When my daughter PK came home from her first day of school with the list of names of the students in her class I noticed a common trend…hyphens. And that hyphenated name always ended with Grace. Somehow Grace is ALWAYS the common denominator. Who knew 20 years ago that the name Grace would be so popularly hyphenated by other older names that have since made a comeback.
Those names are cute in Kindergarten and first grade and even as infants . Its only when you get in the 7th or 8th grade you wonder what a person was thinking when they named a baby , Mae, dropping the Grace. Well even the Mae-Grace sounds a little differently when you are growing up. You remember the cute blonde girl that was a model named Frances…yea me either. (LOL)
Let me just start with my name, Tesha, its a simple name with only 5 letters. However it has been one of the most mispronounced name in history. I first realized there was a problem when I was about 3 or 4 and I would tell people my name and after clearly saying TEE- SHA they still called me Tish. I get it , we give everybody nicknames but I realized quite early that this was not a nickname on purpose it was a nickname because they could not pronounce my name. And it was my own people , the inventors of the , “Esha’s, ” that could not pronounce my simple name.
I have to be honest I hated my name. I just wondered what my parents where thinking when they named me Tesha .Thank God they did not add a LA or TA or even a CA, I don’t think I could have made it with those names. I mean my parents had regular All American names like Pamela and Tom. How simple could it have been for them to find a simple name for me like Heather or Samantha (lol).
Another thing that bothered me was pronouncing my name w a short e. What black girl do you know who has an ESHA in her name using a short E, seriously. By the end of my 11th grade year I was so frustrated by my name that I had this genius idea to change the spelling of my name and maybe some people would be able to say it right. I learned then that no amount of corrective spelling could change how people tore a part my name .
Consistently for my entire life I have been called the wrong name. And it has brought a lot of embarrassment to my life and a lot of unwanted conversations. Every class I’ve attended , every year ( unless I had a previous teacher) always went thru this whole process of saying my name first and then letting them repeat. My freshman year of college I allowed one professor call me Kesha for two semesters and he was faithful at it too . I have ran into him once or twice since college and he still calls me Kesha…followed by did I get it right. I would smile and say…yea I had given up at that point.
I thought well let me change up things with the names of my children. I would give them just simple names, nothing special. And names with some sort of nice meaning…if it means anything. So Peyton came…no trouble saying that name . And then I thought I’d be creative with the P theme and name my second son Pier. Nothing special about his name other than its different. We have all seen a Pier One store, been on a Pier , read about a Pier …yet people have screwed his name up too. How do you mess up a one syllable name ? Is it because he’s black ( I had to).
Well that didn’t work , I assume PK , Palmer and Portland will fair a little better in school unless they get that one teacher who thinks that I was that clever Mom and instead of calling my daughter just Palmer the boring two syllable name and change it to Pah ALMer…I guarantee you it will happen and when it happens I will be right back her blogging about the whole thing.
So rather than be embarrassed for the name my Mother gave me, I’m wondering how do I make my name A NAME.