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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Jennifer and Rosie


"Well hello Jennifer." This is the greeting that I hear nearly every morning when I run into my neighbor outside by the garages. I appreciate his friendliness and his effort to use (what he thinks) is my first name to personalize his greeting, but come on, six months later, this is getting a bit awkward!
When I had first moved into the building, I ran into him while heading out on a walk with Mozie. I extended my hand, and said, "Hi, I'm Jessica." He replied, "Hello Jennifer, nice to meet you." I corrected him politely, "Actually, it's Jessica." but he just smiled and went along with his conversation. Over the first few months, I tried to correct him when appropriate, but I had absolutely no luck.
Then there's the "How's little Rosie?" when I run into him in the halls. I feel like saying with a bit of attitude, "Rosie? Rosie who? I don't know of a Rosie, unless you are talking about Rosie O'Donnell, who by the way is definitely not little, and has officially went off the deep end, so to answer your question, Rosie's not doing so well. Thanks for asking though." But instead of the outburst, I just smile and reply, "HE'S doing great, thanks!"
At least he got my gender right, using 'Jennifer' instead of 'Jessica'. But poor Mozie clearly doesn't appreciate being called a woman's name. It's not even like 'Mozie' and 'Rosie' are that similar in sound. Mozie has an obvious 'Z' sound and Rosie has a softer 'S'. (If you haven't done so already, please say both names aloud for a comparison. You'll see how blatantly different they are!)
I am growing tired of having to always be on my guard and ready to naturally and confidently respond to any "Hello Jennifer" that I may hear. It's even overflowing into my life outside of the apartment. I can only hope that we don't have a building holiday party this December that he insists I go to, where we have to wear giant name tags. This would be the ultimate moment of truth! The question is, should I take the "Jennifer" name tag that he has so kindly written for me, or do pull him aside, come clean, and explain that the last six months of our relationship have been a lie? I don't want to break his heart. I think for the sake of preserving the relationship, Jessica and Mozie will forever stay Jennifer and Rosie.