Category: middle name shame

Name Shame

Hate your name?  Feeling less-than-wonderful about your own moniker can inspire a larger love of a different kind of name, says guest blogger Jill Barnett.

I was four years old, and dressed in my best Wonder Woman Underoos, complete with lasso and headband. I had just finished watching my favorite Saturday morning cartoon featuring superheroes known as the Wonder Twins, and I decided to act out their “Wonder Twins, activate! Wonder Twins, deactivate!” super power ritual with my stuffed monkey, Marvin. (Marvin was a passive, but willing, participant.) After a few rounds of this, followed by a first-rate lasso routine, I came to the logical conclusion that I had acquired the ability to fly.

I climbed on top of a tall cabinet, adjusted my cape for optimum glide, waved to Marvin, and launched myself into the air, horizontal to the hardwood flooring below. Suffice it to say, en route to falling victim to gravity, I experienced the first “Holy @#$%&!” moment of my life.

If you could bottle the feeling of sheer panic and doom I experienced as I plummeted to Earth, you’d have a pretty good idea of the terror and dread I feel whenever I’m asked to reveal my full name. Most people love to share their names with others, but the mere thought of discussing my middle moniker reduces me to a trembling, airborne four-year-old.

Granted, Jill, my first name, rhymes with ill, kill, pill, and shrill, and is associated with a little girl who lacks the ability to successfully walk down a hill, but despite these challenges, I actually prefer Jill to my more melodic middle name.

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