You Remembered My Name
Today in ochem they were handing back some papers and when I went to get mine, the T.A handed it to me without asking my name. I was absurdly pleased by this. I had her for recitation (a smaller group than the big lectures where you can take quizzes and ask questions, etc.) last semester, but I didn't think she would remember who I was. (It also made me feel slightly guilty because I made sure not to get her this semester, but that's not my point.)
I've been calling myself Nettie since I was 7 years old. I never really liked my real name, nobody ever spelled it right. As I grew older, it became more than just a nickname. Now I can't stand my real one because the inevitable reaction is, "Ooh, that's so pretty, you should go by that, can I call you that?" No. I never get a correctly spelled paycheck and I always have to explain it to people. After about the fourth grade, I started signing my papers as Nettie and insisting my teachers call me Nettie. A lot of my friends don't even remember my real name.
I was never intended to have a nickname. Neither of my sisters do, at least not serious ones. I've even come to have a nickname of my nickname, some people call me Nellie. The only ones that don't call me Nettie are my professors. In the smaller classes, they ask what you want to be called and there they do call me what I want. The big ones I just spell it out cause they don't remember it anyhow. The one exception to this is my calc professor. It's one of those big classes, but since I talk a lot she has learned my name. My real name. And she uses it. It drives me absolutely nuts, cause it doesn't even feel like me. Why don't I correct her, you ask? Well, she seems so proud of herself for actually learning my name, and since I need all the help I can get in that class, so I don't want to mess up the status quo.
But as for the rest of you? I'm Nettie. It's the identity I've created for myself. It represents all that I am proud of myself for. I've worked hard to become who I am today, and Nettie is who I am.