Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Christy By Any Other Name

Hi, it's MEP, popping in to introduce another guest blogger here at NTB. Have I mentioned how much I love Facebook? Yes, I know, I know . . . it's a time suck and some status updates are TMI or obnoxious, but as a mother of small children, I find it's a reliable source of entertainment, laughter, support, and encouragement. Facebook has given me the opportunity to connect with people from all stages of my life, including today's guest blogger Sharon. She and I wore the same school uniform from second grade to twelfth grade and she is one of the only other persons I know who "vacations in Fairfield, OH." Sharon is smart, witty, and a talented writer (especially skilled in crafting hilarious status updates) -- plus a veteran mother of three and an awesome photographer. Enjoy her post and then check out her blog Watch It Byrne.

Here's Sharon . . .

I have just gotten into this blogging thing and one of the biggest dilemmas I have noticed (at least for me) is the name thing. What do you call your blog? What do you call your children, family and friends when “changing their names to protect the innocent” while writing the possibly-sordid details of your interactions for the entire world to see (and hopefully laugh at)? What identity do you saddle yourself with out there in the land of the Internet? Do ya go cutesy or use initials or some bastardized version of your real name? Perhaps this is just an extension of an identity crisis I have had my entire life……

My name is Sharon. Sharon Christine actually. I hated my name growing up. There were no other Sharons in my classes and I sooooo wanted to have a “cool” name- like Jenny. Or Amy. (Population 1 bazillion in my fourth-grade class alone.) I decided I was going to change my name. No more unique for me!!

I settled on “Christy.” I figured this name kinda tied in with my real name and so it might be an easy transition and there were already a couple of Kristy’s I knew. Perfect! I already went to a Catholic school and we had the whole uniform thing, so changing my name was the most effective way to complete my invisibility.

I thought and thought of how I was going to tell my parents that I was rejecting the name they had so lovingly picked in the months before my birth. I was thinking they might be pretty attached to the name “Sharon” – seeing as they had put it on my birth certificate and everything. (They really did. I checked.) But who knows. These are the same people who considered naming me Janet. Really? Janet? I wanted to prepare a speech. Something well thought out and raising many valid points.

Me: Mom and Dad, I have decided that “Sharon” doesn’t really suit me. I feel that with my hair and eye color, relative lack of friends in the “cool crowd” and the current state of today’s economic climate I would fare better in the fourth-grade world if we would just start calling me “Christy.”

Mom and Dad: You present a well thought out argument. Your wish is our command.

Or maybe I would just change it and hope that no one noticed- just started calling me Christy, thinking maybe they just had my name wrong all along.

Me: (brings home a report card labeled “Christy Byrne”)

Me: (pays brothers to use Christy when referring to me)

Mom and Dad: I have no recollection of a Christy living here, but I see a report card with the name Christy Byrne on it. That is our last name. Christy must be the girl we always see at the dinner table. Go figure. I feel bad for our faux pas of calling her Sharon.

What I finally settled on was this method:

Me: (crying) I hate my name.

Mom and Dad: (smirking) Why?

Me: (sobbing) Because! (Brilliant, I know.)

Mom and Dad: What would you like to be called?

Me: (sniffling and wiping snot on my sleeve) Christy!

Dad: (ignoring me) How about Fudgeface?

NOOOOO!!!!! I do not know where my father’s brain came up with Fudgeface. I shudder to think of the alternates that flashed through his mind before settling on such a messy and obviously ridiculous moniker. Did they all end in “-face”?

ClownFace? Nah. That’s kinda creepy.

PizzaFace? Maybe when she is older and the acne has set in.

AssFace? Probably shouldn’t call my daughter that…..

I backtracked quickly.

No, no. Sharon is great. I like it. Its unique- and we all know that is totally what ten-year-old girls are going for! Thanks for not naming me Janet, by the way. You guys are doing a stellar job in the parenting department. The meatloaf tonight was fantastic. And last Sunday, when you told me I was gonna go on the family outing to the apple farm to see just exactly how cider was made and LIKE IT- oh man. I totally had that coming. You were so right.

But it stuck.


My name is Fudgeface.

Fudgeface Christine Byrne

But you can call me Sharon.


Okay, bloggers, help Fudgeface/Christy/Sharon out. How did you choose your blog handle? How do you choose/use names for you and your family members on your blog? And blog readers, do nicknames confuse you when you read blogs? Any votes for best blog names? Please comment.

Don't forget to visit Watch It Byrne!


CaraBee said...

My blog handle is my first name and the first initial of my last name, phonetically. Not all that creative but easy to remember and won't confuse anyone.

I don't use any nicknames on my blog other than Bean (aka Sophie Bean) for my daughter. But we actually call her that, so again it doesn't confuse anyone.

I will say that I always wanted a different name, but I don't even have a middle name to fall back on. Stupid family tradition of not giving girls middle names. I briefly went by Alexandra but that didn't go over so well. Sigh. I'm stuck with Cara.

LAP said...

I found it far more difficult than I thought it would ever be to name my children....not such a popular name that they forever had to attach a last initial but not a weird name that caused confusion. I still don't know if I've been successful, though so far so one has asked to start going by Christy instead. Cara was a name we discussed at one point though so what do I know since CaraBee tried to get rid of it:) I find it funny that the most popular name for dolls at my house is Mary...really? My name is mispronounced by most strangers but I've come to embrace it as it's a great way to weed out the people who really know me, and those who don't. I don't even bother correcting people...I figure if they are around me enough, they'll catch on.

As for blogs, one thing that comes to mind is a blog I read via Blogtrotting. I think it was called "Yes, they are all Mine", and the blogger was a grandmother of MANY. Her code when discussing them was something like 1419, meaning it was her first child's 4th child, and her 19th overall grandchild. Not a bad system when you are dealing with so many kids!

Stacia said...

I just use my first name on my blog, but I went the cutesy/characteristic route with my kiddos: Lollipop for my daughter because she's a DumDum addict and Giggles for my son because his laugh is so amazingly adorable (not biased at all). My husband, he really got slim pickin's as I just call him Husband or Daddy, depending on context. He's a science guy, though, though, so I'm going with the idea that the straightforward simplicity appeals to him. =>

Miss Welcome said...

I love fudgeface! So cute!

Although I suppose it'll lose it's charm when you're 60. :o)

MEP - I realized I wasn't following you so I'm fixing that. I thought I was.

E... said...

I wanted to keep a little bit of anonymity on my blog (and really, thought that was what you were supposed to do when I started, like there are rules or something), so I used my first initial and my favorite punctuation mark (can you tell I'm an English dork?). I use this "name" when I sign emails, etc. anyway, so it seemed to work for me. I'm not as fond of it anymore, as I think it confuses people, but it works.
I use intials for the other people in my life as well, and found myself discounting a possible name for New Baby the other day b/c it started with an "E" and thought that would get confusing on the blog. How ridiculous is that?

Sharon Byrne said...

Oh wow! I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one with this kind of identity crisis. I have grown much more comfortable with Sharon over the years. Growing up there were two other Sharon's in my neighborhood- but they were sooo much older than me- like adults. I kinda went that route when naming my kids. I didn't want them to have too cutsey of a name when they got older and had to deal with the real world. I will also admit that we stuck "President" and "Basketball Star" in front of each name to see if they would work together with what we had picked out (and did the age-old yell-the-name-at-the-top-of-your-lungs test). In my blog I just call them the Monkeys so far- I sooo need to decide what to call them individually....

Sharon Byrne said...

....and E...I totally thought there were rules or something too. And possibly the Blog Police were going to come and get me for improper blogging if I slipped and actually used real names (gasp!).

cake said...

this is particularly funny to me because my name is christi! but, i go by kayte, which is taken from my middle name of kay.

i picked "cake" as a blogger name because sometimes little kids called me "cake" when they were trying to pronounce my name. also, i just thought it sounded fun, and tasty.

the name of my blog is more complicated, and surprisingly, only one person has ever asked me where i got the name, or what it means. someday, i will blog about.

mep said...

I was always okay with my first name which was surprisingly uncommon in our grade school. I was not at all sure about my middle name because it wasn't, you know, Anne or Marie. I grew to love my middle name and used it for my new baby girl's middle name.

As for a blog handle, I use my maiden name initials, but "MEP" is also a nickname that a lot of people call me. In lots of ways, I feel like MEP is the best, most fun, most witty version of me.

I assigned code names for my kids because they are too young to decide how they want to be featured here so might as well play it safe. We actually use the name "Bub" or "Bubby" for our oldest at least 50% of the time. Then we have Little Bit and our newest, Sweet P.

I regret that I always call my husband "hubby" because I think I could have been more creative. Perhaps it's not too late to change (names for husband, not husbands).

Kelly said...

Hi Sharon. I have a sister called Sharron (with two r's). We call her Shazz.

Sharon Byrne said...

Kelly- I love it! I believe I shall now steal your sister's nickname!

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