Dear Stuart,

I, along with my two roommates, live on the third floor of a three-story house. Being a long-distance runner, you shouldn’t be surprised to hear that I like to move as little as possible. Living on the third floor is thus at odds with my desire to be a blob, except for when I go running.

A couple of months ago, our ringing doorbell brought me down the flight of stairs. A UPS man was standing at the door with a delivery for my roommate whom, for confidentiality, I shall call Haryk. [note to blog readers: if you know my roommate’s real name, you will see just how clever I’m being!]

“I have a package for Haryk Daniels.”

I looked at the signing form he was holding out and then at the stairs. Forging someone else’s signature vs. walking all the way back upstairs? Come now. I promptly decided that I would temporarily steal Haryk’s identity and sign for the package even though she was home.

“Ok,” I replied, “that’s me.”

The UPS man looked at me.

“You’re Haryk?”
“Yes.”
“Haryk Daniels?”
“Yes, Haryk Daniels,” I repeated, taking the pen from his hand. I silently congratulated myself on my audacity and signed the electronic signing form. I handed it back to the UPS man who looked at my signature and paused. At this point, I started to panic. The following ran through my head:

I LEFT MY BOWL OF CEREAL AND MILK UPSTAIRS AND IT IS PROBABLY GETTING SOGGY. I WANT TO EAT IT SO MUCH.

I reached toward the cardboard package so that I could end the Haryk charade and avoid having to eat cereal sog. But the UPS man stopped me.

“You’re not Haryk Daniels.”

My thoughts changed.
THIS MAN HAS MEMORIZED THE  SIGNATURES OF ALL PEOPLE LIVING IN THE UNITED STATES AND KNOWS THAT I AM NOT HARYK DANIELS. WHAT A GREAT SUPER POWER. I AM GOING TO BE DEPORTED.

I had three options: confess to everything; forge ahead as Haryk; or close the door, open it again, and restart the conversation as myself while acting as if nothing had happened. The third option was most tempting, but since he was standing in the doorway, I thought it would be too much of a hassle to implement. So, figuring that he had no way to prove that I wasn’t Haryk, I decided to keep up my act.

“Yes.. I’m… Haryk.”
“No. You’re not.”
[long pause]
“Yes?”
“I know Haryk. Haryk is the young lady who usually comes downstairs to get the mail. She looks like [description of Haryk] and you are not her.”
“… I see…”
[much awkward staring]

Well Stuart, one five-minute lecture on lying later, I was eventually allowed to sign, using my real identity, for Haryk’s package. I learned some valuable lessons that day, mainly not to answer the doorbell during breakfast.

Best,
Heather

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