A Rose By Any Other Name (Guest Post)

We’ve all been there. Standing in line, either scanning the menu boards to decide what we want or already with “the usual” in mind, waiting to inch up to the cash register and step into the spotlight. Only it doesn’t come when you place your order; it comes when the cashier asks, “Can I get your name?”

There are two things you have to hope for at this point. The first is that your answer won’t be drowned out or distorted by some noise in the background, like a blender roaring to life or a small child knocking something over with a crash. The second is that your parents gave you a name that isn’t about to get mangled.

Some people can walk into Starbucks and walk out again with their actual name spelled correctly in sharpie on the side of their cup. Whenever I’ve said my name is Carol, I’ve been among those people.

My name isn’t Carol.

It’s honestly not even a big deal when I give my real name and get some wacky version that sounds similar enough to still be able to get my iced chai latte. It is literally the opposite of a big deal. Most of the time it’s even funny. Right?

Raise your hand if your name is often misheard as just a single letter, like you go by your initials. raised-hand.png

Raise your hand if it sounds like your name, but the spelling is gender-flipped. raised-hand.png

Raise your hand if it’s your name, but with some letters at the end either added or omitted. (Ex: Jeanne vs Jean.) raised-hand.png

Raise your hand if it sorta sounds like your name, but is actually the name of someone you know and you’re tempted to text them a photo and say, “Stop trying to steal my coffee.” raised-hand.png

Raise your hand if…


(image source: http://www.sunnyskyz.com/uploads/2014/01/xty1s-phteven-funny.jpg)

Now, raise your hand if sometimes, you just don’t want to deal with it, it’s not going to feel funny today, so you lie about your name. And don’t even feel bad about it. ✋✋✋

Should there be any guilt here? I don’t think so. Personally, I have a bit of a history of substitute teachers and roll call. (Thanks for that spelling, parents.) If it makes your day better to give a coffee shop alias, I say go for it. Hashtag you do you.

Another method, and I’ve never quite worked up to doing this, is to give a blatantly ridiculous name that you will definitely hear when it’s called out. Or if you’re really feeling daring, let your friends pick.


(image source: http://how-i-met-your-mother.wikia.com/wiki/Swarley)

Now, you might not be totally prepared to go to these lengths. Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “My name never gets that mangled,” or even “I can’t think of a good fake name.” For the first category of people, what are the odds that two different people named Tom, or Andrew, or Carol, etc., would both order a Venti Cinnamon Dolce Latte with an extra shot? Maybe better than you’d think. I haven’t done any research on it, but the struggle might be real. For the second, be creative! Writers in the crowd, go by one of your character’s name! Make something up! Go wild!

In conclusion, I’m interested in hearing the names people have given or been given in Starbucks and similar establishments. Comment loud and be proud of your coffee shop aliases!

jrose88 from At Milliways With A Pen is as yet unpublished, but studied creative writing in college and has been quoted many times since graduating six years ago as saying she is “working on it.” She does social media marketing for a magazine in Northern California by day, freelance social media by mid- to late-afternoons and weekends, listens to books while commuting, and writes things by night. Some day she hopes to live in a Tiny House with her partner, dog, and cat. And maybe have a novel out or something.

Want to write a guest post and have it featured on The Caffeinated Writer? Submit your pitch HERE!


6 thoughts on “A Rose By Any Other Name (Guest Post)

  1. I have a perfectly straight forward name. I do. However for some reason whenever I have to give my name, they hear Pam. Pam is no where close to my real name. But it happens so often that I will respond to Pam.

  2. In elementary school, I went by my first name (Lila). Once a substitute teacher asked me if my Star Wars fans after she pronounced it Leia. Then I told her how pronounce it and she and asked me if I was from New Zealand (Where did she that idea from?)

  3. Pingback: A Rose By Any Other Name (Guest Post) – at Milliways with a pen

  4. That could be seriously fun to do. I answer phones at my job my normal greeting is “hello thank you for calling. My name is …” I have been called gina, pam, jane, janie, and I think lisa. How does a simple name like jamie go thar far??? Lol

  5. Just this morning I ordered a Cafe Americano at Starbucks and gave my real name to the guy who took my money. But the barrista just announced what was in the cup, not my name. I felt cheated. I was looking forward to feeling a friend was handing over that coffee and instead I wasn’t even there.

    If he wasn’t going to write it on the cup or even say it, why did they ask?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s