Saturday, May 06, 2006

What's in a Name?

I just wanted to put this here in case someone from the planet Mars was unfamiliar with the terrific egg commercials of the...eighties? early ninties? beyond? As soon as I heard the commercial I stuck my own name in there and have happily been singing the song ever since: The in-credible ed-ible Meg! (This may have something to do with the fact that my sister called me Eggie for the first 6 years of her life). However I'm always concerned that people just think I'm gross and referring to my own promiscuity or sexual preferences or something. Not that I have any promiscuity or sexual preferences to be referring to. Or something.

In addition to Eggie, my family called me Meggers, Meglegs and Meg-onnaise. My sister (Ali) was referred to as Al-a-dind (yeah, I don't know either) which morphed into Dinder, before she forbade us ever to speak of that again. There were actually people in our neighborhood who thought my parents had a 3rd daughter they'd never met named Ali. They only knew Dinder and Meg.

But Meg is short and difficult to come up with a good nickname for. I've been called Meggles and Megling, Megalomaniac, Meggie...but I didn't get one that really stuck until a bartender at Lula's named me Megsie. I've been Megsie for almost 4 years now and it hasn't died off yet. My friend Bryan and his ex-girlfriend Michelle shortened it to Megs and that's my favorite. We so rarely get someone to name us acurately; it feels like a gift. I love nicknames and the affection they imply. I'm so often guilty for making up crazy or cumbersome ones, as if the weirder the nickname, the more I proved my love for a person. I had a friend in high school I called Randiferophyta. Weird or not, it's nice to have one of my own.

I guess you could say that Meg itself is a nickname since my actual name is Meaghan. Shh. Don't tell anyone. No one calls me that at all, except on job interviews, and it's stopped feeling like my name. I'll jump if you call it, but only because I think I'm in trouble. But Meg I named myself,so it's not really a nickname, after a sadistic first grade teacher called me Meaghan W for an entire year. Meaghan W? Are you kidding me?

People often comment on the spelling of Meaghan, and on more than one occasion rather than try to pronounce it, a new teacher has spelled it. Telemarketers call me Me-egg-han (there's nothing worse) and I've often felt that my parents were just feeling indecisive and so stuck in every letter they could think of. For a while, during an unfortunate stint with a crazy last name, I seemed to be trying to cultivate the most difficult name on the planet.

But once an old Irish lady kissed me on the street in DC and told me I spelled it the right way. So that's nice.

No comments: