Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Hmph! (03/04/10)
TITLE: What's In a Name?
By Ruth Ann Moore
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Okay, so let’s 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 wasn’t the topic. It wasn’t 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 names’ 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 doesn’t like it! To add insult to injury, my figurine was discontinued. I’m a has-been!
What’s a girl to do? I like my name. I like its’ definition. I think it suits me, but what about its’ dastardly reputation? I’ve 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 can’t think of one thing I’d 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 don’t know. I guess I’ll 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; she’s quite a beauty. Finally, I have yet to find another person with the same name as me that I absolutely can’t 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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