Prompt: New name. 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?
Names are a funny thing. Given the right name and you might just succeed. Given the wrong one and you might just become a pole dancer. Ok, ok, I’m being a teeny bit facetious but you get my point. Names are defining moments. That’s definitely gonna leave a mark.
I was born Suzanne Bond. I think it must have the most # of nicknames for a formal name: Suzannah, Suzette, Suzi, Susan, Sue, Suz. The spellings of course are infinite even for Suzi, which I was called until the age of 23. Suzy, Suzie, Susie, Siouxsie. The only other one that comes close might be Elizabeth. Given the high number of possible nicknames it can be tough to know what to call me. Much different than say someone named Adam. Try shortening that one.
I’m pretty sensitive to what you call me for two reasons.
The first has to do with the uniqueness of my name. Suzanne isn’t unusual. Pretty much every other woman over the age of 40 was named Suzanne. Average age of a Suzanne? 51.something or other. It or derivations of it are mentioned in more than 25 songs. No, it’s what’s missing that I’m talking about. No middle name. Unlike the rest of my family who has one. But that’s a story for another time.
Think back to when you got in trouble as a kid.
What were you called? By your first full name and your middle name right? Because I have no middle name I was only called Suzanne when I was creating mischief. Many years after getting my fingers caught in the cookie jar and breaking windows, I still jump like one of Pavlov’s subjects when called that name. All this feeling guilty got to me as a got older so I just dropped off the second n and the e and that’s why I spell it Suzan even though it’s pronounced Susan.
The second reason I’m sensitive is because of all the girls in my school who sullied my name.
All the girls who got around in my high school–if you know what I mean–shared my name but went by the moniker Sue. The song Runaround Sue which just affirms it. Thanks a lot Dion. Plus, Sue isn’t the smartest sounding name in the school. Then there’s Suzi. Very young like Susie Snowflake that was a perennial fixture in our Christmas show? Or Susie Chapstick? You want to do business with those women right? Um, no. I’d have to say that all this name stuff never made me like mine much.
Now it’s not as bad as Myrtle which my poor Grandmother got saddled with. No wonder she wasn’t the most cheery of people–tough to be when you’re dragging around a name like that. I should feel lucky after dodging that name bullet. I’ve always wanted to have a name that was more exotic like Isabella Rossellini, Penelope Cruz or Sofia Vergara. But those would sound awkward with my WASP-y looks and background. I guess my parents knew what they were doing–the name Suzan Bond–suits me. And my last name? Well that’s pretty much the best one I could ask for. Memorable. Cool. I’d never change that.
Besides I’d miss all those good jokes about martinis and being a Bond Girl.