Monday, October 12, 2009

Doff thy name? NEVER :)

Ahem...(exaggerated clearing of throat ensues)....I feel I need to make an announcement:

My beloved friend Tammie JEAN has brought to my attention that some may feel slighted upon discovering that "Jo" is in actuality not part of my first name; no, indeed, it is my middle name. (Gasp, awe, shock, horror)...

Just thought I'd clear that up for the official record. Apologies to those who may also feel they were misled. Most authorities agree that the full birth name as recorded on your birth certificate is the name that must be used for all calculations involving name. Nicknames, changed names including marriage name changes do not dilute the importance of the name given to you by your parents.

PEOPLE, a name is a name!! Granted, mothers dote over the ordeal for 9 months (some have thought about it since they were old enough to know where babies came from!) trying to determine what fate they will pin on their unborn child if chosen poorly. I, however, have witnessed many a mother, who undoubtedly held their little bundle of joy and whispered the name to be written on the birth certificate, yell that very name in its entirety at decibels recorded by the satellites they just exploded on the surface of the moon.

Some find it almost offensive or amusing when I introduce myself as "Jessica Jo." They lean back from the implied handshake with a smug grin and say, "Jessica then." To which I reply, "Sure." And then they doubt themselves, "Then what was it?" and they lean in again. I state, "Jessica Jo, to keep things less confusing." And thus they now remember my name because we have an entire conversation where they are trying to figure out if I'm just full of myself and can't drop some high school nickname or if I will be truly offended if they only call me Jessica, or Jess, or heaven forbid, Jessi--which only three people have actually called/still call me on a consistent basis: my dad, my deceased grandpa, and my step-dad...weird how that works out...if anyone else calls me that one I almost cringe.

Thus, when asked if it is a nickname the true answer is, "No." When asked if that is the name I go by my response is, "You can call me whatever you like." I actually think it's interesting to see how people choose to address another person by their name or some form of their name. To me it says a little something about the addressee's personality as well. Reason for the addition of the middle name you may ask...well, it started in college many eons ago (about 2001 to be exact) due to having far too many Jessica's in class. A professor stuck it on and that was the end of that. People simply didn't know you were talking about me unless you identified, "Jessica JO." I found it helped to minimize confusion at church as well (where there is always plenty of Jessica's to be had) so I stuck with it.

So, I am not ashamed to say I like my middle name and I am glad my mother gave it to me--Thanks Mom! (in reality it was the closest thing my father would let her get to Josephine so :) ...)

The webster dictionary definition of
a name: 1) A word or words by which an entity is designated and distinguished from others. 2) A word or group of words used to describe or evaluate, often disparagingly. 3) Representation or repute, as opposed to reality: a democracy in name, a police state in fact. 4) a. A reputation: has a bad name. b. A distinguished reputation: made a name for himself. 5) An illustrious or outstanding person.

Choose whatever definition you think best fits for a "name" and then call me according to what you think fulfills that definition.

Giving a nod to the originator of the phrase, "What's in a name?" I now share the quote straight from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, circa 1594:

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Whithout that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

Take it or leave it folks, that is my name and I'm still the same person with or without the "Jo". I am an Aries, born the 12th of April, 1982. I need to go to sleep! I am sick after all! Alvetazane dear ones :)

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