Monday, May 22, 2006
What's in a name?
My parents named me Joey because...they wanted to torture me. No that's not true, my dad just wanted a boy. My parents had the name Joey picked out for a boy when my mom was pregnant with my oldest sister, but she turned out to be a girl so she received a girl's name. Then my other older sister was born, but she only lived a short time after she was born, and she received a girl's name too. When my mom was pregnant with me, my dad asked her what they would name me and she said Joey, whether I was a boy or a girl.
I went to the temple this past Saturday and I met another lady named Joey (that doesn't happen very often!). We immediately connected as she asked me if I could relate to receiving boy mail, like from the boy scouts, and if I had problems at the bank. OH YES! It was wierd to think that someone else had experienced and is still experiencing the EXACT same annoyances of having a boy's name as me.
It is a rule I have that if I receive mail that is addressed to Mr. Joey ______ I immediately throw it in the trash without even looking to see who it is from. I am not a Mr. thank you very much!
It is a common occurence at the bank for the teller to ask me if I am Joey or to tell me that she will have to mail the receipt to Joey..."I'm Joey"...awkwardness then "oh... okay." I had one lady look at me so long and unconvinced one time that I asked her if she would like to see my license. She declined and I went on my way once again shaking my head at my parents who thought it was a good idea to give me a boy's name.
As a child, whenever I would complain about my name, my mom would always point out a few other girls I knew with boy names, Johnny Lynn and Bobby Jo. It WAS somewhat of a comfort to know that I wasn't the only girl being tortured with a boy's name, but at least they had girl middle names that automatically went with their boy names, so it was easier to tell they were girls.
I can remember my first gym class in high school. The teacher read through all the names, but my name wasn't called. As the teacher was talking to me, I heard my name being called on the boy's side of the gym...typical...I was more than willing to go join the boy's class, but they just switched my name to the girl's class instead.
I am used to people expecting to see a man when they hear my name. I have often made an appointment to have my hair cut and then have the hairdresser say "Oh I thought you were going to be a boy" when I would present myself. Sometimes these instances are fun, but most times they are just annoying. But I have grown used to them and I expect them. Now when someone apologizes for mistaking me for a man I say with a smile, "Don't worry about it, it happens all the time" But I'm thinking with a scowl, Yes it happens ALL.THE.TIME! I'm tempted these days to just write or say female after my name.
Now having said all this about my name, I can't picture myself with any other name. For better or worse, it's MY name. My life would be boring not having to explain that I am Joey, not having to repeat my name Joey for people who think I said Jody or Joy (although as a kid I did have our new neighbor convinced my name was Jody because I didn't correct her. It was fun having a girl's name...for about a week until my mom corrected the neighbor, and I would miss having a name that most other girls don't have.