Sunday, June 24, 2007

What's in a name......a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Ever wonder why I call myself "Violetlady"? Well, I guess it is pretty simple -- the violet is my favorite flower. It was also my mother's favorite. My grandmother wore violet cologne and had a perfume bottle with handpainted violets on it (which I still have).

I should have some sort of identity crisis. I was born as Meryl Kristina. Meryl because it was my mother's nickname (her real name was Mabel which my father and she disliked so he nicknamed her Meryl when he met her - just as bad I thought). It wasn't until Meryl Streep came along that I thought Meryl wasn't such a bad name. In elementary school there was this annoying kid who called me "Myrtle the Turtle. " I don't know why except maybe it was appropriate. I seldom do anything in a hurry. Anyway - back to my name. Kristina because Mom liked the name and told me there was a Queen Kristina of Norway (not that we are Norwegian!).

The problem was in school. The school rolls always listed me as Meryl, of course, my first name. I was shy and I would finally get the courage to pipe up with "Please call me Tina." This was in elementary school. As if "Myrtle the Turtle" wasn't bad enough. It wasn't until high school that the teachers got a little nasty. "Oh, "Meryl Call Me Tina" -- is that what you want to be called?" one would snidely say. I wanted to crawl under my desk. So I graduated anyway, more or less intact mentally.

My family and friends called me Tina until I decided (when I was in my 20's) that I preferred Kris or Kristina, but even then it was rather sporadic. Now whenever I call an old friend I have to remember which name they know me by.

Jeez, what a complicated life I live.


kris said...

What was it with some teachers??! My name is Kristine and I wanted to be called Kris - and for some teachers you'd think I was asking for special privileges! And then there were other teachers who called me Kristine and made it sound like a special nickname. I think everyone is lucky to just make it through school - work on the real life stuff later! (I love violets too - they are such sweet little spring flowers)

Literary Feline said...

At first I was going to say something to the effect of parents needing to put more thought into the names they give their children, but as you described above--they do! In my job I come across some real doozies and I have to wonder what the parents were thinking. And what about the poor baby in New Zealand whose parents want to name their baby 4real? It could be worse when you think of having a name like that, I suppose. LOL

My real name is Wendy, and I grew up hearing jokes about people going to my house for dinner (Wendy's restaurant) or people asking me how the weather is outside on a windy day. People still use those same old jokes, actually. I used to laugh and play it off but now I like to give a blank stare and say, "Ha. Isn't that original?" It's discouraged most of them. :-)

Lynne said...

You'll always be Tina to me!

It cracked me up at our reunion how you (Tina) are now Kris and Chris S. is now Tina.

I had never realized before that your Mom wasn't really Meryl.

What teacher gave you a hard time? Sounds like Mr. Gamble.

Lynne said...

And who was the annoying kid in elementary school (Woodlawn?)?

violetlady said...

kris, I agree about just making it through school is a feat in itself.
Literary feline, I have heard people making comments to people named Wendy. And what is that 4Real name? I can't believe people would do that. Movie stars choose some weird names, too.

violetlady said...

I don't remember the teacher, but it could have been Mr. Gamble. Sounds like him, doesn't it? I do remember the boy at Woodlawn. His name was John Smith - he was a little guy. Talk about names -- what about his!

MyUtopia said...

They are beautiful!

kookiejar said...

That's so funny, violetlady. We have a similar problem.

I've always hated my given name (and I won't even discuss my middle name), so all through grade school everyone called me by my family nickname.

But for some reason once I got to high school I adopted my real name back, so some of my friends call me Shelly (my nickname) and some call me Michelle (my given name).

I have a hard time remembering who calls me what when I make out my Christmas cards!