The Laurel Canyon resident is fed up with the fact that her first name is a minefield when it comes to dealing with smiley-faced baristas and sickly sweet pastry shop employees. She writes that Bumble has been mangled so often at Starbucks as “Barbara” that her husband now calls her the latter in public, to his great amusement. Meanwhile, earlier today, at the behest of daughter Honor, Ward fibbed when asked by a Sweet Butter Kitchen server for the information, responding with the much simpler moniker of “Emma:”
For most people, “What is your first name?” is a very easy question. For me, it involves elaborate lies, some soul searching, and a huge dose of tamping down the effrontery. Is it my age? Is it that I’m English, that I feel it’s forward to ask someone you’ve never met before their first name?…
I don’t like being asked my name. I don’t like squirming over the follow-up questions. Even the people that try to be nice (“Oh, that’s soooooo cuuuuute”). I want to slap. Hard.
Although Ward admits she is a terrible, red-faced liar, she is intent on mastering the art of selectively being “Emma.” Because unfortunately, only fellow Brits seem comfortable with the idea of referring to her as “Ward.”