Say My Name

4 years ago
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I’m going to do something crazy since it is the end of the week and answer the prompt from yesterday TODAY instead:  If you could switch your first name, what would you choose and why?


NDT supports my attempt at rebellion.

My first name is one of those that isn’t too common, but it isn’t extremely rare.  If I give someone my name at a restaurant or such I get “Oh, I had a great-great aunt with that name!  She had five cats!” or something similar.   My mother wanted to me to have a unique name besides the Jennifers, Amys, Melissas and Heathers she saw being registered at the hospital where she was working while pregnant.    She ended up naming me after her high school chemistry teacher, her favorite teacher between school and college.  And a nun, none the less (*pause for laughter*).

Nuns having fun!

Nuns having fun!

My name  is easy enough to pronounce, though it gets mixed up with other names, but has about fifteen spelling variations.  How were we supposed to know that our rural, small town would have at least two other kids with the same name as me by the time I started Kindergarten?  Spelled differently, of course.

I was jealous of the kids that had trendy names and cute nicknames.  While I guess a nickname could be derived from my first name, my mother didn’t like the way it sounded and it never caught on.  Turns out it didn’t really matter, I had bigger worries since I was the tallest in my class for most of elementary school and one of the three redheads in the building (my brother would be the fourth when I started third grade).

 Like a lot of women, name change was handled more traditionally, with my last name changing via marriage.  Then back again after my divorce.   My married name was twelve letters, polysyllabic and often mispronounced.  Using my credit card or making a reservation, I would get asked often how long I lived in Richmond.  Seems there are a lot of “that name” in one area of the state, so you knew who was from there or had relatives in yonder area.  The relative anonymity of a one-syllable not-uncommon last name appealed to me again.  If I had thought more about it, I would have chosen a different name altogether to break the tie to my toxic family, but that was not my priority at that moment.

Changing my last name for the sake of “hiding” would have probably led to me changing my first name for the hell of it.  Not that anyone would ever call me anything else, but on paper I could be someone else.  Anonymous. If I decided to move away, I could truly start over.  Except, what would I have chosen?

Eh, maybe not.

Eh, maybe not.

I don’t know, honestly.  That means it is probably a good thing that I didn’t change it.  Thinking about this got me remembering the names that were on the “if we have a girl” list when the idea of more kids was still being considered.  Those were:

  • Kathleen
  • Margaret
  • Angela
  • Julia
  • Caroline
  • Veronica
  • Alice
  • Victoria

As it was, the kid would not have appreciated if we had named him any of these.  Instead of naming him “Kid Lastname Jr.”, I gave him a name that I liked…as did every other parent in 1996 who wasn’t naming their son “Tyler”.    Add to that his last name is even more generic than mine, and I sometimes wish I could go back and give him something more unique.  The problem is, even if I did, the other names under consideration are no more creative or interesting than the one he got:

  • Christopher
  • Anthony
  • Edward
  • Andrew
  • James
  • Timothy
  • Jacob
  • Joshua
  • Noah

 All good names, but nothing inspiring.  I know the trends come and go and some names are here to stay.  The kid’s name has a common nickname, which he uses interchangeably, but the trend is more toward his friends using his xBox name outside of virtual reality (which would be real reality, right?).   It will be interesting to see if this trend crosses over into future naming trends.  ”MiNeCrAfTROX!”  sounds like the name of a future Nobel Prize winner, no?

Do you like your name? What would you change it to if you could pick something else?  Does MineCraft really rock?

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