What’s In A Name?

My name is Natasha. 

Natasha Nicholes - Houseful Of Nicholes

For years, I was the only Natasha in my classroom. There were plenty of Latasha’s, but third grade found me with another Natasha in my classroom. So I became Natasha T., and the other Natasha was Natasha S. So for five years, I went from being just Natasha to Natasha T. 

Natasha Nicholes

After graduation, I went to high school and college, where, once again, I was the only Natasha in my group of classmates, and I was able to drop the first initial of my last name, and just be Natasha. College was the same way, as was my first job. 

Then I started blogging, and my name went on several tours in variation. Latasha, Natalie, Natash, and finally, Nicole. I’m not sure how the universe decided to land on Nicole as the agreed upon moniker for me when it comes to emails, greetings in real life, and talks about me. It’s always awkward when I’m introduced to someone as “the person I was talking to you about, last week” and they recognize me as Natasha and say something along the lines of “nope, you were telling me about and awesome NICOLE that you know, this is Natasha.” Never fails. 

Who is Natasha Nicholes

This doesn’t even bring into question the amounts of times that I’ve been mistaken for someone else, who is usually also black, and that’s about where the similarities end. It happens y’all. 

However, this is not really to talk about the issues of people making the mistake once. Nope. It’s from the people, the REPEAT offenders who continue to call me Nicole despite the amounts of time that I correct them just lets me know that they don’t care enough to learn my name. See, I’m a big proponent of getting folks names right. I repeat it when you tell it to me, and if I forget it, I ask again. I never try to shorten it if that’s not how it was presented, and I never, EVER say, “Same thing” if I call you something wrong, and you correct me. This happened to me in Africa with one of the team members who called me Michelle. Not even close. 

It’s tiring. To always correct something that identifies you. Something as simple as a name, but not really, right? I mean, I used to tell people “that’s okay,” but for me, it’s totally not. To ME, I hear that you don’t have enough in you to try to remember my name, and if I correct you and you ask me jokingly why it matters, then I’m going to REALLY be ticked. It’s my name. 

Now. Among my colleagues – a cool several thousand, I may be known as the dancer, or Mrs. Houseful. At my son’s school, I’m known as Nate’s mom. At my mother’s job, I’m known as Mor Mor Baby’s daughter – or her twin. It’s okay, just as long as you remember to put some respect on Natasha. 

Natasha Nicholes

Do you constantly get called the wrong name? Are YOU the person who constantly calls people the wrong name? If you forget, and try to figure out ways to get their real name, you get a pass, because you try. If you just forego all of that, and spit out whatever name you want, then you, dear are not nice. 

 

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Andrea Bates
    May 4, 2016 at 8:53 am

    I don’t call people the wrong name. If I forget a name I leave it open, ya know? Obviously people are using Nicole because of your last name – and once is an accidental mistake – maybe once online and once in person, or something, but beyond that – hello? No. Respect a person’s name. Amiyrah did a scope on respecting the pronunciation of someone’s name – this is even worse! Call you something else? Nah. Natasha – you’re you. Love you for it!

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      May 4, 2016 at 9:35 am

      Unfortunately, people were calling me long before I became a Nicholes, long before I KNEW my husband, so that theory is not the proper one.

  • Reply
    Terrica
    May 4, 2016 at 9:16 am

    This is EVERYTHING! As some one with a unique name, this truly resonates with me. I do my very best to instill this in my children. Your name is the one thing no one else can take away from you and YOU decide what you want it to mean as an expression of your being. Mispronunciations, derivatives or unsolicited monikers are BS. I am not here for it. Thank you SO much for this!

  • Reply
    Crysteal Marshbanks
    May 4, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Love it!!!……They better put some #Respeck on it…..Natasha❤

  • Reply
    Daenel T.
    May 4, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    Darlene. There isn’t even an “R” in my name.

    I finally started introducing myself as “Dani” when I was 15 just so people would get the name right. Now I hear “But that’s a boy’s name.” *sigh*

    You’re absolutely right. This name thing is about not respecting/caring enough to bother to get the name right.

  • Reply
    Tiffany
    May 4, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    This is my peev. I was constantly getting called Tammy or Stephanie. NO.

    And now you got me wondering if you haven’t loved me calling you Tasha all these years. <3

  • Reply
    Sidney
    May 5, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    All. Of. This.
    My name is SIDNEY. Not Sydney, Not Cynthia. Not Stacey. Not Cindy. Not Sandy. Not Dorothy.

    And if you see it written, say on facebook, and you STILL spell it wrong…..you should be tared and feathered. Or at the very least, flogged.

  • Reply
    Brandie Langer
    May 5, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    I sometimes get called Randy, it’s rare – but it happens. People mostly just spell it wrong. Which is really frustrating on pages like facebook because my name is RIGHT THERE!

    That said, I’m horrible at remembering names. I don’t call people the wrong name, but I’m constantly embarrassed when I have to say “I’m sorry, please remind me of your name.” I hate it. I never used to have that problem so it’s new. And it bothers me. Though, I’d rather say I forgot than use the wrong name!

  • Reply
    Melisa
    July 20, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Yes yes yes. That’s all.
    Also that first picture will always be one of my favorites because you’re pointing at ME.

  • Reply
    Eva Wilson/SocaMom® (@SocaMomDC)
    July 20, 2018 at 11:11 am

    My name has THREE letters. You’d be stunned how often people get it wrong.

  • Reply
    Momma
    May 1, 2019 at 7:26 am

    My boss deals with this. His name is Keith, his brother is Kevin. They are not in business together, or even live in the same state. But people CONSTANTLY call the office asking to speak to Kevin when they want to talk to my boss. He says its been that way his entire life being called Kevin, even from people that do not know his brother, so it is just so weird phenomenon where people associate the 2 names together LOL. When people call and ask for Kevin, I go do you mean Keith?? And they get quiet, clearly reading the paper in front of them and go OMG yes Keith!! SHEESH.

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