Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?
(Author: Becca Wilcott)
When I was a kid, I loved to pretend that I was a single gal making her living as a secretary in New York City. I had this very cool apartment in a Second Empire house (my house at the time) and worked for "World News Today Magazine." I had a lovely office (in the kitchen) at a great desk (the kitchen table) overlooking the skyline of New York City (well, actually my backyard). I also had a cool red plastic phone and an Underwood typewriter. My name was Amy Miller. I don't know if the love of the name Amy was my own or because my mother once told me that if she were to have another girl, she would name her Amy. In any case, I loved the name and used it for any occasion when I wasn't myself. Amy, the secretary, Amy, the Tony Award winning actress, Amy the librarian. I was an only child and had an amazing fantasy/pretend world. Why did my parents have to burden me with the stupid name I had? Why couldn't I be named Amy?
Now as I reflect on today's prompt, I wonder why I wanted to be Amy Miller. Pretty uninspiring. I love my name now. I do use my nickname, Mindy, in daily life and I guess I'm not all that fond of it; one too many "Mork and Mindy" jokes when I was wearing a name tag at the Burger King counter. But I think my given name, Melinda, is lovely. Not so unusual that people haven't heard of it but unique enough that people don't know ten Melindas. I think my love of the name Amy Miller had more to do with being an easy-to-spell name that made me feel just like everyone else. Whereas Melinda and my last name were not common. My last name had to be spelled for everyone and earned me a nickname of "mustard" in college. And because the name wasn't common, I was often called Missy, Melissa or Wendy. I hated that.
If I could reintroduce myself from now on, I would drop the name Mindy and only use Melinda and I would always use my "mustardy" maiden name as my middle name, even if I have to spell it. So why not just make the change now? Unfortunately because I spent my whole life going by my nickname, Mindy, being called Melinda indicates you don't really know me or you are my mother and I'm in trouble! So what's a girl to do? I love my formal name but don't use it and continue to be called Wendy or Missy! Hmmm.....maybe Amy would be better?