Where did I go?

I'm trying to decide just when it was that people stopped calling me by my given name. It's as if one day, I simply became someone other than me. But I took on not just one other identity, rather an entire group of them. A boatload in fact. I am, at any given moment, Mom, Mommy, Maaaaaaah, hon, dear, hey you, that lady, his wife, Ms. Miller, so-and-so's mother, Betty's Neighbor, Veronica's friend, Reggie's cousin, Archie's sister....the list is endless. But rarely does anyone just say Mary. Which is of course my name.

Mary's the one who used to blast Manic Monday on her Walkman as she threw on her tennis shoes at 7:42 am to run out the door to catch the 7:43 N train that didn't usually show up till 8. Mary's the one who used to walk fast and carry a big purse. Who understood that elevators were like changing stations for grown-ups. Who always had an excuse for being late for work. Who planned on single-handedly taking on the corporate giants and being the queen of Madison Avenue before turning 25. Who loved to go work out at the gym and stop at the Korean Deli for a salad and brownie, with no regrets. Who laughed so hard she cried when her roommate saw a mouse and jumped on the table. Who thought going out before 9pm was tacky. Mary was the opening shot of the Mary Tyler Moore show....NYC style, spinning around on the sidewalk thinking she owned it.

I'm still Mary, no matter what they call me. I really don't want to be that lady who hits the bell too many times at the butcher counter. Who calls an exterminator when a fly gets in the house. Wishes the 10 O'Clock news were on at 9 so she can go to sleep earlier. Fires off angry emails to the principle. Or drags her daughters in for new clothes not because they need them, but because she hates what they are wearing. The one who decided that boys with body piercings are bad news. And curfews are an excellent idea. The one who always needs to know what everyone is thinking, doing, planning...so she can advise them otherwise.

Mary wouldn't have done any of these things. So I have to ask. Just who the hell am I? And what have I done with Mary?

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