The A.K.A. Albatross
The thing about nicknames is they are hard to get rid of. I was reminded just this week as Barbie turned 50 and I got a “Dear Barbie” e-mail from my 62-year-old cousin Jim, who was always Jimmy to me.
That doll came out when I was 10. I never even wanted to look like her and certainly never did. But to most everyone in my small town and among all my relatives I would be forever “Barbie” despite the presence of the doll. It’s just hard to unlearn a name you have used for 10 years!
When we were thinking about children’s names, I was determined to pick names that could easily be used in their entirety without a diminutive form. We picked Daniel and Rachel, very Biblical names. In college Daniel decided to become Dan, but that was his choice. Rachel never made any attempt to change her name.
I face this same nickname problem when I correspond with my best friend from childhood, who sometimes comments as FL. She will always be FL to me, not the full version of F she seems to go by these days. Old habits are hard to break!
Did you ever have a nickname? When and how did you leave it behind? Do you find a certain awkwardness in talking to people who knew you “back then”?