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Name that Tune [Sep. 1st, 2010|05:02 pm]
In my head was a post about why I can't do the music meme that all the cool kids are doing. But then a friend blogged about her child wanting to change his/her name in middle school and she realized that she'd never wanted to change her name or reinvent herself that way, although it's a very common thing to want to do at that age.

Friend, I say "friend" although it's really a blog I follow because I enjoy her writing and because our lives have just wandered around each other -- we have two contact points in common -- greyhounds and Renaissance Faires, although years apart and the hound connection is with me, the Renfaire with the Captain and as I was beginning to get involved with each to focus on a failing marriage, she was leaving them behind to focus on a growing family.

Anyway, other than a brief spate of being called Mariner Seven (yes, you have to be *this* old to even get that) and Marinara...I never felt the urge to change my name. I suspect two factors. One, I was SO uncool that a name change couldn't undo it. I had to go to a whole new town to reinvent myself, although there was a whole laundry basket of factors that enabled that change.

But I'd also had, at that point, enough negative "alternate name" experiences...that like the rat who'll never touch that lever again because it hurts...I stuck with my whole, full name. See, I'd already had to pick a name in French class, because my name does not exist in French. And I picked Marie. So when Mam'selle asked me what name I wanted I said "Marie". And she said "Oh, no, we are going to give that name to ....I don't remember what the chick's name was, but Marie made no more sense for her name than it did for mine. And she hadn't been asked what she wanted to be called yet, so maybe she wanted to be Josephine! So I was instructed to go home and choose another name. Well, I was in the middle of reading Jane Eyre at the time and had just gotten to the point where Jane had met Adele and I thought, okay, Adele.

So, the next day in school I proudly announce that I have chosen Adele as my French name. And Mam'selle looked at me with her popping frog eyes (no really, it was very disorienting, since every time she blinked it was like a freaking JOURNEY over those giant protruding orbs. And the blue eye shadow didn't help. But it was a different age then, children and blue was all the rage) and said "Oh. Are you SURE that's what you want?" And a tiny voice inside my head was thinking "uh, does it mean vagina or something in French?" but the rest of my head was thinking "Look, lady, I can't have the name I want, the name that most closely matches my name and you could have suggested something you damn Francophile, but you left me on my own and I picked a character from a novel that's way beyond the comprehension of most of my classmates here, who are struggling with the Chocolate Wars. Yes, damnit, Adele!"

Sadly, I didn't actually say that last part and spent the rest of the school year being taunted by my French-classmates as A-Duh. Because Mam'selle Popeyes couldn't roll an "L" to save her life.

Then the attempt to have a nickname. Arriving at Girl Scout camp (stop snickering. Just. Stop.) and here was my chance. I'm unpacking (and had already cemented my uncoolness by being one of the last of my cabinmates to arrive) and the counselor and a few other girls asked me my name, which is not short, so they then asked "what do you like to be called for short?" And I said "Well, no one ever shortens it." And they said "Oh, no, that's too long, c'mon what do people call you?" So, I said "Mere". And they said, "No, you can't be Mere, we already have Mary who likes to be called Mare."

Because Mary is so hard to say, right? And now what are my options, pray tell? Dith? And why the F do you people keep asking me what I want to be called and then insist that I can NOT be called that?

Now, of course, I would have been able to laugh it off, I probably would have spoken my mind, thus endearing me to half the cabin, pissing off the other half. Instead I reached deep into the depths of my dorkness and said "Uh, you could call me Filly." (Because Mare is a female horse and Filly is a young female horse and I was not just your garden variety dork, I was a horsedork.) And in one short sentence, doomed myself to the very bottom run of the cbain social ladder, crowned myself the Queen of Dorkdom, and ensured that all of my interactions with the boys from the Boy Scout camp across the Lake involved the phrase "Oh, don't bother, SHE likes horses more than boys." They hadn't made the movie yet, but insert Frau Blucher joke here, but without the clever.

Oddly enough, in looking up how to spell "Blucher" I came across the various "myths" around why the horses neigh every time they say her name. Some said because Blucher is similar to a German word for glue. Which isn't true. Others have said that it's was a parody of the special chord that older movies would play when a sinister character was mentioned.

Is there something wrong with me, that I always thought it was implying that Frau Blucher had an "unnatural" relationship with horses, a la Catherine the Great?

Maybe Girl Scout camp left deeper scars than I thought.....

[User Picture]From: silvrwillow
2010-09-02 02:23 am (UTC)
I went to Girl Scout Camp, for one time. It was an ok event. Nothing terribly special or memorable...
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[User Picture]From: ferlonda
2010-09-02 06:20 am (UTC)
Oh. Heavens. We had the same childhood.

I, however, renamed myself a number of times but only told a few exceptionally trustworthy social outcast friends who have kept my secrets to this day. My best girlfriend named me "Flicka" because I loved horses (yes, I was considered the Girl Who Thinks She's a Horse well into high school) but I never really took to that- way too girly.

At one point my sister changed her name. She kept her first name but dumped the last in favor of a name well back in my mother's geneology because A hated our dad so much. I used to hate him too, but not enough to legally change my name. Then one day I realized my name translates literally to Happy Valley which sounds like a horse ranch in Wyoming- so that's okay then. :) Anyway, my sister's name is now a gigantic mouthful that doesn't shorten to anything practical so I just call her A.

My mom named us our odd names because she DIDN'T want anyone to give us nicknames. My dad's mom promptly called me "Cee Cee" and our first baby sitter called us Fish and Aid. *sigh* Sometimes I call my sister Aid (or Ade- how would you spell it?) and if my mom notices she still kind of flinches a little...

And those girls who tormented me in school? They all got their husband's names. :)
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