Saturday, May 27, 2006

A boy named Kelsey

For the first 15 years of my life my name was a guy’s name. Now that every other girl born is given the name Kelsey, my gender is often misidentified. When I was receiving info from colleges trying to woo me into attending, I received one letter from St. Mary’s all-girl school located in South Bend, Indiana. I’ve always been a fan of Tom Hanks in Bosom Buddies and it humored me to no end thinking about four-years of cross-gendered hijinx.

Over the years I have received some interesting mail addressed to Ms. Kelsey Timmerman, including one letter asking me to join AARP. Still trying to figure that one out. Not only did they think I was female, they also though I was over 50-years-old. Yesterday I received one of my more memorable pieces of mail, a postcard from the American Greetings Card Company looking for freelance writers to write cards. It was addressed to….

Countess Kelsey Timmerman

Holy hell! I’m a countess!

I think I know what happened here. A few months ago I attended the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop (where I met Dave Barry and Craig Wilson) and while filling out the online registration form I chose “Count” as the prefix to my name. It was late at night and I was feeling punchy and I was cracking-up at the amount of prefixes to choose from. I could have been a Commandant, Commander, General, Duke, you name it. I chose “Count” because I am a huge Dracula fan, plus, it kind of goes well with Kelsey.

Count Kelsey… Wah-ha-ha-ha!

I was bummed when I saw my name tag at the conference - no “Count Kelsey” just plain ol’, boring, “Kelsey Timmerman.” The thing that gets me is that someone sitting at American Greetings company looked at my name on the list of conference attendees, saw “COUNT Kelsey Timmerman” from OHIO, and thought, “Geeze that can’t be right. They must have meant Countess. Kelsey is a woman’s name.”

Come on American Greetings paper pushers! Which is more unbelievable, that there is a guy with the name of Kelsey or that there is someone in OHIO - land of no castles and or royalty - that is either a Count or a Countess!

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