Who the heck are you, anyway?

Who the heck are you, anyway?

Kinda funny, I get asked that all the time. Even folks who’ve known me for decades ask me that. Even my own family asks me that.

No, I don’t have a personality disorder. I guarantee I’m psychologically sound, or as sound as a wife and mother of four can be…hehehe.

It’s the name. You see, there are two Marge Fenelons. Honest, there’s two of us. My brother-in-law married a Margaret who goes by the name of Marge, and my husband, Mark, married a Margaret who goes by the name of Marge, and so there are two Marge Fenelons.

The “first” Marge was on the scene long before I was, and so when I came along and snagged Mark, and with both couples deeply involved in the Schoenstatt Movement, we had a real quandry. How would people tell us apart?

Although I’m greatly honored to be confused with such a beautiful, holy woman, I told people to call me Margaret – lots easier at family gatherings, especially since Mark comes from a family of twelve kids, and now there’s forty-plus grandchildren and a great-grandchild on the way.

It was the same with Movement events.

Over the years, we’ve gotten one another’s emails, snail mails, and phone calls. One time, Mark and I got an email from a priest in Germany who informed us that he was planning to visit us and would give us a call when he arrived at the airport so we could pick him up.

“Wow. Pretty cool, this guy wants to visit us”, I thought to myself and remembering that we’d spread the word that our home is open to anyone, anytime.

I gleefully responded that we would look forward to his call. But the call never came. I assumed that the priest had cancelled or made other arrangements, so I never gave it another thought. Until one day, when Mark and I were talking with Mike and Marge and Marge was telling a story about how one day she’d pinned up her hair, donned grubby sweats, and torn her kitchen cupboards completely apart in anticipation of a comprehensive spring cleaning.

In the midst of the huge mess – both herslf from climbing around in grungy cabinets and the cabinets themselves – she got a phone call from a priest from Germany who was waiting at the airport, expecting Marge to pick him up and bring him back to their house so he could stay with them for a visit. As Marge was charitably explaining the perplexion and inconvenience of the situation, I started chuckling heartily. Marge didn’t chuckle quite so heartily. Since then, I’ve made sure to verify every contact.

What makes it harder is that my parents and teachers all called me Margaret, but my biological siblings have always called me Marge and I’ve always used Marge Fenelon as my pen name and in professional circles. The name people know my by depends on how they were introduced to me.

That’s why time and again frustrated folks will use one name or the other, switch, and switch back and finally in exasperation ask, “Who the heck are you, anyway?”

Well, obviously, I’m me. But my preference is to be called Margaret on a personal basis and Marge on a professional basis. Margaret is my baptismal name, and when I hear it, I’m reminded of my Baptismal Covenant and my calling to be one of God’s children. It keeps me humble, because I know I can never fully live up to the image the heavenly Father has of me – the image for which I was baptized, for which I constantly strive. The name Marge Fenelon symbolizes what I do, Margaret Fenelon is who I am: a tiny, helpless and sometimes beligerant, child of God.

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