Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What's In a Name?

When I was a kid, I did not like my name. I liked the combination of my first and middle names even less because, when coming from my mother, it usually meant I was in big trouble.

Of course my brother and sister, being clever little monsters, picked up on this and used it to annoy me; an especially easy feat because, while my first name rhymes with nothing, my middle name rhymes with lots of things. And no, I'm not telling what my middle name was. I legally changed it as soon as I had enough cash that wasn't paying for tuition, rent or food.

We had a tendency to embroider names in my family, and rhyming made it so much easier. My brother was Jeep the Creep, my sister was Bub the Grub. Neither of them would answer to their real name, so Jeep and Bub it was if you wanted them to respond. I can't call my brother anything but Jeep to this day, but in high school my sister became a hottie and went back to her real name. Which was fine with me as Jane rhymes quite nicely with Pain. Which she was. All siblings are pains, it's their nature. (I acknowledge that I was a pain too.)

My cousin was, and still is, Creepy Cousin Eddy. Don't feel sorry for him, he truly deserves the moniker, He's one of those lawyers who gives lawyers a bad name and inspires lawyer jokes. One of those lawyers about whom Shakespeare so famously penned, "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." (I know I'm taking it out of context, but it can be such a viscerally satisfying thought at times.)

My dislike of my own name wasn't arbitrary, it was because I thought it sounded silly and sissy. I had two other names in mind, names I considered infinitely better:

Marie. Mah-ree. It sounded so exotic and sophisticated Surely someone named Marie would have the respect of her peers and even adults would look at her like a person instead of a child.

Fred. I know it's a guy's name, but I really liked it. Still do. Fred is such a sturdy name; it's honest, dependable and straightforward. Fred. I like the sound of it.

Wunx~ is something I picked up at Girl Scout camp. The only place I've used it outside camp is on-line. I like the anonymity, and besides, it sounds less silly and sissy than my real name. Well, maybe not less silly, but definitely more interesting.
There once were four knights made of wood
In a Latvian forest they stood
One cried, "Tallyho!
"Which way should we go?"
His friends sighed, "If only we could."

No comments: