A memory came to me recently. It kind of solidified in my mind that it is ok to want to change my name. Honestly, I will probably never do it legally. I don’t even know where I would begin to start changing paperwork and bank accounts, etc. Then, there are things I will probably never think about. My best friend has me down as the person who will handle her life insurance for her kids if something happens to her.
My name is Kirby. There is no story. There is no cute reason. It isn’t a nickname or short for anything. Yes, it is more common for boys. I have a bunch of siblings, they all have strange names. But, my name is the only one that never either became common, or has a shortened form that is common.
I remember when one of my siblings was going to be born. My parents wanted to name the baby Chance if it was a boy. I remember saying it was an ok name, but it was better for a girl. And they told me it wasn’t. That Chance for a girl would invite a bunch of inappropriate comments. How someday men might take it as a dare, to take a “Chance”. I thought that was stupid then, but, I didn’t really put things together until I was talking to Brad one day.
Chance was inappropriate? My name is Kirby.
You know what it means to go through life with that name?
It means grown-ass men will wink and make jokes you don’t quite understand at 16 (but look 23) about how you got that nickname.
You will work in a bar, and have to tell a group of drunk men your name, and they will nudge each other, and joke and all of a sudden pay a lot more attention to you.
You will say “Hi, I’m Kirby” and some jerk will respond with “Kirby, huh? I bet. So, you wanna come over later and give me a demonstration of your sucking abilities.”
How about “I didn’t know that’s what they were selling”
Maybe “I bet you give an amazing blow job, who nicknamed you that?”
Oh…”I don’t remember your name…hoover, dyson, kirby, you suck something.”
I have about 15 years of being reduced to little more than a sex toy to others, because of nothing more than my name.
And, my parents and siblings have the nerve to be offended that I want to change my name. I was told outright, that I would NOT be called that. That I would still be introduced as Kirby. (back when I was still speaking to them).
You know the really “funny” thing? I wasn’t allowed to wear SO many things as a teenager. Because, that might make men thing the wrong thing. Men shouldn’t be thinking of me like that. I needed to have more respect. Yeah…when I was 17 and skinny, a man may have thought “Damn! I’d do her” when I had on a pair of shorts that didn’t quite reach my fingertips. But, 1. other people’s thoughts are not my responsibility. and 2. very ,very few men think it is ok to say that sort of thing, when you can’t pretend it’s a joke and I need to just lighten up. Got it. Short shorts cause sin. But, it is ok for me to have a name that makes a majority of men automatically think of me giving a blow job.
If my mother puts on make-up or curls her hair, there is a fight that lasts hours, about how she must want to cheat. if my dad comes home 5 minutes late, there is a huge blow up about how he must be cheating. Somehow I doubt my husband appreciates these comments about his wife.But, changing my name is just because I “think I’m better than everyone”. and because I don’t “think anything my parents do is good enough”.
I was telling this to Brad the other day, and he asked “Is that part of why you won’t meet my co-workers?” I had to admit, that yes it was. I hate introducing myself to new people. On a good day I get “That’s cute.” but that’s rare. On a normal day, I get a laugh, and a “You’re kidding, right?”, “Isn’t that a boy’s name?” or “What’s that short for?”
I was thinking about it, partially because if I want to legally change my name, I need to explain WHY. I know there are pat answers, that make it almost always get approved. But, part of me wants to say “Because I’m tired of introducing myself and then being asked for a blow job.” Seems like that would push the paperwork through quickly.