Monday, March 27, 2006

say my name

Some people have names that they don't like being changed into nicknames. Some Michaels hate Mike, Andrews hate Andy, or Elizabeths hate Liz. (I personally like all those nicknames, but that's neither here nor there.) Some people have names that they don't like being changed into nicknames because the nicknames are horrible; I once knew a Maggie who was technically Margaret and would sometimes get called MARGE... which should really only be followed by "how's your hip feeling today?"

And then sometimes you have a name that contains a variation that is arguably the Worst Nickname on the Planet. Such is the case with me. I don't go by my full name because the only time I've really ever been called it is when my dad was mad at me growing up (as in, "REDIFORD! Get in here!"). And there are basically two nicknames for my name; one is acceptable and is the one I've gone by all my life. I DO NOT go by the other one. Put it this way: It's the name of the girl being addressed in the song Baby Got Back, the one whose friend is complaining about "those rap guys' girlfriends," and in that moment it officially became not only the Worst Nickname on the Planet, but the Most Ghetto Valley Girl Name Ever Uttered.

And it's all MINE.

Except not. I don't go by that name. I loathe that name. I die a little inside anytime that anyone calls me by that name. It's hardly ever someone my age; it's almost always some random old person who mishears my name the first time, which makes me feel bad about correcting them; they probably lived through the Depression! Maybe the Civil War! What the hell do they care about changing a couple consonants around to keep me happy?

I work with this woman who is very sweet and maybe 96. She calls me by the Worst Nickname on the Planet. I really have no reason to interact with her that often, and yet she's always asking me stuff: How do I fix the printer? (Push the green button again.) Can I use your laptop to check my email? (Sure.) Where's a good place to go for Mexican? (Considering you're not willing to leave this town, I don't know; TACO BELL?) And every time she asks me something, she uses That Name. So this was me today:

Work Friend: You should've just stopped her right away the first time she did it.
Me: I know. I KNOW!
WF: You could just be like, "Oh, I'm sorry, were you talking to me? I thought I heard you say Worst Nickname on the Planet. I prefer to be called Red."
Me: Do you really think I could pull that off? I'd end up being like, "What? What did you say? For the love of God, don't call me that!" And then I'd make her cry or something.
WF: Yeah, maybe you're just going to have to deal with it, then.

I know I should've nipped it in the bud, but I didn't and this can't go on. In case you couldn't tell, I seriously hate this nickname. (...and I cannot lie, you other brothers can't deny, when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist and a round thing in your face...)

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