What is in a Name?

3 Jan

So for years I have been called “V”. In a month it will be 15 years actually. You see I have a very difficult last name to pronounce and I started my career teaching Kindergarten.

At the time it was just much simpler for the students to call me Mrs. V, than to learn how to pronounce Varoutsos.

Well the adults shortened that even more to just V.

No worries. It didn’t bother me. I had finally gotten away from the numerous horrible nicknames for Michelle; Shelley, Shell, meme, meems, midget, midge, etc.

Mind you…I didn’t often answer to Michelle. That was my mother’s name. Although she spelled it with one ‘l’, it still belonged to her. I had never taken ownership of it because of all of the little comments that came with it.

“So you’re actually a ‘junior’?” (Always stated in amazement)
“I didn’t know girls could be juniors.”
“Why are you named after your mom, you look nothing alike?”
“Who’s brilliant idea was that?”
“How do you tell each other apart?”

I could go on but I won’t.
So one day I asked my mom why she bestowed this horrible curse upon me. She answered as she always does. Go ask your father.

His “brilliant” answer…..because I knew you would be as amazing as your mother and I couldn’t think of a more beautiful name.

Now to you…I know…it sounds so wonderful…amazing…a tribute…Right?

Wrong!

Nothing could be further from the truth. While I will always love my mother. I will Never stop working to be her polar opposite. She and I began our relationship rocky and have traveled a difficult road. We mostly embrace that, but I wouldn’t wish it on other mothers and daughters.

Is it the name that caused the dissension? No….that was just the beginning of a long journey. It certainly was a daily reminder of where I was headed in life and how I wanted to get there.

So now I live with Mish….for those that are really close to me.

And for the rest, I am simply V.
Can you see the resemblance?
image

image
I know neither picture is very becoming…but I did it on purpose… I told you before I don’t photograph well……

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One Response to “What is in a Name?”

  1. Jody Lindner January 3, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

    Michelle,

    As you know I am in you very shoes when it comes to a name. My mother named me after my aunt her oldest sister. The more complicated part is I am more known by Jody than my legal name of Joanna. On a daily basis someone asks me how I got my name and why am I called Jody and not Joanna or how did Jody come from Joanna. My answer is always the same my mom did allot drugs in the 70’s. I mean it as a joke but I think it actually might be true. I have grown up hating my name and not feeling much of an attachment to it. As I have gotten older I am still known more as Jody but I will at least acknowledge someone when they say Joanna. Love and miss you my oldest friend.

    Jody (Joanna)

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