The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

My worst experience with my last name

on November 13, 2008

My last name. UGH. As if “Cheri” isn’t bad enough, I had to marry a man with a last name next to no one has ever heard. And if they have heard it, they freeze and are unable to speak for a few seconds. Then the light comes back into their eyes and tell us what connection they have with our last name. I have been married to Tyler for over 16 years and have literally met ONE person with the same last name as us.

I’m not going to actually blog my last name, but I will tell you it sounds a lot like “Shaver.” Try as much as you want, but you won’t guess it. At least once a week I have to have a verbal argument of sorts over the last name. Explaining how to say it, how to spell it, clarifying letters, whatever. I’m just used to it. But there is one experience that tops them all as the worst time I had with this last name.

Imagine if you will September 11, 2001. Yes, THAT day. I had taken the midnight flight out of Anchorage (where we were living) to Seattle for a Women of Faith conference. By the time I got to my hotel, I watched the second plane hit the second tower live. That’s a whole blog in itself. I checked in, got to my room and even though I’d been up for 22 hours, of course I couldn’t sleep. I watched the story unfold with the rest of the country.

Two or three hours later, I was pretty much whipped up into a frenzy. Here I was stranded 1500+ miles from home, none of my friends were going to be joining me, who knew if Seattle was going to be a target (I didn’t think so but my mom was freaking me out), and who knew when I was going to get home.

During my mental freak out, my hotel phone rang. I answered it thinking it was probably my parents or Tyler. Here’s the conversation.

Me: Hello?

Them: You hab shay-bah?

Me: Hello?

Them: They tell me you hab shay-bah.

Me: You’ve got the wrong number.

Them: No, no, desk tell me you hab shay-bah!!!!!

Me: What do you want?

Them: I want shay-bah!

Me: You want a shaver?

Them: Yes, you got one?

Me: NO, that’s my last name.

Then I hung up. Thankfully, the idiot at the front desk didn’t give them my actual room number. But I was running on little sleep and lots of emotion. So I stood and looked out my peep hole for who knows how long, dreading the sight of someone wanting something that I didn’t have.

It didn’t take too long for me to realize some poor man who probably had a nasty 5 0’clock shadow called the front desk and asked for a shaver. So in a strike of what can only be sheer brilliance, they thought he was asking for me. Even now, seven years later, I’m still flabbergasted.

So of the many, many adventures this last name has taken me on, September 11 will always be the most remarkable!


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