Thursday, July 4, 2013

a rose by any other name

While paying for my groceries, the clerk peered at my card and asked if I was named after someone. A short exchange followed and prompted the woman waiting in line behind me to blurt out a small story of her own.
Years before, she had announced to her mother that she was thinking of calling her unborn son Christian. "Oh good," her mother had enthused. "Then I can call him Chrissy." She had hesitated a moment in dismay and then added uncertainly that they were also considering the name Daniel. "Oh good," her mother had enthused, not missing a beat. "Then I can call him Danny." The woman confided that she had found this very irritating. "And so," she added, "We had our son and named him Cody."
I felt an urge to shriek with laughter.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, I guess.
I always wished for a nickname when I was a girl. Mine was the era of Deb and Sue and Val. My name just didn't shorten well though. Glenda. Take it or leave it. My name was also just unusual enough that I was forced to repeat it or be referred to as Glenna, Linda or Brenda indefinitely. There are probably dozens of people out there laboring under the illusion that I am someone else entirely.
It seems especially baffling to me then, that my own daughters have names that cannot be shortened easily into nicknames. Did experience profit me nothing? Mind you, I love my daughters names and felt that they were exactly the names they should each have. In those misty dreams new parents have, I saw my girls and they somehow became their chosen names; somehow fresh and wholesome, creative and charming.
Have you ever noticed that certain names arrive imbued with particular character qualities?
And that you yourself may shape someone elses vision of that name?
Have you ever noticed that some people are their name, they really are?
Were you named after someone?

1 comment:

Quilt Rat said...

Well, no, I am not named after someone....BUT my name is Jill and I have a twin brother named what the heck were my parents thinking LOL!