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Names

�when I got home this morning I had breakfast with my Aunt who I told about the cool boy I met. "What's his name?" she asked as though it was a normal question. *wry little smile* all I could do was blink. how the hell am I supposed to know his name? I didn't ask and he didn't tell me. chances are we'll get around to that someday but she doesn't really understand that.� � punk girl

I absolutely Love this paragraph! It informs me in so many things.

Say My Name

It�s such a simple thing.
Six little letters that somehow wrap me up
Define me, identify me.
It can be a curse, or a caress,
Something sensual, sexual,
Exciting.
Something utilitarian, mundane
practical.
One small word that with pitch, inflection, tone
Can communicate so very many different messages
A mystical incantation
Just a series of sounds �
air pushed across tiny bones and hairs �
A butterfly�s kiss.
My key.
Let me hear it.
Please.
Say my name.

Things I like

...

Saying the names of people I know

...

Things I don�t like

Perverting the names of people I know with tone and intent

Spanish One � Beginning Dialog (poorly paraphrased from a vastly distant memory...)

Hola, me llamo es Anita. Como se llamas?
Hola Anita. Yo soy Juan. Como estas?

Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching) � Lao Tzu

1
The Way that can be described is not the absolute Way;
the name that can be given is not the absolute name.
Nameless it is the source of heaven and earth;
named it is the mother of all things.

It�s virtually the first thing we do to our children � even
before they come into the world we are thinking about
it, struggling with it. What will his or her name be?

Who are you?

There is something mystical about it. Names have power. If you know my name then you have some power over me. If you know my name then you know some part of me.

Sometimes I don�t know how true I think that is �

What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. (Romeo & Juliet quote Act II, Sc. II)

Sometimes I know that it IS true.

I have this friend Titus. I met Titus in the SCA. He was introduced to me as Titus and that is how I know him. Titus is the name he chose for himself, that was his �play� name � his SCA name. But somehow it fit him. He is Titus, not just in the SCA � but everywhere. I had known Titus for literally years before I found out that Titus wasn�t his �real� name. And even after I learned what his �real� name was, it didn�t register. I read his given name on a job application and thought, �Why does that name sound familiar?� Didn�t realize it was Titus until he walked through the door. He got the job - everyone called him Titus.

Hey there Kate, Katie, Kittie, Babe, Hon, Darlin'! My name is katelyn! Funny that I don't actually mind being called any of those things, by the right people ... but you'd better be sure that I think you are who you think you are before you go taking liberties with my name.

I've never been much of one for nicknames. My dad had one for me ... an affectionate corruption of my actual name. He, and later on my brother are the only ones who ever called me that. I liked that ... that my dad had his own special way of saying my name ... that he and I shared a name, that our initials were the same. I would hate it if anyone, even Lance were to call me by that name. My brother gets away with it because ... well ... because he does. Because we share the loss of our dad, and that nickname is something that we both have that connects us to him.

I always thought that I wanted a nickname. Something that would come about because of a personality trait or favorite activity ... I don't know what. Now I think about it. I know a Piglet, a Hubcap ... Nephew ... nicknames are funny things, aren't they?

I'm sure I've written about it before, though I can't find it at the moment. I hated my name when I was little. No key-chains or store-bought Christmas ornaments with my name on them. My name was weird, different, unique. I often had to spell it for new people I'd meet because they couldn't somehow grasp that I knew my own name and was not, in fact, mispronouncing it. Or I would have to tell the teacher on the first day of class how to pronounce it as they tried to read it from their class roster.

Why can't I have a regular name? A cute name. I always wanted to be Samantha, or Charlotte. Then I could be Sam or Charlie ...

Nah. I kind of think that I've never had a nickname because I've never needed one. I'm not sure if my parents just picked the right name or if I grew into it ... but somehow ... it's My name, and it has power ... and it would be strange to walk into a convenience store and see it emblazoned on the side of a lighter or a key chain. Now I like my name. Now I identify with my name.

I can go through days and days without ever hearing another person speak my name. I can hear my name a hundred times in a day. It's always different ... sometimes meaningful, sometimes not.

Part of the story I wrote, "I seduced a stranger", was not knowing his name. I find the idea fascinating ... that something as simple as exchanging names can seem more intimate and significant than the sex itself.

It is commonplace ... introductions. Name badges, "HI! My Name Is ..." Boy or girl? Have you chosen a name yet? Have you met my friend X? X this is Y.

SmilingSo commonplace, perhaps, that I didn't notice we hadn't done it ... exchanged this bit of vital information ... until I found myself talking about him with somebody else and I had to refer to him as "the cute boy" because I had no idea what his name was. It didn't matter. I knew him. He knew me. We spent the whole weekend talking about things that strangers don't talk about.

"she asked as though it was a normal question" ... I love it.