Saturday, January 24, 2015

That's My Name, Don't Wear It Out

Pup wants a tattoo. Yeeeesss?
I'm joking of course. The best way to jinx your relationship is to tattoo your love's name on your body. Instant death. Ask Nick Cannon (Maria Carey's soon-to-be-ex-or-maybe-ex-already?). Or ask anybody that has done such a thing.

We should speak of tattoos at some point though.

But I wander off of point . . .

My name is Deborah. For real, not just for blogness.


When I was a child and young adult I was called Debi. When I was really little my momma spelled it Debby. When I got to my "creative" phase in middle school I switched up the spelling to Debi to differentiate myself from the millions of other Debbys. There were so many! And I always knew I wouldn't be Debi my whole life. I remember being 14 and just KNOWING that by the time I was 40 (40! Would I live so long??) I would be Deborah.

I always, secretively, loved my given name. I loved how it looked written out. I loved how it looked written across the top of a page. When I worked for a publishing house my name as typographer/interior book design was written on the copyright page along with everyone associated with the creation of the book. I can't lie; it was thrilling to have my name connected with dozens and dozens of publications I had typeset. Thrilling especially that first time.

When I fill out paperwork I use my given name. When I sign I use my given name. I never use Debi or worse; Deb. I've never been Deb in my life!

It's a tricky name for people. No one wants to say it. Or write it. Just a month or so ago when Pup and I signed up for our new gym I filled out the paperwork with the recruiter. Spelling my first and last names as I always do. He shortens it to "Deb."

"Wait," I say. "You spelled my name wrong."

"Oh, is this a big deal?" the young recruiter says.

"Yes, that's not my name."

He looks at me blankly.

Repeat this scenario a million times.

After I quit my biz and got my corporate job (which was another thrilling job - kinda loved that job) I, again, filled out everything with my name. DEBORAH. My sign for my office arrived with DEBBIE written on it.

Grr! I sent it back.

Just a couple of weeks ago Pup and I ran into an old neighbor of his from his little boy days. I introduced myself to her as Pup's wife.

"Hi! I'm Deborah."

"Do you go by "Deb?"

"Deborah, I go by Deborah."

Blank stare.

A blank stare I've seen so many times!

Pup says the name Deborah is puzzling to some people. They don't know how to pronounce it. It seems too formal.

I call crap!

If someone introduces themselves to me as Thomas I wouldn't take it upon myself to call him Tom. He didn't say Tom. He said Thomas!

These are the things that fill my brain. It's not the end of the world or important to anyone but me, but it does have the bug factor.

It's a lovely name! And my name is a huge factor in the names Wasband and I picked out for our two girls. Names that couldn't easily be shortened. Names that would be their names! Lovely names!

But I won't share them here! The blogness-life isn't for them.

Smooches and happy Saturday y'all!


T said...

Deborah is seductive. Enchanting. Mysterious. Beautiful name.

Yes, names that have a history of accepted shortcuts can be problematic...Andrew...Thomas...David...even Michael....

A man's name is Michael, people immediately assume it's okay to call him "Mike."

I can see how having to constantly revisit this issue would be irksome. But you've stood your ground..."I'm Still Standing..." EJ sings.

Keep standing.

Ms. A said...

My daughter actually named her two daughters names that are usually nicknames of longer versions. People actually do the opposite to them and try to call them the longer versions, which AREN'T their names at all. My youngest granddaughter was grumbling about this just recently.

Deborah said...

tPretty -I really love the names David and Michael. They're great to say out loud yes?

Ms A - You just reminded me of a friend/former vendor of mine whose name was Debby. And she hated it! Wished fervently that her name was Debra or Deborah.