Secondhand Sunday

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sundays are my Secondhand day. I'm basically too lazy to think of anything new to say so I re-post a "vintage" entry.

If you aren't in the mood for repeats, please feel free to change the channel.

"What's in a name?"

Original Post Date, April 19, 2009

My given name is Christine Jean. You can't help but say it with a little twaaang. You have to remember it was 1966 and right around the Petticoat Junction era so lots of us have middle names like Jean and Jo.

Anyone with a name that can be shortened into a nickname knows that there are usually lots of variations given to you by friends and family.

I grew up being called Chrissy by my friends.

My sister called me Kickie because I had a propensity to kick people as a child. Really hard.

My grandfather called me Christy, in his broken English accent.

My father called me Kissy and my mother affectionately called me, you Little Bitch.

When I got my first job at 15, I decided it was time to use my grown up name of Christine, since Chrissy sounded too babyish to be entering the workforce. I worked at Woolworth's and I proudly bore my 'Christine' name tag on my mint green smock. I'm certain that my decision to forego my childhood nickname was the reason why Old Lady Evelyn, the crotchety keeper of the toy, pets and notions departments, chose me to tend to her fiefdom when she was away.

Most of my friends who have met me past the age of 25, call me Christine. Anyone who has known me since school or before or has met me through that group of friends calls me Chrissy.

I remember when I was 19, I worked with a girl whose mother's name was Susie and I thought to myself, What grown woman calls themselves by such a silly name? Well, I guess I do now.

I've had to endure the Chrissy Snow references from Three's Company. Is your real name Christmas? Nope.

Then, in 1983, the movie Christine came out about a possessed car named Christine. Christine? You mean like the car? Good one. Haven't heard that before.

I'm always surprised and annoyed when I meet people as Christine and they assume a nickname for me. Nice meeting you, Chris. You'll notice no one calls me Chris and there's a reason for that.

I had a 6th grade teacher named Mr. Kidd who was 6'4, skinny as a rail and ignorant as could be. Our classroom was at the rear of a hallway of about 8 rooms and the school office was at the opposite end. Back then, there weren't strategically placed copiers outside of classrooms for convenient mid-day copying. There was one mimeograph machine that the school secretary used to crank out duplicates in blue ink.

One spring morning, Mr. Dick, oops, I mean Mr. Kidd, needed someone to go to the office and have some copies made. I was 5'9 and chubby and tried to remain inconspicuous as my tiny people pleasing classmates raised their hands to volunteer. I was sure he was going to pick pretty petite Jennifer when I heard him say, Thank you for volunteering, Jennifer, but why don't we let Chris go? She needs the exercise.

To this day, I hear those words in my head every time someone makes the mistake of calling me Chris.

My professional name was going to be Blair Brennan when I became a supermodel but that didn't really pan out. My friend Debbie and I used to make up names and professions when we were in our early 20's and out at a bar. They were usually classy sounding like Bambi or Amber but then we never remembered them when someone would call out our names later in the night.

"Is he talking to you?"

"No, aren't you Bambi?"

"No, I'm Mitzy."

"Mitzy? Weren't you Mitzy last week?"

For now, I guess I'm just wannabe stripper chick, Chrissy Starr.

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