During a brief spell in my youth, I wanted to change my name. I considered something like Leyla, which was popular and pretty. It wasn’t that I hated my name – it’s just that people ALWAYS got it wrong and it has been pissing me off my whole life.
My parents made an agreement when I was conceived – mom would pick the boy’s name and dad would pick the girl’s. I actually really like my name since it’s unique and because my father chose it just for me.
Dad was a fan of Tolkien so that is how I got the moniker. I can’t begin to TELL you how many times people asked me if I changed it when the trilogy of movies came out. I really am NOT that much of a nerd… I could have wound up one of a BILLION Jennifers since that was one of the most popular names of the early-7os. Thank GOODNESS I didn’t wind up another “Jenny-from-the-Block!
When they filled out my birth record, my dad even made sure to include the accent over the “o” in my name which you can see on my original birth certificate. Pretty cool. The only thing that was UN-cool about my name was that nobody ever got right the first time. Who would think that “Lorien” was so hard to pronounce or interpret? You’d think it was a certified tongue-twister or something with all the variations I’ve been addressed by over the years –
“Gloria, what time is it??” Not even close.
“LoriANNE…” Let me stop you right there – please don’t even finish the statement.
“Hi, Lauren…” Oy.
“LOREAL, where’s my car?” Aaannd… …you’re drunk.
“Y’know something, Lorelei…!?” You’re friggin’ kidding. For TWO WHOLE YEARS this coworker of mine called me Lorelei and everyone just thought it was a cute nickname; which is the only reason I tolerated it. Turns out he REALLY thought that WAS my name.
It did get sort of tiring having to correct folks all the time, but I came up with a combination of brief-instructional/witty-inside-joke – I would tell the listening-impaired “It’s pronounced like ‘DeLorean’ but without the ‘DUH'” (GET IT??). They mostly picked up on my knowledge of automobile history which made it super-funny for a while.
Who’d have thought a six-letter, three-syllable name would puzzle so many educated people?
The problem with people is that their brains get stuck on the familiar, common-sounding, easily recognizable fluff. Save for that one nut of a high-profile client from when I worked at the limo place who’d actually get it RIGHT while she was sober. After a few drinks at Morton’s with her clients, she would turn my name into the exotic-sounding, Frenchy cosmetics brand . Had she eaten enough steak and potatoes, maybe she’d have gotten it right. Or, come to think of it, maybe in her Queen-of-the-Music-Industry crown she was just screwing with me…
O, she knew how to properly pronounce my name alright, but it was so silly-sounding to her that she just had to make her drunken jabs at me. Either way she loses because in the end (of the commercial, anyway) I’m worth it! Whatever that means… 😉
Originally posted on Hexus-Nexus ; my former home for sardonic funnies and venting. I used a different email address and pseudonym because I worried that someone from work would find me out and either terminate my employment or sue me for defamation and/or mental anguish.
This was one of my favorite posts, though it required an edit or two. I’m not entirely sure WHERE the introductory train of thought came from originally. Maybe it was just a bad day…