Friday, March 06, 2009

the feinswog story

Have I ever told you the Feinswog story?

First, you should know that my last name is Feinswog. It's a name that probably started out as a perfectly normal name in... oh... let's say Eastern Europe somewhere... and mutated into it's current form at Ellis Island. I'm sure it went something like this:

Ellis Island Guy: What's this name here?
Ancestor Feinswog: *incomprehensible garbled sound*
EIG: What?
AF: *igs*
EIG: What?
AF: Feins*incomprehensible*
EIG: Feins-What? Feinswhat? What? ahhaahah JOE! hey Joe! I'm gonna call these guys Feinswog! haha! Great name. Good luck with that...
AF: *puzzled*
EIG: Go on in.

Do you have any idea how many times I have spelled Feinswog? It's almost a poem to me:
F as in Frank
E - I
N as in Nancy
S as in Sam
W - O - G
No, G. G! G as in... Gary?
(I learned this "poem" from my mom, who I don't recall ever having a word to go with G, so I always fumble at the end...)

I digress.

You would think that having been married twice I would have found a better name to have on hand for waiting lists in Asian restaurants. But, no, I kept Feinswog both times, and I'm glad I have, because since I'm the only Laurie Feinswog in the world, recreating my resume is just a google away.

I'm also glad I kept it because without it, I wouldn't have the following great story...

Between 18 and 19 years ago (it was right before my son was born, so I can be fairly specific) I was still living in Seattle, I was extremely pregnant, and my mom was out visiting helping me nest for real. While I was folding tiny little socks and little bitty hats, the phone rang. I answered it, and the man on the other end said:
Hi, my name is Lee Feinswog. Any time I'm in a new place, I look up Feinswog in the phone book...
He followed his little pre-packaged schpiel with a question about how we're related. Since I know absolutely nothing about my father's family, I held up the phone and yelled to my geographically convenient mother, "MOM!!! It's for you!"

My mom and Lee talked briefly about how my father's father and Lee's grandfather (I may have this wrong) were... cousins? I don't remember. It's not an essential part of the story. ANYway, they hang up and my mom and I went back to folding teeny tiny little clothes. Squee!

Several months later, I had birthed a baby boy, packed up my hubby and house and hightailed it to Houston. A few weeks later, my mom came down again, and in the midst of putting away more teeny tiny little clothes (Squee!) the phone rings:
Hi, my name is Lee Feinswog. Any time I'm in a new place, I look up Feinswog in the phone book...


Years pass.


Seriously. Like 4 years later, the brother of one of my friends came in from Baton Rouge with his buddies to watch, of all things, a hockey game. Houston has professional hockey. Baton Rouge does not. You live in Louisiana and you want to see professional hockey... Obviously. You go to Houston.


Anyway, Carol and I went to the game with the guys, and afterward we went out for drinks, and somehow in a conversation with one of Paul's friends, I mentioned how old I was (30) and the guy said, "No way! You're not 30!"*

Me: "yes, really, I am."
guy: "NO WAY!"
Me: "seriously. I'm 30."

So I show him my driver's license and he looks at it and says,


wait for it...


"Hey, do you know Lee Feinswog?"

*laugh track*

The reason I bring this up now is that in the intervening 14 years, I have done the, "Hi, my name is Laurie Feinswog, and whenever I'm on the web I google Feinswog and..." thing, and Lee and I have subsequently become as much as Facebook friends. But what I'm building up to is that next week Lee Feinswog (who is, by the way, a sportswriter in Louisiana, and clearly a favorite of Baton Rouge hockey fans) is coming to Houston, and after nearly 20 years, we're going to have lunch...

*I have an age thing, I know, but it's not my fault. That picture in the corner was taken last week. I'm trying to get a goddamn beer, but no one will serve me...

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