Friday, October 18, 2013

Is There A Jimmy In The House?

When my mother was pregnant with me she did something quite stupid. She let my brothers pick out my name. Since my brothers didn't want any stinking baby girls in their house, they only picked out a name for their new baby brother. The consensus was that the newest member to their band of brothers would take his rightful place amongst them with the name of Jimmy. When I arrived that Labor Day many moons ago, much to their surprise and disappointment, I was that stinking baby girl they didn't want! This created a dilemma of coming up with a name to put on my birth certificate. No, "Shithead" wasn't in the book of baby names that year or else I'm sure that would have been my name. Why my mother didn't have them pick out two names (just in case) is beyond me. Why she didn't encourage them to be more receptive to the possibility of having a sister is ludicrous. Why she didn't just name me Jimmy anyway or maybe something close to Jimmy like Jamie to ease the sting my brothers felt has always puzzled me. It was almost like they were set up to resent me right from the start. My mother even bought into the whole idea of me being a boy by not having a secret back-up name picked out for me if I was a girl. WTF? Welcome to the family, you stinking baby girl with no name!

When my mother started having children, she claimed if she ever had a girl she would name her Debbie. Is my name Debbie? No! The reason I wasn't given that name is because my aunt had a girl a year or so before I arrived and named her Debbie. Since the rulebook clearly states that there can only be one Debbie per family, it was back to the drawing board when it came time to name me. I guess that rulebook didn't include chapters covering things like choosing a back-up name or selecting a middle name either. Where my mother came up with the name Karen has always been a mystery to me. Was it one of the "hot" females names that year? I guess picking the name Karen was such a grueling task that no one could come up with or even suggest a possible middle name to go with it. Throughout my life I have gone through the list of female names many times and have found a handful that would have fit nicely with Karen. Each time I find one that "fits", it makes that old nagging feeling of being unimportant rear its ugly head and makes me wonder why my own family couldn't have picked a sweet little name for their new bundle of joy.

One of the many reasons I grew up feeling like a freak was due to my lack of having a middle name. I guess it may seem trivial to most people, but most people have a middle name. Most people are designed to fit in right from the start and were not
given an instant
conversation piece. Whenever asked what my middle name is, I always get that "are you kidding me?" look when I tell people I don't have one. Most people immediately think I'm lying to cover up the fact that I got stuck with some horrendous name like Gertrude or Bertha (my apologies to all the Gertrude's and Bertha's in the world, but your name sucks). When left to my own devices (which is a dangerous thing to do), I gave myself my own unique middle name. My story of having a mother who craved Ovaltine while she was pregnant with me is a much nicer one to tell people than describing how braindead my family can be at times.

13 comments:

  1. Shakespeare would and did say, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet."

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    1. Does that go for "Shithead" as well?

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    2. Yes, although if that was my moniker I would legally change my name.

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    3. You know how brotherly love grows! I'm sure they were the only ones privy to call me that and at times, I have to admit the name really did fit.

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  2. Karen is a very nice name! And middle names are really not good for anything except for when you're in trouble. When I hear my first and middle name together, I know I'm in for it!

    My grandmother and great-aunt (they were sisters) on my dad's side were named Billie and Jimmie. Well, actually they had longer, more complicated names, but nobody knew them. They both had grandsons named after them, only spelled Billy and Jimmy. :)

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    1. Oh, I know middle names aren't any big deal, but when you don't have one it becomes a bigger deal than it probably should. And I really enjoy your input! Thanks!

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  3. Every Karen I've ever met has been cool. I did know a Karen who kneed herself in the eye in gym class. It wasn't pretty.

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    1. A close friend of mine has a daughter named Karen and each time she has ever been in angst over something her daughter has done I always tell her it goes with the name...

      I bet that was quite a shiner that Karen had...OUCH!

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    2. It was worse than that. I wouldn't be surprised if she had a fake one now.

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    3. I know it's bad to laugh, but I can't help it. I can see you're every bit as twisted as I am.

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  4. I loved this, Karen. :-).
    I hate my name and the story of how I got it is worse ....trust me

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    1. I hope you wrote a blog post about it and if not, you should.

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  5. Hi Jamie" - nice post - I really enjoyed this story - sounds like my brothers. ha,ha

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