Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What's in a name?

My birth name is Meredith. And to my mom's dismay, the only people who have every called me that are my family. I don't even know when I changed to being called Mimi. I have no idea where the nickname comes from or why I chose it. Did I choose it? Did someone choose it for me? My mom likes to say it's because I was always saying "me me me me". Well, I know plenty of little kids who like to say, "no no no no" and they aren't called NoNo.

So, I've thought about going by my given name and I wonder who that person would be. I can't see it being me. Meredith seems so blah (sorry mom). "Hi, my name is Meredith and I'm a boring adult". Now, no offense to the Meredith's of the world. My best friend in High School was named Meredith and she's not "blah" at all. She's a crazy lady... in a good way. I just don't think I could change. I'm corny, disorganized, messy, mouth running a mile a minute, and a general fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. I am a Mimi. Maybe when I'm in my 80's and I'm acting like an adult I'll go for the change. By then I'll probably have dimentia and every time they call me Meredith I won't know who they're talking to!

Now, as for work and my name. It's been kind of interesting. I have a given name, which I don't use except to sign legal forms. I have a nickname, which everyone knows me by. And to top it all off, many people have managed to shorten even Mimi! When I lived overseas at a boarding school, my roommate and dear friend called me Merit. Still don't know why. When I moved to MN I worked at a large company. I had a couple of bosses and numerous coworkers. Four of them called me 4 different things. Cathy called me "M", Linda called me "Meriweather", Bonnie called me "Meem", and for the life of me I can't remember what my other boss called me. Not a single one called me Mimi. I didn't care because I found it amusing and somewhat endearing.

When Bonnie or "Bon" as I call her emails me or talks to me on the phone, she still calls me "Meem". Some people have called me "Meemers" and one of my current coworkers calls me "Meems".

I think there are probably very few people who go by their given names. I wonder why. I call my oldest daughter Baby and never shorten Brieanne to Brie. Amber goes by Ber from playing basketball. Jacob is Jake and in our home I sometimes revert to Jakeybear (which every 9 yr old boy loves, right?!). When he was in baby group and preschool, he was called Jacobbaker by his teacher and it caught on to a couple people. They still call him his first and last name combined. My littlest guy, Ryan, doesn't have just one nickname. I call him Ryguy, Doodles, Doodlydo, and Lovey. Wonder how long I'll get away with those! :o)

Ah, our names can mean so many things to different people. Our relationship with them I think can be found in what they call us. I prefer my mom calling me Meredith. I have no idea why. It just sounds right coming from her. When my oldest younger brother and I were young, he started calling me Meredith to tick me off. At first it did and I wanted to beat the snot out of him, and probably did. Then I decided I couldn't give a hoot and let him call me Meredith. It was my name, so who cared. Take that little bro! I'm Mom to my kids and Daughter to God.

What names do you go by? Is there more than one? Do you like your given name? I wonder what God will call me when I see him face to face! What an exciting thing to look forward to learning! ~Mimi

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.