This is a post was inspired by a thread on a friend’s Facebook timeline. My friend has decided to return to her given name rather than the shortened version of it that she has been using for a number of years. It caused quite a stir, not one person criticised her decision but many gave their own reasons for the name they use as opposed to the one their parents chose. It’s a subject I’m quite passionate about and I’d love to know how you feel about your name.
My given name is Dianne. As a child, I was never referred to as Di. The only ‘shortening’ of my name that was allowed was the one my younger brother used ‘Dan’ but only until he was old enough to pronounce the full version.
My name has caused me trouble all my life. You see, my dad decided if I was to be Dianne, I had to have two ‘n’s. So I spent my school days and working life saying, “it’s Dianne with two n’s”
When I married and changed my last name, further problems arose. I now had to say, “it’s Dianne with two n’s and Horsfield without the e” You have no idea how often people became flustered.
Then I changed jobs and I decided I wanted to claim my own identity and became Di. I still have the Horsfield without the e conversation far more often than I like but what can one do? My name is not Diane Horsefield. It just isn’t me. Now, my husband, dad (who I absolutely promise has never once spelt my name right!) my maternal aunt and my friend from school, call me Dianne.
Then I got to thinking about my family’s names. My kids have names we thought couldn’t be shortened. One can’t and isn’t, the other three get a variety of version of the name we gave them. It’s their choice, and I am guilty of shortening their names too.
But then there’s my husband.
His name is Malcolm. He’s called Gavin. (An argument between his parents meant he was registered as Malcolm but only his dad called him it and he stopped fighting his corner within three weeks) But officially his name is Malcolm.
As a newly wed, I went to register us both at the local GP surgery. I gave the receptionist our names, dates of birth, previous doctor’s name and so on and went to take my seat to wait for my appointment with the nurse.
I’d been sat there a few minutes trying to decide whether I had time to pick up one of the dog-eared magazines, when I suddenly realised I had made a mistake. I went back to the receptionist and whispered, “I gave you the wrong name for my husband.” The woman’s hearing must have failed as she asked me to repeat myself. I tried again, a little louder but hoping to keep it as private as possible. Again, the receptionist pled deafness. I’m sure I saw a smirk cross her mouth. I’ve never been known for my patient streak. I now spoke loudly enough for the entire over crowded waiting room to hear that I was very sorry but my husband name is not Gavin, it’s Malcolm!
The sniggers, giggles and open guffaws from the reception area and waiting patients caused me to flush. I was also rather cross (Have I mentioned I’m not very patient?) I explained, in what I considered to be a reasonable tone, pitch and level given the situation, that I was not bloody responsible for his sodding name and advised those who thought I might have had some sort of memory lapse or having a torrid affair with some random bloke, to take it up with my husband’s damn parents!
At that point the nurse called my name and I stomped off down the corridor vowing I would never again do anything that involved me giving his name. If anybody needed his name and details he could damn well do it himself on his bloody day off. I had almost calmed down to a more acceptable level when the nurse handed me some paperwork to sign. Guess what? The stupid people had spelt BOTH my names incorrectly!
So for my sanity please I’m Di, Dan, Danni, Dianni, but never Diane Horsefield!