This is getting embarrassing. Back in October, while I was still 39, I "misremembered" Olivia's middle name. (Editor's note: Misremembered? You mean, `completely forgot?' As in 'totally blank?' Author's rebuttal: Maybe I misremembered misremembering, or perhaps it's likely there was a `completely forgetting' incident involving Olivia's middle name.) The other day, however, while driving back from Salem Julie asked me a question about Madeline. Specifically how to spell her middle name. (I would like everyone to know that I did know her middle name. Still do, in fact.) So I launched into spelling it: "C-h-r-i-s-a-n-n," I said with supreme confidence. "Isn't there an `e' on the end?" Julie said.
Before we go any further, I would like to point out that I was THE Deschutes County spelling champ in the 6th and 8th grades, for my division. Spelling comes fairly naturally to me, in large credit to good bloodlines (my ma was a former spelling champ in Modesto, Calif.) and the fact that I was a bookworm as a lad. Back to Madeline's middle name, however. Nohohohoho, I told Julie. Certainly not there's not an `e' on the end of it. Well, she stuck to her guns and slapped an `e' on the end of Madeline's middle name on whatever paperwork she was filling out. Truly, I was embarrassed for Julie. But think of the child! Poor Madeline! Her own mother! Can't spell her middle name! The travesty of it all! The tragedy! (Yes, I kind of got a little happy with the exclamation marks there, eh? Well, in trying to convey the proper emotions, hopefully they had the desired effect.)
Today while doing taxes and rummaging through what little paperwork we transported here from Virginia, I came across Madeline's Oregon birth certificate. Now appearing on my list of things to do, here's item #3: "Contact the State of Oregon to correct the spelling of Madeline's middle name on her birth certificate to delete the `e' at the end of it."