Sunday, February 24, 2013

what's in a name?

I've been transitioning to using my full first name of Amalia, instead of the nickname that ends in a Y and starts with the first 2 letters of my real name.  Maybe its a bit odd, that it's taken me this long to embrace my Amaliaousity.  Amy isn't my name, nor is it an nickname given to me by anyone who is related to me.  In fact, if it wasn't for 4th grade, I would be "Tere". My middle name was Teresa when I was born.  Tere is what my family called me, and in school I used Tere Parra until 4th grade.  We moved 2000 miles across country from New Mexico to the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  I'm 9 years old and walk into a classroom, and the first interactions with my new teacher and class were her telling me "we have 2 Terri's and 3 Teresa's, can we call you Amy?"  This question is much like when on the phone you hear "Can you hold please?"  it seems acceptable, but is it really?  and for how long?  And since I had just moved, started a new school, there was no one but family calling me Tere anymore.  And I'm 9, what do I know?

The more I tell the story of how I got "Amy", the less I like the name.

My other memory of 4th grade is being introduced as bilingual, and feeling like a zoo animal, and being asked by kids to "say something in Spanish".  I hated this, it was tough enough to be the new kid, but as a kid just wanting to fit in, I felt like I was the monkey being asked to dance for their entertainment.  When asked to "say something in Spanish", I would respond "algo", to which I would hear, "ooh, what does that mean?", and the answer I would give is "algo" is "something" in Spanish.  I accept that it's possible that the kids were  interested in Spanish, but it was never a "teach me to say... " always a "say something in Spanish"...

Sorry for getting sidetracked, but it's related...

So back to to Amy topic.... Since for so long, I've been Amy, I know that many will continue to use it, and what other people call me is their choice, but I'm choosing to not propagate the nickname that just feels very blah to me.  11 years ago, I started using "A to Z" as a moniker, since my first name starts with an A and my last name ends in a Z.  "A to Z" feels like me even though I've only had the last name that ends in Z for less than a quarter of my life.  So I added the Fun, to make it Fun from A to Z, cause who wouldn't want more fun in life?

I may have said it before, but George Clooney had a great line in Inside the Actor's Studio... "great things come from light happy places" as a reason that he jokes around on set.  So in all seriousness, you can call me anything you wish, cause if you are calling me something, I'm honored that in the hustle and bustle of life you took time to interact with me. 

And for George, my lighter funnier version is "you can call me anything you like, but don't call me late for dinner"...

So this brings me to another name story... When I was about 15, my younger cousin were very  persistent in saying "Amy, Amy, Amy, Amy..."  This lead to my re-name myself... Amy can be repeated over and over very easily, so I thought I need a name that they can't repeat so fast, so I told my cousin's that they were to start calling me "chicken face", it was perfect, they would call me "chicken face" then start laughing and forget what they wanted in the first place, and they would laugh and feel a special connection to me, and isn't being connected to others what many people are looking for in life?

1 comment:

  1. you are going to have to teach me how to say Amalia