Thursday, October 13, 2011

By Any Other Name

"What’s in a name? That which we call a rose 
By any other name would smell as sweet."
 ~William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.

My parents named me sort of weird, which is fitting, don't you think?  My legal name is not "Jessica."  It's Jessie, which was oh so much fun for me in kindergarten when the hit song at the time was "Jesse's Girl."  Never mind that the "Jesse" in that song was a boy.  Never mind that I was already at a social disadvantage being the tallest kid, by far, in my entire class, had feet the size of canoes, and was incredibly awkward and nerdy already.  I had that stink'n song to live down.

Thank you Mom, Dad, DNA and Rick Springfield.

I survived, albeit scarred for life, and although I do get called "Jessica" quite a bit, I don't really mind.  After all I've been called much worse.  People who do so might as well call me George, though, since "Jessica" isn't my name.  I did have a boss who called me "Jamie" the entire time I worked for him.  Eventually I stopped correcting him and just went with it.

The only time I ever really mind is when someone who is named "Jessica" goes by "Jessie" and then I come along and they ask me if they can call me something else since they already call "Jessica" "Jessie."  It's like, hey, man--you stole MY name.  Get your own.

Then they typically do call me something else, I suspect, although it's not to my face.

I was named after my dad's Sunday School teacher.  Her name was "Jessie" (not Jessica), too.  My dad said she was a very kind woman, which is nice.  Then he said she died a slow and painful death to cancer, which is not nice.   When he told me the latter I had to wonder, why did he give me this name again?

And then people wonder why I'm the way I am.

My parents were going to name me Brandi but then my uncle named his dog Brandi, so my parents didn't want to name me after my uncle's dog.  Come to find out, though, much to the pleasure of the more immature members of my school group that were on our trip to Ireland, there was a dog in County Kerry at Rascal's The Old Schoolhouse named Jessie.  So I'm still named after a dog.  You may draw whatever conclusions you would like from there.

And now you know the rest of the story,


Alan T Hainkel said...

Know how you feel, kiddo... Some people want to call me Al (Thanks a lot, Paul Simon), but I tell them my name has 2 syllables and I prefer that both of them be used... My mom used to call me "Big Al" and I HATED that... finally got her broken of it when I was in high school, I think...

Nicole said...

My parents screwed me up b/c they named me Tiffany Nicole but call me Nicole.... yeah that is confusing too and a PITA!

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

Haha, at least you didn't get named the #1 name in your birth year. Everyone in my class was named Jennifer. We named out kid after our cat and then had to change the cat's name not to confuse the kid:)