I’ve been married a few times, and adopted a few times, and my last name was never an issue because over the span of my life I have been through seven last names in total. I was kind of hopeful about my second marriage, as people tend to be when they dye their hair pink, get make-up blasted onto their face, and walk down beaches at sunset.
However, that marriage ended leaving me with a great deal of insight about prenups, a cabinet full of pink hair dye, a beautiful moppy headed son, and a last name which I could not, for professional reasons, change.
Let’s note here that I don’t want to change it, either. It suits me. I’m used to it. And when I sign shit it doesn’t take up a lot of time. I even don’t mind that most people can’t pronounce it. It seems like a good celebrity move to make, like how a lot of people have no clue how to say Zooey Deschanel or Kim Basinger, or like how you can’t say if Kevin Spacey is gay or Kaiser Soze or if he planned the fake murder for political something something.
Those people in “the know” are down with how to say my name, and I am the first to agree that the pronunciation is stupid. Keep in mind, folks, that I had nothing to do with it. I married into this name and mispronounced it as “Hah-slur” before I was promptly reprimanded and told that it’s Hayz-lur. Like Haz(elnut) and Ler. So, once that became my last name I assumed the responsibility of correcting those people who needed to be corrected. I don’t do it all the time, but when people like Katie Couric are about to say my name, I think it’s best to get the acceptable pronunciation out there.
Most people pronounce it Hassler, though, and I just don’t get that. I could understand leaving that “a” soft like “has”, but this whole hassler thing just doesn’t make sense. It even adds another syllable to my name. Fuck that. I like symmetry. Two syllables up front, two in the back. Hassler is out. But the main point here is, it’s my name. I think I know how to pronounce it.
That is why you, Mr. Mailman whose identity is only protected because I don’t know your name, have made my list of people who can fuck right off. Today, while I was working rather intently on video editing, you knocked on my door so loud I thought you were the cops. I almost didn’t answer, but I figured the cops would have some sympathy once they realized my kids were on winter break. When I opened the front door, I sure wasn’t expecting to see you sitting- yes!, SITTING, on my patio furniture, huffing and puffing like you were running from the police who taught you how to knock.
Then, when you asked me to sign for a package, I was way cool about it. “Sure thing!” I said in a beautiful alto murmur. (I chose that voice to go along with my half closed eyes which were all fluttery because one of my contact lenses was doing that thing where it slips around on my eyeball.)
“Last name?”, you wheezed at me.
“Hasler”, I replied.
And then I did. And then you made me spell it for you three more times. I was feeling bad for you, too. Poor old mailman resting on my porch, I was going to make you a sandwich. But you went and fucked everything up the moment your nose-hair exposing snarl came across your fruit leather face and you said, “Oh! You mean Hassler.”
No, mailman. I don’t mean Hassler. Maybe you think your advanced degree in putting shit with addresses on it in boxes makes you a linguist, or maybe you’re a long time friend of the Hasslers of New Jersey. But I know how to pronounce my own damn name.
So, tomorrow, dear deliverer of Bed Bath and Beyond Blowout Sale fliers, medical bills, and letters about how great things are back home pleasesendmoney, don’t be too shocked if my chairs are somehow missing from the front porch. And next time you knock on my door, don’t be taken aback when I tell you about my name change. I’ll spell it three times, and if you have to ask me if I meant ImaCoont, you’ll still be wrong. I’ll insist you say it right. It’ll be as mature as I plan to get over the issue.