Saturday, April 20, 2019

There Is No Hope, Man

     Middle Children are always looking for recognition. It’s like our birthright. Our raison d'être. Of course, simple name recognition would be a great starting point. But all too often, you hear the all too familiar Mid Kid mantra: “They don’t even remember my name.” Sure, this can happen to anyone, but to a Middle Child it’s particularly debilitating. Just more proof that we don’t matter. More evidence of our invisibility. I cannot count the times when my mother, meaning to call out to me, would first call each of my siblings’ names before arriving at mine. Or what about the teachers at school that repeatedly confuse you with a sibling. It’s not just limited to family. There’s always that deflating feeling when you’re speaking with someone you’ve met before, whose name you remember, but you just know they have no idea what your name is. Even worse, I had a secretary (back when they were called secretaries), that always answered my phone, “Bob Hopman’s office.”
     I have always said Middle Child Syndrome is the gift that keeps on giving. You can be happily going about your day, minding your own business, when suddenly -- and without warning -- it will rear its ugly head. You might innocently stumble upon something from your past that you never before realized adds yet another page, or in this case another post, to your Middle Child story. Like the other day when I was flipping through my college yearbook. It’s been quite a few decades since I
graduated, and in all that time I never noticed this poke in the eye -- but there it was, literally staring
me in the face, right next to my Senior portrait. Bruce S. Hopeman.
     Nope, not me.
     I suppose it could’ve been worse. I mean, they could’ve called me Bob S. Hopeman. I guess I should be grateful? It's just a typo, right? But, still. I know I shouldn't take it personally. Bad proofreading is nothing more than an oversight. But that's the last thing a Middle Child needs more of.
     Like I said, this certainly wasn’t the first time I lost out in the name game. I wrote in a previous post  about not even getting top billing on my own birth announcement. Sure, I was given short shrift, but at least they spelled my name right! One could argue that aside from being born, what had I really done to deserve more than a mere mention anyway. But this is a whole other story. I mean, I worked my ass off in college and graduated summa cum laude, for what --so this Hopeman guy can steal the show? I do all the work and he gets all the glory? What a load of BS. And now I have to wonder -- did they make this same error on my diploma? Did I even legitimately graduate, or did my misnomer get my degree? It’s a hopeless feeling. Or should I say hopless.

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Middle Children need to be heard!