Here we are for another themed post. The writing prompt for today is:
If you had to switch your first name, what name would you choose and why?
So what’s in a name?
It was given to you at birth. Your parents thought long and hard over your name. Much debating went on. Drawing papers from a hat. Maybe they fought, maybe they got along during the naming process. Maybe the name was handed down as a family tradition. Maybe the name was made up, picked off of a “most popular” list, or maybe you were named after a fruit or a city. It’s a pretty big deal. When you’re born that is the only thing you own besides your warm naked wrinkly body, though some parents beg to differ. The point of the matter is that a name is a pretty big deal. It is your basic level of identity. Pronounced and spelled a certain way, it is yours. When you tell someone your name, you’re giving them a piece of you. When they take that piece and it’s all garbled to crap the next time you meet, you want to knock them on the head and say “Were you even listening to me?”
Some of you may know this about me, but Dee is what I go by for short. It’s really no big secret or anything. I thought using my nickname as my pen name would be neat. I used to really want to change my name when I was little. Nearly every person I met had the most difficult time saying/spelling/even thinking of how to pronounce my first name. I could tell, because of the painfully confused expression that replaced their polite smiling face. They would scrunch up their whole face, draw back, raise their eyebrows, and say “Huh?” like my name was written in a foreign text.
Come on. It really isn’t that hard. It’s Danarae. Pronounce it with me: Dan-uh-ray. Not Darn-uh-rae, Duh-narr-ay, Duh-narr-ee, Dararae. Even something with a semblance to diarrhea. Not kidding. My friends laugh at my name stories, mostly because they were next to me when these things happened.
People, I have heard it ALL.
I’m sure you would want to change your name too, if you felt like introducing yourself was becoming such a burden on others. I still have people whom I have known for a couple years now who make long A’s out of the short A’s. Annoying as hell. It’s the equivalent to nails on a chalk board. And yes they have been corrected on several occasions.
I used to want to be called Gwendolyn, from the show “Charles In Charge.” Probably because I had a crush on Charles and she was his girlfriend. At any rate, I thought that was the neatest name in the whole entire small world that I knew as a little kid. It sounded enchanting, like it was out of a story book. I don’t think I ever gave much thought to changing my name to anything completely new since then. I did start telling people to call me “Dee” many years ago because it was easy. Because who doesn’t love a good easy nickname? Because Dee works!
Today, I don’t feel I would officially change my name. I like my name and the burden placed on people to learn it the right way. It singles them out. People who care enough to want to know me will learn it or they will not have cared at first handshake. Can you imagine continuously saying someone’s name wrong after knowing them and associating with them and repeatedly being corrected for some time? It’s just plain rude! It sends the wrong message! And I in turn will not care what you have to say to me after you butcher my name.
Now you officially know my first name. Don’t blow it!