PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Monday, March 21, 2005

Jenny is an Ass

I tell ya, I totally dodged a bullet in third grade, when Mrs. Parker noticed she had TWO Jennifers in her class now, and so we'll call one Jenny, and she assigned the other Jennifer with her new name. I even remember thinking "I hope she doesn't make me the Jenny," because I was SO GRATEFUL that I got to stay Jennifer. I even remember looking up the definition of my name & being horrified that the shortened version was a name for a female donkey - who wants a nickname that means ass!?!?!

Even now-a-day, being called Jenny by people makes my skin crawl. It's just not ME. It feels diminutive, and it feels like a liberty that can only be granted by me. (Now, don't think I spend days in a rage over this. This is just one of those peeves.) What's really difficult is when people I know do it, because I have yet to develop a tactful way to tell them, KNOCK IT THE HELL OFF. I try to lightheartedly say that Jenny drives me crazy, and they can always call me Jen if they want to shorten my name, but sometimes it's one of those things in passing on the phone, like my friend's wife this morning said, "Oh hey Jenny how are you" right before handing the phone off - there was no way to say "NOOOOOoooooo" but I still felt the internal shudder. Often when I've corrected people, they end up feeling bad or apologizing - for all the people who ASK if they can call me something different, I love you, and thank you.

The worst offender was my art professor in college - he was my advisor & I tried repeatedly to emphasize calling me Jen or Jennifer - to no avail. FOUR years, of cringing in every conversation & class with the man. He ended up getting a sex change operation a few years after I graduated, and instead of being "Bob", he's now "Bobbi"...... guess he trumps me for ch-ch-ch-changes.......
posted by PlazaJen, 9:16 AM