I was sitting in the waiting room at my family Doctor’s office this morning for Chloe’s two month check-up. I heard someone snicker when I announced to the receptionist that I had arrived with Chloe Schlotzhauer for her appointment. It is a reaction I often get whenever I say Schlotzhauer aloud. I remember a moment last year when we were at a hotel for Easter weekend. Hanna had skipped ahead down a very long hallway and I worried that I might lose track of her. I yelled, “Hanna Schlotzhauer!” and two women who were walking towards me looked at each other as if to ask, “did she just swear?”

I didn’t change my name from Hastings to Schlotzhauer when Greg and I got married. When we were dating, I used to clip all of the mis-spelled mail he would receive and post it on our fridge. We had a huge variety of spellings, most commonly, Greg Schlotzhauzer or Greg Schlotzenhauzer. People seem to want to add extra letters to an already impossibly long name. Some of my favourites were letters addressed to Greg Hazer, Greg Hlotzhauer, Greg Sholtzhauer. I actually turned my cut and pasting project into a bet with Greg that if we went an entire week with all of his mail addressed correctly that I would change my name when we got married, knowing full well it was a bet I couldn’t lose and that Elizabeth Schlotzhauer would likely never fit on any legal documents so it likely wasn’t going to happen.

My in-laws are retired high school teachers and both admit that the students over the years had difficulty spelling their name. My father-in-law used to offer a bonus point on a test for spelling his name right. His favourite misspelling was when a failing student who knew she had no chance of passing his course spelled his name Mr. Schlotzenfuckenhauer. My mother-in-law had a similar incident with a student and found atop one of her test papers; Mrs. Slutwhore. Ah if only they could have used their creativity for good instead of evil they might have actually passed their semester.

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