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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hmph! (03/04/10)

TITLE: What's In a Name?
By Ruth Ann Moore


My name has a bad reputation. Not me personally, but my name. I mean, really, what could be so horrible about my name? Iím kind of partial to it! Hmph! The nerve of some people judging me because of the selection my parents made thir....um...several years ago.

Okay, so letís get down to brass tacks. It all began when my husband and I started a Bible study. Seems simple enough, right? We invited many of the other young couples at the church. There was one couple who were new to the church, and so I dutifully and enthusiastically invited them to come. The husband flat out declined. And what was the reason for his refusal? It wasnít the topic. It wasnít the timing. It was because of my name! Can you believe it? That was just the beginning.

Years have gone by and my name continues to be a source of unease to people. Even recently, my consternation was furthered when I received a call from a telemarketer. Though the conversation was pleasant, he asked if he could say something personal. I hesitantly agreed. He inferred that my name made him think of someone rude and unkind, and that my parents should have picked something different. What have my namesakes done to create this horrible reputation?

All these comments brought back the painful memory of what I had learned in my early twenties. You see, I had researched the one source that many girls look to, to see their namesí beauty embodied; the icon which creates miniature likenesses of femininity and grace, all agelessly etched and thoughtfully named. I went to Royal Doulton. Surely, I had thought, there would be a figurine for me as graceful as Elaine, curtseying in all her elegance, or the demure Victoria seated on a bench, surrounded by folds of luxurious fabric, painted to perfection.

But what to my dismay did I find? Yes, my name was there, but not as a buxom beauty of Victorian dress. Oh, no! Mine was an elderly lady. Now, suffices to say I would be content with a gentile senior figurine, dressed in an appropriate, rich gown. But did I get that? NO! My figurine was a toothless, dirty, angry-looking Pirate Maid! Argh! The pain of it all! My name has been internationally marred! Even Royal Doulton doesnít like it! To add insult to injury, my figurine was discontinued. Iím a has-been!

Whatís a girl to do? I like my name. I like itsí definition. I think it suits me, but what about itsí dastardly reputation? Iíve thought back to all those in my acquaintance; who could share my pain, and upon reflection, I realized, they are all nice! Mrs. Taylor was always kind; especially when I got the quiet seat prize. I also had a friend with the same first and second names, and I canít think of one thing Iíd change in her. My Pioneer Girls leader from childhood also has the same name, and she was one of the most fun leaders I remember. Hmph. I donít know. I guess Iíll just have to keep being the best me I can be. Surely my labours will not be in vain!

As I sit here contemplating this injustice, I think back to the Bible Study fiasco, and realize that couple did become dear friends. The telemarketer certainly did have his first positive experience with my name. Also, just this week, I learned that Royal Doulton has at long last brought out a much more feminine figurine bearing my name; sheís quite a beauty. Finally, I have yet to find another person with the same name as me that I absolutely canít stand. Perhaps together we similarly named women can work to change this great tide of aversion; one person at a time. After all, I like my name and I think my parents did a pretty good job.

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This article has been read 531 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marita Vandertogt03/12/10
I read all the way through looking for the name that was so horrendous. I think I missed it. But it was a fun read anyway.
Jackie Wilson03/12/10
I'm dying to know the name, too! Fun story!
Barbara Lynn Culler03/17/10
Meanie! I am thinking something like Jezebel or Ursula?

Great story!
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/17/10
A very enjoyable read
Sarah Elisabeth 03/17/10
Awww, how horrible can a name be?

I liked how you tied up all the loose ends to a resolved conclusion.
Beth LaBuff 03/17/10
You did a great job of propelling the reader. I was anxiously awaiting the revelation of the name. :) I was imagining "Jezebel" or "Rahab" too. You brought a smile to my lips. :)
Lyn Churchyard03/17/10
I can't for the life of me think of anything wrong with Ruth Ann. I know some lovely ladies named Ruth, and of course there is Ruth of the Bible, now she was definitely a sweetie. But, we don't know if your real name actually is Ruth Ann. All that aside, this was well written with a mysterious air about it. Might have to thump you though for leaving us hanging :-)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/17/10
I like both names- Elaine was my mom's name and Ruth Ann, although it might be considered olf-fashioned is still a very nice name, but you touched my heart with your story. All my life people have misspelled or mispronounced my name so I can empathize. Well- written and quite interesting.
Ruth Stromquist03/17/10
Well, all I can say, is that, if your real name IS Ruth Ann, then I personally think it's a FANTASTIC name. But I'm kind of biased. You see, MY name is Ruth Anne, with an added "e". :-) But I've never heard of anyone making a bad comment about it, except for my obnoxious older brothers, who took great joy in calling me "Ruthie" when I was a kid, knowing I hated that version of the name. When I became saved, 18 years ago, and started reading the Bible, and found Ruth there, she (along with Esther), became a great heroine of mine. And I so love the way she left her own land and country and followed God, sheltering under His Wings. At any rate, your story's a great read! :-)