Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Can-Do Attitude of a Different Ilk

I adopted my husband's last name when we married. It had less to do with succumbing to the patriarchy and more to do with ridding myself of the clunky, inelegant family name I inherited at birth. That name was often mistaken for a similar last name and therefore, was always mispronounced and misspelled.

Then, I became a CaƱedo (Can-YAY-doh). And although we add to the confusion by going with the Americanized pronunciation of "Can-eddo" rather than the mellifluous Spanish pronunciation, the name is bastardized in so many different ways it sometimes makes me pine for the birth name days.

I was reminded how badly this name is butchered when I recently called to schedule a doctor's appointment. The woman answering the telephone was the embodiment of "perky" and "chipper" and "I need an IV of espresso, stat!"

She helpfully asked my date of birth and last name (which I pronounced correctly), then buoyantly responded, "found your record right here, Mrs. Can-Do!"

As I knew this call would last for a couple of minutes and I would likely never speak to this person again, I did not correct her. 

(Narrator: She would live to regret that decision.)

While she began looking for an appointment date that worked with my schedule, I asked if she could also tell me the last time I was there, to make sure the appointment timing was correct. She cheerfully agreed to do so by brightly announcing, "Of course, Mrs. Can-Do, I'll look that up now."

And she was obviously looking through a list of records because as she scrolled, she chirped, "Let's see....Can-Do, Can-Do, Can-Do, Can-Do, Can-Do, Can-Do, Can-Do..." (repeat infinity times as I looked for a pencil to shove deep into my ear canal). 

She enthusiastically informed me of my last appointment, and scheduled the next one, reminding me to show up at least 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork. 

To which I (naturally) replied, "can do."