“Duck-Tour!”, she said. Rolling the final ‘r’. “I have something to tell you.”
Tootsie (not her real name) and I were eating lunch with some of the others. She’d gotten married a couple of months earlier. I was unable to attend the wedding.
“I have to change my name. It is a big headache. Email, payroll, mail, passport”
“Oh? they do that here in Thailand, too?” I asked, a bit absentmindedly.
“Yes, but usually only our last names. I need to change my first name, too. Ooo! It’s such a hassle!”
I perked up. “You mean we can’t call you ‘Tootsie’ any more? I like that name.”
“No, no!” she waved her hands. “Not my nickname, my real name. My nickname still Tootsie.”
“Why must you change your name?”
“My fortune teller! He says my first name no longer matches well with my last name.
Totally attentive now. “Really?! Why?”
“He says it won’t be good. My two names clashed. It will be bad luck”
“How did you find this fortune teller?” I inquired.
“Ah. My friend find him. He’s really cheap!”
I laughed. “Tootsie! Be careful. You get what you pay for!”
She clasped her hand to her mouth, “Duck-tour! No! He help me and he’s been right before! He was right about my husband.”
“I see. So, you’ve had previous good luck with him. Good. But, how did you pick your new name?”
She smiled. “He pick it for me. He look my birthday and my husbands name and he pick a good name to match his name. Now, the letters in my name equal the number ninety-nine. A very lucky number! And it means ‘Beautiful Diamond!’”
“Now, I have to change my name everywhere. But, it’s okay. It’s what I believe. I already change my name before. From the name my parents give me to another name that matched my last name. But now, that name not good for me.”
Next time: The wedding curse and how to cure it.