Posts Tagged ‘living with an unusual name’

I’ll be frank with you. Turning up at a live music gig with my friend The Fabulous Miss Jones to see my very first Childhood Crush play felt a little bit like going to my school reunion with a supermodel.

Before the gig, I left a message on my Childhood Crush’s facebook wall saying:

“If I don’t get to talk to you tonight, can you pretend that the tall leggy blonde you saw in the audience was me? Thanks.”

When I told my husband about my misgivings, I thoroughly expected he would give me a little pep talk about how I’d impress the Childhood Crush with my sparkling wit and personality. Instead, he said “You should wear a dress that shows off your breasts.”

So I did. I mean, there’s something about revisiting the flames of your past that makes you want to look your Absolute Best – even if it’s just your breasts looking their Absolute Best.

Sadly, I once saw a Former Love in a food court in the city. I instantly knew it was him – after all, the bastard had broken my heart. He, in turn, looked over at me with some uncertainty. You see, it was shortly after the birth of The Pixie and I was the bloated shadow of my former self. So I kept my head down and thanked the Lord that I had used my ‘Starbucks Name’ when ordering my Boost juice.

[An aside: for those of you who are unaware of the Starbucks Name concept, it’s an easy-to-grasp pseudonym adopted by those poor souls endowed with Eastern European names with complex spelling who don’t want to be shouting “NO, NO! THAT’S ‘M’ FOR MOTHER!” over the din of a food court. ]

So when my Starbucks Name was called and it clearly wasn’t my name, the Former Love obviously decided it wasn’t me and went back to his conversation with his colleague. And I was able to waddle home to my suburban lair, Boost juice in hand.

Of course, ever since I became sohotrightnow, I have not seen him. Not once. The universe must hate me.

Anyway, back at the live gig, my Childhood Crush was very handsome and charming and gave The Fabulous Miss Jones, me and my breasts equal attention and I went home with that reassuring feeling that I’d had excellent taste in men at the age of 13. Result.

But here’s the thing… I also went home perilously late and extremely very drunk (another good reason not to go places with The Fabulous Miss Jones: neither of us have ‘Moderate’ as our middle name) and woke early in the morning fully dressed on the couch.

Except, I wasn’t fully dressed.

As I tried to drift back to sleep, I became suddenly – and terrifyingly – aware of the fact I wasn’t wearing any underpants. And, not being one to go commando for no good reason, I knew for certain I had started the evening wearing underpants…

When I got up later, I started looking for them. I looked everywhere: the laundry baskets, the bin, the fridge (yes, the fridge), under the couch, in the toilet. But they were nowhere to be seen. I even rang The Fabulously Hungover Miss Jones to ask her if she knew where they were. She denied all knowledge.

When my husband got home from work, we casually chatted about our days for a while before I tentatively raised the question of my underpants.

“Oh, yes. I found them with your handbag on the back table,” he said. “I put them in the washing machine because I didn’t think your father [our current house guest] needed to see them.”

Which at least explained their whereabouts… but not why they had been taken off or, indeed, when they had been taken off…

Listen, whatever happened, I’d like it to be stated for the record that it wasn’t me. It was someone who looked a helluva lot like me but had my Starbucks Name. Yeah, that’s it.

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As a small defenceless infant, I was burdened with an unusual name with a heady mix of similar-sounding letters. This has meant I’ve forever had to use the military alphabet whenever making reservations over the phone (which, quite frankly, always makes me sound a little like a Whiskey-Alpha-November-Kilo-Echo-Romeo). But when faced with the opportunity of changing my name through marriage, I thought to myself “I’ve got this far with this name. It’s who I am and who I will always be. And I should see it through!” – martyr to the pointless cause that I am.

At the time of my marriage, a friend of mine pointed out that, should I have kids one day, those poor afflicted creatures would have to deal with all the confusion at school of their mum not having the same surname. I remember saying that if that was the hardest thing they had to deal with, then I should expect that they were doing pretty well. And in any case, it was fairly rich advice coming from this friend, whose surname was [Smith] and had ended up marrying another [Smith] and so got the best of both worlds: she took on her husband’s name whilst retaining her own. And all without filling in a single Change of Personal Details form. Pah!

Anyway, for some reason or another, I recently found myself explaining to the children about how their mummy, rather than become (say) Blah-blah [Husband’s Surname] when she married their daddy, had chosen to remain Blah-Blah [Maiden Name]. (And yes, Blah-Blah Maiden Name is my real name, which probably explains all the confusion when giving it over the phone.)

Anyway, upon hearing all this, Mr Justice exclaimed “As usual!”. Which I initially took as a comment on the general obstreperous nature of his mother. But after some rigorous interrogation, I found out that he simply meant that I had just remained as I “usually had been”.

“When I grow up, I…. I….” the Pixie started, in a little speech that I anticipated to be one of those Proud Mothering Moments when a daughter professes to want to be just like her mummy some day. “…I want to be a cowboy and bake eggs!”.

An egg-baking cowboy? Of course! We all aspire to being one of those – especially me, since they probably wouldn’t have to spell their names over the phone that often, right? My daughter is a genius.

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