Hi my name is Geoff, Geoff Smith. That’s Geoff, with a G….yes, G…E..O..F…F.. I’m also known as Geoffrey, or Stephen Geoffrey L Smith (to my insurance provider, the DMV, and in my passport), or to childhood Highland Park friends….just plain Smitty (in fact, this was my only real name up until I went to college at 18, it’s still a kick to hear old high school buddies call me by that name!).
I have introduced myself to new people in person and over the phone (managing accounts, paying bills, etc) many times in the past few months. It’s all part of establishing a life in a new city, with few connections and a life to build. Geoff, Geoffrey, Stephen Geoffrey – I have to pick which one to start with depending upon the scenario.
Geoff with a G, has always posed challenges. I could have easily been Jeff, as opposed to Geoff. Trust me, it would have saved hassles going way back. I envied my elementary school friend whose name was spelled J.E.F.F. I still remember the first time my name was mispronounced publicly. I was called something like GOLFF Smith ….I was 7 and it was August, 1963 and I was called up onto a stage to receive a trophy for being the batboy on a little league team that earned first place! I can truly describe the scene in great detail as it was associated with personal embarrassment. But….that’s another story.