Wednesday, March 23, 2005



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.

16 Comments:

At 3/24/2005 12:38:00 AM, Blogger Mountain Mama said...

I think Nettie is a cute name. Isn't it generally derived from Annette, or Antoinette.
I think that if we use a nickname for a long peeriod of time, it seems to make us a little insecure to be called by our proper name. At least it does me. Mom used to call me by my proper name when she was upset with me, maybe thats why.

 
At 3/24/2005 02:18:00 AM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Every once in a while, some j***o** reminds me that a possible nickname for me is "Dick."

 
At 3/24/2005 10:36:00 AM, Blogger Jeff H said...

I always knew if my mom called me by my first AND middle name, no good was in my immediate future. My full name is Jeffrey Louis H------. My maternal grandmother would often call me "Jeff Louis". I've always gone by Jeff, some people will call me Jeffrey, and at church I answer to Huddie as readily as to any other name, especially among the Lynn Camp Hollow Boys and our mens ensemble Cornerstone.

I like Nettie; your wishes about you name are to be honored.

 
At 3/24/2005 01:05:00 PM, Blogger Barbara said...

Nettie you are,

So Nettie you'll be.


Perhaps one day you may start to like it?

 
At 3/24/2005 01:34:00 PM, Blogger Nettie said...

We'll have to see on that. Some have suggested that Nettie isn't very 'professional.' Oh well, npot much of what I do is.

 
At 3/24/2005 02:21:00 PM, Blogger Guinevere Meadow said...

I have a nickname, but I only let friends and family use it. I don't know if "Jen" qualifies as a nickname, but anyway, not just anyone can call me that. Professors? No way. I call them "Mr." or "Dr." or "professor," so by dangit, they don't get to call ME by a nickname. *grin*

Now my next point...you are such a tease! Now I want to know what your "real" name is...dying of curiosity! Not really. I shall honor your wishes.

 
At 3/24/2005 03:10:00 PM, Blogger mrsd said...

Nettie,
What is your given name?

 
At 3/24/2005 03:51:00 PM, Blogger Nettie said...

Trade secret?

 
At 3/24/2005 04:31:00 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

I need to know your real name now, it will drive me crazy!

Did Jeff say his middle name was Louise? We could call him Weezie.

 
At 3/24/2005 04:33:00 PM, Blogger jonny ragel said...

much of the time self 'gloss' (nickname) doesn't stick. examples of this include my brother, timothy, who glossed himself 'Tim-O'. he even used 'Tim-O' on several papers in the first grade but it didn't go beyond that.

since your nickname is so historic (age 7) and has been in use for so long it's now your name IMO. I've been hounded a bit for not going as 'jonathan', but I've never gone as 'jonathan' and never will. some have even wanted to bust out the 'jonathan david' on me because it's 'such a beautiful story'. well, it doesn't fit me that's all. and most my IDs say 'Jon D' on them anyway.

most nicknames are earned (like 'johnny crash'- which I've used on stage so many times it's just how alot of people think of me). some are annoying (like 'diaper boy'). some you grow out of ('jay bird', 'boo bear', 'j', 'jon jon', etc.). but some are just perfect forever- like 'nettie'.

we have a saying here in the northwest: if you can't fix it. don't break it. errrr- if it aint fixed----don't---well- your nickname sounds pretty darn good is what I'm trying to say.

 
At 3/24/2005 08:48:00 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Trade secret, eh? Well, fine, be that way...

 
At 3/24/2005 09:07:00 PM, Blogger Paula said...

Nettie is a great name! I'm sure your real name is just as great. You'll always be Nettie to me! Hopefully Dr. Nettie one day!!!

 
At 3/24/2005 10:19:00 PM, Blogger Jeff H said...

Darlene, Darlene, Darlene...

Drop the "e", it's "Louis", as in "Joe Louis", "Louis Pasteur", or "Saint Louis" (the guy, not the city).

You know, in the same vein, we could start calling you "Charlene"...

Hmm, "Charlene Darlin'"...sounds familiar...

 
At 3/25/2005 04:44:00 PM, Blogger Stacey said...

I LOVE Nettie and is so uniquely (sp?) YOU!!!! And that's what I love about it even more.

We named our son Timothy Justin but have called him TJ from day one...I often wonder what he will choose to do with his name.

 
At 2/18/2007 05:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush goes ballistic about other countries being evil and dangerous, because they have weapons of mass destruction. But, he insists on building up even a more deadly supply of nuclear arms right here in the US. What do you think? Why has bush turned our country from a country of hope and prosperity to a country of belligerence and fear.
Our country is in debt until forever, we don't have jobs, and we live in fear. We have invaded a country and been responsible for thousands of deaths.
We have lost friends and influenced no one. No wonder most of the world thinks we suck. Thanks to what george bush has done to our country during the past three years, we do!

 
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