At the age of 37 I finally know exactly who I am, but last week I may have forgotten for a minute. It started with a simple comment from my mother-in-law, “isn’t it funny that your name is all over the neighborhood, but it’s spelled wrong.”
Bye Felicia: This comment reinforced what I was already thinking, which left me wondering when Felecia (technically Felicia) got so popular. However, this story isn’t just about my name it includes an incident at the bank, an issue with my credit card and an almost trip to the Social Security Administration.
ve heard about ‘Bye Felicia.’ It’s a trivial line from the movie Friday starring Ice Cube that debuted in 1995. According to the Wikipedia page, these two simple words are used to tell someone to get out of your face or take a hike. Yes, there is actually a Wikipedia page for this nonsense, just see for yourself. Bye Felicia Wikipedia Page I’m not entirely sure what happened between 1995 and 2018, but about 5 years ago I heard it resurfacing. I was at a New Kids on the Block concert with my girlfriends in Atlanta (yes it was fabulous) and we go to buy a NKOTB T-shirt which is mandatory for most concert GNO’s. That stands for Girls Night Out if you aren’t hanging with the cool kids, however, don’t feel too bad because someone had to explain it to me too. The guy checking us out looked at my credit card and said, “oh my God, your name is Felecia” then persists to snap his fingers multiple times in our faces, say Bye Felecia, then pretend to strut away from us like he was on a catwalk. I’m sure the pre-concert cocktail contributed to my amusement, but at that particular moment, we thought it was priceless. While laughing hysterically we asked him if he could recreate that folly and do it again for a video recording. I wonder who has that video on their cell phone now?
Over the course of the next few years, I would overhear it randomly but my friends and family never uttered a word. Clearly speaking to me every day somehow made the phrase carry less weight than if it was someone had just met me. Last year as I was meeting new customers through business the phrase surfaced again in phone calls and through text messages on a regular basis. To my amazement I even had folks send me their bitmojis saying ‘Hi Felicia’ and ‘Bye Felicia’. I was curious when this whole Bye Felicia craze might end. Similarly when you met someone new and realize their name is Michael Bolton and you blurt out, “oh my gosh like the singer.” Okay, well maybe my name isn’t that famous but you can clearly see the point I was trying to make. While I love my name very much, I remember asking my mom a long time ago why they named me Felecia. It was not the easiest name for a young child to say or spell. My mom’s answer was completely unexpected. Her name is Linda and apparently, there were 17 billion Lindas in her graduating class and they wanted to give me something more unique.
Over the last couple of months, I have been noticing signs all over our neighborhood saying “Hi Felicia” and below the trendy phase is information for someone running for Alabama district 46. I commend her use of the stylish phrase as it is truly catching and memorable. However, seeing your name plastered all over the place, also spelled the wrong way, starts to get irritating. When my mother-in-law mentioned this very fact I felt totally validated for feeling bombarded.
Then last week I received a new check card from my bank asking me to call in and have it activated. I had not even ordered a new card so I was baffled as to why it arrived in the first place. As I dialed into the automated system an all to familiar monotone voice directed me to enter my new card number and the last 4 digits of my social security number. “The last 4 digits of the SSN is incorrect, please enter again”. Excuse me, I think I know my own social security number.
My frustration was starting to escalate as I pressed zero to be transferred to an actual human being. The woman asked all the same questions and after providing the last 4 digits of my number she restates what I was told earlier on the automated message. “Ma’am, that’s not what is listed on file.” She suggests I call my bank and address the issue. Those pesky feelings are irritation were turning into something much more severe. How dare the bank enter my number incorrectly! I opened that account in 2016 and it appeared that my number had been incorrect this whole time. What if there had been some sort of issue with government documents or God forbid tax forms? Luckily the branch manager, who I know, answered the phone.
The woman asked all the same questions and after providing the last 4 digits of my number she restates what I was told earlier on the automated message. “Ma’am, that’s not what is listed on file.”Mrs. B.
As I lodge into this tirade about my dissatisfaction without taking a break to breathe, I am slowly interrupted. “Felecia, that’s not what we have on file either.” We end the call with plans for me to bring my social security card by the bank the next morning to update my records. Why does this stuff happen to me? I’m fuming as I stomp around the office planning my verbal attack on the social security administration. Focusing on work is now a thing of the past and I am frantically looking for all forms of my identity to take to the social security office.
It’s at this point I discover that the social security administration has printed the wrong number on my card. How can a government entity be so negligent? Most of us know the answer to that question so it would be pointless for me to ramble on about that at this juncture. Do they not have some type of checks and balances system to prevent this type of thing from happening? I’m certain this mistake occurred when I changed my last name in 2016. “Are we even married?” Dear sweet husband now is clearly not the time for jokes, I’m livid. As I’m sitting in the floor with a stack of documents a mile high it hits me…… my social security number is correct. How much do I have rolling around in my head that I could not even remember my own social security number? I was mortified at my behavior and now too embarrassed to call the bank back. Coincidently, I have not been in there for anything since and it may stay that way until I have to close my account. I’m considering using a different branch to avoid the judgment.
I don’t know if it’s seeing my name spelled incorrectly daily or it’s just due to a mound of stress, but forgetting your own social security number is a pretty low point. I decided to take a minute and breathe, try to calm down and focus on getting better sleep that evening. Clearly no one had stolen my identity, I had just forgotten who I was for a minute.
Every time I write a post of this nature I wonder if everyone thinks this is another entry into Bridget Jones’s Diary. I hope this blog post can serve as a simple PSA to remind you all to get rest, de-stress and pay attention to the details.