Let us call these co-workers of mine June and Jan.
I have worked with Jan way past a decade.
I have worked with June just a few years, but let me tell you, a mere week can feel pretty long for me working at the library, especially when the week is still going on.
This week is still going on.
And I am fairly well acquainted with June and Jan.
But all of the sudden, one day a couple months ago, to my utter chagrin, I called Jan June.
Arrrgghhhhhh! Why did I call Jan June!
I felt embarrassed.
Arrrggghhhhhh! Why did I feel embarrassed? I hate feeling embarrassed.
Jan said don't worry about it. June didn't say anything because she wasn't involved. After all I never ever called June Jan, only Jan June. But to my regret I did call Jan June.
I tried not to worry about it.
Now let me just step into this story to issue a warning. I know this sounds like it might be a funny story. It sounds like it will have a punch line. It sounds like all this Jan June June Jan stuff will lead to a tongue twistery extraordinary ending.
It really is just about how I called Jan June.
And then less than a week later I called Jan June again.
Why did I keep doing this? Also, to make it worse, even though in 15 years I didn't have the slightest problem with Jan's name, it now panics me. My mouth suddenly desperately wants to say June when my mind wants to say Jan. And between the two I hardly know who's Jan and who's June, unless, unfairly, but perhaps it's better than nothing, I am talking to June, whose name, for some reason, is perfectly clear to me. So clear that I use it for Jan.
Which I did a third time a couple days ago.
Yes, I called Jan June again.
But this time I was ready. I said "Jun... I mean Jan!"
I don't think she noticed.