I started Kindergarten with the name Monica Jane Perrine. Monica was the name of my mother’s best friend and Jane was the name of my father’s mother although they called her Jennie. Mom hoped I’d be called Monica Jane but the school quickly disabused her of the possibility of using a double name so I was enrolled as Monica.
I hated the name because from Kindergarten on, my classmates called me Monica the Harmonica. I hope I do not insult any of you who believe a harmonica is truly the sound of angels; however, I’m not fond of harmonica music unless played by Johnny Puleo and his gang. I decided at the beginning of fourth grade to become Jane. I didn’t tell my parents, just made that change. Mom didm’t know until parents’ night at school when she walked into my classroom the mother of Monica Myers and left as the mother of Jane Myers.
What I didn’t realize back in fourth grade was that people make fun of everyone’s name. The joke about “Jane” that I hate most is when someone says, “Me Tarzan. You Jane,” then laugh and laugh as if this is the most creative joke ever made. To be polite, I’d smile even though I’d heard that hundreds of times. Fortunately, the population is aging and the younger generation doesn’t know about Tarzan and Jane.
Another nicknames I’m not fond of is Plain Jane. Go to an on-line bookstore and search for titles with “Plain Jane” in them. There are dozens and dozens but I will never buy one. I’ve had people in conversation say something like, “Just use a plain Jane envelope,” and I wonder, “What’s wrong with saying a PLAIN envelope?” And, although you may think “Jane the Brain” would be acceptable, you know if you’ve seen a picture of a brain, they are not attractive.
All right, all right! I’ll stop complaining. Now it’s your turn. What nickname do people use with you? Do you like it or not or just learn to live with it?