Monday, December 03, 2007

What’s in a Name?

When I first moved away from home, back in 1988, I was undeniably homesick. It’s not like I laid around the house, crying and feeling sorry for myself, but I went home to visit a lot and could hardly contain my excitement as the time for each visit got close. That was the phase of Blaine’s life known as “Thank goodness the military gives you 30 days leave a year, young man, because if you’re married to this chick, you’re going to spend every single one of them going to and from Oklahoma.” He and I would drive home** twice a year, summer and Christmas, and I would fly by myself usually once or twice more.

The first few times I flew home, I can remember the anticipation I felt as we prepared to land in the OKC airport. I was so achingly happy to see anything Oklahoma-related --- the sight of a Sooner sweatshirt, or Eskimo Joe’s t-shirt, would bring tears to my eyes, and I would find myself smiling fondly at any man in a cowboy hat and boots.

The very first time I went home, just a few hours after arriving, I can remember sitting in my mom and dad’s living room, feeling that all was right with the world. I was so happy and content, just being around my family again, in a familiar place, that I couldn’t imagine the entire world wasn’t just as pleased as I was that I was finally back home on Oklahoma soil where I belonged.

Then, the doorbell rang. I opened the door to discover a boy I had known from high school on the porch. I was SO touched that he had stopped by to welcome me home! I mean, he was a few years younger than me in school, and we’d never been close-close friends, but I thought it was awfully considerate of him to stop by and say hello my very first night home. It was like he was psychic, and knew how eager I was to re-connect and see people I knew.

And I said as much, “Steve, I can’t believe you stopped by my first night back; it’s so good to see you again!”

“Yeah, um, it’s good to see you, too” he said. And which point he paused, looked at me quizzically, and then asked, “Did you go somewhere?”

Turns out, he and my sister’s boyfriend were good friends and Steve was stopping by to see if he was there. He had no idea I’d even gotten married, let alone moved to California and been away for four months.

It was humbling, and definitely my first experience in learning that I was NOT as relevant to the rest of the world as I thought I was.

Fast forward a few years --- I was back home on vacation, and once again Steve stopped by. He and my sister were still friends, and although he remembered that I had moved away, I was still a little embarrassed by my egocentricity of our previous encounter. We were catching up on news, when he said to me, “Hey, did you hear? I’m getting married!”

I replied, “Congratulations, that’s great! What’s her name? Is it anybody I know?” (Because believe me, in a town this size, it usually is.)

“No,” he said, “she didn’t go to school with us. Her name is “x”

Ok, now. I won’t tell you her name because it would be a big ole’ invasion of her internet privacy. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with her first name. Just as there is absolutely nothing wrong with his last name. But you have to believe me, you just have to TRUST ME, that when you put the two names together, it is freaking hilarious.

Not hilarious like the Butz family naming their son Harry, or the Apple family naming their daughter Candy. More like a girl named Summer marrying into the Days family. Or a girl named Ilene marrying into the Over family. Or a girl named Iona marrying into the Carr family. Or a girl named Dee marrying into the Light family. But twenty thousand times more hilarious.

I can’t even give you a good enough example of how ironic this name is without telling you --- but trust me, it’s funny. So funny, in fact, that I knew Steve had made it up. There was no way it could be true. And I said as much.

Kristie: “OMG, that’s hysterical! How did you think that up?”

Steve: “Think what up?”

Kristie: “That name, how did you think that up? Ha, you crack me up!!!”

Steve: “No, really. That’s her name.”

Kristie: “Oh man, you are a hoot. I didn’t know you were so funny. Can you imagine if a person with your last name actually married a girl with that first name? It would be too hilarious for words!!!!!”

Steve, getting a little annoyed: “I’m telling you Kristie, I’m getting married and that is her name.”


Kristie: “Ummmmm, are you serious?”

Steve: “Yes, I’m serious.”

Kristie: “Because I sort of thought you made it up.”

Steve: “No, it’s true.”

Kristie, quite abashedly: “Oh, um ….. well congratulations, I’m sure she’s a lovely girl.”

And at that point I decided I never wanted to see Steve again because every time I did, I made a complete jackass out of myself. And I CERTAINLY never wanted to meet that wife of his, knowing he most likely TOLD HER what a jackass I was and how I made fun of her name.

So ….. {looking around nonchalantly, whistling} …… can you guess who Kellen’s teacher is this year?


**Reminds me of another story …..

**Answers to some of your recent comments, because I am too lazy to go back in and answer them individually:

Cathy, yes, same principal’s wife, isn’t that nice? And the only awkward moment came when my mom asked if she’d like a tour of the house and she gently reminded my mom she had already seen it ---- how funny is that?? And YES, Sonics abound here. I couldn’t be happier. Unless they provided free unlimited home delivery. THEN, I would be happier.

Grandma J, I can only hear the kids out on the playground if I’m outside. If I’m in my office {or what I think will be my office if I ever get all these boxes unpacked} which is located in the front of the house, just a few feet from the porch, I can’t hear them. So either this house is well-insulated, or the wind REALLY carries sound.

Dena, how stinking cute are Helio and Julianne? I was thrilled that they won. Although I must admit that Mel B. grew on me as the competition progressed and you can’t deny her natural talent. I wouldn’t have been unhappy if she had won. But I do think the third finalist should not have been third, and STILL think Sabrina Bryan got the shaft.

Rachel --- December 22nd, and you better believe I’m counting down the days!!!

To the givers-awayers of electric knives: I doubt this is the most conventional use for one, but I have a dessert recipe that calls for a layer of ice cream in a 9x13 pan. I buy the block of ice cream in a box, unwrap it, lay it on its side, and use the electric knife to cut slices, then arrange the slices in a pan. There’s probably a much easier way, but it’s always worked for me! (Well, if we’re being honest, pretty much anything containing ice cream works for me!)


Renee' said...

Can't wait to meet Kellen's teacher. Can't be worse than the twins that I went to school with - Mona Lisa and Venus. Or the girl Candy Barr. Or John F. Kennedy. How about Keith and I - Johnson/Goodenough?

Renee said...

Oh yeah, I forgot my favorite name. Keith's mom had a friend who's maiden name was Dick. She married a guy with the last name Cox. Went from Dick to Cox. What's next? I won't even go there.

Meg from Georgia!! said...

OK I got one... One of the nurse midwives in our town is named.........Eilean kidding!!!

Anonymous said...

Y'all are crackin' me up! Who needs Late Night TV when we have Kristie's blog??? :-)

Rosen Family said...

Yes... I agree...
Leno is out and Kristie is in!

I *love* coming on and finding you have written.
Thanks for sharing!

Jan R.
Oak Park, CA

Anonymous said...

Similar, but yours is much funnier, to my dad being disappointed that we did not give Justin the middle name 'other'. When my twins were born, they were grandkids 21 and 22 for my dad. He wanted to be able to joke that Justin was 'Justin other grandchild'.

(THAT wouldn't have caused Justin years of therapy, now would it...)

Jeri from hawaii said...

Sad but true, a young woman in our high school was named Rhoda Hadda Dick. Yeah, lots of jokes in the locker room and I'm sure many years of therapy trying to figure out why her parents did that to her!

Anonymous said...

I had a roommate in college named Gay who married a guy whose last name is Dykes. She is also a teacher. How weird!!

Anonymous said...

Please tell us her name!! I am dying with curiosity.

lesleegp said...

True story. We have family friends named Ben and Pauline Dover.........

AJ said...

My Dad is Dutch and went to school with a boy named Van Van Vandervan.

Anonymous said...

Great post, though of course I'm dying to know the teacher's name!

There's a lady in our neighborhood whose maiden name is Bigger and her married name is Peck. Yikes. There's also a man on the "Presidents Wall" at my parents' country club named Eldon P. Nuss. Now why would he print his middle initial on ANYTHING?! "Eldon Nuss" or "Eldon Paul Nuss" would not raise any eyebrows nor would it incite every preteen boy who walks into the club to take a detour by that picture to giggle with his friends. Mr. Nuss looks like such an dignified man from the 60's too!

Usually I sign my name but am going anonymous today in case Mrs. Bigger Peck should ever happen by your blog...

Anonymous said...

Two names that I remember from high school (and I apologize if anyone knows him. I don't, I just remember the name) Adolphus Dipple or Diffel. either way. And someone I worked with, his last name was Casey, and his wife is named Tracy. Tracy Casey.

Anonymous said...

My mother in law works with a man named Dick Fiddler...and a boy I went to school with, his dad was also the fire chief for our town and he was the seventeenth child, so his parents named him....Seventeen. I guess after that many kids that's as creative as you can get. Of course, Nascar drivers have the best names...Dick Trickle anyone?

Jeanette in GA

Lisa L said...

There is a Dr here on the Big Island of Hawaii named Dr Panich (pronounced 'Panic')...He works in the ER, of all places, in a small community hospital. On Oahu there is a surgeon by the name of Dr Payne.....I had a truly HIDEOUS maiden name, one that I cannot under any circumstances reveal, but it 1)made me so totally relieved me to marry a man with a 'normal' last name, and 2)makes me wonder why on earth dad didn't change it...years of teasing etc...

Cathy from Suwanee said...

Hey....My dad's name IS DICK COX!!!!

Grandma J said...

In high school there was a boy named General Pancake. After reading your blog entry, I googled him to see if in fact anything came up (because maybe it was just a nickname, and I graduated back in the early 60'
Low and behold someone else was looking for him a few years back on a geneology site and his exwife said he died of aids...I also found out that his sister's name was Teeny Pancake.

What I found funny was the fact that when my son lived in Cocoa FL he lived on URANUS ST.!!! Could you pay me to buy a house on that street?? I asked him if it was embarrassing, he said people hung up on him all the time when he gave his address.

As far as the electric knife for cutting ice just sounds so funny, like maybe using a chain saw might work too. just maybe. :)

Anonymous said...

My last name is Deal, and in college I met a boy whose last name was Pikel. Upon meeting him, I introduced myself with, "I can never marry you because my name would be Deal Pikel and that is terrible."

I don't think he ever spoke to me willingly again!

Anonymous said...

I have a friend named Allison who married a man with the last name of Allison, so she is Allison Allison. I figure she must have really loved her husband to marry him in spite of what her name would be!

A friend's mother's name is Gay Love. A lovely, lovely lady, too. I also know a Robin Hood, a Charlotte Web and an Anita Friday.

Lori said...

We actually have a urologist over here in Austin, TX who does vasectomies and his name is Dick Chop. This is no lie!!!!! :0)

Mimi said...

People I actually know:
Dick Seman
Dick Knott
Dick Knauff (and he pronounces the K sound - "ken-off")
The above three are all my father-in-law's friends!

Sharon Peters (I always laugh when I say her name! I hate when I have to explain why I'm laughing!)

Dr. Doctor (and I always follow up with ". . . give me the news!")

Anonymous said...

I work as a dispatcher at the sheriff's office, and years ago when I started the deputies would break in new dispatchers by running a tag that came back to a man named Seymour Peters. For real.

amandaJ said...

I'm cracking up at all the names. There's a real estate guy here in Arizona named Gary Swallows. They always show ads for him at the movie theater and when his name pops up you can hear the whole theater giggling.

Bonita Az said...

Wait I went to grade school with a guy whose name was General Pancake and he had a brother named Sperry which was a brand name at the time if I remember right. He should have been in high school in the early 60's. Could it be the same one? How could there be two?? lol

Denise Tidwell said...

I worked briefly for an OB/GYN and we had a patient named Ima Hoar!!! I always called Mrs.Ima when it was her turn to come back, I couldn't even bring myself to say it without giggling.

Alice said...

I work for a children's home and a few years ago we had cottage parents whose name were Hooker. We had a staff retreat and our CEO showed up at the hotel and told the front desk he was with the Children's Home and wanted to know if the Hookers were there yet.

That story still cracks me up!

Monica H said...

Oh, I think reading the comments is sometimes funnier than the posts. I love all these names, but it makes me wonder if their parents were high on something when they were named.

My aunt went to school with a guy named Brick Wall.