Friday, November 16, 2007

A Rose by any other name

I have a confession. Well, two really. The first is that I should be doing some transcribing right now and I'm not. After so many years of being a SAHM the idea of doing work for someone on their schedule frightens and confuses me. (Don't worry Ben, I'll get it done.)

The second confession I have is this: I don't like my name. I think a lot of it stems from the fact that from first grade on I was always one of three or four Jennifers in each of my classes. No one ever called me just "Jennifer" or "Jenny". All through school I was called "Jenny S.". Well, at least till high school when I got a lot of "Hey you" and "dyke" but that's a whole nother can of horrible, scaring worms.

Legend has it that my name was going to be Katelyn until shortly before I was born when my uncle said to my parents "Katelyn? Don't name her something like that. Go with something nice and simple like Jennifer." I guess my parents responded by saying "Oh, ok." and naming me Jennifer.

The only time people call me Jennifer anymore is when I'm at the doctors office or during telemarketing calls. My family calls me Jenny and I'm cool with that but I really hate when anyone outside my family circle calls me Jenny. It seems too personal and assuming. Most people outside my family call me Jen. I used to hate that name but back when I was working (before Jesse and I were married) everyone I worked with called me that and it just seemed to stick. Now when I meet people I tell them to call me Jen because I've grown to like it and it seems to fit.

I like my middle name. Rose is a nice name I think. You don't hear it a lot but it's not so unusual that when you hear it you wonder if the person who came up with it was high at the exact moment they picked it out. I also like it because when I was a kid my grandma (a Rosie herself) would say "Jennifer Rose sat on a tack, Jennifer rose". That always cracked me up. I like Rose so much as a name that it's now Elle's middle name.

My last name is an issue too. Growing up I always thought my last name was clunky and awkward and I never liked it. My goal was to marry a man with a nice last name like Smith or Jones. I ended up marrying a man who's name was three letters and a whole syllable longer than mine. I considered keeping my maiden name but I decided against it. I'm a pretty traditional gal and keeping my maiden name just because it was easier to pronounce seemed kind of silly to me.

Of course there were other options. I could have hyphenated my last name. No, as it I have a hard time squeezing my name onto forms and into signature boxes. I have a family member who got married and he and his wife put their last names together to make one name. Look, no offense to anyone out there who has ever done this but that seems kind of dopey to me. Maybe it's just their name though. It doesn't look like a real name, it looks like two last names smashed together. Maybe it could work for some people. Not for me though. If I had done that my last name would be 24 letters long. I get a hand cramp just thinking about it.

Speaking of hand cramps, this was a pretty long post. I should probably rest my hands for a little while. I don't want to overdo it and injure myself by doing any transcribing right now. I better rest and play some Zoo Tycoon.


StickyKeys said...

Ugh, I hate my name! Originally it was going to be Chantal which would have been perfect, but then... well I don't know what happened to that. And after my mom abandoned naming me after her they came up with Stacey. I even love my middle name more! At least it's ey (the way Stacey SHOULD BE SPELLED!). Bleh. When I move I'm contemplating going by my middle name (Yvonne), but I haven't decided yet.

Anonymous said...

I hate my name too! My first name is at least as bland and generic as yours, although I am warming to my full name a lot more lately, as opposed to the shorter form that I get from most people. My last name is really just a pain in the ass. It's ethnic and I'm white, so people have no problem making a whole range of inappropriate/offensive comments about how they can't believe that there might be a not-entirely-white person somewhere in my lineage. Or they just accuse me of lying.

Bananas said...

Oh how I hear ya. There were SIX other Jenny's in my sixth grade class. I went by Jenny C that whole year. Oh, how I hated it. I vowed to name my children NAMES THAT ARE NOT COMMON OR POPULAR. At least you have a good middle name.. mine is Ann!!

slackermommy said...

I hated my first name as a kid but now I like it since it's not so common. especially how its spelled. I've always hated my Polish maiden name and my married name is not much better. I love the name Rose. That's my oldest's middle name. It's a great middle name.