Friday, May 12, 2006

I, Dentity Crisis

My name doesn't suit me. Never has. As long as I can remember, I've disliked it. People will call my name and it won't occur to me to respond, simply because i don't identify myself with it at all. Never have. Why? It's too girly. It's a name used on sitcoms to denote bimbos. It screams poofy blonde hair, big boobs, and tacky clothes. It's just too damn girly. I'm not girly.

I've never bothered changing it for 2 reasons:
1. Though I don't like the name at all, I like the person I'm named after (my daddy), and didn't want to hurt his feelings.
2. Never had any better ideas.

Recently I had a conversation with my mom about naming babies and the implications of a name and all that. I mentioned that I thought it would be cool if we lived in a culture where people got to choose their own names with the coming of age, since my own name just doesn't fit me.

Here the crazy bit: she agreed.

She said that no, it really doesn't go, and if she and my dad had to name again today, knowing who i am as an adult, they'd never give me the name i've got. That came as a bit of a surprise, so say the least.

So no. 1 doesn't apply any more. My folks would not be offended if I changed my name. Mom even got on Google and started looking at websites of what-to-name-the-baby ilk, seaching for something more fitting to my nature. (!!!)

Now it's a matter of sorting out no. 2.

I've got a few ideas floating around, but i'm really curious to see what you, my blogsome buddies, think of the whole thing. You don't know my real name (most of you, anyway), but you know me through my words, feelings, photos. In some ways, you know me better than most people who know me, because I publicize many of my most intimate thoughts and experiences here.

So what do you think? What do I seem like to you? What sort of name do you associate with the personality you see expressed on your monitor right now?

I've got a couple ideas of my own, but I don't want to say anything just yet because I don't want to cloud your brainstorming.

Fire away. (Names associated with strong women, either literary or historical, will be especially considered.)

21 comments:

Molly Bloom said...

I came here looking for a thunderstorm. So I'm going to call you:

Searing Sky.

Chaucer's Bitch said...

Hi Betty. Welcome to M.E. T-storms will be moving in shortly. I just really wanted to get this one off my chest.

First Nations said...

i'm just in all kinds of trouble with betty lately.

heres what NOT to get named, anyway...
http://www.notwithoutmyhandbag.com/babynames/

i'll git crackin!

First Nations said...

...cracked.
1. SHARON
2. SHAWN or sean, sian, shon.
3. ALICE

4. SCLYMGEOUR (i think 'shlim gower' would also be a cool name for a cat)

No Shit Sherlock said...

I always thought your name was Tallulah. (Kidding!) Is it Carrie? Or Leslie?
I think you could be an Elizebeth, with it shortened, like Liz or a Lydia, or Lids. I dunno. I'm not really one for names...

Molly Bloom said...

Oh, if you shorten Elizabeth - it is Betty....

Molly Bloom said...

Oh, if you shorten Elizabeth - it is Betty....

GreatSheElephant said...

You strike me as a Katherine

Loganoc said...

I do think Elizabeth sounds good, not like the Queen, but like Lizzie Bennett...

Molly Bloom said...

So, have you chosen yet?

Anonymous said...

Ruth

bering said...

Ruprecht?

Tim Footman said...

Let me get this straight... you don't like your name because it's too girly... but you were named after your dad.

I think it's your paternal grandparents who really fucked up.

First Nations said...

still stumping for sclymgeour!

Chaucer's Bitch said...

TF: my dad is Stephen. My name is the feminine version.

And it was my maternal grandparents wh fucked me up, actually.

incidently, Ruth has come under consideration.

Spinsterella said...

I like Ruth too. It's unusual, but not weird.

Stephanie then? There's nowt wrong with that - I thought from the start of the post that you were called Tiffany or something.

ZB said...

"A name used on sitcoms to denote bimbos. It screams poofy blonde hair, big boobs, and tacky clothes..."

Don't want to offend any proto feminists here but what is wrong with any of those qualities. I like your name anyway. Works for me.

Tim Footman said...

Do you know the (female) poet Stevie Smith? She was actually christened Florence, but why not call yourself Stevie. It's not girly big-boobs at all. Stevie wasn't - had a vv lesbian haircut, and was played by Glenda Jackson in a quite dull film.

Oh, she fucking rocks, btw.

Chaucer's Bitch said...

Herebe: nothing wrong with big boobs (i wouldn't actually mind having a decent set of big, juicy boobs myself), but "bimbo" implies stupidity. I don't like having a name that makes people automatically think i'm an idiot. (they find that out soon enough after they start talking to me.)

Spin: stephanie is just as bad as tiffany. or vice versa. whichever. *shudders*

TF: actually tried Stevie for a few years in high school. never really caught on, either with me or people who knew me. just didn't fit. and i got sick of saying "no, i'm NOT trying to be like Stevie Nicks."

hendrix said...

I absolutely hated my name until I was about 25 (it was just too grown up and it has no trendy diminutive) and it still pisses me off that a lot of the people I know refuse to pronounce it correctly no matter how many times I pull them up about it (I’m seriously considering just punching them instead of calmly repeating the word every time they say it, I bet that would work!). But changing it to something else never even crossed my mind (partly because it is a family name and partly because I couldn’t think of anything that I would be able to live with for the rest of my life). This was a good job as I then sort of grew into it and now I'm realy glad that my parents chose it - so maybe you're going through the same thing with your name?

Names take on the personality of the people who bear them – so although you may hate your name and feel that it’s not “you”, I associate the name Stephanie with a strong, smart, funny, attractive person. (i.e you). It’s certainly not a name that I associate with bimbos. By the same token, I associate the name Ruth with someone who’s an intolerant, narrow-minded, sharp-voiced, dogmatic bigot (so please don’t choose that – although if there are any other Ruths out there who would like to convince me that this is not the case then please feel free!). Can’t say that I like Liz as a name – it’s a bit…I’m not sure what it’s a bit of…I was going to say it’s a bit patronising has a voice like that particular sort of kindergarten teacher that speaks to everyone like they’re 5 years old but that probably doesn’t make any sense to anyone other than me. Unfortunately Betty (in Britain anyway) just reminds everyone of that stupid “some mothers do have em” (really cringe-worthy sitcom that was madly popular in the 70s) catchphrase so I wouldn’t suggest that while Beth is that horribly annoying wimpy do-gooder in Little Women so that’s out too.

Anyway I did look on loads of sites last night to try to come up with some alternatives but if you think your name’s too girly then you’d hate the ones I came up with as I’m of the opinion that names can’t be too OTT and drammatical (although I’m not thinking along the lines of the site that FN gave – but if you look there you’ll bust a gut laughing).

After all that – I’m not saying don’t change your name if you really don’t like it – my friend Jgirl’s real name doesn’t start with a J but that was the name she chose for herself because she hated her real name (she also had the name she used at work and a name that was hers for herself but that’s taking things a bit far) Personally though, I think the name you have is lovely and the diminutive you tend to use is short and snappy and strong without being too masculine.

Sorry CB. I’m afraid I’m drawing a blank on this one. The only name I came up with based on the way you present yourself here and that kept within your “not too girly” remit and still had a bit of sensuality and warmth and a hint of “this person is not predictable” is Cleo and there’s no way you’re even going to consider that one.

Chaucer's Bitch said...

you're right: Cleo is a golfish. Cleo is ALWAYS a goldfish.

And there's just too many Elizabth's out there already.

But it's really sweet of you to take the time. Much thanks, me amiga.