my name? shit. ask me something else.

There are only two ways my name can go…

And I say two because the third – “Jessie” or “Jesse” is not an option.

One of my ex’s…the one who didn’t do shit with the pet sitting business…that was his name.

And I’ll be damned if I have to be called a name with such a negative connotation that it immediately makes me want to hit something…with a sledge hammer…until I render it unrecognizable. I like to avoid such scenarios, if you know what I’m saying.

Throughout my entire life until like, 8th grade….everyone called me “Jessica.”

Then, something changed during the summer before I started high school. I guess “Jessica” wasn’t cool enough to say anymore…or it took to long to get out those three LONG ASS SYLLABLES…

I became “Jess” to my friends and to those people who were not my friends but knew me because I was “that freshman” starting on the Varsity basketball team…while teachers and those at least 5 years older than me still called me Jessica.

I liked Jess. Jess was new and different and (fine, I’ll admit it) a hell of a lot easier to say.

And I was tired of people getting all lazy calling me Jes-ka…instead of Jes-sic-a.

I was Jess through college…where EVERYONE…all the way up to the Deans…called me Jess. The only time I was Jessica was to my mom  (who never caught on to the whole “Jess” thing. She was still gunning for Juice or Jessie-Mike…and…no. Just…no).

Then I got out of college.

And I wanted a change.

Jess sounded too…childish…too immature. She sounded like someone who didn’t know her ass from her forehead and liked to party…hardcore party…the kind where you wake up in a location you don’t even remember going to…

I never  partied.

And I never got confused…I always knew where my ass was…even though some thought otherwise.

I wanted to be Jessica again.

Jessica had her shit together.

So, when I met Tim, that’s what I called myself…that’s how I introduced myself…that’s how I signed my damn name.

And from the SECOND I MET HIM…

He called me Jess.

WHAT. THE. HELL.

Now, that wouldn’t have been such an issue had he reserved “Jess” for only the most private of places where names like Sugar Lump or Honey Nuts are acceptable and even deemed cute…because no one else hears…Jess could have been like, a pet name or something.

Well, we won’t even go down that imaginary road, cause he told his parents…and his co-workers…and the guy at the checkout line at the grocery store…

And I was all, “JESSICA. I WANT TO BE CALLED JESSICA!”

So, he tried…or, at least he said he tried…though the damage had already been done. No one wanted to have to change and say “Jessica” when “Jess” was so much easier

Yesterday at his work thing, one of his co-workers was all, “So, Jess…”

Then another one…”Hey! Jess!…” And another….”Oh, Jess…did you know…”

And these are people I have never actually had a real conversation with.

Yet, Jess came out of their mouth like we’d known each other for like, EVER.

On the way home, I was all, “I thought you were trying to say Jessica now…”

Tim: “I AM. It’s HARD.”

Me: “Well, everyone called me JESS today…did you notice that? EVERYONE.”

Tim: “What? Nooo…you just didn’t hear them correctly….”

Me: “Oh, I heard them…heard them leave out two whole syllables.”

Tim: “I mean, saying Jessica sounds like you’re in trouble or something…”

Me: ….

Tim: “It’s TOO HARD! What’s wrong with Jess, anyway?

Me: Jess is that girl who doesn’t apply herself and makes her living by mooching off other people…and doesn’t shower…unless absolutely necessary.

Tim: Well, then I guess…

Me: Don’t EVEN go there…unless you want to live in the seventh circle of hell for the next month.

Tim: …I guess Jess cleaned up and got her act together…is what I WAS GOING TO SAY.

Me: Riight…and my name’s Jessica.

***FOOTNOTE***

Tim read this right before it was published…and he said he was going to put out a memo at work…deeming “Jess” unacceptable because it would result in his sleeping on the couch…and the next employee who said it would have to write “My boss’s wife’s name is Jessica” five thousand times on the whiteboard in his office…and I think I just fucked up at least seven apostrophes…plural…not plural…possessive…what the hell…as long as it says “Jessica” I don’t really give a damn.

***FOOTNOTE # 2***

I realize there are not even seven apostrophes in the aforementioned footnote. It’s called exaggeration. AND I know some of you call me Jess. That is fine. I will not come at you with a sledge hammer.

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23 Responses to “my name? shit. ask me something else.”


  1. 1 peedee October 11, 2009 at 8:45 am

    I understand your fury. My kid is Lauren. God help the soul who tries to call her Laur. She will flip on them. She’s been called Laura and Laurie all her life and she corrects them in a heartbeat. I can remember when she was 7 and on a soccer team and the coach kept callin her Laurie, she would stop midfield, put her hands on her hips and scream, “MY NAME IS LAURENNNN!” and be on her way.

    I’m the only one who gets away with Laur and she I’m pretty positive she doesnt like it, its just better than calling her “bug” or “muffin” in front of the other “adults” she hangs with now.

    BTW, her middle name is Jessica. 😉 She was named after my mother who is Jessie, but I dont like the name Jessie so she got Jessica.

  2. 2 lifestartsnow October 11, 2009 at 8:49 am

    i’m with you on that one. i have the same problem. i’m franzi to everyone (which is ok when that everyone is my friend or family) but i tried to be more grown up and professional at work so i wanted to go by my full name. it worked, for like two weeks. how annoying. how can anyone take me seriously when i am “franzi” as in “oh-cutsie-she-looks-young-and-she-uses-a-nickname-too”?!?!?!

    people…

    franzi

  3. 3 Woman with Kids October 11, 2009 at 9:05 am

    *sigh* I always wanted a nickname, but Joy? Not able to be shortened or nicknamed or anything. Wanted to change my name to Samantha or Alexandra so that I could have a cool boys’ name for a nickname, but it just never caught on. Actually, strangers generally make my name longer than it is, into Joyce. People, you’re totally going the wrong way! That’s the opposite direction from a nickname.

  4. 4 Woman with Kids October 11, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Sorry, realized I lied. I do have a nickname. All through the christmas season? I’m called Joy To The World because that? Completely original EVERY YEAR.

  5. 5 bellyshirts October 11, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    hahah awesome post. Although I am slightlyy jealous that you got a nickname. Kirsten (sounds like Kearsten) has no shortenings and does not rhyme with anything. Hence I was never given a nickname. Therefore when I used to be super cool and take an abundance of those online quizzes you would post in your myspace blogs or fb notes, I would just get angry when I got to the Nickname question and had nothing to fill out.

    But dont worry. I’ll be sure to call you Jessica!

  6. 6 Alice in Wonderland October 11, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    I have the same problem, my real name is Heather, and that can’t be shortened either, neither does it rhyme with anything!
    I’m thinking about legally changing my name! But I’ll have to think of something first!

  7. 7 Jenera October 11, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    I think it’s still a bit weird when I think that I’m a wife. And being married is weird at times when we look back on our past. Even though I’m getting better with the ‘role’ it’s still weird and maybe always will be.

  8. 8 Spot October 11, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    My name is mom and that doesn’t get shortened into anything…but it does get drug out into “mooooommm” sometimes. Oh wait! You mean that name I had before I had a million kids! Yeah, Stacey. No shortening it. But I did get called Tracy alot. And in high school occasionally “spacey”. Nice, huh? I get the sledgehammer thing on both counts.

    My daughter’s name is Molly. She’s affectionately been called momo. She made us stop. So then it was just Mo. She tried to go back to Molly but no one called her that so Mo it is.

    ♥Spot

    PS- personally I like Jess- it sounds hip and fun.

  9. 9 merrilymarylee October 11, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    We used to have a young neighbor named Jessica. When anyone called her Jess, she’d always say, “Ica.” First time I heard her say it, I thought that was what she wanted to be called–Ica.

    Anyone who has her sh– together can call herself anything she wants to, Girlfriend. Just tell us what to call you.

  10. 10 Angelia Sims October 11, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    My name gets so bunged up on a day to day basis, I’d have to be a Ninja to justify the backlash. Angela. Julia. Anjulia. Angelica. You get the idea. It was my wise idea to go by my “real” name. I was called Ange or Angie growing up, totally easier. Let’s not even get into my last names. I married a Strumila, then Squillaci, then back to my maiden name. Jason knows, I am NOT changing my name again. Even though he doesn’t have a last name that starts with S. Those were weeded out at dating time. I really have mom to thank for naming me after my uncle Angel and my sisters favorite name Lia. 🙂 I always tell people to call me what they want.

  11. 11 justjennyrebecca October 11, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Love your post! My name is Jenny, just Jenny. It even says that on my birth certificate, but everyone assumes I’m a Jennifer so they call me that. And I ignore them, even if they are talking to my face. I don’t know why it bothers me so much! But my friends on the other hand, couldn’t handle the two whole syllables so they shortened my name to Jen, then to just “J”. Really? Does it save you that much time? A fraction of a second? I don’t understand people.

  12. 12 morethananelectrician October 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Let this be a lesson to all parents to limit names of their children to two syllables.

  13. 13 Lady X October 11, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    I met a kid the other day whose name was 99% consonants. His resigned (obviously familiar) solution to my look of utter panic was to say (with a sigh and barely-masked roll of the eyes) “Just call me Jon”

    Of all the letters I saw before me, I saw no “J” or “ON”.

    At least your nickname isn’t some pirated assortment of letters you don’t even lay claim to.

    😛

  14. 14 Laura October 11, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen Jess and Jessica so much in one post in my entire life. Hehehe. 😉

    No one can shorten my name so I don’t really know how you feel. I don’t get any cool or uncool nicknames… I just plain ‘ol Laura. How boring. You always want what you don’t have though I guess. 😉

  15. 15 Shelly October 11, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    I don’t understand people’s need to shorten names. Seriously, is an extra syllable or two so very difficult? My name is Shelly, not short for Michelle, just Shelly. People who barely know me yet call me “Shell” will never get very far with me. It’s offputting, annoying and just plain rude. The only people who call me Shell with any regularity (and get a response) are my parents.

  16. 16 Nona October 11, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    My name has been mispronounced and misspelled all life. Nona is actually a shortened version, and even that gets mangled.

    (It’s NO-na, with a long O sound, not NAH-na, rhymes with Donna.)

    And yes, I know it means “grandma” in Italian and yes, I have heard it sung to the tune of the Kinks “Lola.” Many, many times. Thanks.

    So I make it a point to call people by the name they choose and to pronounce it the way they prefer. It’s simple respect for who you are and your sense of identity.

    Sledge hammers are allowed for those who refuse to comply.

  17. 17 amylust October 11, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Thanks for the encouraging comment- it’s always appreciated! I love your style of story telling writing, makes me smile.

    My biggest name problem is no one believes me that my last name is really Lust. They always believe they’ve misheard and its “West” or “Loust”. Never ends..

  18. 18 Kelley October 12, 2009 at 5:10 am

    I have tried for years to get people to call me by my formal name ‘Lady Awesomeness’ but they insist on calling me Kel.

    And while I am fine with someone who knows me well calling me Kel, I kinda get a little enraged when someone I have only just met calls me that.

  19. 19 Leese October 12, 2009 at 6:11 am

    I don’t normally shorten someone’s name for them.. if you’re introduced to me as Jessica then that’s what sticks in my head.

    My real first name is Elisamaria.. and even though I prefer to be called Leese, I’m cool with any variation except LEE LEE. Do NOT call me LEE LEE!! OMG.. calling me that is like having to listen to Aretha Franklin sing Nessun Dorma.

  20. 20 Erin October 12, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Makes me glad for Erin. I’ve never had anyone shorten it before and call me “Air” – even when I played basketball. (There just MAY be a reason for that.)

    I have a friend named Rebekah who I’ve known since we were wee ones. She was then Becky, and I’ve always called her that, but since then, she’s changed from Becky > Becca > Rebekah > and now Bex. So I have people ask me where I know Bex from and I’m all “Who???”

  21. 21 mark price October 12, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    I hate it when people call me stupid-ass. I was gonna post once on nicknames. Maybe I still will i dunno. Thanks for the great post Jess. LOL calm down I was just kiddin’ Jessica.

  22. 22 helgahi October 12, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    🙂 I get more grateful everyday for my one five-letter name that is impossible to shorten into a nickname. When I was a kid I used to envy my younger brother and my friends who had two names but now… I like that I only have one. And no nicknames 😉

  23. 23 PottyMouthMommy October 12, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    I sooooo know what you are talking about… there is ONE person who calls me Chris- whom I let live. If anyone even so much as THINKS about shortening my name (Christine) to anything less than Christine- they die by force of my will alone. That’s how much I HATE short-forms for names…

    and then I went and called my daughter Katarina… who is called anything BUT her full name by everyone but me… /sigh

    btw- LOVE that your husband is putting in a memo- that’s awesome!! if he actually does it!! 😛


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