Cal is a boy’s name, anyway.

2 Jul

There’s a woman at work. She’s a nick-namer. Kimberly is Kimmie, Joseph is Joey, though I’ve never heard these people introduce themselves as one of the short versions of their names. The other day, she called me… Cal.

And I… I answered.

And now I’m doomed.

I had to answer, because she was asking a question and it was oh so apparent she was talking to me. Also, when people get my name wrong, I’ve never been sure how to correct them. If I let it go, the pronunciation becomes entrenched and it’s too awkward to change later. If I correct them, it seems like they over-pronounce, make it fancy, like I’ve done something hoity by having a way to say my name. (This is more of a problem with my last name, because it’s pretty hard to pronounce Cally any way other than how it should be.)

I don’t know what these name-choppers are thinking.

I knew a girl in high school who was a name-extender. A rarer problem, sure, but a problem nonetheless. You thought you were Chris? No, you were Christopher. Often, she didn’t say my name- I think it’s because she couldn’t make it any longer than it was. It’s the same side of the coin, though, because in both cases you’re just ignoring what I have told you I should be called. To me, it smacks of arrogance, that you know what’s better for me than I do. That you’re going to stomp on my wishes and change my name, one of the very essences of my identity, to suit your preferences. You override me.

Am I blowing it all out of proportion? I don’t know. I don’t think so. If I told you my name was Cally and you decided to call me Jerk Face, then I’d be perfectly allowed to have an issue. I see this as almost the same. It’s a subtle dig, like a back-handed compliment.

What I do know, is I’d rather chew on rocks than have anyone ever call me Cal every again.

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7 Responses to “Cal is a boy’s name, anyway.”

  1. squirrel circus July 2, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    I’m TOTALLY with you. I’m named after my grandmother, Virginia, who goes by “Ginny” — perfect for her, and totally wrong for me. People not only call me Ginny without asking, but they call me Victoria or Veronica with an appalling regularity — like you can see them thinking, “hmmm, it’s some kind of old lady name….or comic book character….I just can’t seem to recall.” Then there was my pervy health teacher who, no matter how many times I corrected him, called me “Jenny”!!!!

    Um, yeah. You touched a nerve…you could say…heh heh.

    • Cally July 2, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

      Oh man. I didn’t even think about just the wrong name. I was thinking variations on your name. I don’t even understand how people would forget or mishear “Virginia.” HELLO, it’s a freaking state.

      • squirrel circus July 3, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

        You totally hit on the question I am most often asked, “how do you spell that?” Um. Like the STATE.

  2. The Pink Growl July 2, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    I am constantly called Nik, which is short for Nikki. Oddly enough, Nikki is short for Nicole. I am the queen of nicknames! NIknames 🙂 I’m a loser I know.

    • Cally July 2, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

      It’s fine to have many “niknames” as long as you agree to them. I would never call you Nik or Nicole without being told, though they’re both lovely choices. Perhaps I am just way too sensitive to the topic?

  3. scpardieck13 July 7, 2012 at 4:56 am #

    If anyone ever calls me “Sar” I’m gonna punch ’em.

    • Cally July 8, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

      I would heartily encourage that.

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