Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Spice Up Your Life.

Phone message received yesterday morning:

"Hi, this is Cinnamon, Jamie's mother from the Children's Choir. I was calling about the next rehearsal for the Christmas Musical. If you could call me back at 623-###-#### that would be great. Thanks."

Deep breath and dial.

"Hi...Cinnamon...this is Ginger." Laughter ensues from both of us.

A child's name can be a heavy burden to carry. I'm not saying that my name is an actual burden. I've always pretty felt pretty detached from it for some reason, as if it's not really me, but someone I refer to. I don't dislike it and I probably wouldn't change it even if I could. But I do dislike the same three jokes used by everyone in the entire world. Yes, it would be funny if I married Tom Bread or Larry Snap. I had a youth leader growing up named Andy Ale. He had a son about eight years my junior and everyone thought it would be just swell for me to end up as one of the Ales. I don't even like Ginger Ale.

I worked at a summer camp that provides each of it's employees with a summer nickname. Campers spend an entire week trying to guess your real name. I used to give the following clues. I am a noun that can be found in your kitchen. My name can also be added to and become an adverb. You can't do that with Katie or Jessica.

My best friend all through elementary school was Kelly. She moved from Michigan right before the start of first grade. We met at Sunday School and Kelly went home to tell her mother that she had made a new friend named "Nutmeg." Confused, her mother suggested she rethink that name. They ended up pulling every spice from the cabinet before determining that my name was not Nutmeg or Sugar.

Do you know what isn't exciting for me? When I meet you and you excitedly proclaim that "My dog is named Ginger!!" Am I supposed to be pleased with this?

Something I have been pleased with is the costume possibilities that my name allows. I once went to a Christmas party with bread hanging off my shirt and fashioned as earrings.

"Nice costume. So, what are you supposed to be?"

What's my name?


What am I wearing?


That's right. I'm ginger toast. Good guess, genius.

And finally, the piece de resistance. The summer after my senior year of high school, my family moved from Dallas to Houston. I had to order a new voter's registration card. I don't remember how we registered at that time, but it would not have been on-line. Someone typed in the information on my card and made one slight error. For years our house received jury summons for one FINGER. Oh snap.


Annie Parsons said...

Oh snap.
Oh GINGER snap!

Anonymous said...

Oh, you make me LAUGH!!! -m.

Anonymous said...

nothing like feeling detached from your name...oh well, I've never really liked my name either..there was never anyone on TV or movies back in the 60's that was cool named Steve...Fred McMurray, the dopey Dad on "My 3 Sons" was Steve, there was that dopey husband of Billie Sue or Bobbie Sue on "Petticoat Junction" named Steve and there was the guy who played Hercules in the English Dubbed Italian movies named Steve Reeves....the cool names were Bill and Bob