Call Me By My Name

I have quite a few pet-peeves that make me instantly dislike a person and almost nothing can redeem them. One of the fastest ways of me declaring someone as an undesirable is the way they’ll interact with me in the simplest of ways.

The way they’ll use my name.

Where I come from, a name can morph. You can make it sound cute and adorable, you can make it bombastic and intimidating, you can even show that you’re familiar with someone, using it as a term of endearment.

I have a memory engraved in my head so vividly that it still pisses me off.

My grandmother and I were walking to the supermarket; I must have been around 4 years old. It was a hot summer day and it was all pretty lethargic up until that point.

A neighbor stops us and smiles at me. I was the first  grandchild of the family so I guess I was a novelty for my grandmother. The lady that had stopped us exclaimed out loud how much I looked like my father by jokingly using his name towards me. Yes, the child that was caught in a time warp. I was my father, still a child, their own local peculiar case of Benjamin Fuck-Off.

I don’t know why it pissed me off but it did. It offended me that I had to look like someone and couldn’t just look like me. I remember my brain’s inner monologue… I sounded like an appalled posh aristocrat.

It’s been a constant ever since, I don’t enjoy any desecration of my name. I might grin and bear it if there’s no other way but I find it disrespectful when my individuality is at stake.

So yes, I’d kindly ask you to call me by my name. No, not you dear internet person, for you will ever only meet my virtual footprint. For all of those out there in the real world, stick to the script I provided.



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