makes me giggle most is I still have my first email address as well. From all the way back in '96. So not quite as ancient as yours, but still...

DeNae said...

Great. Now I have that song in my head. "Istanbul was Constantinople..." and since those are the only words I know my brain is going to be singing a lot of "hm-hmms" today. Thanks, Miz MJ!

I, too, refuse to change my e-mail address. And I have selective ADD when it comes to foreign countries, so it doesn't matter to me what they call themselves; they're all just 'that one place with all the sand' to me anyway.

annie valentine said...

Speaking of Burma, have you ever read The Glass Palace? I think that's what it's called. Such a good book, lots of geography.

Luisa Perkins said...

I love that song. "Even Old New York was once New Amsterdam." hahaha

L.T. Elliot said...

I didn't have trouble switching to my married name. Maybe it's because I didn't want to switch to it because I thought my maiden name was prettier and wanted my husband to take MY name instead. Which he WASN'T cool with. So, ironically, the switch went well. Too well...

This was a hilarious (and educational!) post. Thanks, Melanie! Better luck with the names!

earlfam said...

OK you're not going to believe this because it's too coincidental to be true. But I'll tell you any way because it is.

We watched Inkheart the other day and they mentioned Persia. So I asked Sarah (the walking encyclopedia at our house) "what is Persia called now?" But she didn't know! I was shocked an annoyed an determined to look it up when we got home.

But I forgot. And I kept forgetting. Until today as I was reading blogs and I thought "Oh, yeah I need to look up Persia, but first I'll read Melanie J.'s blog."

So thanks for saving me a google search.

Alison Wonderland said...

I love this! I do wonder about the whole name changing thing. Not the married name thing (which I had no trouble with BTW but I think that's just because they're always happy to get rid of Joneses) but the country thing. Because it's just weird. But then I think it's weird when anything changes it's name the Delta Center became the Energy Solutions Arena the Laker Dome (or whatever) became ... well, something else. I'm against it, I'm against it all.

Dedee said...

How would you do that?

Not sure I'd want to even think about it.

It might hurt my head too much.

(They Might Be Giants Rock the House!)

April said...

great! now I will eat chocolate in your honor!

Debbie said...

I gave up on the names of countries a long time ago. I am content to live in my little "stupid American" world as far as that goes. Once Prince changed his name to something unpronounceable, I just stopped trying.

Heather of the EO said...

If I were to mail you chocolate and put your maiden name on the box...would you still eat the chocolate?

Lara said...

The one I haven't been able to figure out is how I get mail for my EX sister-in-law, with her maiden name and sometimes my maiden name which is her ex married name. She has never lived remotely close to the town I'm in. Bizarre.