My husband and my sons have each experienced a weird number of strange occurrences where paper and their names are concerned. I am not sure exactly who it started with. My first son, M, says it started with my husband’s father not having a middle name and so “none” was entered where his middle name was supposed to go when he joined the navy.
Personally I think it was something else. When my husband was born his parents argued fiercely about whether to name him after his grandfather, so he would be Henry B. Estes II. His mother wanted to name him Michael something. As a result of their argument my husband’s name on the birth certificate was ” Boy Estes.” They never resolved the name decision on paper.
Fast Forward to when my husband enrolled in the ROTC at the local university. The only birth certificate found was for Boy Estes born on his birth date to the correct parents. So he had to get that resolved. I don’t recall any name and paper problems before I dated him which was at least three years before he went to college. I wasn’t there with him in college, so I don’t know what happened there as far as the paper curse.
Fast forward to the early years of our marriage. Multiple times I remember our checks, paper work of various kinds, and on multiple occasions, coming to us with his name as Harry B. Estes II, Henry B. Esteves, Henry B. Estee II, Henry B. Estees and probably a few others that I don’t recall now about forty years later.
But there was one error I do remember after he completed his dissertation. My husband was teaching in a small junior college in Newton, Mississippi. He had carefully sent his dissertation on a floppy disc to his sister. His sister was a secretary and gladly helped him by typing all of the information on paper to be sent for his dissertation defense before his board of educators.
Well two days before it was due, we called the shipping company to track the book form of his dissertation. Much to his horror it had been sent to Newton, Massachusetts! Since he had classes to teach, I flew home and his sister printed another dissertation from the floppy disc. I made it back just in time for us to drive to the school to hand it in the next day.
Our oldest son, M., has also been saddled with what we now call the “paper curse.” The first evidence of the curse that I remember was a call from M. from college. He was worried and upset because the school had expelled him for drinking under age when he was well over 22 years old! The drinking limit was 21. So my husband called the dean of the school and discovered the problem. They had copied our son’s birth date incorrectly!! (1984 instead of 1983!) Things were straightened out and M. resumed his status as a student.
Advancing to the most recent paper curse events, several years ago M. moved in with his girlfriend a year before they planned to marry the following fall. Her insurance covered him since they were in a relationship and living together, which was fine by all concerned.
So early this year M heard C, his wife, say over the phone, “I think if I had had a baby, two months ago, I would know it!” M was in the other room and grinned, knowing “IT” was coming.
His wife stormed into the room and told M., “Your stupid paper curse has done it again!” The insurance company had somehow stated that she had a baby two months ago. Since the insurance was only being paid to cover two family members, they had dropped M. to cover the nonexistent baby!
After resolving this episode of the paper curse, things were going smoothly….until last week! Many years ago my husband co-signed with M. for a savings account to help pay for M.’s education. Although my husband died eight years before, my son just left his father’s name on the account, until recently.
The first week of the month he took a copy of his father’s death certificate to the bank to have his father’s name removed from the account. Although M. had been making deposits and withdrawals for three weeks, suddenly M. was unable to access his savings account. Since I had access to it for him, I reassured him that it was still there and in tact. So M. and C. went to the bank to figure out what had happened.
The bank person had dropped M. from his account and left his deceased father’s name on the account!! The bank manager was called in to resolve this episode of the paper curse. The manager was appalled and said he had never seen anything like this happen before! We believe this problem is now resolved. But M was a little anxious about this confusion affecting his and his wife’s purchase of a house! Thankfully nothing happened!
There is one more son to tell about. D. has been like a second son to me and a brother to M. D. married a wonderful woman, C, and they had been married for over 14 years.
At my husband’s funeral in 2009 I asked M. about my adopting D. M. agreed but felt I should wait until D.’s parents had passed away. D. of course agreed to the adoption as did his sweet wife. Over the next several years his parents both died at different times. D. knew I wanted to adopt him and I started the paper work for D.’s adoption.
It appears that he may not be immune to the paper curse. After filling out forms and paying the fees for his adoption I received formal notification of the adoption sent for correction before the changed birth certificate was printed: Name: DLP, (male name), Sex: FEMALE was being adopted!
When I called M. He began to laugh hysterically and said, “Yep, D.’s one of us!!” Then he called D and told him he was definitely an Estes! The paper curse affected him too!
Now we will have to sit tight and see whether the paper curse affects D and C’s sons, L. and F. and daughter E.!!