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"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them--that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like." -Lao-Tse
"The fates lead him who will--him who won't, they drag." -Seneca

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What's in a name?

I just want to say a few things about how I've been longsuffering about being called Kyle. I may have mentioned that my mother always told me I was named after a "pretty young singer on the Arthur Godfrey Show" and since I was born 1951, I don't remember her. I told that story to many of the people who asked me my entire life, "Did they want a boy?" "Were you named after your father?" etc etc. NO!!! Named after Kyle McDonnell (I think that's how she spelled it) and just last year, I believe, I found her by accident on LOOK or LIFE magazine archives and yes, she was pretty and anyone would be pleased to be named after her ... I bet she had quite the time of it being named that in the 30s or 40s!!! When I was just going into junior high (now called middle school...7th grade, anyway) I was assigned to boys' gym class and shop class and very embarrassingly had to go and sign out! of these classes. If only I knew then what I know NOW!! I would have just insisted they let me remain in the classes, that'd show those dingbats!! But I was always and forever teased about having a "boy's name" ... and even my middle name is Lynn which can be a male name, too. Then I like to tell the story about, "Well, my father's and brother's names were Dana Meredith and my mother's name was Jo" HA HA!! They look at me like @;@ .... but it's a great story. I'm tired of telling it, though. Call us androgenous, call us weird ... Hey! on my father's side of 8 boys and 1 girl, there were males named Max Vivien, Francis Leroy, Dana Meredith...I guess those were the andro names ... the only sister was reduced to Dot ... Dorothy Lee.... I have cousins named Mary Lee and Larry Lee, middle names after their father. My dad told me he was also offered entrance into some girls' college in Bennington, Vermont, so it started long ago, as he was born in 1905. I remember being mortified when I was in 6th grade and we had to write letters to the President (who was then JFK) and I was sent a big envelope addressed to MR. KYLE HASWELL!!!!! I was ticked! I tried to erase the "Mr" and put a "Miss" in it but it only blotched up the thing and looked worse. I still to this day get mail addressed to "Mr." and those come-on ads for credit cards or anything else get shredded with gusto! Don't ask me why this still bothers me after all these years, but it just does. I did NOT ask to be named Kyle Lynn!!! When I was a young kid I was very embarrassed by my name and wanted to call myself Lynne ... I thought that looked feminine. Once by some Freudian error I wrote, "My brother was the only girl and I was the only boy" in some journaling I was doing!!!!! I was doing it to myself, even!!! GEEZ! But the reason for this ranting post is that yesterday after work I went to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription and I've gone there quite a long time now ... just before she was ringing it up, she said, "I need his birthdate"!! I had a hard day!! a very hard day working for two psychiatrists' offices where everyone is seemingly more needy now that Autumn has hit or school has started or the weather is getting chilly or summer has ended or ??? who knows? But I could hear the crack in my voice when I replied, "THAT would be ME! That's ME! I am Kyle and my birthdate is 12-28-51!" She never even said a word, just, "of course". OF COURSE??? WTF??? What about an, "Oh, I'm sorry!" LIKE I asked my mother to give me a purported boy's name so I could just fuck with people lifelong! I have girlfriends and girl relatives named Jimi Lee, Georgie, Jeremy, Lynn, Rae .... Once my husband, Jeff, and I got some scathing voicemail message from some weirdo with all sorts of obnoxious sexual innuendos, or rather blatant accusations ... I do believe they thought the "You have reached Kyle and Jeff" was some sort of gay couple (AND WHAT IF IT WAS!?) and it took quite awhile for me to figure out what in hell was the guy talking about??? Didn't have a clue who it was! Random calling gay-sniffers, I guess?? Another reason why I finally managed to get on here was that we went to Barnes & Noble today and in the used book section was "The Perfect Name" baby-naming book ... of which I have looked my name up in numerous ones of those all my life. There was "Kyla", with various derivatives like Kylie, Kyra, Kyren, Kylen, Kylwhatthefucken! NOT ONE PLAIN OL' "Kyle"!!!!! But, of course, in the boy's section: KYLE, Gaelic, Irish; a strait or narrow crossing ................ yes, tread lightly through this NARROW path of tolerance that is wearing thin of nearly always having to explain why I am named Kyle! Strangers will say: WHAT is your name??? What??? Maybe I should just make up some name.......come to think of it, I have a cousin whose name was Patricia, called Pat, and she decided her name was going to be Claire. So...anyone out there want to pick out a name for me? I actually DO love my name now, but I have to talk to enough people Monday-Friday without having to explain it to one more darned person!!! Cease and desist, people! If my name was Cuckamunga Laroughe, I wonder what anyone would say? Hey! I also heard that my mom was thinking of naming me after my grandmother on my dad's side ... Margaret Lola...but everyone called her Maggie (a name I really do love) and mom didn't want me to be called Maggie. I think it would've been simply divine if she would've named me Kyle Lola ... just say it a few times, doesn't it have a certain zing to it? KyleLola! I could run it together and pretend I was from Hawaii!! My mother's mother was named, true fact!! Pansy Blossom! What did that poor sweetheart have to go through!? Probably not half of what I've gone through. Anyone else out there have a difficult time with their given names??? Please ... let me know so I don't feel so alone. My mom, dad and brother have all died and I've no one to share this androgenous-ness with ... oh, yeah, there's Jimi Lee and Georgie, but we don't speak to each other .... where is the love, peoples??? Where is the tolerance? My name isn't Bob or John or Ron or Jeff! Of course you can add an "ie" or a "y" to about any name and make it cutesy. folks cut me some slack, OK? On facebook I put my name as KyleLynn ... not even thinking it'd sound more girlish ... but it seems to have worked. KyleLynn it is! VOILA!
Happy trails, Bloggie Souls! Sending you the highest and best from your SisSTAR! XOXOXOXO


Patti said...

Don't feel like the Lone Ranger!! Not really my name... it's my voice! On the phone, many people think I'm a man and call me "sir". So f- it, he he! Funny tou said Patricia and Claire... real funny!! My name is Patti Claire. All my life, people asked me, "Is that short for Patricia? Or would call me Patricia OR Pat... and I didn't like it one bit! It got so bad that when someone would ask my name, I would say Patti... P-A-T-T-
I... Then I found out that my oldest sister named me that. She wanted to name my sister, but Mama had already picked out Rebecca and Evelyn as a middle name after my grandmother Evelyn Pritchett. They weren't having any more kids after 3 girls from July 16 1949 to December 28 1951. I was a big surprise, and my sister Rebecca Evelyn and I are the same age for 22 days a year! So Mama and Daddy let Marcia name me Pat after my aunt's DOG, and added a ti to make it different. So I always got teased for being named after a dog, too, because my three evil sisters would tell all my friends!

Patti said...

Correction... December 28, 1952... and i was born the following December 6.

Muhd Imran said...

Hi Kylita.

Don't get me wrong but your post made me laugh. I am sorry though, that you've had and are still having a hard time with your name.

KyleLynn is a nice sounding name. Maybe I will find you in FB and be your Friend.

Like Patti, I have a problem with my voice. On the phone, I sound like a woman. Too high pitched. I was teased many a times while growing up. I still remember someone once asked me point blank "Is that your real voice?" with a curious-bewildered face to add to my embarrassment.

I expected my vocal cord to break when I reached puberty, just like all my friends but I was destined to be the "Michael Jackson" dude, even today.

At least Michael had talent and made lots of money from his "imperfection." I had to endure mine. Sigh.s

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Ardi K said...

Love this blog. Haven't checked you out in forever -- so busy with life. I definitely relate to your name challenge, though not to the grief of your experiences. I was named Gerard. I always thought it was too weird, as no one else I ever knew had such name. At a young age my cousin started calling, me Ardi because she couldn't say Gerard. That was good till highschool, then I wanted a "normal" name again. So I went by Gerry. After I got married I was tired of being among the normal-- weird as I am. I switched bh back to Ardi. So lots of challenge and change. Good catching up with you.