It started before I was even born. My grandpa told my mom that if she named me "Carson" he would never speak to me. Fortunately, he warmed up to the name very quickly.
The next instance I actually remember. I was three years old, and my mom signed me up for a reading time program at the library. I showed up the first day, and found my name tag, a cute little face with a bow tie rather than hair bow. Naturally, they assumed by my name that I was a boy.
In my high school classes on the first day, my teachers would be looking around as they called out "Carson McFarland?" and every time give a little "oh" of surprise when I raised my hand and called out "here."
Doing field trips at This is the Place was also an adventure. I swear, every third little boy between the ages of 2 and 8 are named Carson. All of the moms would be calling out "Carson" everywhere and I kept thinking they were calling out at me!
I did not know that getting married would complicate this issue. However, Robert (mind you, a very common, normal name--especially for my family) happens to have a rather rare word for a last name--Center. Believe you me, no one has ever heard of that as a last name before. If they had they wouldn't ask about three times how to spell it.
The complication first became apparent about a week after we were married, and I attempted to change my name on Facebook. But Facebook has a rule that no one can change their name to be representing a business or a place. I learned this because Facebook kept rejecting my name change, insisting that it was a "place" or a "center" and not a name. When I tried to add my maiden name to it (Carson McFarland Center), it rejected the change on account of too many capital letters for a name. (?) So I had to come up with the ridiculous option of Carson Mc(space)Farland(hyphen-)Center for my name. Really?!?!??!
(By the way, I am now a follower on Facebook of the Carson Center in Kentucky--it's a community theater. Go figure.)
We recently moved into a new ward. First of all, when they announced us as new members to the ward, they called me "Anne Center." I'm sure they thought the "Carson" was a maiden name or something. The next week, the Elder's Quorum president (who has greasy long hair and writes psychological thriller novels for a living) was introducing himself and when he heard my name, said "Carson Center? That's the weirdest name I ever heard!"
Right. Thanks for making me feel welcome in the ward.
(Don't worry, we actually really like the elder's q. pres--he's awesome)
Last week a couple invited us over for dinner. How nice! We got there and the host asked me, "Now what is your first name?" I told him Carson. Then he said, "No, I mean your first name?" "That IS my first name."
This week the other Gospel Doctrine teacher referred to me as "Sister Carson." One of the girls I have made friends with came up to me after apologizing that she had been calling me Carson this whole time when it was actually my last name. Ha.
I'm pretty sure our ward is in denial that our last name is Center and that Carson is actually a name that exists for girls, or as a first name at all. I hope they figure it out soon!
Another adventure has been dealing with benefits and going to the doctor and the dentist. Every time, without fail, they ask "And this is for your son?" "Nope. It's for me. I am Carson." I don't have any children and if I did I wouldn't name my son Carson--what a wussy guy's name! ;-)
And last week I went to the bank to cash a check I had received from work. The teller looked at the check and asked, "And what is the Carson Center?"