Monday, August 25, 2014

I Was Right!

Yesterday, I learned something that surprised me so much and made me realize that I didn't even know myself, truly.  But first a story from when Boyfriend and I first started dating.
  A few months after falling in love, Boyfriend and I were talking about our future and I told him I was really excited to be called Mrs. Phan.  He became really quiet and I thought maybe I had scared him because I was already taking his name.  After a few minutes he finally said, "You know-you don't even know how to say my name." 
I had pronounced Phan as "fan" and he corrected me that it was "fawn."  The way he said it made me feel dumb (and embarrassed) and we got into a little tiff.  Luckily we were still very much in the puppy love stage and quickly got past it.
Fast forward eleven years to this past weekend, seven years after officially taking his name.  Boyfriend and I were having lunch with all of his siblings and wishing farewell to our niece who is off to college this week.  At some point, his brother said his first and last name and pronounced it as "fan".  I immediately asked if that is how it is supposed to be pronounced when everyone around us seemed surprised we would say it any other way.  When I explained how we have said it, they all laughed at Boyfriend and explained to him why he was wrong.
It is funny, twice I have had random Vietnamese women correct me on how to pronounce my last name.  I just figured it was a "To-ma-to, Tomat-oh" thing.  Now I am finding out not only have I been pronouncing my own name wrong for over seven years, I was actually right all along!
Now that I know I'm saying my name "wrong" I wondered if I should start saying it the "correct" way.  Boyfriend and I discussed the dilemma and we are going to stick with our own version.  I guess it can be a symbol of our interracial relationship-Vietnamese name, Americanized pronunciation.  
While maybe I should be a little annoyed that Boyfriend caused me to not be aware of my own identity (though I suppose he wasn't aware of his his whole life) I am more pleased that finally, I was right about something.
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