Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I have a name, try using it.

Since I was a little girl my family has called me Mo. When I got into middle school and high school my friends and teachers knew me as that as well. I sometimes wonder if my family and friends remember that my real name is Melissa. It is nice to be called my my full name every once in a while just to know that people truly know who I am, but it also can throw me off when I am not expecting it. I also am thrown for a loop when people who don't know me very well decide to call me by a nickname without asking or when someone close to me calls me something new.

A few years ago my dad was dating a woman who had a daughter named Melissa, as well. It was pretty weird to hear them talk about their kids (mostly they would talk about hers) and not be sure who they were referring to. It was even weirder when my dad all of the sudden started calling me the name that this woman called her daughter; Meliss. She and my dad called me Meliss for days and I wasn't ever sure who they were talking to. It could not have been me, my name is not "Meliss," my name is Mo. Every time they said "Hey, Meliss" I looked around to see if there was another person in the room that I must have missed and not met yet. But no, it was just me. Somewhere around the same time I invited my sister, Tae (whose full name is Shanatae) over for a visit because I wanted her to see just how funny it was to have Dad call me Meliss. When Tae and I walked into the house Dad and his girl friends both said "oh hi Tae. Hi Meliss, what are you guys up to?"

I had to bite my lip to stifle my laughter when almost too quickly in response Tae said "oh Meliss and I are going shopping." And I cut in asking if they would like to come with "Shana-t" and me. I think Tae and I only had to call each other "Meliss" and "Shana-t" a few times that day before Dad caught on that he was only dropping one letter from my name and calling me a name that was not really mine. But Tae and I still call each other those names when we are in front of our dad, just to remind him how much of a goober he was for ever doing that.

I find that a lot of my co-workers also like to call me Meliss. I don't mind so much, now that only my family and close friends call me Mo. But I think it is funny that I am called this name, that is not even a whole syllable shorter by people who have know nothing about me. Most of them don't know where I live now or where I grew up. They might know that I am married to a man named Garrin, but they have never met him, or have no idea how lucky I am to have snagged him.


I just cracks me up. Now, with most people who call me this, I just drop the last letter of their name, too. Garrin sometimes calls me Meliss when he can tell it bugs me that other people are doing it; so I call him Garri.

I don't mind when everybody does it. But if I call you by your full first name, the least you can do is add that one little letter back on to mine.