i was born in 1981 and named faith caroline eaton.
my parents named me this with the intention peculiar to southern landed gentry of always calling me by my middle name. in justifying this later, my mother would say, "like katie scarlett o'hara." as though the connection to gone with the wind automatically made everything ok.
in 1983, my parents took the extraordinary step of changing my name with the social security administration. the end result was that my first name was an initial, rather than the name i did not yet, at that time, know i had.
they remember none of this. or so they say. upon digging a bit deeper the truth comes out that my mother, compelled by belated guilt, had formally changed my first name to "f." so that, upon entering school, i would not be confronted with the horrible truth.
this is who we are. a family whose closet, from 1983 to1987, held the deep dark secret that my first name was faith.
the secret has long since come out, but apparently not to the extent that it has been rectified on a governmental level. i learned this last friday, when i went to the social security administration office to order a replacement social security card for the card that no one in my family had taken responsibility for keeping.
it was a discovery that made the process of getting an illinois driver's license ten days longer than it needed to be, but also one that led to the realization that in doing the things on the list of things that need to be done what i'm really doing is amassing a deck of cards.