Are you new here? Thanks for stopping in! For an explanation of this alphabet theme, see my first NaBloPoMo post.
F is for all of the many, many (many) times in my life when I've had to say, "Stefanie. With an F. Yes. S-T-E-F-A-N-I-E. No... A-N-I-E. It's just like 'Stephanie,' but put in an F instead of a PH."
I have no idea why this baffles people so much, and yet continually it does. Veer one letter from the norm and the whole word apparently unravels in people's brains.
I really don't mind the unique spelling anymore. As a kid, it annoyed me, sure. In the mid-80s, personalized stuff was really popular, but on the spinning racks of stickers or rainbow pins or bike license plates, there was never, ever a peg for "Stefanie." Today, though, that's rarely much of a problem.
What's absurd is that my parents say they originally spelled my name this way because they thought it would be easier for me. Let's think for a second about what that means. My parents, lovely and good people though they may be, thought it would be easier for their daughter to spend her life correcting every doctor, teacher, friend, employer, etc., she ever meets than for her to learn a common but not phonetically obvious spelling of her name. Clearly they had high hopes for my intellect.
The unique spelling isn't without its advantages, however. Speaking of intellect, I will admit that at times, I've actually considered the "f" spelling a sort of screening device for potential dates. Rational or not, a guy who sees my name on screen as "Stefanie" and addresses a message back to me as such automatically starts out a few points ahead of a guy who types "Stephanie" right below my e-mail address. It's an imperfect science, of course, and I'm not saying I place full stock in the results, but an eye for detail is rarely a bad thing, right? If a man pays attention (or doesn't) to the proper spelling of my name, surely he'll pay attention (or not) to plenty of other things as well.
Being a Stefanie rather than a Stephanie has had other unexpected advantages, too. For example, at least three people who regularly read my blog likely never would have found it if not for vanity-Googling their own name one day. And while that may not always be an advantage for them, I personally am happy to have them here. Are there any other Stefs-with-an-f out there I should know about? Maybe we could start our own little online club.