Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Steal My Identity Crisis

(59) Steal My Identity Crisis

Regular listeners/readers/viewers will by now have noticed that these tirades never are written in the first person singular. This will be the exception, and, with any luck, the only exception.

Why avoid the “I” word? Well, first, it’s gauche. Who cares about “I?” Second, it’s still gauche. Third: it’s amateurish. No one worthy writes about himself directly.

But this time, it’s about identity. And speaking about that in the first person plural or the third person would be tough.

So, here goes.

My parents, Max and Pearl Rotholz named me Wesley Ion. I think that was a misspelling of Ian. When the male Parental Unit declared he wanted to change his name to Mark Richards (didn’t want to have to buy new belt buckles, so he kept the same initials) I was given a choice of middle names and chose “Jon.” It was exotic in my ten year old mind. And it maintained the reference to my mother’s father, whose American name was John, whose Russian name was Ivan, whose Yiddish name (and that was probably the real one,) Yitsach. So I have three birth certificates: Wesley Ion Rotholz, Wesley Ian Richards and Wesley Jon Richards.

Somehow, the passport office read “Jon” as “Jan,” so my passport says “Wesley Jan Richards.”

When I applied for Social Security retirement, that office had me as “Wesley Jim Richards/”


My oldest child and older son, Wesley Jon Richards, Jr. and I are often confused in credit reporting, though our Social Security numbers are nowhere near each other. Jewish men don’t often name their kids after themselves. It happened in this case because my former wife and I could not come up with a compromise name.

But whither Jim? Social Security does not want to know from changes.

And whither Jan? The passport department does not want to know from changes.

My younger son and youngest child, Charles Richards has taken to calling me “Jimbo.”

And Max/Mark always called me “Johann.”

I am very confused.

I’m waiting for someone to steal my identity so I can change my name again. Maybe “Joe Doaks” or “Joe Dokes” or Jonjimjanjohann.

I have provoked thieves, taunted them, lured them for years. This, by not shredding financial records or changing my Social Security number when the card was stolen along with the rest of my wallet. I have a listed telephone number, a listed address and I don’t regularly take the mail out of the mail box. My computer doesn’t have spyware or no-phishing ware.

Just my luck, no one wants my name. Or the Identity crisis that goes with it.

I'm Wes Richards or something like that. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.™

©wjr 2006

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