One year at summer camp I told my fellow campers that my name was Lynn. And so, for those three weeks, that’s who I was. I felt like a different person just by people calling me somthing other than my same-old same-old.
I wondered today if that trick would still work. To test it out, I asked a co-worker to call me by a different first name of her choosing every time she talked with me throughout the day. Good thing I have fun co-workers- she decided to play along.
Added to the mix is my short memory. Almost as soon as the words were out of my mouth, I fogot what I had asked for. So, when I got an email addressed to Lexi about half an hour later, I scrolled down to see if there was a previous email below which would explain Lexi’s identity. Nothing. I looked in the ‘Recipients’ line to see if I had been copied on an email intended for someone else. The email was sent just to me. And then it dawned on me- I’m Lexi! I chuckled and tried it on for size. How would I feel as a Lexi? Lexi responded with formality, precision, and confidence.
Soon after, my co-worker asked “Rachel” when she was going for lunch. Rachel suited me. She was polite and friendly, smiling as she answered.
When “Mercedes’s” opinion was asked late in the afternoon, I could do nothing but stare with a deer-in-the-headlights look. “Mercedes” didn’t work for me.
It was a small thing, really, experimenting with the name change., but it peppered the day with fun. Sometimes all it takes is a creative twist on a same-old same-old to brighten up the day.
She never did like her name. ‘Natasha’ had always made her think of a stuffy old lady giving orders to unwillingly obliging servants She would have prefered to have been a Jane or a Rose. Simple is good.
However, no one had solicited her opinion at birth. In fact, the name had been pre-selected for her before she had even met the light of day. It was grandma Ellinton’s name. Which was exactly Natasha’s point- the name belonged in the past, not to her.
And so, at 21, she stood in line at the Registry office, waiting to change her name legally. As she waited, the tattoo parlor sign across the parking lot caught her attention: Lydia the Tattooed Lady. “Alright,” she thought on a whim, “I’ll call myself Lydia. Maybe I’ll even feel like getting a tattoo when I become her…”
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