Queen Anne (or not)

queenanneNot. But that’s my given name, the name The Commander named me. Oh, not the “Queen” part. C’mon. I have never really liked my name. Some kids don’t. I gave birth to one of those, so I know. I would’ve rather been named, oh, I don’t know, Shelly or something. I don’t mean Shelly as in short for Michelle, I mean Shelly as in finding beautiful shells on a beach somewhere other than Gitchee Gumee, where we have a lot of rocks but only a few shells. That’s only an example. There were other names that I lusted after when I was a kid but I can’t remember what they were.

For me, Anne was too short and sometimes a bit strident. Especially if my moom was calling for me when I was doing something I wasn’t supposed to be doing, which was most of the time. My name sounded a little like an alarm. And I had a great-aunt Ann who was a bit eccentric and I didn’t really want to be compared to her. Make no mistake. I have good memories of her. She used to read stories to my brother and me when we stayed at our grandparents’ house, where she lived. She was a good person. Just not someone I wanted people to identify me with.

And then there was the whole thing about how my [beloved] only slightly younger cousin has the same name as me. The story is that my moom (The Commander) and her moom (Bubs) were both pregnant at the same time. They both chose the same name. They went ahead and named us the same name (“e” on the end and everything). My cousin was born in Denver, Colorado, and they figured we would never get together. But we did. It was okay. With me anyway. I always thought it was cool to have a cousin with my name. Somehow she got to be Anniepooh back in the old days. It was after Winnie ther Pooh, not because of you-know-what. I have various nicknames now but generally I still go by my given name and I still feel like, “me?” whenever people actually call me Anne.

I’m not sure whether Pooh really likes her nickname or not. I have become a little bit more comfortable with my given name since The Commander told me that I was actually named after Anne of Green Gables. Another spirited child who didn’t really like her name but eventually tolerated it. As long as people added the blasted “e” onto the end of it.

I’ve been trying to get a halfway decent picture of Queen Anne’s Lace all summer and this is the best I’ve been able to do so far. My Mouse and I walked over to the Plum Market cafe for Zingerman’s coffee this morning and then we walked the Barton Dam hike. We were tired at the end and it was noon by then, so we got Panera take-out.

I don’t know how to name babies. You do what you have to do at the time and some of them are comfortable with their names and some of them are not. Maybe some other cultures deal with this in a different way…

5 Responses to “Queen Anne (or not)”

  1. Jay Says:

    And it is always interesting to me how many of our family (extended) use something other than their actual given name most of the time. Some chosen by the person using said name, and some assigned by others.

  2. Kathy Farnell Says:

    I have a cousin (the daughter of my moms brother, Tom O’Neil) that was born about a month before me. Both of us are named Kathleen. We used to have fun when we would get together and we didn’t care that we had the same name. I didn’t always like my name. I wanted to be Theresa because the nuns at our school seemed to really like all of the girls named Theresa. They got good grades too. Now, I like my name just fine and I’m glad I’m Kathleen and not Theresa. I think that Kathleen is a beautiful name.

  3. Sam Says:

    I like that in some cultures you periodically change the name you’re known by socially. This makes paper-pushers and Dick-Cheney-types nutty, but so what?

  4. grandmothertrucker Says:

    I think Kathy picked my name. It was the 60’s. All my sisters have a niece with a name like theirs but me… I don’t know if they were named after them or not…. My dad called me Joanny Bologna. It doesn’t look like it rhymes until you sing the song. I would hang around my dad in the garage and eat bologna sandwiches, and he started calling me that. Only my brother Don calls me Jo. I dropped the e off the end and replaced it with a y when they were teaching me how to spell, because everyone else in the family had that sound at the end Gary, Kathy, Donny, Jacky, Bobby, Billy, Betsy, Jimmy, Suzie and Joanny. It just seemed normal. So, nobody understands how I spell it. I recently got an invitation, with a whole new spelling. Joanee. That’s new to me.

    Other nicknames, ask Kathy Farnell or The Mouse In The House. I was Snyper In The Diaper, Suzie was Mess In The Dress. Others were Pill On A Holl, Man In The Can, and fo the rest you have to ask Kathy.

    Any correlation between Kathy Courtois/Farnell Mouse and Kathy Courtois Mouse???? When she’s older will we call her “Just Kathy?”

  5. Margaret Says:

    I didn’t like my name growing up because it was so old-fashioned, but now I like it because it’s unusual. Many of my classmates were Kathys and Debbies, so I was unique.