Right after I posted the comic below, John and I went to the Baton Rouge Clinic because I needed to get some lab work done. I stood in line to sign in at the lab, and my conversation with the receptionist went like this:
Receptionist: Boomaroom? What a neat name. How do you pronounce it? Boomaroom?
Me: Um, sure.
[receptionist proceeds to write my name down on a label]
Me: Uh, my last name ends in M, not N.
Receptionist: Yeah, I got the N for your name.
Me: No, that's my first name.
Receptionist: So it's R-O-N?
Me: No, R-O-M.
I don't really understand why people like to pronounce it "boomaroom" or "boomarahm" (it's actually pronounced more like boom-a-rome) with the M ending yet nearly always spell it with an N ending. I can't even tell you how many prescriptions, debit cards, certificates, and even my driver's license for a time are misspelled with the N ending.
So I go to sit down in the waiting area after I finished checking in. A phlebotomist came in with a sheet of labels and looked at it. Hard. I know this look well, and knew that she was about to call me. She scanned the room (filled with middle aged Caucasians) and stares at me for a second before handing me the labels and saying, "Are you this person?" I nodded. "'Cause you're the only one here who looks...." Pause. I'm waiting for her to say "Asian" or "different", like so many others (Louisianans seem to have less of a problem saying it than people in Virginia, I've noticed), but she goes on, "...who looks 24 in this room." Nice save.
I'm not really offended by things like this; I usually find it highly amusing. Still, I'm looking forward to officially changing my name to the hyphenated form (which I haven't done yet for various reasons), so I can help cut the discomfort and people can refer to me simply as "Mrs. Gilbert."