Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What's in a Name?

This mornings paper had an article about the most popular baby names. The piece listed the most popular boy/girl names from the years 1958, 68, 78, 88, 98 and 2008. I read this all with great interest as my friend Lori and I recently had a conversation about how much I hate my name.

Hate my name? Why yes, always have and always will. What is my name?
Mar-JOR-ie (with emphasis on the JOR.)
I was named after a great aunt. Let me tell you, there's nothing sexier than being named after a great aunt (in case you think the name Marjorie IS sexy, it's imperative you read that last sentence with great sarcasm.) As I read the the most popular girls names from 1968, (closest to the year I was born) I can just picture all the cutest, most popular girls I went to school with. All the Lisa's, the Kimberly's and the Melissa's each one of course dotting their i's with a puffy heart. Every single Lisa, Kimberly and Melissa I knew not only dressed in the latest styles, their hair was always perfect and the smelled like Love's Baby Soft. Not that I went around sniffing these girls, because that would just be weird... But you know, when they walked past you, there was always a pleasant scent that wafted by and well, the light just kind of glowed off their skin.

Back to MY name. My name shortened is Margie, but most people shorten it to just 'Marge.' When YOU think of a Marge, what comes to mind? Marge Simpson? Yeah, I get that one a lot... Blue haired bee-hive, middle-aged mom of Bart, Lisa & Maggie. But before Marge Simpson, what's the image of a 'Marge' for you? For me, it was always a tired middle-aged woman, in a tattered bath robe. She has one of those short non-descript hairstyles which require a visit to the beauty salon every other Saturday. The 'Marge' in my head always has a cup of coffee in front of her, a cigarette dangling off her lower lip and bags under her eyes which match the size of the gigantic black handbag she carries when she shops at Sears for her wardrobe. No offense to any other Marge's out there, but this is a stereotype I've carried around in my head for the last 40 some odd years. Do I fit this stereotype? Well I sure as heck try not to. In fact, for the longest time I refused to drink coffee. I don't smoke, I try to keep my hair long and I hate carrying a purse. As for my clothes? Well, I DON'T shop at Sears. Penny's sometimes but NEVER Sears (I know, big difference, right?)

Anyway, my friend Lori thinks if I hate my name so much I should choose one I like and just start having everyone call me by the NEW name. Um yeah, somehow I just don't see that really working. I mean obviously if you've spent your entire life answering to the same name, you can't easily answer to something new. Do people actually do this? Well, at least people who aren't in a witness protection program. And I wonder, what exactly should my new name be? There's always 'Princess Consuela Bananahammock' but I think that one's taken. I like Amy, Marissa, Mandy or Mindy (maybe if I stay with the M's it'll be an easier transition.)

But who the hell am I kidding. I don't see myself as a Mindy or a Marissa. I don't smell like Love's Baby Soft. My skin doesn't 'glow' and I AM a middle-aged house-wife. So I guess I'll just be happy I'm alive and I'm ME and I'll just try to be the best damn ME I can be. But someday, if I become a great-aunt? Please don't name your daughter after me... The poor kid.



Blogger Katy said...

I used to be so ticked that my parents spelled my name 'Katy' instead of 'Katie' because I wanted an i that I could dot with a big puffy heart too!

Margie is a great name, if anyone calls you Marge ask them if your hair looks blue. ;-)

10:49 AM, May 13, 2009  
Blogger kiddiesandkitties said...

ok, 'Princess Consuela Bananahammock', I'll never remember that! lol.

3:55 PM, May 13, 2009  
Anonymous Christy said...

I like Margorie...Marge--meh! You're no blue-haired Marge! Thank god they didn't decide to name you after a Bertha...or an Edith. I'd definitely be changing my name in that case!

7:11 AM, May 14, 2009  
Blogger lime said...

you are the grooviest margie i ever met. you rock. wear your name proudly. you could have one of those popular names (michelle was pretty high on the 1968 list too) and not in any way live up to the cuteness implied by it, or always be in a class with half a dozen of yourself. ack.

9:00 AM, May 14, 2009  
Blogger Chris said...

When I think of Marge, I think of the "Tell 'em Large Marge sent ya" bit from the first Pee Wee Herman movie:)

You could always skip a name altogether and just go with a symbol like Prince did for a while:)

8:27 AM, May 17, 2009  

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