Common assumptions include:
- The "El" was a mistake -- I must actually go by "Mary."
- The "El" is my middle name and I'm a weirdo for introducing myself by my entire name.
- I misspelled my name -- it's actually hyphenated.
- I am Hispanic.
- I am Middle Eastern.
I used to get angry, but once I started working and had to email people without ever meeting them, I found myself in a constant struggle between wanting to correct them but not wanting to come across as rude. This frustration escalated quickly until I was angry all day, every day. So I had to find a way to cope. My solution? Considering all people inconsiderate and idiotic.
Eventually I realized this couldn't be true. In fact, at some point, I became less irritated and more fascinated with the human brain. What is it, in their brains, that makes them draw all kinds of conclusions besides the most obvious: Maybe her name is Mary El?
I thought I was in the minority with this problem, until I posted a BuzzFeed article on Facebook titled "16 Things Only People with Unique Names Will Understand." At least I don't feel alone anymore.
I lied about it being more fascinating. It's still super irritating.